en English

香港人常見發音錯誤 Pronunciation error – do you lose consonant sounds?

Hong Kong learners of English often have difficulty pronouncing consonant clusters (2 or more consonants together in a word), sometimes with disastrous results, as you’ll see below in pink colour!

Constantly losing consonant sounds can limit your Pronunciation band score to 5 or lower!

For example:

For the consonant cluster ‘ks’, they often lose the ‘k’ sound to use only ‘s’
(Note: In English, ‘x’ is pronounced the same as ‘ks’):

  • taxi should be pronounced “taksi”, but becomes “tassi” (by losing the ‘k’ sound)
  • relax should be pronounced “relaks”, but becomes “relass” (by losing the ‘k’ sound)
  • relaxed should be pronounced “relakst” (yes, three consonants “k-s-t” should be used!), but becomes “relasst” (again by losing the ‘k’ sound) or “relassid” (by losing the ‘k’ sound and adding an unnecessary syllable for the “ed” ending)

For ‘ts’, the ‘t’ is often lost, leaving only ‘s’
(note that ‘z’ should sometimes sound the same as ‘ts’):

  • “pizza” should be pronounced “peetsa”, but becomes “pissa” (by losing the ‘t’ sound)
    Thus, “pizza” becomes “pisser”— an impolite word that means “a person who urinates”

For the ‘br’ cluster, HK learners often lose the ‘r’ sound, to use only ‘b’:

  • “bridge” becomes very similar to “bitch” (by losing the ‘r’ and shortening the vowel sound) — another impolite word in English

Featured image source:
“Lost Consonants by Graham Rawle 96 dog baking” by Grahamrawle – collage artwork
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lost_Consonants_by_Graham_Rawle_96_dog_baking.jpg#/media/
Original image adapted by Grant Richardson

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