Vowels: Height, Rounding, Backness and an overview of the English Vowels
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This is the last of the English IPA series. I cover the 3 characteristics of vowels: rounding, vowel height and backness, and some of the basics of changing them to eventually match your target language. If you want a hand memorizing this, either make your own deck using Anki (you can use my demo deck as a template), or get my English Pronunciation Anki Deck. Enjoy!
English Pronunciation 3 Video Transcript (Vowel height/rounding/backness) (opens a new window)
If you want translated subtitles, click the “Caption” button in the video, click “Translate Captions,” and select your language.
Once you’ve seen the vowel video, you can use these charts to compare your target language’s vowels to your own vowels. I’d highly recommend watching my French Sounds video (for learners of any language), because French is such a vowel rich language, and it will show you how to develop new vowel sounds out of the more familiar sounds of English
- French, German, Italian, English RP and GA
- Russian (compared with German, oddly enough)
- Spanish (and almost everything else): These are not extremely precise, but they contain so many languages that it’s still a wonderful resource
- If you find a better chart for your language, please let me know, so I can add it to this list!
Currently available pronunciation tutorials:
Consonants 1: Voicing and Place
Consonants 2: Manner and the English Consonants
Vowels: Height, Rounding and Backness
French Pronunciation (a.k.a., how to learn a lot of new vowels)