The goal of “perfect pronunciation” is not to take your personality out of your speech. Indeed, mannerisms that give hints of your origin are charming in English. The goal is, rather, to speak so that people listen to what you say, not how you say it. The goal is to be understood the first time you say something, and to be confident and proud of the way you speak.
This book and tape are designed to help you pronounce English words, phrases, and sentences correctly, so that the meaning you intend is clear and the sounds are pleasing to the ear.
The materials are organized to help you get through the maze of English spelling so that you will know how to pronounce any new word. English spelling reflects the history of the words rather than how they are pronounced. The spelling of the vowel sounds, in particular, is an unreliable guide to their pronunciation. Also, many vowel and consonant letters are silent; they are simply not pronounced at all. Most importantly, however, the pronunciation of many grammatical markers systematically changes according to the sounds that precede them, and these changes are not reflected in the spelling. Native speakers do not even notice these changes, but make them automatically. You will learn to do the same thing.
The book is divided into five parts: Vowel Sounds, Consonant Sounds, Stress Patterns, Intonation Patterns, and Appendix. Each sound is considered separately, by sound rather than by spelling. There are instructions and diagrams to show you how the sound is made. Examples are given of the sound in all possible positions in a word or phrase, and examples are given of all possible spellings of the sound. The unique stress and intonation patterns of English, which often carry meaning, are described in detail, with examples for practice.
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