Thursday, October 30, 2003

So: Pa-key-starn or Par-key-starn? Or, in EFL speak: /p6ki:sta:n/ or /pa:ki:sta:n/? (Bums: Blogger can't do a schwa, which is the 'a' sound in 'at' and looks like an upside down e, so I've had to use a '6' instead.) I seem to be the only English speaker I know who says /pa:ki:sta:n/ (Par-key-stan). How are my students meant to learn if I don’t pronounce things in the same way as other English speakers?

A friend of mine in Bologna was having pronunciation problems with sheet. He’s an academic and sometimes has to give talks in English; unfortuantely he occasionally tells his audience to turn to shit four. To try and help I thought of a similar example and drew a picture of a fluffy white farm animal. “What’s this?” I asked. “A sheep”. “Ok. Now: what’s this?” I said, this time drawing a picture of a vessel on the ocean waves. “A boat”, he said.

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