Get Weekly Language Tips That Work!

Receive study tips, resources, weekly challenges, helpful articles and inspiring success stories. Many students use our weekly newsletter as an essential part of their study routine.

How to practice pronunciation

How easy this is depends on how many resources you find on the internet. We recommend you search for specific pronunciation guides online.

If you’re lucky, you can find a guide that takes you through all the sounds and precisely how they are pronounced. 

The key is to identify the aspects that will be difficult for you based on differences between your native and target language and consciously practice these aspects.

It may take some time to train your ear. For a while, different sounds will seem the same to you, but if you persevere, they will eventually begin to sound different. Eventually, you will wonder how they ever sounded alike.

You don’t need to learn everything about pronunciation at the start. A good understanding of each of the main sounds is sufficient. 

A lot of pronunciation skill comes naturally as you begin to talk more and try to bring your speech to resemble more closely that of native speakers you hear.

We suggest to plan out some sessions where you focus on pronunciation early on, ideally when you first start speaking. To do this, you can use the suggested exercises below.


Learn a new Language with LinguaLift


As mentioned previously, you will need to spend time isolating the aspects that are relevant to your language and focusing on improving them. 

Dedicate some time to doing some activities in which you practise speaking some words alone in front of your computer. 

You don’t need to do this too much, just until your brain is made aware of what it needs to do to make the new sound. After that you can gradually integrate the sound naturally as you practice your language.

Use good dictionaries to help you. 

Wiktionary is the most consistent dictionary in showing the IPA pronunciation:

Forvo is another great pronunciation dictionary:

Pronunciation activities

Isolate sounds 

You may need to get used to pronouncing individual sounds before you can use them correctly in words.  You can do this using the Wikipedia articles for the IPA symbol associated with the sound you want to learn (example: English schwa). Play the audio and repeat it aloud. 

Isolate words 

Once you have the sounds roughly right, try to use them in a simple word. Use Forvo, Wiktionary, or any other dictionary that has audio to get a good example to mimic. 

Correction with your conversation partner 

Ask your partner to critique your pronunciation. 

They may have trouble identifying what you are doing wrong. This is why the IPA can be very useful.

Record yourself 

Play back a recording of yourself reading a text. Even better is if you have a native audio recording you can compare it to. 

For single words you can just use Speech Jammer and increase the delay to max to hear yourself right away.  This will take some getting used to.

Try shadowing 

Listen to an audio recording of a native speaker with a text reference and try to speak over them, copying their intonation, pace, and pronunciation.

Read aloud 

If you study alone, try practising by reading aloud texts you are reading for study. It helps if the text also has a native audio recording. 

It’s also helpful to practice throughout your study by trying to read flashcards or anything new you encounter aloud.

Try a free lesson with Lingualift today!

Free language Tips

Get your weekly dose of language learning tips by email

Receive our free e-book Language Learning Secrets