Here below is a short list of 5 English words that are a little difficult for English learners to pronounce.
1 Go to the Vocaroo website to record your pronunciations: https://vocaroo.com/
Here is a link to show you how to use Vocaroo (if you need it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBUsOrAXcLw
2 Copy the URL link to your recording and paste it into your discussion comments
Native English Speakers
1 Please feel free to provide your assessment or comments for improvement of any of the English learner recordings and pronunciations
2 Also please feel free to record your own pronunciations of the words and post the link to your recording in your comments
3 If you do post your recording, be sure to tell us where you live/what geographical area your accent is derived from
OK... Let the fun begin...
This word has only one syllable, the ‘e’ is silent and the ‘s’ makes a ‘zzz’ sound. Be careful not to say ‘clothe iz’.
This word only has two syllables ‘koh-leeg’. Make sure not to pronounce the ‘ue’ on the end. When it’s a plural, the ‘s’ makes a ‘zzz’ sound like in ‘clothes’.
Many people have trouble pronouncing English words which have two ‘r’ sounds close together. Make sure to pronounce both ‘r’ sounds: Feb-roo-a-ree, not Feb-yoo-a-ree. Similarly, ‘library’ should be pronounced ‘li-bra-ri’.
Be careful to avoid adding extra syllables in the middle of words. For example, make sure there are only two syllables in ‘athlete’: ath-leet, not ath-a-leet.
Escape and especially
Putting an extra ‘x’ sound in words with ‘es’ is a common mistake in English. Make sure to say ‘escape’ and ‘especially’ rather than ‘excape’ or ‘expecially’.
It's fine to teach people how to pronounce words in your particular accent, but it's not OK if you mislead them by implying that your way is the only correct way to pronounce them. That's simply not true.
Regarding "February": maybe in your accent it's pronounced that way. However, your accent is just one accent. There are many different accents.
I am from the UK and personally I have never heard anybody in Britain say "Feb-roo-ary."
If somebody pronounced that R, I would assume they were a foreigner.
I have always said "Feb-yury".
This is just my particular accent. It is correct for me to say it that way. However, I am not implying that everyone else has to say it that way. There are many different accents in English. Learners should pick one accent and try to keep all their pronunciations consistent with that particular accent.
I'm not sure why my contribution is being negatively received. I was merely providing feedback, as Richard had asked.
Richard said in his post that other native speakers should feel free to provide their own pronunciations, so I did so (I did it in writing, not via a recording).
It's fine for Richard to say "Feb-roo-ary" because that's his accent. Equally, it's fine for other native speakers to say "Feb-yury" because that's their accent.
Anne said: "If somebody pronounced that R, I would assume they were a foreigner."
Well, you're right, Richard is a foreigner to you and to me and to everyone who does not live in Canada.
Personally, I don't hear two Rs here in the states. But I'm sure that it's standard somewhere in the world. It doesn't bother me as a native speaker. After all, it doesn't change the word into something unintelligible, does it?
As Michael said, Richard puts in tremendous effort here with the occasional free material. Which is excellent professional material, by the way.
Perhaps we should all consider that our words may harm someone's reputation before we write them. Richard deserves no such opprobrious and shrill condemnation.
In response to Anne, while omitting the first /r/ is acceptable in the UK, articulating the first /r/ is acceptable everywhere, including the UK. On that basis, Richard's advice is the safe option for a worldwide audience.
In addition, Richard is a good egg who puts his shoulder to the Italki grindstone quite a lot, and he doesn't deserve to be duffed up so soon after being thrown out on his ear by Italki for a stretch.