how to teach correct pronunciation of words like "school" to Urdu Speakers?

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Black lvlamba, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Black lvlamba New Member

    Pashto - The Tribal Dialect
    I read the a thread here on the subject topic and I found it quite interesting. Almost everyone agree that Urdu speakers have problems with pronouncing st, sp, sk at a start of a word.

    I was wondering if we have to teach the correct pronunciation of such words in classroom, what kinds of activities can help the students in learning the correct pronunciation?

    Reference to a published work on teaching such pronunciations might be helpful.

  2. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Are there words in Urdu with those consonant clusters inside them?

    If so, then you could start by asking them to pronounce those very slowly, and then "delete" the beginning of the word.

    Another idea is looking for word pairs where the first one ends with an "-s" and the second begins with a "t-", for example. As the students to pronounce these words together quickly, and then to delete the rest of the first words, and think of the end result as a single word, rather than two (e.g. in English miss + tear --> steer).
  3. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    If there are no word-initial clusters st, sp, sk in Urdu it will be very hard for students to learn pronouncing them - Outsider gave some useful information, but still it will be difficult for them to isolate "st" because the problem occurs as soon as they leave out vowels before "s" and the syllable structure of their native Urdu will kick in: they won't be able to produce "st" nevertheless.

    Another option would be to tell them to insert the shortest, most neutral vowel possible (ideally, a shwa) between "s" and "t" = speak /sət səp sək/: many speakers of languages who do not have those clusters begin like that. Students then should go on to try speak faster and delete the shwa vowel /ə/: this still will be quite difficult for them.
  4. Black lvlamba New Member

    Pashto - The Tribal Dialect
    Thanks outsider.

    Sokol, I guess to ask students to use shwa is something that Punjabi native speakers already do but we cannot call it correct pronunciation. Urdu speakers normally add and "i" before such words e.g. ischool, isquad, ispeaker etc
  5. MarcB Senior Member

    US English
    A method that works is to have them take a breath before the consonant clusters in lieu of i or e.
  6. BP. Senior Member

    In my experience, only some septuagenarians+ talk like that. What's the use teaching geezers correct pronunciations, they'll die soon enough anyway.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  7. Black lvlamba New Member

    Pashto - The Tribal Dialect
    Pacifist, I beg to differ with your experience. It is a very widely found problem with Urdu speakers regardless of their age. If u want to read details about this I guess 'Kashru' work might be of some interest.
  8. BP. Senior Member

    You can differ with my opinion. You can't differ with my experience!

    I looked up that name on the Internet and found nothing. Could you guide me to some of his works? Thanks.

    I did find this link to zamonga khpla forum.

    PS: They generally call me BP here.
  9. Black lvlamba New Member

    Pashto - The Tribal Dialect
    Kashru, B. B. (2005). Asian English: Beyond the canon. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press
  10. Khush-Gulo Member

    Hi, i am new here, my english isn't good, but i can understand this matter. yes you are absolutely right, its a very common problem to pronounce "consonant blend's " sound for Urdu speakers . but not for me !! because i have found the correct way to pronounce c-blends ! .
    its becouse there is no any consonat blend in Urdu language except "pyaar, dhayaan, kyaa(what)" now i tell you how to get the correct way!
    there are 2 vowel sounds in Urdu . 1) long vowels 2) short vowels
    long vowels are 1) alif, vaaow, ye . and short vowels are : 1)zabar, zeer, peesh . so in consonant blends the speaker must avoid all vowel sounds in initial letter of starting blends in a word.
    for example "star" . the speaker must avoid the sound of vowel "alif zeer=e" before "s" and the vowel sound "zeer" after "s" . but he should only pronounce the sound of "s" without making any vowel sound . such as:
    "sssssssssss+tar" firsr he should make the sound "ssssssss" and after a short break "tar" . i am sure he will be able to pronounce "starting blends" correctly as i have done !
    what do you think ? am i right ? ;)

    thank you
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009

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