PronuciationProblemsInVietnamWith a population of more than 80 million, vietnam
has a big number of English speakers. However, due to the outdated language study method based on grammar and translation, Vietnamese have numerous problems in pronouncing correctly, which leads to misunderstanding in communication. This paper will address the typical pronunciation problems of Vietnamese students
including intonation, connection, and pronunciation.
First of all, there is an intonation difference between Vietnamese and English. In Vietnamese, a pitch change indicates a different word. For example, the word ?it? with a high pitch conveys a different meaning from it said at a low pitch while in English, pitch change does not produce a new word, but rather, convey an attitude or emotion. Besides, most Vietnamese students
learn English with the wrong sound of the teacher from the beginning assigning a certain pitch to every new word, which is normally incorrect. native speakers
, therefore, often find that Vietnamese stress too many syllables or speak English with too many words at a high pitch.
Another problem of Vietnamese speakers involves pronunciation. In Vietnamese, there is not a consonant ending after a diphthong, which is the reason why they normally drop the ending of words. For example, the word ?light? will sound like the word ?lie?, or ?house? will sound like ?how?. Vietnamese also has no l or f ending in their language; therefore, they tend to replace those endings with an equivalent in their mother tongue, which makes ?if? sound like ?ip? and ?help? sound like ?heo?, or ?hotel? sound like ?hoten?, and ?Bob? sound like ?Bop?. In addition to consonant endings, vowels are also mispronounced in vietnam
because Vietnamese often replace the English vowels with their native vowels. For example: the word ?sit? and ?seat? will be pronounced the same in vietnam
as they have only one ?ee? sound. The same is true with ?foot? and ?food?. Some diphthongs in English will be pronounced as a single vowel such as the ?ou? sound in ?hope? and the ?ei? sound in ?hate?. In English, a vowel is often lengthened when it comes before a voiced ending, for example, the ?ee? sound in ?seed? will be said longer and on a double stair step while ?ee? in ?seat? will be shorter and on a single stair step, while in vietnam
vowels are always short.
Vietnamese also have problems with word connection. As Vietnamese is a monosyllable language while English is multi-syllable, Vietnamese tend to speak very syllable clearly and with equal length and with no connection between words, which is indeed a big problem for them to understand natural English with a lot of connection including linking, reduction, addition, and changing of sound in fast speech. In English when words are connected, there are usually a few words stressed while the other words are unstressed and can be speak lower and reduced; therefore the problem of word connection of Vietnamese speakers are also closely related to the natural of stress and the reduction of vowel.
Overall, Vietnamese have a lot of problems regarding intonation, pronunciation, and intonation but there are great chances that they can speak English correctly if they are given the good method for studying pronunciation because they have good command of stress and a plentiful number of vowels and consonants.