Learn how to pronounce R-colored vowel sound / ɝ/ used in words like “work,” “girl,” or “early”. Improve your American accent with two phonetic exercises recorded by a professional speech therapist.
Practice pronunciation of the / ɝ/ vowel sound in everyday words.
• What are R-colored vowels: 0:54
• How to pronounce /ɝ/: 03:00
• Pronunciation exercise 1: 04:30
• Pronunciation exercise 2: 06:47
#AmericanPronunciation #VowelSounds #RColoredVowels
► R-Colored Vowel Sounds Overview:
► R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɝ / as in “first”: this video
► R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɚ / as in “after”:
► R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɪr / as in “hero”:
► R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɛr / as in “chair”:
► R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɑr / as in “car”:
► R-Colored Vowel Sound / ɔr / as in “sport”:
► R-Colored Vowel Sound / aɪr / as in “fire”:
► Consonant Sound / r / as in “run”:
► Interactive Vowel Sounds Chart:
[ THIS VIDEO HAS ENGLISH, SPANISH, JAPANESE, CHINESE, VIETNAMESE, KOREAN, AND PORTUGUESE SUBTITLES]
Hello there! This is the “Sounds American” channel.
In this video we’re going to talk about the American r-colored vowel /ɝ/, as in the word “first”.
You can also hear this sound in words like “girl,” “her,” “learn” or “word”.
We’ll be using a special phonetic symbol – /ɝ/ – for this sound.
American English is known for its r-colored vowels. You can’t speak like an American if you don’t know how to pronounce them correctly.
So, what exactly are the r-colored vowels?
Let’s take these two words: [fist] [first].
Their spellings differ by only one letter: the letter ‘r’. However, there’s a dramatic difference as to how they’re pronounced. Listen: /fɪst/ – /fɝst/.
Did you notice that the vowel sounds are different?
The vowel you hear in the word “fist” is the /ɪ/ sound and the vowel in the word “first” is the /ɝ/ sound.
Let’s take a closer look at how the word “first” is spelled. See how the consonant ‘r’ comes after the letter ‘i’?
In American English when the ‘r’ follows a vowel in the same syllable, it forms a new sound, called an r-colored vowel. In the word “first,” this r-colored vowel is pronounced as /ɝ/.
Note, that the /ɝ/ is not a variation of the /ɪ/ vowel or the /r/ consonant. It’s a distinct sound of American English.
Check out a few more pairs of words.
• “lean” – “learn”
• “bun” – “burn”
• “he” – “her”
• “won” – “word”
Did you notice what these words have in common?
Despite being spelled with different vowel letters, these words have the same r-colored vowel sound:/ɝ/.
Also, note, that the /ɝ/ is used in stressed syllables ONLY.
What happens in “weak” syllables, like in the word “teacher”? The /ɝ/ has a “weak” counterpart, the r-colored vowel /ɚ/, but we’ll talk about this sound in our next video.
And now let’s focus on how to make the /ɝ/ sound.
OK. Pronunciation of the r-colored vowel /ɝ/ is very similar to the /r/ consonant.
To make the /ɝ/ sound, open your mouth a little and leave your lips neutral or round them slightly.
The /ɝ/ is a tense vowel sound, so your tongue, mouth and throat should be tense when you pronounce it.
Raise the front of your tongue toward the alveolar ridge behind your upper front teeth, but don’t touch it.
Next: curl back the tip of your tongue.
Now slightly lower the center of your tongue and raise its back.
Note that your tongue should be very tense.
Remember, the tip of your tongue should be curled back and it should never touch the alveolar ridge behind your upper front teeth.
Now, let’s try saying it: /ɝ/, /ɝ/, /ɝ/.
Now, let’s practice the /ɝ/ sound in some words:
Pronunciation exercise 2
Let’s summarize what we’ve covered in this video:
• In American English, any time in any word, when you see a vowel followed by the letter ‘r’ in the same syllable, you have an r-colored vowel sound.
• The r-colored vowel sound /ɝ/, as in the word “first” or “circle” occurs only in stressed syllables.
• The /ɝ/ has a weak version, the r-colored vowel /ɚ/, as in the word “teacher” or “color” that is used in unstressed syllables.
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