The word “January” is spoken as “Jan(y)u(w)ary”. In American English, we link two vowel sounds together with a “w” or “y” sound. The “w” and “y” sounds are in a class of sounds known as “glides”. Some vowel sounds in American English are “glided” vowels. That is, they have a slight “w” or “y” sound […]
The word “happy” has a tense “ee” sound at the end. This common word ending, spelled -y, is typically pronounced “ee”. The tense “ee” sound is a long sound, made with your tongue high and your lips smiling. The sides of the tongue are pressed against the roof of the mouth.
The “h” sound (at the beginning of “Happy” and “Holidays”) is made by opening your mouth and exhaling a huff of air from the lungs. To make this sound, pretend you are trying to fog up your glasses to clean them. If you’re a Russian speaker, make this sound a bit softer. The American “h” […]
The title of this traditional Christmas carol features a word that is challenging for a lot of non-native speakers. To help with clearly pronouncing both the “r” and “l” sounds in the word “world”, think of there being two syllables, as if it were spelled “werrold”. It’s a little trick that will help it come […]
It’s the season that the popular 1946 American film of this title is being watched. This title uses a commonly used feature of American English — contractions, such as “it’s” (for “it is”). Speaking with contractions is a quick change you can make that will help you sound more like a native speaker.