Pronunciation Problems in ThailandIntroduction
The purpose of this report is to bring out pronunciation problems for English language students who were born, raised and educated in thailand. The researcher, a native thai citizen who has been spending most of his life abroad, will share his own experiences as he was a student; and as well as his students? with readers.
The Goals of This Research Project
To help the English language students of thai citizens to realize where their problems lie, how to correct them and where to find helps.
Why do the problems occur?
Like most things in life; once we get use to doing things or something, it?s quite difficult to break the habits, just to mention a few, golf swings, our lifestyles, our taste buds, our pronunciation of mother tongue languages, & etc. When the researcher first started his French lessons, he found that there were similarities between French and English and assumed that French people were able to pronounce English words with ease; but he was wrong.
Between thai and English, the differences are so immense. Now, imagine the rest.
Differences of the two languages:
Pronunciation of thai language does not focus on phonology; therefore, all thai words do not phonetically have the ending alphabet?s sound e.g. pronouncing ?can? without nasal sound of ?n?. Let?s look at problems under this category.
1) Alphabet problems:
In thai, each alphabet is pronounced as two-alphabet sound. Please see table below:
thai Alphabet English Equivalent thai Pronunciation English Equivalent
? K ?? Ko (short ?o? sound)
? P ?? Po (short ?o? sound)
Imagine pronouncing all English alphabets with short ?o? sound, ao, bo, co, etc; of course, all have the exact ending ?o? sound with opened mouth finish.
There are 44 thai alphabets. This could mean that thai oral mechanism never works hard enough to articulate the alphabets and becomes lazy. Consequently, students have much difficulty when using their lips, tongues, teeth, and any combination of those parts to make alphabet sounds; for this reason, most English alphabets become very problematic. ?V? is one of many alphabets most learners cannot correctly pronounce. Please see tables below.
Live ? Libe
Very ? Wary
Lava ? Lawa
Other noticeable problems:
Because ? Becaude
Potatoes ? Potato
Thought ? Taud
(Certain alphabets are completely left out or replaced by alphabets that have no resemble in sound.)
2) Word problems:
Similar to the alphabetic problems, each thai word is pronounced as if there were no ending phonetic sound. For example, a word ?file?, each alphabet is pronounced to make the word; but most thai students would pronounce ?fii? (long ?i? sound). Consequently, ?fii? is applied
to find, fire, fired, file, filed, fine, and fines.
Teaching ability of teachers:
It might not seem fair to blame it on educators. But the fact is that most thai English teachers do not have enough English phonology skills and confidence to correctly correct student pronunciation; hence the errors keep snowballing.
Correcting the problems:
Many have suggested that the students had to rewind their brains and restart their English from the beginning; and there are available remedies (books, tapes, CDs) to help them. For my opinion, the remedies fall far too short of the target because they have not gone back far enough to correct the problems at their roots. If one could not pronounce ?V?, how would one be able to possibly and correctly pronounce ivy?
Since, both languages can not be changed; learners will have to work hard to correct their own problems.
Please check web-sites below. If you are learners, you can learn how to pronounce each alphabet correctly. Try it for a few weeks and you might find an improvement of your pronunciation. Or get a qualified English teacher to help you.
www.youtube.com search by ?th pronunciation?, ?ch pronunciation?, etc