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neal3456
Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009 7:18:59 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/17/2009
Posts: 1
Neurons: 3
Location: United States
Hi,

I dont know whether this is the right forum or not. I always have problem pronouncing the word Z or word with Z like ZERO, PIZZA... it always sounds like G. How to pronounce it correctly.

Thanks a lot.
TB
Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009 11:51:41 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/2009
Posts: 1,437
Neurons: 4,277
Location: America
Try this for the Free Dictionary's pronunciation of the word "zero".
Turn up your volume.
Click the speaker icon to the right of the word "zero" at:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/zero

Here is another site where you can hear the pronunciation of the word "pizza" and three pronunciations for the letter "Z".
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pizza
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/z
Isaac Samuel
Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2009 12:03:50 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/2/2009
Posts: 674
Neurons: 1,222
Location: United States
I have known some people from northern part of India with this problem; but usually they work this out after living for a while in English speaking countries; unless it is pathological.
Spahkee
Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2009 10:24:38 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/2/2009
Posts: 36
Neurons: 104
Location: United States
I know a vietnamese man that says 'yeer-oh' (Zero).

Every person struggles in one way or another with pronounciations as they learn to speak any language.

For instance, how many of you have heard a child say "piss-getty" (Spaghetti). A cute mispronounciation, but with practice the child learns to pronounce it correctly.

And to quote an instructor I once had, "Repeat, Repeat, Repeat".

Good luck neal3456!
risadr
Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2009 12:23:27 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/2009
Posts: 1,155
Neurons: 3,545
Location: PA, United States
Spahkee wrote:
For instance, how many of you have heard a child say "piss-getty" (Spaghetti). A cute mispronunciation, but with practice the child learns to pronounce it correctly.


My daughter, who is one-and-a-half, says "chep-utt" instead of "ketchup," "rah-lo" instead of "water," and "cue me" instead of "excuse me."

Those are just a few examples of words that she mispronounces incorrectly now, but will, with time, learn to pronounce correctly.

That said, in response to the original post: it is common to hear certain letters the same way, depending on what languages one is dealing with. In a linguistics class that I took in college I learned that, in Japanese and Chinese, for example, there is an almost indistinguishable difference between the sound of the letter R and the letter L, which is why many native Japanese and Chinese speakers often mispronounce words beginning or ending with those letters. The reason for this is that those letter sounds are formed the same way in your mouth.

Over time, you will begin to hear distinct differences in the way that Z and G sound, but it may take a significant amount of time before that happens. Don't lose heart!
krmiller
Posted: Monday, April 20, 2009 3:29:54 PM
Rank: Administration

Joined: 3/17/2009
Posts: 217
Neurons: 663
Location: United States
The "z" sound is formed by placing the middle of the tongue firmly against the roof of the mouth, with the back of the tongue and the tip not touching anything. The teeth are slightly apart. I'm sure that's hard to understand without a picture, but I hope it helps! It's very difficult for people to learn sounds that don't appear in their first languages.
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