El super-truco de la pronunciación / #1 Trick to Better Pronunciation

-El mejor truco de la pronunciación explicado en este video de 2 minutos.

-Check out the 2-minute
video about contracting
core muscles, or skip down and read the post.

More practice examples at the bottom of this blog post.

El truco primordial para tener una buena pronunciación en inglés

¿Alguna vez has intentado comunicarte en inglés y la otra persona sólo se te ha quedado mirando como un perrito confuso?

Si alguien te mira como hace este perro, no te ha entendido. Emplea el truco de la pronunciación
WTF did you just say, Kevin?

A que te gustaría evitar pasar otro mal trago así.

En el blog, “¿Por qué no entiendo el inglés hablado?” (alias “¡¿Por qué los guiris no saben pronunciar su propio #*+% idioma!?”), descubrimos que los angloparlantes nativos enfatizamos las palabras que aportan más información y “pasamos por encima de” las que no.

Es decir, cuando vemos una palabra importante, le damos un punch. Y sinceramente, si quieres que te entendamos mejor, deberías hacerlo también.

Como hacer un buen punch

La manera de dar un buen punch a una sílaba tónica es contraer los músculos centrales del tronco (core muscles). En escencia, es como cuando toses o como si alguien te pegara un puñetazo en la tripa. (Te lo enseño en el video de arriba)

Al principio, te va a parecer extraño estar contrayendo los músculos centrales una sílaba sí y otra no. Aun así, hazlo.

Tienes que “entrenar” y tonificar esta zona. Además, viene bien pasarte un poco en la práctica para que puedas rendir más con menos esfuerzo cuando toca “jugar”.

De verdad si te centras en contraerlos cuando practicas el inglés, en poco tiempo estarás acostumbrado y ya no te parecerá ni un esfuerzo excesivo ni una exageración.

El truco a una buena pronunciación es contraer los músculos centrales

Pronunciar bien en español vs. en inglés

Para pronunciar bien en castellano, hace falta mantener más tensión en las mejillas y los labios que en inglés.

Por ese hecho, durante mi primera estancia en España tuve que hacer un esfuerzo especial para tonificar y adiestrar los músculos faciales. Como consecuencia, logré imitar adecuadamente los sonidos que producís.

En cambio, para pronunciar bien en inglés, hay que tener las mejillas y los labios más sueltos, ser menos estricto con las vocales en las sílabas no acentuadas y, sobre todo, contraer los core muscles en las tónicas.

Café en la plaza

Es más, soltamos más aire en inglés que en español. Pero sólo en algunos sonidos. Cuaaandooouu unn esspahñoouulll see liimiitaa a exxpuuulssaarrr máááás aaaaire en todas las sílabas sin más, hace tal ridículo que inmediatamente después tendría que sentirse obligado a invitarnos a tomar un café con leche en la Plaza Mayor.

Sin embargo, si contraes tus core muscles únicamente en las sílabas acentuadasencontrarás la cantidad de aire justa y necesaria y te acercarás al ritmo natural del inglés.

Ejemplos para practicar

Para finalizar, practica las siguientes frases asegurándote de hacer un punch sólo en las content words, alargándolas un pelín más de lo que sería natural en el ritmo español.

  • the WEA-ther’s GREAT to-DAY.
  • i LOVE this SONG!
  • you’re a fan-TAS-tic COOK.
  • it’s TIME to GO.
  • i’m REA-lly SLEE-py.
  • can i ASK you a QUES-tion?
  • it’s a QUAR-ter to e-LE-ven.
  • what SE-ries are you WA-tching?
  • i’m DO-ing it.
  • i’m GO-ing to KEEP PRAC-ti-sing.

Si te ha gustado este post, por favor compártelo! Y deja un comentario contándonos qué piensas. ________________________________

The Top Trick to Having Good Pronunciation in English

Have you ever tried to communicate in English only to have the other person stare at you like a confused puppy?

If someone looks at you like this puppy, they didn't understand you. Emplea el truco de la pronunciación.
WTF did you just say, Karen?

I bet you’d like to avoid another awkward moment like that.

In the blog post, “Why Can’t I Understand Spoken English?” (a.k.a. “Why Can’t Gringos Pronounce their Own #*+% Language!?”), we found out that native speakers of English emphasize the words that add information and we “run over” the ones that don’t.

In short, when we see an important word, we punch it. And frankly, if you want us to understand you better, you should do it, too.

How to punch right

The way to punch an accentuated syllable properly is to contract your core muscles. Essentially, it’s like when you cough or as if someone punched you in the stomach. (The video above explains this)

At first, it’s going to feel strange to contract your abs every other syllable. Even so, do it.

You have to “train” and tone that zone. Besides, it’s good to overdo it while practicing so that you can perform better with less effort when it’s “game time”.

Honestly, if you focus on tightening them when you practice English, you’ll soon get used it and it’ll no longer feel like a big effort or an exaggeration.

The key to good pronunciation is contracting your core muscles.

Pronuncing Spanish Right vs. Pronouncing English Right

To pronounce Spanish well, you need to keep your cheeks and lips much tenser than in English.

That’s why, during my first stint in Spain, I had to make a special effort to tone and train my facial muscles. As a result, I could adequately imitate the sounds that you all produce.

In contrast, to pronounce English well, your lips and cheeks need to be looser, your vowels in non-accentuated syllables need to be lazier, and above all, you need to contract your core muscles on the accentuated ones.

Coffee in the Square

Moreover, we expel more air in English than in Spanish. But, only with some sounds. Whheeen aaa SSppanaaird ssiiimpllly pppuusshhhessss ooouuttt moooorrrre aaaiiirrr on every syllable, it sounds so ridiculous that that person should immediately feel obliged to invite us to a café con leche en la Plaza  Mayor.

However, if you contract your core muscles exclusively on accentuated syllables, you’ll find the exact amount air you need and you’ll get closer to the rhythm of English.

Practice Examples

Finally, practice the following sentences making sure that you punch the content words only, sustaining them a little bit longer than you naturally would in Spanish

  • the WEA-ther’s GREAT to-DAY.
  • i LOVE this SONG!
  • you’re a fan-TAS-tic COOK.
  • it’s TIME to GO.
  • i’m REA-lly SLEE-py.
  • can i ASK you a QUES-tion?
  • it’s a QUAR-ter to e-LE-ven.
  • what SE-ries are you WA-tching?
  • i’m DO-ing it.
  • i’m GO-ing to KEEP PRAC-ti-sing!

If you liked this post, please share it! And, leave a comment telling us what you think.

You can find more information about improving your pronunciation in the ebook, “El español es flamenco. El inglés es rock n’ roll” (<–click there to learn more). 80 pages that will change how you speak, understand and experience English. Get your copy here. Also available on Amazon.

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