I often get emails from users asking how to pronounce specific words. Today I'm going
to show you three different online resources that will help you figure this out on your
own. First, dictionary.com. Let's use the word 'attain'. The default on dictionary.com
is their own pronunciation guide. But you can see the link here, show IPA, and when
you click it, it brings up the international phonetic alphabet transcription of the word
--- the same pronunciation symbols that my website uses. So you can see here, 'attain'
begins with the unaccented schwa syllable. This little mark means that the next syllable
is stressed. So the stressed syllable begins with the T consonant, has the 'ay' as in 'say'
diphthong, and the N consonant. When you press the speaker icon, you can hear a short audio
clip of a native speaker saying the word. Attain. The next site I want to show
you is the Cambridge Dictionary of American English. So again, we'll look up the word
'attain'. Here you see the IPA transcription of the word. And again, there's a speaker
icon, where you can hear a different native speaker saying the word. Attain. So, in both
of these great resources, you can hear the word pronounced by a native speaker, but you
can also see the International Phonetic Alphabet transcription of the word. And here's a site
called howjsay.com. Again, we'll look at the word 'attain'. Attain. There's no transcription
here, but again you get a third opportunity to hear a different person saying the word.
To hear the word a second time, just move the cursor over the word again. Attain. The
default pronunciation for this site is British English. But for some words they will give
you both British English and American English. For example, on the word 'water'. Water, American,
water. One thing I really like about this site is that you can type multiple words separated
by a semicolon to bring them up in one batch. Then you can move quickly from audio file
to audio file. This will help you if you have multiple words that sound the same to you
--- if you're not quite sure how to differentiate the words. Seen, sing. I encourage you to
take advantage of these wonderful free resources on the web as you work on your pronunciation.
That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.