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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to Say Famous London Place Names

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Welcome to English with Joe! As always it's great to see you.

Today we're going to learn how to say some famous place names in London.

Places like Borough Market, Greenwich, Leicester Square, Buckingham Palace,

Southwark, Soho, Tottenham Court Road, Trafalgar Square, and The Thames. Now

these are really difficult words to say, even American tourists when they visit

London really struggle. Now I'm a Londoner, I've lived in London for most of

my life. So I'm going to show you the RP pronunciation, the standard way to say

these names, and I'm also going to show you the local way. The way that Londoners

say these names. So let's get to it! Stand clear of the doors, and mind the gap!

So our first stop is Borough Market. This is the place for foodies a foodie

is a person who likes really good quality food. Now Borough Market is the

oldest and largest food market in London. It's at least a thousand years old. Ok

but how do we say this word Borough. well, it's actually more simple than it looks.

It's a two syllable word. The first syllable being the strong syllable, which

is the B consonant and a short U vowel as in but. So we have BA, BA. The second

syllable, the weak syllable, is simply the R consonant sound followed by the schwa

vowel sound BRA, BRA. If you're not familiar with the schwa, and you should

be as it's the most common sound in English, I will share a video on the

schwa at the end of this lesson. So how do we make the schwa sound. Well it's the

easiest sound to make, so simply relax the mouth, relax the tongue, open the lips

and let some air pass like so UH, UH. The sound comes from the middle of

the mouth. so together we have BAH-RA, BAH-RA, stress on the first syllable,

BAHRA, BAHRA. The second word is a common word its market, which is a two syllable

word with stress on the first syllable we have the M consonant sound and a long

A vowel sound as in March. When I say long vowel sound you need to extend the

pitch, so it should be MAA, MAA. The second syllable is the, starts with

the K consonant, we have a short I vowel, and then the T consonant. KIT, KIT. So it

should be MAA-KIT, MAAKIT. So together we have Borough Market, Borough Market. So

our next stop is Greenwich. Greenwich is a really beautiful park and museum

sitting on the Thames River. Okay so how do you say this word Greenwich. Well

there's two ways to say it, so let's start with the RP version the more

standard version. So it's two syllables, the first syllable being the strong

syllable. GREN, which is simply the GR consonant

cluster followed by a short E vowel sound as in hen, finishing on the N nasal

consonant sound. So we have GREN, GREN. The second syllable, being the weak syllable

is ITCH, as in I've got an ITCH. So how do we say this. Well it's a short I vowel followed

by the CH consonant cluster as in church. So altogether we have GREN-ITCH, GREN-ITCH, GRENITCH.

There is another way to say this name, it's not as common but it's

the very local way. We need to change the first syllable or the vowel in the

first syllable. Instead of using the short E vowel we use a short I vowel as an in IN.

So again we have the GR consonant cluster, the short I vowel as an IN and then

the N nasal consonant. So we have GRIN, GRIN. So together it's GRINITCH,

GRINITCH. So next stop we have Leicester Square. This is the famous square in the

center of London. Famous for cinema and theater. It also shares its name with a

Premiership football team, Leicester City. But how do we say this name Leicester. Well it

has some silent letters, we don't say the C and the E and we also don't say the

letter R at the end. So we have two syllables, the first syllable being the strong

syllable, which is simply the L consonant, the short E vowel as in ten, and then the

S consonant. So we have LES. LES. The second syllable, the weak syllable, is really simple,

it's just the T consonant sound and the schwa TA, TA. So we have

LES-TA, LES-TA, LESTA. The second word is a common word it's square as in the

shape. So it's one syllable and with the SK consonant cluster followed by the W

consonant then the short E and the schwa. Notice we don't pronounce the letter R.

So that should be Square, Square. So together we have Leicester Square,

Leicester Square. So our next stop is Buckingham Palace.

Time for tea with the Queen, because this is the Queen's main

residence in London. But how do we say Buckingham Palace. Well let's look at the

first word Buckingham. Maybe you've noticed that I don't pronounce the letter

G and the letter H. This is really common. So we have three syllables, the first

syllable being the stressed syllable, which is simply the B consonant followed by a

short U vowel as in luck. Finishing on the strong K consonant. So that's

BUCK, BUCK. So the second consonant is the short I vowel as in ping, followed by the

NG consonant cluster. But we don't really say the G. Sounds more like IN, IN. So then we

finish on the schwa and the M consonant. BUCK-IN-AM, BUCK-IN-AM, BUCKINAM, BUCKINAM.

The second word is a common word, Palace, which is simply the P consonant,

the short A vowel as in cat, L consonant, short I and S. Palace, stress on the first

syllable, Palace. So together we have Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace. So

our next stop is the name of an area called a Southwark.

