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This week I have a great question from an online English learner from Vietnam about pronunciation. I hear from students all of the time that they can't either understand when Hollywood actors are speaking in a movie, or they can't even imagine trying to talk the same way. There are a few reasons which I will touch on in my video lesson.
Have you ever wondered why you can understand your English teacher, but you can't understand when you watch Hollywood movies? This is very common and the reason is that some teachers simply are used to speaking at a slower speed pronouncing every single word they say. This becomes a habit for many teachers since they may be teaching people at different levels of English. So you as an English learner need to know how to jump from teacherese to the way English is really spoken .
D + Y = J , come again? Is that some crazy mathematical formula or something? No, it's a great way to know how native speakers link words together when they are speaking. So for example, "Did you" becomes "diju" when spoken quickly in English. There are many more examples in my lesson.
So here is another example of how native speakers link letters together to make an entirely different new sound. If you can at least learn that these sounds exist, it will be of tremendous help to you when listening to native speakers. For example, is your mother there? So in this example when the last letter of the preceding word is "s" and the first letter of the following word is "y", native speakers pronounce it zh. If that is still difficult to understand, I suggest you watch my lesson again with the examples I use.
I have many students who have problems saying phone numbers and also listening to them over the phone. One of the main reasons for this is once again: native speakers link the words together which often makes the original words seem unrecognizable. In the picture above you can see written out how the numbers actually sound when spoken quickly.