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British English Lesson - The Chaos - The Absurdity of English Spelling and Pronunciation

13 British English Lesson Categories

I have categorised the lessons in the Britlish library into the following categories: English in Use lessons, Exams and Tests lessons, Grammar lessons, Humour lessons, Idioms lessons, Information lessons, Literature lessons, Phrasal Verbs lessons, Sounds British Pronunciation lessons, Spelling lessons, Vocabulary lessons, Writing lessons, Sounds Rude lessons, and more.

The Chaos - The Absurdity of English Spelling and Pronunciation

Any student of English will have quickly become aware that the spelling of English appears to have been devised by a lunatic. The few spelling “rules” that exist are of little use, as most have multiple exceptions. The absurdity of English spelling has inspired many teachers and writers to demonstrate just how ridiculously complicated it is. Chief among these was Gerard Nolst Trenité, who wrote the oft-quoted poem, The Chaos, which is the subject of this English lesson. To lessen the possibility of error, I decided to first transcribe the entire poem into IPA symbols. I double checked the accuracy of the IPA transcript with all the extant sources of the poem that I could muster. I then fed the IPA transcript through an artificial neural net speech synthesis program to produce the most accurate rendition of the poem possible. I hope you are as pleased with the result as I am.

 

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5 Random British English Lessons

Here are three random British English lessons taken from the 227 British English lessons currently in the Britlish Library. I add new lessons every week, so be sure to bookmark this page. Sign up for a free membership and you will get an email each time I add a new lesson to the library.

Soft Drinks - Elision

Soft Drinks - Elision

Say the words soft and drinks in isolation and we hear the /t/ at the end of soft. We rarely hear the two words in isolation, however, and when we bring them together as soft drinks, we no longer hear the /t/ sound. This is an example of elision, or deletion of sounds at word boundaries. This lesson will help you to use this elision to sound more natural when you speak English. By understanding elision, your listening skills will improve as well as your general pronunciation.


Pronunciation Activation Pack 6 - The Schwa Vowel  / ə /

Pronunciation Activation Pack 6 - The Schwa Vowel / ə /

Activate your use of the Schwa, the most common English sound, with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the sixth of the pure vowels the schwa / ə /. The schwa is the most commonly heard vowel sound in English. The schwa / ə / is a neutral central vowel which occurs as the peak of unstressed syllables. The exact sound and quality of the schwa / ə / depends on the sounds around it and so it is very difficult to produce it in isolation. The schwa sound / ə / has many spellings and can be made with any of the vowel letters A, E, I, O, and U, and any combination of these vowel letters. Only words of more than one syllable can contain the schwa sound. The schwa / ə / is the most commonly heard sound in British English. Pronunciation Activation Pack 6 - The Schwa Vowel  / ə /


Eschew - Hard to Say

Eschew - Hard to Say

The word eschew is a hard word to spell and to pronounce. In this lesson I’ll tell you what eschew means, show you how to pronounce it with a standard British English accent, and give you some examples of its use. I’ll also look at other vocabulary of refusal or acceptance such as abandon, abjure, avoid, disdain, embrace, eschew, forego, forswear, give up, grab, grasp, hold, keep clear of, refrain from, renounce, repudiate, seize, shun, spurn, take hold of, and welcome. You can also practice your knowledge of the IPA symbols and pronunciation with some IPA transcriptions of these verbs of refusal or acceptance.


Fleece

Fleece

Fleece is a man-made fabric made from a plastic fibre called polyester. The polyester fleece fabric was first created in the 1970s by the company Malden Mills. As Malden Mills chose not to patent their invention, the inexpensive fleece was soon available to everyone and its popularity has since far exceeded that of wool. This lesson looks at vocabulary associated with fleeces and wool.


Pronunciation Activation Pack 30 - The / f / and / v / Sounds

Pronunciation Activation Pack 30 - The / f / and / v / Sounds

Activate the consonant sounds / f / in fan and the / v / in van. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sounds / f / and / v /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / f / and / v / sounds. We will look at lots of words which have the / f / and / v / sounds in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / f / and / v / sounds correctly. The / f / and the / v / sound are labiodental fricatives made by disrupting the air flow through a narrow channel formed by the lips and teeth and thereby causing turbulence. The / f / sound on the chart is shown in blue, which means it is unvoiced, while the / v / sound is shown in green, which means that it is voiced. Letter Combinations for / f / - This unvoiced labiodental fricative has these combinations: F, FF, PH, and GH. Pronunciation Activation Pack 30 - The / f / and / v / Sounds

 
 

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