Never feel embarrassed about your pronunciation again

When you start working with SAUNDZ, your first impression may be that the application is too simple.  However, this is exactly how it should be, considering the fact that you’re starting from the basics in your pronunciation learning.

All these sounds will seem familiar to you.  But, do you know how to pronounce them correctly?

Each American English sound contains elements that one may not be aware of until he or she tries to pronounce the sound the way native speakers of American English do.  Only then can you realize that the correct pronunciation of a sound is a matter of proper practice, which requires knowledge of the basics of American English phonology.

The fact that SAUNDZ includes more than 400 words with dictionary definitions should be further proof of how simple the SAUNDZ’ approach is.  Most of the words you will encounter in SAUNDZ are simple mono- or di-syllabic words.  However, if you look more closely you may realize that they are not as simple as they appear.

Our experience has given us the opportunity to work with many foreign language students and they have told us the sounds that, because of their native language, they have found most challenging.  Check out the list of the words below and ask yourself: Am I absolutely sure that I can pronounce all of these correctly?

What should I practice?

Chinese Pronunciation

Chinese native speaker?

  • /r /- /l/ distinction: “rip” and “lip”
  • /w/ as in “want”
  • /tʃ/ as in “chip”
  • /dʒ/ as in “jobs”
  • /ɪ/ – /i/ vowel length distinction: “sit” and “seat”
Hindu pronunciation

Hindu/Urdu native speaker?

  • /t/ – /θ/ – distinction: “tick” and “thick”
  • /r/ sound as in “red”, “through”, “purr”
  • /v/ and /w/ distinction: “vest” and “west”
  • /aʊ/ as in “how”
  • /aɪ/ as in “spy”

Russian Slavic pronunciation

Russian/Slavic language native speaker?

  • /r/ as in “roll” and “pure”
  • /t/ – /θ/ distinction “pat” and “path”
  • /d/ – /ð/ distinction “dan” and “than”
  • /ə/  as in “about”
  • /w/ -/v/ distinction: “wane” and “vane”
Turkish pronunciation

Turkish native speaker?

  • /d/ – /ð/ distinction “dan” and “than”
  • /t/ – /θ/ distinction: “tick” and “thick”
  • /s/ – /z/ distinction: “see” and “zee”
  • /r/ sound as in “red”, “through”, “purr”
  • /j/ as in “your”

Japanese pronunciation

Japanese native speaker?

  • /r/ – /l/ distinction: “rip” and “lip”
  • /ʃ/ – /ʒ/ distinction – “shoe” and “zhoo”
  • /ɪ/ – /i/ vowel length: “pick” and “peak”
  • /t/ – /θ/ – distinction: “tick” and “thick”
  • /d/ – /ð/ distinction “dan” and “than”
Korean pronunciation

Korean native speaker?

  • /f/ as in “fat”
  • /v/ as in “veal”
  • /z/ as in “zee”
  • /θ/ as in “think”
  • consonant group sk as in “skate”

Spanish pronunciation

Spanish native speaker?

  • /r/ sound as in “red”, “through”, “purr”
  • /b/ – /v/ distinction: “bat” and “vat
  • /ʃ/  as in “shut”
  • /tʃ/ as in “chip”
  • initial consonant groups that start with the /s/ sound
German pronunciation

German native speaker?

  • /s/ – /θ/ distinction: “sick” and “thick”
  • /z/ – /ð/ distinction: “seize” and “seethe”
  • /æ/ as in: “sash”
  • /l/ as in “lip” and “smell”
  • final /r/ consonant as in: “purr” and “pure”

French pronunciation

French native speaker?

  • /r/ as in “roll” and “pure”
  • /h/ as in “hat”
  • /ɪ/ – /i/ vowel length distinction: “pick” and “peak”
  • /tʃ/ as in “chip”
  • /ʒ/ as in “zhoo” and “rouge”
Italian pronunciation

Italian native speaker?

  • /ɪ/ – /i/ vowel length: “pick” and “peak”
  • /æ/ as in: “sash”
  • /θ/ as in “think”
  • /h/ as in “hat”
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