After researching various accent reduction programs and the various forms they take (online conference sessions, in person office visits, audio CD or mp3 programs centered around repetition of sounds, words, and basic concepts, or client directed accent reduction programs in which you work through the individual stages of an accent reduction program independently), you’re likely to come to the conclusion that a confluence of these approaches is necessary to achieve-and maintain-long lasting changes with your speech. Indeed, there are many words in the English language that are close to one another in spelling, yet their respective pronunciations and meanings are completely different from one another. This can potentially lead to some embarrassing pronunciation errors if one is not familiar with both the written and spoken forms of the words in question.
Here are three examples:
Common mispronunciation: Cachet
Both non-native and native English speakers are often confused by words ending in “-che.” Upon first glance it’s tempting to enunciate this particular word as “cash-ay,” making the long a the dominant sound in the second syllable. However that pronunciation is for the word cachet, which refers to a position of privilege and higher authority.
To say it correctly: Cache is pronounced the same way as the word “cash.”
Common mispronunciation: Fisical
People are often inclined to slip extra vowels into words with contrasting consonants, such as “ath-a-lete” rather than “athlete.” However, “fis-i-cal” is not just an improper pronunciation, it can also sound to your listener as though you are saying to the word “physical.”
To say it correctly: Make sure you restrict yourself to the two-syllabled word: fis-cal.
Common mispronunciation: Preemptory
Meaning “to leave no chance for rejection or disobedience”, the word “peremptory” is normally used in a dictatorial command. It’s often mispronounced to “pre-emp-tor-y,” with a clumsy switch of the first E and R. This sounds a lot like preempt, which isn’t closely connected with preemptory and is a different word altogether.
To say it correctly: It’s PER-emp-tor-y, and not PRE-emp-tor-y.
Common mispronunciation: suit
A suite, a word for a group of things used for a similar purpose (often a set of rooms), appears to the naked eye a lot more like “suit” than “sweet”. However, it’s pronounced like the latter. Mispronounce suite as “suit” and people will think you’re wearing a type of garment, instead of staying in a hotel room.
To say it correctly: Say it the same way you pronounce the word “sweet.”
Want to learn more about accent reduction programs?
Get started with Accent Pros free accent reduction screening! The screening will rate your accent severity using a 7 point scale: 1 being the most heavy and 7 being very mild. If you’re inclined to take it a step further, check out our various accent reduction programs we have to offer. Accent Pros has an office starter program and online accent reduction programs. Both accent reduction programs have had all clients get a 50% of more accent reduction after 12 sessions-check it out!