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Learning Pronunciation in another language

Hi, Folks,

Someone recently suggested that I spell out the pronunciation of the French or Spanish words using English sounds, like, for example: hola  would be oh-lah.

This appears in some books for tourists to be able to order in a restaurant, but it is bad way to learn pronunciation.I had to use that when I learned some Arabic for our trip to Egypt, but my pronunciation was awful. The same thing happened for Chinese. In China I was understood about half the time!

It is impossible to replicate sounds in another language by using English equivalents. The best way to learn is by listening to the correct pronunciation and repeating.

That's why I made quality recordings for the books with native speakers whose pronunciation of their language is ideal. 

Children up to the age of puberty have the advantage of being able to acquire native or near-native pronunciation.  They can listen to the recordings and repeat exactly what they hear. 

Your child may have to go back to the recording several times to learn the correct pronunciation, and children will be impatient. But, if you encourage them and compliment them on their pronunciation, they will be more willing. Of course your pronunciation will be better too.

The books are designed so that many of the words are repeated throughout the book. Also, you have the final vocabulary list, where everything is pronounced again. So, if you want to save time, just go to that part, and hear the words again.

Let's remember that the purpose of good pronunciation is not only to sound good, but to be understood. Also, the better your pronunciation is, the easier it will be for you (or your child) to understand what people are saying.