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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Pronunciation: Learn how to say the top 10 British cities correctly

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Hi, everyone. In this lesson we're going to look at the pronunciation of the ten biggest

cities in England. The data comes from the World Urban Areas Report, and this report

looks at the size of cities' population according to their urban area, so that's the dense part

of the city where most people live. So, if you're looking at this list and you disagree:

"Oh, that city is bigger than this city", it's because there's different ways to make

the list, depending on the data that you look at. But I thought this way of listing the

cities made the most sense so that you don't have a very, very wide city with countryside

in it counted as in the top ten.

So, let's begin at number one: "London", which is the capital city of England, and which

is where I'm from. We pronounce as: "Lundan". The second syllable has a schwa, so we say:

"Lundan", not: "LondOn", as a lot of people say and a lot of tourists say when they come.

They say: "I'm going to LOndOn", whereas we say: "Lundan".

Number two: "Manchester". "Manchester", the second syllable is an "i", sometimes people

say : "e". "Manchester", "Manchester", but "Manchister" is the most common pronunciation

for people who actually live there. And Manchester is most famous, in my mind, for the band Oasis,

and they said things, like: "Mad For It", and they had a song which was called: "You

got to roll with it, you got to take your time", sorry.

Number three: "Birmingham" is the way I would pronounce it if I imagined I was from there,

but how I would say it in my normal accent is: "Birmingum", "Birmingum". The... It's

not "HAm". Americans might say: "BirmingHAM", "I'm going to BirmingHAM", whereas locals

and other English people are going to say: "Birmingum", "Birmingum".

Number four is: "Leeds". Leeds and Bradford are counted as one city in this list, although

if you ask the people of Leeds and the people of Bradford whether they think of it as the

same city, they'll say no. So, that's why they're written separately on the list. We

have Leeds and we have Bradford. Bradford, Bradford.

Number five is: "Glasgow". Oh, they're not all in England, I've just realized because

we've got Glasgow on the list, Scotland is obviously included also. How we pronounce:

"Glasgow", we can say: "Glasgow", that's the pronunciation that someone in the southeast

of England would use: "Glasgow", because we make the long A sound: "ah", whereas people

from the northern areas of England and also the people in Glasgow itself would say: "Glasgo",


Next one, number six: "Southampton", "Southampton". This one we have the H in the pronunciation,

but it's not a very... we... we don't hear it that much. It blends into the A, and sometimes

when you hear people say this town, it might sound like there's no H sound there at all,

it might be more like: "South... Southampton", "Southampton". Whereas other people you find,

they may say it more like two separate words in a way, if they say: "South... South Hampton",

"South Hampton". But in my opinion, that's not the most natural pronunciation of that

city, and most people would say it like: "Southampton", "Southampton".

Next one is: Portsmouth, "Portsmuth". "Portsmuth". "Portsmuth" is the place where the British

Navy is based. It's... obviously it's by the sea, the Navy is based there, and I did some

English teaching in an English summer school there in Portsmouth. And what I noticed when

I was there was that so many people in that town had tattoos. And if you think about it...

Well, now... nowadays, so many people have tattoos, but tattoos used to be associated

with the people who had been in the Navy and who'd gone to sea and done all that kind of

thing, so that's... When I think of Portsmouth, I always think of tattoo shops and seeing

loads of people with tattoos.

Next we have: "Liverpool", "Liverpool". If you meet someone from Liverpool, the "pool"

can have quite a high pitch and can sound quite long. When I say that town, the "pool"

part doesn't sound as long. "Liverpool", "Liverpool", "Liverpool". So, for the second variation

I've taken off the mark of a very long vowel there to shorten it. It's the same vowel,

but there's a slight difference in how long it takes us to say it. "Liverpool".

Number eight is: "Newcastle". Newcastle has a longer name, it's actually: "Newcastle upon

Tyne", but I've just written "Newcastle" here. And in my Southern English accent, I say:

"Newcastle", "Newcastle". "He's from Newcastle." But, again, somebody from there is likely

to use the other vowel. They would say: "Newcastle", "Newcastle", "ah", "ah" instead of "aw".

Number nine is: "Nottingham", "Nottingham". Nottingham is famous for Robin Hood, the story

of Robin Hood. And these days also famous for having a very big university there.

Number ten is: "Sheffield", "Sheffield".

So there we are. Here are the top ten cities in England and Scotland by their population.

Thanks so much for watching, and do the quiz on today's lesson now. See you. Thanks for watching. Bye.

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