pronunciation: have three hundred and ninety-four [number: 394]

Jingjing Tan

Senior Member
Chinese
And it'll amaze you to know that I have 394 friends in here. (from Girl Meets World)

Hi everybody:)
I've tried my best to listen for the part in bold, but I failed to recognise what it sounds. The teenager actress speaks it so unclearly(somewhat careless pronunciation).
It sounds like əv-ree-undred-ən (have three hundred and ninety-four). I did not hear th-/θ/ and h-/h/. Could you please tell me how to pronounce this part? Thanks!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    What nationality is she? If she's from England (and especially if she's young), she's quite likely to say [f] for /θ/, and not say any . Then the combination [vf] would just sound like a long [v] or [f].
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I'd guess she's British because she uses three hundred and ninety-four. She may perhaps have a London accent? But in any case, you shouldn't copy a careless example! It should be:
    • /aɪ hæv θri: hʌndrəd ænd/...
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's an American TV series that aired on the Disney Channel until recently. She's around 13 or 14, depending on the episode. Her character has a unique style and she has her own speech patterns at times. You might say she's just a bit odd. So it's not too surprising.

    An unsurprising way to hear that pronounced very casually in American English is:
    I av three hunred n nine-dee four

    Edit: I listened to the episode (S1 E2 "Girl Meets Boy" about 3:40 in) She's probably 13 there.
    Here is what I hear her saying:

    I av three 'ndred 'n' nine-dee four

    The most unusual thing she does is omit the first part of the word "hundred". But I don't think any American would have trouble understanding her.
     
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    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I studied speech recognition (by computers) a little. One thing I learned is that normal speech is missing a lot of "information". Some entire consonants are omitted, and others sound alike. Whole syllables are skipped. I think this is true for every language, and for most speakers. Computer recognition of speech made no progress while trying to identify every sound. Nowadays they compare speech with huge databases of phrases, syntax rules and grammar.

    The rule is this: there must be enough information to know what is said. But not enough sound information. You need to use sound, knowledge of common phrase, sentence grammar and other information. Even a fluent native speaker may not understand until the entire phrase or sentence is done. Then suddenly the whole thing makes sense.

    Watching "Chinese on the street" examples in my beginner-level course, I notice the subtitles have more sounds, syllables and tones than the actual speech. I notice it watching Spanish TV. I don't notice it in English, because my mind "fills in the gaps".

    I have 394 friends in here.
    Could you please tell me how to pronounce this part? Thanks!
    Pronounce it correctly, as your grammar lessons teach. Don't omit any sounds. Then everyone will understand you. It takes many years of practice to know which sounds must be kept and which ones can be skipped. There is no reason to try to imitate imperfect speech.

    Even for native speakers, this is a common source of problems. You are watching a scripted TV show, where everone "understands" her because the script says they do. In real life, a 13-year-old girl with a "valley girl" accent is often misunderstood.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ...Pronounce it correctly, as your grammar lessons teach. Don't omit any sounds. Then everyone will understand you...
    :thumbsup:
    I notice that Chinese speakers in England often fail to pronounce final consonants, because they don't "hear" the consonant clearly, and they think that English people drop them. This is a mistake - we pronounce them, but faintly. So what they say sounds to an English person like:
    "I noti tha Chinee speaker in Englan thin tha Englis people dro the las letter..." This is wrong!

    The moral: follow Dojibear's advice!
     

    Jingjing Tan

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you all for your helpful and detailed explanations.:thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Pronounce it correctly, as your grammar lessons teach. Don't omit any sounds. Then everyone will understand you. It takes many years of practice to know which sounds must be kept and which ones can be skipped. There is no reason to try to imitate imperfect speech.
    The moral: follow Dojibear's advice!
    I understand your point, but what I hear from my English teacher or our language teaching tape is sometimes quite different from what the actor/actress says in English moives, because they speak very very fast and casually. I often have trouble catching what they were saying, so I'm very tempted to find out how a native speaker pronounce carelessly, in order to understand what they say next time. Seeing as how I'm just a learner, I will speak word by word. Thank you!
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Did you watch that part of the show again? Can you understand better now?
     

    Jingjing Tan

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, I did, kentix. I did listen to it again and again, but frankly it's tough for me to catch it completely , although you've given me the detailed explanation.:(
    I av three 'ndred 'n' nine-dee four
    To me, it (bold part) sounds like fən 'ndred. Is there something wrong with my ears?:phaha...
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I don't know if Chinese has the th sound (or thr) but I know that that sound tends to be difficult for people who don't have that sound in their native language. Sometimes they pronounce it like z, sometimes like d, etc. In another country where I used to live they would say "three" like "tree". It's hard to hear if you're not used to it.
     
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