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How to Improve Your Pronunciation

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

How can I improve my pronunciation? - This is a question that pops up in my comments section or DMs quite frequently.

I guess it's because, in our line of work, we need to have good pronunciation in each one of our languages of expertise. Although we aren't expected to have a perfect native-like accent, we need to be able to communicate clearly.

Even though I'm not a speech and language specialist or an accent coach, I'd like to share with you five tips that have worked for me to improve my English and Spanish pronunciation.

Yes, you read it right, Spanish! Even though this is my native language, I've had to work on improving my Spanish a lot since where I grew up, we pronounce words somewhat differently than in other Spanish-speaking countries.

1. Listen to the language.

Try to identify people that sound like you'd like to sound and listen to them as much as possible. After all, this is how we learn our native language, so it definitely works when it comes to learning or improving another language or even our own.

You can find your language role models on TV shows, podcasts, TikToks, YouTube channels, etc., and make it a habit to listen to them regularly.

Since you'll need to listen to them quite often for this to work, it would be wise to look for people who talk about things you like or are interested in. However, you get bonus points if you find role models within the fields where you'll be working. So, for example, if you want to become a medical interpreter, try to find some role models like doctors, nurses, social workers, etc.

2. Read aloud.

This is not only an excellent way to improve your overall command of the language and learn vocabulary but also a way to improve your pronunciation if you read aloud.

Speaking is a physical skill, and reading allows you to focus on teaching your mouth how to move in different ways to produce different sounds.

3. Record yourself.

As interpreters, we must get used to the sound of our own voice, get into the habit of recording ourselves so we can hear how we sound, and review and self-evaluate our interpretation skills. The sooner you start doing this, the better.

Recording yourself will allow you to identify the problem areas that you need to improve, which is something hard to do while we are talking since we are focused on communicating and not on the sounds we are producing.

4. Talk to yourself.

Since I was little, I have had this crazy habit of talking to myself. All day. Every day. My family used to mock me because of this, but I knew this would come in handy one day, and it did!

Talking to yourself will allow you to speak freely without worrying about making mistakes or saying the wrong thing in front of others. You can imagine that you're talking to a friend, or that you're explaining something that you learned to someone else. You can even have imaginary arguments with people you don't like 😆

Bonus points if you do it in front of a mirror so you can watch how your mouth and tongue move when you speak.

5. Shadowing and singing.

Shadowing is repeating what someone is saying, word for word, at the same time they are speaking. This is an excellent exercise for interpreters who want to improve their simultaneous interpretation skills, but I find that it helps improve our pronunciation, enunciation, diction, and speed.

Do you know what another fun way to do shadowing is? Singing! Singing allows you to relax and let those words flow out of you without worrying about creating the sentences yourself. Some songs will force you to exaggerate the pronunciation of certain words or to really focus on intonation, so it's an excellent way to practice.

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1 commento

Roxx Andrews
Roxx Andrews
05 set 2022

Rosa Thnaks so much for this , I'm gonna start to do it ..... 😉😘

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