Accent Reduction for Korean Speakers

5 English pronunciation tips for Korean speakers who want to improve their English accent:

Korean pronunciation

1) L & R

  • L is made with the tip of the tongue touching the top of the mouth (just behind the teeth). The sides of the tongue are down.
  • R is made with the tip of the tongue curling back in the mouth. We don’t touch the top of our mouths when pronouncing a R sound in English.
  • Compare: low – row, led – red

2) /p/ and /f/

Sometimes these sounds can be confused. Compare:

  • pan – fan
  • pour – four
  • pine – fine

3) The /i:/ sound in sheep and the /ɪ/ sound in ship

  • The tongue is more tense for /i:/ and more relaxed for /ɪ/.
  • Compare: seat-sit, feet-fit, beat-bit

4) TH

  • This is made by putting the tip of the tongue by the back of the upper front teeth.
  • Keep the tip of the tongue relaxed.
  • Compare:
  • Ttin – thin
  • Dden – then
  • Ssin – thin
  • Zzen – then

5) /v/ in final position

  • When a word ends in a /v/ sound, ensure it does not turn into /b/.
  • Ensure the following words sound different:
  • serve – Serb
  • dovedub

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