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ESL forum > Ask for help > pronunciation    



hello everybody,
i īm really confused coz as i told u befor i ve been assigned to make a pronunciation manual and i feel that i īm lost i want to write the brition transcription and the equivalent in the american but some symbols in the american   can īt find it in the british and vice versa , i know the british trancription well but the american one is not clear to me .I hope that u understood me. So can anybody help me ?Wacko
for example:
 the [i:] sound like in meet in the american transcription [i] without dots and so on...
so if somebody can guide me to a site or any source so that i can find the symboles in british and the equivalent in american.
Thanks in advance!

26 Mar 2010      


sorry but i don īt understand what you mean... in France we know the IPA (international phonetics alphabet) i didn īt know there was an american or a british one... if two words are written differently in the phonetic alphabet it means they are pronounced differently according to the country...

have a look at this website www.wordreference.com if you type in "new" you will see that there are 2 prononciations: US and UK - you will use the IPA to write it phonetically but it will be written in 2 different ways according to the 2 different ways of prononcing it... same for "meet" (long /i:/ in UK and short /i/ in US pronounciation).

/i/ means short "i", while /i:/ means long "i", according to what i learnt, the Americans prefer using short vowels.
ex: ship US pronounciation will sound like shep the "i" being between /e/ and /i/, and sheep will be pronounced like "ship" with a short /i/, while the british use a short /i/ for ship and a long /i:/ for sheep... check wordreference again...

is it clear? it īs easier to listen to the different prononciation first and then to find the rules...
let me know if i was of any help ;)

take care!

26 Mar 2010     

United States

Buy a Webster īs Collegiate Dictionary (the USA Standard).  In the front of the dictionary there is a very thorough explanation (with examples) on how to read, understand and pronounce words using the US phonetic alphabet and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).  After that you just need to look-up a word in the dictionary and it will give you the US pronunciation as well as any British pronunciations.
I do "using the dictionary" lessons with my advanced students so they become familiar with its use--it is a very powerful tool.  Not all languages/cultures have a similar book, they are often broken-down into a series of different books.

26 Mar 2010     

United States


Sheep and ship are pronounced the same in the US and Great Britain, so I don īt know where you are getting your information.

26 Mar 2010     


Is it so yanogator ? I īve checked www.macmillandictionary.com because I couldn īt believe I īve learnt and pronounced those two words the wrong way all my life, and according to it we use /I/ to pronounce ship and /i:/ for sheep ... who īs right ?
Any other native speakers who can give their opinion please ?? Thank you very much!

26 Mar 2010     

United States

Webster īs does not give a separate brit pronunciation and I have never heard that the two words are pronounced differently in British vs US English.
sheep -- IPA [i] -- has the same vowel sound as "beat", "easy", and "bleed"
ship -- IPA [I] -- has the same vowel sound as "tip", "banish", and "active"

26 Mar 2010     


interesting... i wonder who īs right... i īve always learnt that ship and sheep are pronounced differently and i was taught that Americans pronounced the vowels slightly differently from the British...
do you agree that "new" is pronounced differently is the US and in the UK??? i īve learnt that "in British English you must pronounce the /j/ before a /u:/; so "new" = /nu:/ in American English and /nju:/ in British English, RIGHT?? the same is true for tuesday, RIGHT?
thanks for letting me know!

26 Mar 2010