Common English pronunciation mistakes Latinos make.

Common English pronunciation mistakes Latinos make.

Many Spanish speaking people find it hard to pronounce some letters when they speak English. If you are one of them, don’t worry! We have got you covered. Here are some simple tips to help you learn how to pronounce English words correctly.

1. Missing the sound of consonants at the end of the sentences or words:

Sometimes, Spanish speakers will say the word but say it just shy of the consonant. For example, they will pronounce the word ‘breakfast’ as ‘breakfast’ or the word ‘good’ as ‘gah’. The clusters of consonants don’t pop up at the end of the words for native Spanish speakers.

If you are a native Spanish speaker, you will notice that you will say ‘act’ instead of ‘acted’ or ‘treat’ instead of ‘treated’. So, the struggle with verbs ending with ‘ed’. Being mindful might help.

Tip to overcome this:

One way to do this is by linking the words in the sentence as you would do in your native language.

Here are a few examples for you to understand this further, to speak correctly:

  • Instead of trying to say, “We waited for you.” you can try saying, “We wait edfor you.”
  • Instead of trying to say, “The breakfast was delicious.” You can try saying, “The breakfa stwas delicious.”

2. The confusion between short and long vowel sounds:

English has twenty vowels, whereas Spanish only has five. Therefore, Spanish speaking people usually tend to either extend the sound of the vowel for too long or connect it with the closest sound in Spanish.

Tip to overcome this:

There are two types of vowels in the English language – short and long form. Try practicing these basic pairs: ‘heat’ vs ‘hit’; ‘fool’ vs ‘full’; ‘note’ vs ‘not’; ‘seat’ vs ‘sit’.

3. The B and the V are pronounced as the same sound:

If Spanish-speaking natives were to read, “What was the bet?”; they may read it as, “What was the vet?” instead by mistake. In the English language the letter v is fricative. When a word is fricative, the teeth and the lip touch while pronouncing the word. The other type of a word is plosive. While pronouncing a plosive word, one will find that both their lips touch, just like they would while blowing a kiss or applying a lipstick. Not pronouncing the words correctly can cause confusion.

Tip to overcome this:

Practice pronouncing words that start with b and v one after the other to become aware of the differences in the two distinct sounds for the words. Find someone who can help you with this exercise or simply use Google’s option to listen to the correct pronunciation of the word.

4. Adding a vowel before the words that start with ‘s’:

If you are one of those people who pronounces ‘Spain’ as ‘Espain’, then you are adding a vowel before the word, and it is a mistake! Words in Spanish begin with a vowel, but it is not the same in English.

Tip to overcome this:

One way to overcome this habit is to pronounce the ‘ssssss’ sound daily until it becomes your default habit. Say ‘sss’ like a hissing sound and not ‘esss…’

When you feel ready, practice this tongue twister – “She sells seashells on the seashore!”

5. Not saying the ‘h’ sound correctly in English

The sound of H is silent in the Spanish language. They pronounce the sound of ‘j’ the way the letter ‘h’ is pronounced in English.

Tip to overcome this:

There is an interesting tip to learn and remind yourself to pronounce the sound of ‘h’ in English correctly. Take a piece of paper and hold it in front of your mouth. After doing this, speak out the words that start with the letter ‘h’ in the English language. Some words for example can be simple ones like a hat, hen, hall, and hot. When you pronounce the letter ‘h’ in English, a small burst of air comes out of your mouth. When the paper moves slightly with this wind, you know you are pronouncing the words correctly.

Practicing is the only way you will overcome mistakes. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes though, that’s how we learn! Hope this blog helped you. Stay tuned for more!

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