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Pronunciation tips
Radio programme - 2

In 2005 BBC Learning English produced three radio programmes on pronunciation as part of the Talk about English series.

The programmes were made with guest Alan Stanton a materials' writer and pronunciation expert.

Programme 2:
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Script (21k)

Sounds and letters
Vowel sounds are not the same as vowel letters. The word European begins with the vowel letter 'E' but the first sound is actually a consonant sound /j/. So, when speaking the word European will be preceeded by the article 'a' and not 'an'.

Linking 'r'
Those British speakers who don't pronounce final 'r' will reintroduce it when the next word begins with a vowel.

ca(r) (no r in pronunciation)
The car is here (r is pronounced and links to the following word)

Connected Speech
Words are not always pronounced the same! In normal fluent speech the sounds can change when words bump into each other. The changes usually happen at the word boundaries, particulary at the end of words.

Sounds twinning (gemination)
When a word ends in a consonant sound and the following word begins with the same consonant sound, we don't pronounce two sounds - both sounds are pronounced together as one.

I'm a bit tired
We have a lot to do
Tell me what to say
She's slept for three hours
I've finished

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Sounds disappear (elision)
When the sounds /t/ or /d/ occur between two consonant sounds, they will often disappear completely from the pronunciation.

I'm going nex(t) week
That was the wors(t) job I ever had!
Jus(t) one person came to the party!
I can'(t) swim

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