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Clarify/ U pronounciation

Cours gratuits > Forum > Forum anglais: Questions sur l'anglais || En bas


Clarify/ U pronounciation
Message de misterp posté le 12-07-2013 à 10:50:06 (S | E | F)

after a first post that I dared to write, I am going to ask another question. Perhaps some people will be able to clarify this !
I have troubles with the pronunciation of the letter U in several words.
I am quite sure that 30 years ago, in France, we all have learned to  pronounce almost every " U" as a the French "EU". I remember that. And I am afraid that, actually, most of French people still pronounce that way.  For example  in "fun, sun".
However, it seems to me obvious that this is not the way that the majority of English native speakers do, nowadays. and possibly even it was like that 30 years ago ?!   Am I right or not ?
I know that the pronunciation can vary depending on the country and the region, however it seems that most of the time,  the "U" is pronounced more like a "O".  Thereby for me "sun" and "son" sound exactly ditto, clearly confirmed by my ears !
Do you think I am doing a mistake ?Is it correct to pronounce that way  "bUt" and "Us" for English people ?  Or do they tell rather like the French "EU,  as in "cUrtain" for this specific words ?Which common words which have absolutely to be pronounced as the "U" of "cUrtain in your experience ?
I would be happy to get clarifications about this
Thank you very much !

Modifié par lucile83 le 12-07-2013 22:22
Mise en forme standard.

Réponse: Clarify/ U pronounciation de violet91, postée le 12-07-2013 à 14:14:26 (S | E)
Hello Pascal ,

Your problem is not a real one , I think .
In standard English ( taught at school and University ) and common English( understood everywhere ) , you learn there are five ways of pronouncing 'U '
A ] as a vowel - short []= 'ou. or []= 'eu' and long , adding a [ : ] to make you pronounce it with stressing the length of the vowel []= ooouh [] or = a bit like our French ' eur '
a ) [ ] look, book, boot,hoot , lunatic ...put, full, pull ..a bull in the field !
b ) u = eu : most of the words : [] un chevron en phonétique : bus, pub, but,dust, lust, mussels, Northern England , Yorkshire for instance , you may hear the local 'U ' sound like ' ou' bref = going out to the pub ( poub) by bus ( bouss)
c ) u: = ooouuuh ( j'exagère !) = spoon, moon, stooping, route ( itinéraire) , loose ( ample), ...Hugh [ h] Grant like Hugues . to choose, lose..a fool, cool., .
, a rule, rules ( règles , réglement),
d ) u: = 'eur' [] : merk ! burn , learn, church, spur, a blurred photo( floue) , hurt, Kirk Douglas ,
All these are vowels .

B ) Mind the 'u' as a consonant : union, united, uniform, USA, usual, usually , University, Europe , European , Eugene , = le son du pronom .
.'you' , dune , June , = a union, a uniform , a usual day ( and not 'an')
[ j ] younion , younaïtid, younifoorm, You S ei, you:rop, youro'piiieun, Youdjinn for the name ! dyoune,Djoune...
I did my best to clarify things for you , using eccentric spelling to help you with the pronunciation, but, careful, this is Barbaric phonetics from an English teacher !

I hope it is much clearer for you, now. Tell me if something remains unexplained, will you ? ( I think you should get David Jones ' Phonetics Dictionary : you just can't study English without it .)

Modifié par lucile83 le 12-07-2013 22:28

Réponse: Clarify/ U pronounciation de misterp, postée le 14-07-2013 à 20:10:25 (S | E)
Thank you for your so complete answer.
And thanks again to Lucile who kindly corrects the faults I do make.
Violet : My problem is your ‘b’ point : “u = 'eu' : most of the words : [] un chevron en phonétique : bus, pub, but,dust, lust, mussels, ...”
Personnaly I prefer - and it is my choice - to pronounce rather as American persons ! And I do believe that also English persons speak like that too. So, for me 'son' and 'sun' are definitely pronounced exactly the same way.I say “sOn” and not “sEUn”. Ditto for “fun”, “much”, “us”, 'but' etc.
A young man that I have met at a friend's home this afternoon and who is bilingual English-French, confirmed that I am OK  according to the North-American pronunciation.  Plus :  a couple of young English tourists told me several months ago '  you are absoluty right, that is the good pronunciation of 'sun'!  the French  pronounce  'sEuN; not the English !'
Thanks again.
By the way : Another person wrote an answer following yours. She deleted it apparently.  She was agreeing that “sun” and “son” were pronounced the same way. I read it before it disappeared.  She could send me a Personnal Message if she wants. Thanks to you both !

Modifié par misterp le 14-07-2013 20:11

Modifié par lucile83 le 14-07-2013 22:09

Réponse: Clarify/ U pronounciation de misterp, postée le 15-07-2013 à 10:35:23 (S | E)
It is possible that you are right Violet. Pronunciation seems to be a complicated question. Everybody does not say the same things about the genuine English pronunciation; Anyway I continue on my path. I will try to find English persons, listen carefully, BBC Radio podcasts etc. I appreciate a lot the "English we speak" for instance
thank you again

Modifié par misterp le 15-07-2013 11:02

Réponse: Clarify/ U pronounciation de misterp, postée le 16-07-2013 à 12:58:30 (S | E)
I consider your advice and I really open my ears now ! I will come back to tell you my conclusions in some time, Viollette
I can listening carefully the "BBC News Live" for example at this moment. Although they are speaking very fast, the topics are quite sad, and it requires a lot of time, it is a good way to go on
Although a lot of speakers and journalist have foreigner accents (Indian, South american, all the countries in the world) it allows to move forward on pronunciation, I believe.
So, I have been able to hear that IN ENGLAND it seems that "just" = french pronounciation "jEUst" as you said. You are right on this point !
I think it 's also obvious for the word "us".
In UK of course.
I am going to hear by my self all this little sounds. I think it is clearly the best way for me !
I am a bit like St Thomas
To be followed ...
Thank you !


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