Saturday, January 10, 2009

How to pronounce words beginning with ‘p’ and ‘k’ correctly

The pronunciation of English spoken by non-native speakers is often influenced by their respective languages. In Malaysia, most of my students pronounce words beginning with ‘p’ and ‘k’ as if they are uttered in Malay. What I mean is ‘p’ and ‘k’ are pronounced without air coming out from the speaker’s mouth. They are pronounced as hard ‘p’ and ‘k’ as in the Malay language with words such ‘pakai (wear)’ and ‘kilat (shiny)’ as two of these examples.

I always advise my students to place their palms in front of their mouths when pronouncing words begging with ‘p’ and ‘k’ so that they can produce the correct pronunciation. Of course I have to pronounce the words myself to show them how they are pronounced before that.

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