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Reel, real, rial

The Articulatory IPA: voiced bilabial plosive, voiceless alveolar fricative, onset r coda l, and more [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 7, 2014 - 7 comments

They sometimes sound a little bit drunk.

A tour of accents across the British Isles performed in a single, unedited take.
posted by Obscure Reference on Apr 6, 2014 - 51 comments

Something is going to happen ... tomorrow.

As previously discussed on MetaFilter, the countdown has now reached one day. Halo? Battlestar Galactica? A new album by Bros? Or something more sinister, as hinted at (perhaps) by the spectograph of the end-video silences?
posted by Wordshore on Sep 23, 2013 - 450 comments

This might come in handy sometime...

A guide for classical radio announcers... and whoever else is interested.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 28, 2013 - 28 comments

Something is going to happen in 77 days

Pronunciation Book (previously), a YouTube channel started in April 2010, is known for providing mostly-accurate pronunciation guides for difficult words: acacia, ouroboros, Tlaxcala. But on July 9th, the channel started posting something new: a countdown. [more inside]
posted by specialagentwebb on Jul 23, 2013 - 127 comments

For the love of God and all that is holy

Michael Schiavello covers Resurrection Fighting Alliance 7 - Chavez v Mainus
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 25, 2013 - 5 comments

Beizhing or Bei Jing?

James Fallows, in a series of interesting blog posts, questions the typical English pronunciation of China's capital city arguing that "the "jing" in Beijing is pronounced basically like the "jing" in Jingle Bells. It's essentially the normal English j- sound. What it's not like is the Frenchified zh- sound you hear in "azure" or "leisure," or at the end of "sabotage."" One reader suggests, "My working theory about "Beijing/bay-zhing" is that at some deep, unconscious level, English speakers secretly believe that all foreign languages are French and should be pronounced as such in the absence of instructions to the contrary." Another reader argues, "Major cities and countries have historically had different names in different languages, and these names serve a good purpose by being easy to pronounce and identify in the languages where they are used. There is really no more reason to say "Beijing" in English than "München" or "Moskva."" [more inside]
posted by beisny on Aug 13, 2012 - 301 comments

Because MeFites love proving that they are better than 90% of [X]

"If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud."
posted by Phire on Jan 3, 2012 - 236 comments

Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you...

Original Pronunciation (OP) "...performance brings us as close as possible to how old texts would have sounded. It enables us to hear effects lost when old texts are read in a modern way. It avoids the modern social connotations that arise when we hear old texts read in a present-day accent." The site includes transcripts of Shakespeare plays and other writings with IPA notations, indicating how to pronounce them in OP. It also includes some audio recordings. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Sep 11, 2011 - 38 comments

Phở -- it's soup!

Pronunciationbook has many helpful Youtube videos for learners of American English. If you want to learn to pronounce things like bolognese, gyro, pwned or Ke$ha, pronunciationbook has you covered.
But in recent months, a competitor has popped up. Now, PronunciationManual can tell you how to pronounce such things as penis, Hulk Hogan, or milk argument. [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog on Aug 13, 2011 - 58 comments

"It is of such stiff stuff that the upper lip of the British phonetician should be fashioned, giving short shrift to chauvinism."

Howjsay.com is a unique online speaking dictionary that offers clear pronunciations of English words, phrases, slang terms, technical terms, brand names, proper names, profanity, and many foreign words, including common variations and alternatives. Astoundingly, the sound files are not computer-generated -- every single one of the site's 138,152 entries are enunciated in the dignified tones of British academic and polyglot Tim Bowyer, who has steadily expanded its glossary over the years using logs of unsuccessful searches and direct user suggestions. The site is part of Bowyer's Fonetiks.org family of language sites, and is also available as a browser extension and as a mobile app for iPhone/iPod and Blackberry.
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 23, 2010 - 27 comments

Facks and meems

How do you say these geeky terms?
posted by morganannie on Oct 29, 2010 - 80 comments

The English Language In 24 Accents

Twenty-four different accents in just over eight minutes. (NSFW SLYT)
posted by gman on Oct 1, 2010 - 82 comments

It's pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove!

Odd pronunciations of proper names (in the UK and Ireland). See also this Wikipedia list, assuming Wikipedia recovers sometime in the near future. Sadly, neither list helps with the pronunciation of Raymond Luxury Yacht. (Inspired by the poll and a recent episode of QI).
posted by kmz on Mar 24, 2010 - 104 comments

Frinds, Roomuns, coontrimun, lend me yurr eerrs.

Oy coom too berry Sayzurr, nut too preyze im. That's a reconstruction of how Brutus's famous speech from "Julius Caesar" may have sounded to Shakespeare's original audience. (Scroll down in the linked page for the rest of the speech -- or look inside this post.) If you'd like to learn more about Original Pronunciation (OP), check out www.pronouncingshakespeare.com, where you'll find several recordings by David Crystal, the scholar who probably knows most about the subject. You can also listen to this example or this NPR broadcast, first linked to in this 2005 post, here. Ben Crystal, David's son, tries some OP here. [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Jan 28, 2010 - 34 comments

You say poe-TAY-toe.

