Pronunciation of unexpectedly difficult numbers


It's natural to pronounce numbers if you're studying English! It's easy to think, but it's not surprising.
"One, two, three, four" is Katakana English itself.
We Japanese have few opportunities to learn how to pronounce English correctly in the first place, so it is natural that even simple English pronunciation cannot be done accurately.
However, numbers are very important in everyday conversation, and there are many opportunities to use them. For the future, I want to correct the pronunciation as soon as possible so that I can pronounce the correct numbers.
This time, I will explain how to pronounce numbers that Japanese people find difficult and why they are important.

Pronunciation of difficult numbers hidden from 0 to 10

Numbers have many pronunciation points. Conversely, if you can pronounce the numbers from 0 to 10 correctly, you have already cleared "the part that many people cannot pronounce correctly".

For example, here are some points to keep in mind.

Pronunciation of zero [zi (ə) roʊ]

It is easy to read "zero" in Japanese katakana, but first, the ze part should be read as "zi" instead of "ze".
[r] of zero is R that is pronounced with the tongue wrapped.

[Reference article] What kind of sound is /r/ in English?

After pronouncing R, swing your tongue down and then pronounce the diphthong [oʊ].
If you write it in katakana, it will be pronounced like "Ziro".

At first glance, zero looks easy, but there are many points to be aware of!

Pronunciation of [w] in one [wʌn]

The katakana "one" looks good, but in fact, the English [w] is a little different from the Japanese "wa".

The English [w] is pronounced by making a vibrating sound when both lips are closed. At this time, it is not necessary to squeeze the lips like the Japanese word "u". Since there is a little vibration sound, the pronunciation will be like "van".

Pronunciation of two [tuː]

In katakana English, it is "two", but in English, it is "to".

The [uː] part is classified as a diphthong at our school, but the sound changes from "U" with the mouth open rather than "U" in Japanese to "U" with a pursed mouth. increase.

Pronunciation of [θ] in three [θriː]

The pronunciation of th unvoiced [θ] is a typical point that Japanese people struggle with.
[θ] is pronounced by sticking out the tongue lightly and exhaling.
When pronouncing three, make sure that you can lightly stick out your tongue at the th part so that it does not become "three".

The [r] of three is pronounced with the tongue wrapped.
The word three is used quite often in everyday life, so if you make a habit here, you will be able to unknowingly pronounce the other th words correctly.

Pronunciation of [f] in four [fɔːr], five [faɪv]

Many people pronounce [f] as "fu" in Japanese, and this is also a pronunciation peculiar to English, so be careful.
When pronouncing four, five, lightly touch the inside of the lower lip to the upper front teeth at [f] and exhale. If you wrap your lower lip inward or chew it, it will be unnatural, so it is enough to put your teeth on your lower lip just to touch it.

As you can see, the pronunciation of numbers is quite different from the katakana notation.

[Reference article] Why is it not possible to wake up pronunciation in katakana notation?

Pronunciation of numbers whose meaning changes if the accent position is incorrect

There are some mistakes that people who are accustomed to studying English tend to make. That is the position of the accent.

・ Forget about adding accents

・ Accent in the wrong place

Accents are so important that if you do these things, the meaning of the words may not be understood.
It is essential to be aware of accents in order to pronounce English correctly.

The most common number is

・ Thirty [θə́ːrti]
・ thirteen [θərtíːn]

To confuse the pronunciation of. The same is true for 40 and 14, 50 and 15.

Both are two-syllable words, but thirty [θə́ːrti] has an accent on the first vowel [əːr], and thirteen [θərtíːn] has an accent on the back teen.
If you pronounce this halfway, you will confuse the other person with "Hmm? Is it 13 or 30?"

Two reasons why the pronunciation of numbers is important

In the first place, some people may not think that it makes much sense to emphasize the pronunciation of numbers when learning English pronunciation.
However, it is very important to pronounce the numbers correctly. Let me briefly explain the reason.

Reason (1) There are many situations where it is used in daily life!

Numbers are inseparable from everyday life. Conversations about "number" and "amount" occur frequently in our daily lives.
The most typical is the "shopping" scene. Numbers are inevitable in such exchanges as what to ask and how much to discount.

Reason (2) Wrong pronunciation can cause ridiculous misunderstandings!

For those who use English in business, it is very important to pronounce the numbers smoothly and accurately. This is because mistakes in numbers can easily lead to serious mistakes in your work, and if you are a customer of a business partner, you can lose credibility.
Everyone who learns English should be aware of the risk that the wrong information will be transmitted to the other person even if they make a slight mistake in pronunciation!


In everyday life, numbers often appear in conversation, so I want to be conscious of it every day so that I can pronounce it like English.
There is only practice for pronunciation correction! But before you practice, you need to learn the correct pronunciation. Learn the correct pronunciation and customize your mouth to "English"!

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