One of the most difficult things about learning a language is its phonetics. Unlike other languages that have pronunciation rules, the English language has very few pronunciation rules and lots of exceptions. Knowing the International Phonetic Alphabet can help you pronounce words correctly. Phonetizer is a little tool that transcribes English texts into the International Phonetic Alphabet. Phonetizeris very easy to use. It has two panels: in the first one, you write or paste the text and then click “Transcribe” and in the second panel you will get the transcription. In this second panel you can also select a word or a phrase and click “Speak” for the software to read your selected words or phrases.
Wanna have a laugh? Try to guess the answers to these jokes. They are written with phonetic symbols using the International Phonetic Alphabet. (answers below)
It’s six o’clock in the morning and already awake. Bugger! Today is the day I don’t have to teach first period but my mind doesn’t seem to know and has already decided it’s time I get down to some serious work so I’ve decided to turn on my computer and listen to the amazing voice of this guy ,James Arthur , apparently the winner of the XFaxtor. I am not a follower of this programme but the truth be told I think he’s got that kind of voice I could fall in love with and, to top it all, I have just heard his version of the song “I’m sexy and I Know it” originally sung by Lmfao and I can’t hardly believe it’s the same song. Well, I just wanted you to know.
Anyway, I wanted to share with you this tool that can come quite handy when working with phonetics .You can find it in a blog called Random Idea English, which is worth a visit. Here’s what it looks like ; you just need to type and copy/paste. Here’s the link.Easy peasy!
Here’s the song and the guy I was telling you about. By the way, he is also the one singing the latest hit “Impossible”
Text2Phonetics is a wonderful tool that can save a lot of time if you need to transcribe something. I have tried it with small texts (two or three lines) and it’s incredible!
Just paste the text you want to transcribe and click the Transcribe Button to get the transcription.
Why don’t you try some words to see how they are pronounced?
Type, for instance, since, cold, danger, aunt, parents … were there any words you usually mispronounced?
Learning a new language can be difficult. We often wonder why it seems easier for some people, for some nationalities, to understand English better than for other speakers. The level of difficulty depends on various aspects but, most definitely, one of them is whether your first language is syllable-timed (giving syllables equal prominence) or stress-timed( temporal duration between two stressed syllables is the same ). English, as well as Danish, Swedish or German, are stress-timed languages whereas Spanish, French or Cantonese Chinese are syllable-timed.
♥Content and Function Words. This is important because we, as Spaniards, try to give equal importance to each syllable but in English, only some words in a sentence are considered important and therefore pronounced with more emphasis (Content words) while others are quickly spoken (Function words) some would say, swallowed.
Look at these two sentences. Although the first has 7 words and the second 12, it should take you the same amount of time to read both sentences. Why? Because as English is a time stressed language there is always the same distance between two stressed words.
Peter saidhorriblethings about your mother.
He left after dinnertaking most of his books in his suitcase.
♥ Another thing to take into consideration is Linking. Words , when they are pronounced in isolation do not sound the same as when pronounced in a sentence. Why? Because of this linking.
Linking occurs in English in these situations:
–Consonant+ vowel : when a word ends with a consonant sound and the next one starts with a vowel sound, we, very often, link them
Liked it | ˈlaɪktɪt |
And I /ən´aɪ |
–Vowel+ Vowel : when one word ends with a vowel sound and the next word begins with a vowel sound, we link the words with a sort of W or Y sound.
To simplify :
♥ If our lips are round at the end of the first word, we insert a W sound: Ex: do it /du:wɪt/
♥ If our lips are wide at the end of the first word, we insert a Y sound: Ex: Ray is /reɪyɪz/
– And then we have theLinking “r” for example, the “r” in “here” would not be pronounced in “Here they are ” (because it is followed by a consonant), but it would be pronounced in “Here I am”. Likewise, the “r” at the end of “far” would only be pronounced if the next word begins with a vowel, as in “far away” /fa:r∂wei/ or” far off”. /fa:rof/
Listen to these sentences and repeat after them paying attention to the linkings. linking.mp3
Not at all
Isn’t it a pity
Ian’s wearing odd socks?
Was ever a bride so pretty?
♥To be honest, I am not a big fan of Katy Perry but her song I kissed a Girl is great to practiseContent and Function Words and the chorus is just the perfect example to make students understand the issue of Linking Words and Function Words; by singing along Katy Perry” I kissed a girl and I liked it “, they’ll be practising linking words and weak forms without effort .