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Learn the IPA

Last updated Oct 7, 2022 Edit Source

One of the most useful things I did on my English learning journey is mastering the 44 sounds of the language, and of course, learning to read the International Phonetic Alphabet.

If you can read the symbols above, you can now teach yourself to pronounce things perfectly in English. And these are not at all impossible. Most sounds are already quite familiar to you. Some are tough, like dʒ θ p, but with practice you’ll conquer them in no time. Our muscles are amazingly flexible.

You may need a person with good pronciation to help you at the start, but YouTube can certainly help too: try searching with learn english ipa (note that there are some differences between American English and British English).

Learning the IPA is definitely a worthwhile undertaking. It will better equip you for shadowing. And later, when you learn another foreign language, you’ll find it easier to learn its pronunciation because you can make sound comparisons. For example, dz in English is pretty close to z in Chinese.

Vocabulary Highlight

undertaking = a task or project, especially one that is important and/or difficult

Organizing the show has been a massive undertaking.