Trouble in pronouncing English words

As a person who learned Russian, I usually meet troubles when I speak English. My friends say that my accent is too strange, and I know I pronounce words by “a Russian way”. I make mistakes in using stress, too.

I hope that some body can help me to avoid these errors, especially Russian native speakers.

Thank you in advance !

Hi gianglt !

Two of the most serious troubles I have with my pronunciation (that sometimes prevent understanding me by native speakers) are:

  • right duration of vowels (as for ship - sheep), because in Russian the duration (or tone) doesn’t influence the meaning of spoken words; (as I heard, in Vietnamese language even a tone can completely change the meaning. Can it?);

  • right and distinct (for English natives) separation of spoken words. When I speak fast, some of words merge and form rather odd (sounds) combinations, hardly distinguishable by ordinary native speakers (not ESL tutors).


Can you give me some advices to speak with right emphasis. As far as i’m concerned, this error is serious and more common. I see many similar in Russian and English words, and I sometimes use a trick : if ударение in Russian on second syllable, then the emphasis must be on other syllable :lol:

What advice can I give you… I myself am just a learner who makes - such stupid! - errors, every my day.

I, as well as you, know and usually try to apply general rules – for general cases. :smiley:
photograph / photography / photographical
(‘put stress on the third syllabus from the end’)

But, in fact, I just group words in mind, depending on what syllabus the stress is put on.

natural / dis-cover / in-vesti-gation

And try burn into my brain all those various special cases. (as English absorbed many words from other languages, like French, keeping initial stress in some of them).

Also, such kind of quite simple tasks are sometimes quite useful (it’s for Russian speakers only):

Hi gianglt :smiley:

Do you get a lot of listening practice? Don’t you think additional listening practice would also help you improve your pronunciation? What about participating in the 30/30 Challenge here in the forum?


My way to “the right accent” was more or less like this:
to avoid any phonetic trancription,
to listen as much as possible,
never read without listening to a text,
( just at the begining later you get more confident about a lot of vocabulary and it won’t be a problem anymore),
never bother with new words to pronounce just know the meaning and wait for a word (to be discovered again in audio) itself
Hard you accent by reapeting words not imitating if it makes any sense.
Best Regards
Don’t expect to much really this is a matter of exercise and time not a matter of “know how” teories.

That’s a very unusual piece of advice! Now, I wonder why you are against phonetic transcriptions. I must say, not only does phonetic spelling make learning much easier, but it is (still) an intrinsic part of foreign language mastery!

Of course, you should also listen to the real language as much as possible, as you have so wisely suggested. But, unless you have access to audio dictionaries, how do you find out the right pronunciation of specific words?

Very big truth there, Jan!

Thank you all for advices.

This saying sounds stranglely. May be, there is a good environment around you, fullfilled with English words ? I am not such lucky. I usually must escape into a private room to watch BBC or wear the headphone to hear English voices.

One my English teacher said that I must practice more in speaking to get better result in listening. Now i’ve seen that listening will help speaking, too. Wow, there are a lot of things to do, yeah ?

Thank you, Yankee. I thought about it, too. May be, I will have a try next week. Somtimes I confuse that I am not in such level yet and must do easier things; when I watch TV, I can hear words on TV, but don’t understand the whole idea. But it is a interesting work, and I see that your corrections are very detailed. It’s quite useful for us.

Yes, but this was not any advice, this was just my experience and I am quite sure about this concerning myself.
Listening and speaking (what is just listening to yourself),not wrong guessing /reading creates a basic for ability to hear and decode correctly an audio message.
In my environment are still some English but I work hard to rid them out as soon as possible.
Conchita is a professional musician,pretty woman and extremely gifted person in the field of studing foreign languages.
This certainly may give a different point of view.