Now Southwark is where you'll find the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, and also the

Tate Modern gallery, which is the most popular tourist attraction in London. So

how do we say this name Southwark. Well it's two syllables and the first syllable is

the strong syllable. We start with the S consonant followed by the short U vowel

as in Sunday, and finishing on the TH voiced consonant cluster. Voiced as in we

need to make some vibration from our vocal chords. So that should be SUTH, SUTH.Sso

the second syllable, the weak syllable, we don't say the W, we simply say the schwa

and the K. So that's AK, AK. So together

it's SUTH-AK, SUTH-AK, SUTHAK. Now I'm going to show you the local way to say this the way that

Londoners say this, and the main difference is with the TH sound. Because

Londoners use something called TH fronting, which means when we have a TH sound

in the middle, or at the end of the word, we usually change that sound and use

either a V or an F, which are very similar sounds. In this case we use the the V

because we want some vibration. So it's V, V. So we say SUV, SUV, SUVAK, SUVAK.

Next stop is Soho. Soho is in the center of London and its famous for nightlife

and theater, it's a really good place to go for a drink. But how do we say Soho.

Well, it's not too difficult. We've got two syllables, stress on the first syllable.

But both syllables in this word contain the same vowel sound, and it's what we

call a diphthong sound. Now a diphthong is when we have two vowel

sounds together. So it should be OH as in no, and listen carefully for the two

sounds. We have OH, OH. So first syllable, the strong syllable, S consonant and

the OH diphthong SO. Second syllable the H consonant and the diphthong HO. So

we have SO-HO, SOHO. Next stop is Tottenham Court Road, or Tottenham Court

Road. This is actually a tube station, and you want to stop here to go to Oxford

Street or Soho. So how do we say this Tottenham Court Road, or Tottenham Court

Road. Well the first way is the RP way, but this is really not that common to

hear. So I don't recommend you use this. And this is when we say the T's very

clearly. So we say Tottenham, Tottenham. But the more common way to say this is

the way that Londoners say this, and we need to use something called the

glottal T. Now the glottal T is something Londoners use a lot, and it's when we

have a T in the middle, or at the end of the word. Instead of saying the T clearly, we

make a sound at the back of our throat. It's a bit like when we say the word water.

We actually say water, water. It's a bit like some of the place names like Waterloo

becomes Waterloo, Waterloo. Or Gatwick, the airport, actually becomes Gatwick,

Gatwick. So let's look at this with the glottal T. So we have three syllables,

stress on the first syllable. Starts with the T consonant followed by the short

vowel as in top. So we have TO, TO, TO. Then the second syllable is the is the

glottal T EN, EN, and finishing on the last syllable, which is the N consonant

the schwa vowel sound and the M consonant.

NAM, NAM. So we have, together we have TO-EN-NAM, TO-EN-NAM, TOENNAM

Court Road. Don't worry its quite a tricky one to say. Next stop is Trafalgar Square.

It's a very large square, right in the middle of London. Famous for Nelson's

Column, very near to Buckingham Palace, and and SOHO. But how do we say Trafalgar Square.

Well, let's look at Trafalgar. It has two silent

letters. We don't say the L, and we don't say the final R. So we have three

syllables, stress this time on the second syllable. So the first syllable is the T

and R consonant cluster as in traffic, followed by the schwa vowel sound. So we

have TRA, TRA. Now the second syllable and the strongest syllable is the F

consonant and a short A vowel as in fan. So we have FA, FA. And the final

syllable is a G consonant and the schwa sound, GA, GA.

So together we have TRA-FA-GA. Remember the stress is on the second syllable this time.

So we have TRA-FA-GA, TRAFAGA, Trafalgar, Trafalgar Square.

So our final stop on this little tour of London is the Thames. And this is the

river that runs right through the centre of London. The word Thames is a very old

word, perhaps pre-dates Celtic culture. So it could be thousands of years old. But

notice we do not pronounce it with a, with a TH at the beginning. So how do we

say this word Thames. Well it's quite an easy word to say actually, it's just one

syllable and it starts with a T consonant followed by a short E vowel as in

ten.Then we have the the nasal M consonant and the the voiced Z sound.

Voiced so we need some vibration. So it should be TEMZ, TEMZ. It always comes

with the article at the beginning. So it's The TEMZ, The Thames. Well, that's the

end of our little tour of London. I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to see

the video on the schwa vowel sound click here. If you'd like to see more of my

videos I suggest you hit the subscribe button just down here. Anyway

good bye for now

The Description of How to Say Famous London Place Names