How to check your pronunciation in English?
Are you tired of hearing What? and Can you repeat that? when you speak English? Even if you use the right words and correct grammatical constructions, if you articulate badly, you won’t be understood . That’s why today we’re going to be looking at possible ways to check your English pronunciation and useful resources to hear the pronunciation of words in English!
How to check his pronunciation?
The basic rule is to check everything, every word, even the most basic ones. Our ideology is: always check to always progress! The advantage is that it only takes a few seconds.
Here are some benefits of correcting your English pronunciation:
- You will be better and more easily understood , of course. Help your interlocutor!
- You will understand better: if you know the correct pronunciation of words, you will recognize them more easily when you hear them.
- By acquiring a better accent, you will have more confidence in yourself.
Listen to English pronunciation to progress
What to check in the English dictionary?
Here are the things you’ll want to pay attention to when checking a word in the dictionary:
- The stressed syllable: on which syllable to insist? Pay attention to the symbol ‘ present in the phonetic transcription; it indicates that the following syllable is stressed. Keep in mind that stressed syllables tend to sound clearer.
- l ‘ is at the very beginning of the word, which means that we accentuate the syllable which follows it, here the first, instead of the last as in Indian. Even if we can recognize the word instantly, we must remember that the English pronunciation can vary from Indian!
The sounds used: what sounds exactly make up the word? Pay particular attention to sounds that do not exist in India; often people have trouble articulating in English because of the sounds they are not used to. And that brings us directly to the next point:
Get used to the IPA or International Phonetic Alphabet . The easiest and safest way to check a word’s pronunciation is to see its API transcription . Indeed, in API, each symbol corresponds to a unique sound, unlike the spelling which can be confusing in English.
- Hearing English : Hearing the pronunciation of a word as you learn it will help you immensely in remembering it with its correct pronunciation. To optimize memorization work, it is best to first examine the transcription of the word and try to guess how to pronounce it on your own; then listen to the recording to check if you understood how to read the API!
What are the best resources to check the pronunciation of a word in English?
define on Google
It’s very simple and fast: type define X and the word you are looking for on Google and you will get its definition and its transcription in API. The huge advantage is that it’s an online dictionary that can be used anywhere: on your mobile, computer, tablet, etc. Keep in mind that it gives you UK spelling and pronunciation. To listen to it, click on the speaker logo next to the word.
Listen to English pronunciation on Google
pronunciation on google
Typing X pronunciation in English will bring up an animated face that shows the exact mouth and lip movement in both American English and British English (select from the drop-down menu above the mouth). You may also hear the pronunciation of the word in slow motion. The downside here is that you don’t see the API transcription.
Pronunciation, transcription and audio: everything on Google!
(From en.wiktionary.org .) This is an excellent unilingual English dictionary for checking the pronunciation of a word in several dialects of English , and comparing how Americans and English people pronounce it .
The word iron on Wiktionary
You can see the etymology, (don’t be surprised if you often see that the English word has a India origin ); when we better understand the construction of a word, we retain it more easily. Also presented are other interesting elements that can help you enrich your vocabulary and your general knowledge of the language such as antonyms, homophones , idiomatic expressions , etc.
The word colonel on Wiktionary
You can also use Wiktionary in the Indian version , but keep in mind that it is much less rich than the English version!
youtube is a really great dictionary for learning authentic pronunciation in context! Instead of listening to isolated words, it gives you access to examples of usage (and therefore pronunciation) of words or phrases taken from YouTube videos. Just enter the word of your choice and click Say it! The dictionary will show you several YouTube videos where the word is used with the exact timing! You can then hear the word in a completely natural context with various accents. You also have closed captioning and commands such as “repeat” or “rewind 5 seconds”.
youtube: an excellent site to listen to English pronunciation!
Honestly, the dictionaries and resources we just saw should be enough for you. But here are a few more for situations where you want to listen to more audio to compare multiple sources against each other.
Here is a dictionary that offers pronunciation and transcription of the words you are looking for, but it also has the advantage of giving example sentences! Seeing the word you want to learn in context is a very effective technique for remembering it. Another interesting feature is that you are given the CEFR level to which the word corresponds. The audios are available in US and UK English.
Cambridge Dictionary: a good English dictionary with sound.
This dictionary offers you audio recordings in several dialects (British, American, Irish, Scottish, etc.) and you can change the speed of the recording: you can listen to it at 50% or 25% of its normal speed for better distinguishing each sound.
WordReference: English dictionary with phonetics
Which dictionary to choose? The best solution would be a monolingual dictionary, but if this is still difficult for you, you can also use an English-Indian dictionary online. The dictionaries mentioned above also have Indian versions: WordReference in Indian.
Note that there are also monolingual dictionaries dedicated to learners; definitions use less complex vocabulary. They can be a good intermediary between a bilingual dictionary and a classic unilingual dictionary. Here is for example:
- The Cambridge Learner’s’ Dictionary , where you will always find the transcription in API, as well as the spoken word in US and GB version!
- simple.wiktionary.org , an English to Simplified English dictionary (or its encyclopedic cousin, simple.wikipedia.org ).
Listen to English pronunciation
Let’s take a moment to talk about the importance of listening to English pronunciation . The basis for progress is to check everything in the dictionary. Whenever you look up a word in the dictionary, remember to listen to the recording of the word spoken by a native! After that: repeat it . Repeat after recording and try to imitate it .
There are lots of additional ways to get used to English pronunciation . So you can listen to , listen to English podcasts or audio books on the way to work and, in general, Take advantage of the many resources to practice English online .
Don’t make the school mistake of focusing too much on theory and not on practice. It is by repeating, practicing and speaking that you will learn to pronounce English better!
If you are ready to make great progress in spoken English, vocabulary and grammar , use Click & Speak which re-teach you the correct pronunciation of the 5,000 most important spoken words in English. You’ll see the phonetics of the word and hear the audio in the context of useful, lively sentences, in an easy-to-use training.
How to check your pronunciation in English: video demonstration!
That’s a lot of information, so we suggest you watch our video on the subject:
How to check English pronunciation: video demonstration
? This video is taken from a webinar given in 2019. To find out the dates of the next webinar, subscribe to the newsletter (already 31,574 subscribers!)
We live in the 21st century, you can listen to English speaking with beautiful English pronunciation online anytime and anywhere. Take at least a few minutes a day to listen to English to improve. Having good pronunciation is really the key to advancing in a language and becoming multilingual. We tend to stick with the pronunciation we learned in school, but we have to start over with the knowledge of phonetics that you have just acquired and this mantra: always check to always progress !
See as well
We have seen what you will use every day to listen and check English pronunciation to progress. As you progress in your mastery of oral English , these articles should interest you:
- The Worst Pronunciation Mistakes in English presents 7 mistakes that put Indian speakers to shame. This is exactly the kind of mistake that the article above helps you avoid!
- How to eliminate your Indian accent tells you what (to stop) doing to reduce and then neutralize your Indian accent in English.
- 11 English Accents to Know and Recognize shows you, as the name suggests, the useful English accents to know when travelling.
- Our Atlas of English Accents Around the World shares the best resources for listening to all English accents around the world, with audio to listen to them and phonetic transcriptions to help you hear better.
And then, again, the rest of this article:
- How to improve your pronunciation in English? . To articulate well in English and speak with a good accent, there are 3 things to know, we tell you which ones! Then we also share 6 techniques with you to improve your pronunciation like a pro.