How to train diction

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Pronunciation is the stumbling block of all English learners. On the one hand, philologists sometimes say that they should not be worried because of their pronunciation. Therefore, many happily continue to pronounce the explosive / r /, as in Russian / cancer /, / t / instead of / θ / in the path, and / v / instead of / w / in winter.

  • On the peculiarities of the Russian pronunciation of English words, read our article “How NOT To Do a Russian Accent? Top 7 mistakes in pronunciation, there you will find useful tips on how to get rid of Russian accent

On the other hand, listening to audiobooks voiced by Stephen Fry (and I am sure that you are listening to audiobooks!), One involuntarily wants to learn to speak with his intonation and manner of pronouncing words. But the native speakers of English also did not immediately develop such articulation and diction. In childhood, as well as us, they were forced to repeat verses and tongue twisters in English over and over to develop articulation muscles.

Today we will also work on pronunciation using various English tongue twisters! No wonder they were called so in English: tongue – tongue, twist – twist, tie into a knot. After our today’s patter session, you will feel how your muscles will ache in your mouth, the existence of which you had no idea! :-)

How to train diction

Peter Piper

In most cases, no one translates tongue twisters, it makes no sense. More precisely, there is no special meaning in the word set of tongue twisters. These words are collected so as to train certain groups of sounds that are very similar in sound, but still differ. For example, / pɪ /, / pe / / paɪ /. Therefore, do not be surprised at the sentences of strange meaning, in our “traveling Greek across the river” there is also not much sense.

Peter Piper picked up a peck of pickled peppers; A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked; If Peter Piper is picked up, pick up peppers, Peter’s pick was picked?

Try to repeat? First, slowly, word by word, then faster. Another good tactic is to read from the end. First one word, then add to it the second word from the end and so on.

How to train diction

Interestingly, some English tongue twisters have a history of origin. So, Peter Piper was a real man (real name Pierre Poivre, in French – “pepper”). He was involved in crop production in France. In the past, spices, which were also known as “peppers”, were very expensive. At that time, the Dutch were almost monopolists in the spice market; they imported cloves and nutmeg to Europe. Peter decided to grow their own spices and supply them to Europe. But it was very difficult to do this, as the cunning Dutch often pickled seeds (seeds) of spices with lime. Lime juice affected spice seeds, seeds could not germinate, and people could not cultivate these plants in their own country. Thus, the Dutch monopolized the market, eliminating competitors, and kept supplies low and demand high. Clever!

She sells seashells

Another very famous patter in English. Here, the main focus is on testing sounds / ʃ / and / s /. It sounds like light sounds, but when they stand together, there is a small disaster!

She sells seashells on the seashore. The shells she sells are seashells, I’m sure. So if she sells seashells on the seashore, Then, I’m sure she sells seashore shells.

This tongue-twister is based on the life of a real person – Englishwoman Mary Anning (1799-1847). When Mary was a little girl, she and her father dug up sea shells (shells) and small fossils (fossils) on the seashore in her native town. Once, at the age of 12, Mary found the remains of an animal’s skeleton. At first she decided that it was a crocodile, but it turned out that it was a dinosaur! In her life she made many amazing discoveries and became the founder of modern paleontology. In 2010, the Royal Society included Enning in the list of women who made a significant contribution to science.

Famous tongue-twisters

I also offer you a small list of other quite popular English tongue twisters. By the way, you can also record your pronunciation and then compare whether it is very different from the original.

  • Red lorry, yellow lorry, red lorry, yellow lorry.
  • Seth at Sainsbury’s sells thick socks.
  • If it’s chews shoes, it should be your chews?
  • I scream, you scream, we scream for ice cream!
  • He threw three balls.
  • Fried fish, Fresh fried fish, Fried fish

Want to know the patter who became the champion of the Guinness Book of Records? Here she is! Nothing complicated? Try to pronounce it 3 times faster!

The sixth sick sheikh’s sixth sheep’s sick. – The sixth sheep of the sixth sick Sheikh is sick (this and in Russian is difficult to pronounce!).

Also an interesting selection is offered by the teacher.

If it seems to you that tongue twisters in English are very difficult to pronounce, then I advise you to watch a video about what Chinese lovers have to deal with. This is where language can be broken! You will see a part of the poem written in classical Chinese by the famous linguist Zhao Yuanren. All 92 syllables are read as “shi” in one of four tones. And the educated Chinese, having read this poem, will understand that we are talking about a man by the name of Shi, who ate the lions.

Do not forget to download the 50 most difficult tongue twisters in English! Winter evenings will now have something to do! Practice, practice, practice – you yourself will not notice how the complex sounds of English begin to click like nuts!

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