Forvo: All the words in the world, pronounced by native speakers. At the time of this post, the tally stands at: 327,492 words; 239,165 pronunciations; in 220 languages; with 25,040 users submitting.
posted by not_on_display on Aug 4, 2009 - 26 comments

Get your monophthongs here

Sounds of American English details each of the consonants and vowels of American English with a real-time Flash animated articulatory diagram of each sound; video and audio of the sound spoken in context and an interactive diagram of the articulatory anatomy.
posted by Lezzles on Feb 16, 2009 - 15 comments

another time sink

another day, another word
posted by netbros on Oct 14, 2008 - 35 comments

Phonetics

Phonetics for beginners: play around with phonemes, start with the chart.
posted by Lezzles on Oct 23, 2007 - 27 comments

Well Said, English.

Increase your pronunciation skills and your vocabulary by checking out 6000 English words recorded by a native speaker. Not enough for you? Then would you believe 20,000 English words recorded by a native speaker?
posted by Effigy2000 on Sep 25, 2007 - 55 comments

That hokum recording of Bruckner's

pronunciationguide - for aspiring classical radio announcers
posted by Gyan on Aug 16, 2007 - 9 comments

How Deadly Was My Parsley

Holding up sprigs of parsley, Trujillo's men queried their prospective victims: What is this thing called? The terrified victim's fate lay in his pronunciation of the answer. Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo spearheaded an anti-Haitian massacre in which armed thugs killed every Creole speaker who couldn't pronounce the trilled R in the Spanish word for parsley. (Using pronunciation to make ethnic distinctions is called a shibboleth, a tactic often used in wars.) The murders inspired Edwige Danticat's The Farming of Bones and Mario Vargas Llosa's Feast of the Goat, as well as a poem recited for Bill Clinton by poet laureate Rita Dove. Ironically, Trujillo's desire to "whiten" Hispaniola not only led him to order the 1937 massacre, but to lobby in 1938 for the settlement of Jews fleeing Hitler.
posted by jonp72 on Aug 5, 2006 - 9 comments

Shakespeare in Original Pronunciation

Interesting NPR segment on a Shakespeare production at The Globe done in the Original Pronunciation. Apparently, this makes it easier to understand. I don't know. To me, it sounds like a combination of Welsh and something else - and it's not even September 19...
posted by ObscureReferenceMan on Jul 20, 2005 - 30 comments

100 Most Mispronounced Words

100 Most Often Mispronounced Words and Phrases in English.
posted by hama7 on Mar 20, 2004 - 83 comments

Anguish Languish

It’s not what you say, it's the way you say it--Part 2. This observation was cleverly illustrated by Prof. Howard L. Chace in Anguish Languish, an exercise to demonstrate to his French Language students that intonation is key to understanding spoken language. Here is the complete text. You can read his best known Furry Tell about a Wicket Woof and a Ladle Gull or hear it read.(Warning-has sound.) I first found out about Howard Chace from an article in The Whole Earth Catalog and certain phrases have rattled around my head ever since. Here is a discussion of Anguish Languish if you want to write your own. Like this version of Gender Cyst from the Homely Babble.
posted by lobakgo on Sep 22, 2003 - 5 comments

More pronunciation quandaries

Coffee, our nan? Is this "Would you like some more coffee, Grandmother?" or Kofi Annan? Oh and mathowie - are you sure the Irish Haughey is pronounced Howie? [Check out Charles Haughey for the proper way.] Thank you, Voice of America, for teaching us how to pronounce those pesky foreigners' names. And shame on you, BBC Pronouncing Unit, for not being online! [This last link requires Real Audio but is really worth listening to if you have anything against stuck-up English twits.]
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Apr 12, 2003 - 16 comments

Foreigners' common pronunciation mistakes in Eenglish

Ough!* I pronounce the English language unpronounceable: Arriba! Arriba! Arriba! Speedy Gonzales here. When will you make up your minds and stop making fun of pestering us poor foreigners? I mean, it's not as if you yourselves can agree on how to pronounce almost anything... [*As in "plough". Not as in through, , thought, thorough, thought, hiccough, lough or enough already!]
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Apr 11, 2003 - 84 comments

Pronouncing words

Qatar Home of Central Command and Al Jazzera television, it's a small oil-rich country we've all heard of, and that's the problem: I hear Qatar called Cutter, Gutter, Katar, and Kwatar. How do the Qataris' pronounce it; is it possible to accurately pronounce foreign words in English? Who decides? More inside...
posted by Mack Twain on Mar 29, 2003 - 32 comments

How do you say "caramel?"

How do you say "caramel?" Unlike most Internet quizzes and surveys, Dr. Vaux's Dialect Survey won't pigeon-hole you into one of a finite set of types ("Your speech is most similar to Generic West Coast Dot-Commer, but with a trace of Oklahoma Trailer Park.") Which is just as well since folks like George Bernard Shaw, HL Mencken, and David Foster Wallace would tell us that pronunciation varies with the individual, and doesn't quite fall neatly into a standard type with odd variances. Rather, this survey is a purely academic method for collecting information on who says what where, and the maps at the end are interesting to look at. I know that the pop/soda/cola variance has been visited before, but what's up with people using "hosey" to refer to the "shotgun" seat of a car? (requires registration if only to track your answers)
posted by bl1nk on Oct 11, 2002 - 75 comments

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