pronunciation

How to finally master the guttural r (in French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, … )

Disclaimer: This post is not for the fainthearted. The guttural r is this nasty greasy sound that seems so weird to foreigners. You find it in French, German, Dutch, and Portuguese, among others. The goal of this post is NOT to make you sound like a native speaker of your target language. The goal of …

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How to finally trill your r’s

I used to believe native Spanish speakers had a superpower. I thought they could manipulate their tongue in a way kept secret to foreigners. Like a national treasure! Boy, was I wrong! When someone makes a trilled r, there’s no magic trick happening. She doesn’t have a super muscle in the tip of her tongue …

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Why you have an accent when you speak a foreign language – IPA 101

A team of scientists have shown that babies can distinguish any human sound. But then they lose this ability. Their brains build neuronal connexions only for the sounds of the language(s) they are exposed to growing up. Remember the last time you decided to start jogging again? Or when you started going to the gym? …

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5 tips to improve your French accent, with Hollywood actor Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is an American actor you may recognize from The Hangover. He later starred in Limitless, and Silver Linings Playbook. He also was in American Sniper, a Clint Eastwood movie who gained international acclaim. But we’re not here to talk about his movie career. What’s interesting about Bradley Cooper is the fact that he speaks …

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How to improve your Portuguese pronunciation with soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is a soccer player from Portugal. He’s played for Sporting de Lisboa, Manchester United, and he’s now playing for Real Madrid. He’s one of the best players ever. His rivalry with Lionel Messi is considered as one of the best sport rivalries in history. Cristiano makes a lot of noise: You either love …

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How to improve your French pronunciation with soccer legend Thierry Henry

You may wonder: “Why should I care about the accent of a Frenchman?” Well, I’m glad you asked. The mistakes you make when speaking a foreign language are often caused by your mother tongue. You have a reference system attached to the language you’ve been speaking your whole life. That’s why you have an accent. …

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