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Native speaker please => English pronunciation

  1. Jun 17, 2013 #1
    I heard from a native speaker that words like *analysts, texts, sex etc* should be pronounced as
    */analysts/, /texkts/, sexks*

    That is impossible (those in bold) for me but Do native speakers when speaking never miss those single letters in bold ? Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2013 #2
    The letter x is pronounced ks. Your second two words, therefore, should be teksts and seks. The x shouldn't be included in a transliteration of the x.

    To learn to say "ks" start practicing with some vowel between them and speed up until the vowel disappears. Practice saying "kass," for example, faster and faster, approaching the limit where a=0. Then practice the same thing with the other vowels: kess, kiss, koss, kuss. All the pronunciations should eventually converge to a point where the vowel is effectively non-existant and you have the two consonants pronounced smoothly one after the other.
     
  4. Jun 17, 2013 #3
    From easiest to say clearly to most difficult I would order the three words:

    1. sex
    2. analysts
    3. texts

    In casual conversation I pronounce 1 and 2 as they should be, but 3 I sort of drop the second t and extend the s sound from the x. I put "texts" along with "rural" in my list of words I hate trying to pronounce.

    Also, I like Zooby's suggestion about taking a simpler word and shortening the vowel. I would just work with "kiss", though. That's far easier to shorten to the ks sound than "kass" or any of the others.
     
  5. Jun 17, 2013 #4

    Ben Niehoff

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    If you think that's hard, try "sixths" or "twelfths". Let me think of more...

    columns
    firsts
    hundredths
    thousandths
    strengths
    plinths
    gifts
    widths
    worlds
    sandwiched
    leeched
    fetched
    warmed
    warmths

    Practice those!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  6. Jun 17, 2013 #5

    Danger

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    Zoob, what a cool lesson! Excellent suggestion.
     
  7. Jun 17, 2013 #6

    lisab

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    sects
    isthmus
     
  8. Jun 17, 2013 #7
    Thanks! I hope it helps the OP.
     
  9. Jun 17, 2013 #8

    FlexGunship

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    The crux of the question is: how do you pronounce ks, kts, and sts. The word "texts" combines ks with sts into "teksts".

    I think the best example for sts is "toasts." The long "o" sound seem to make it easy to say "toast." If you sit there and say "oast, oast, oast, oast" the st seems to naturally develop very strongly until it almost sounds like you're saying "toast." The next step is to break up the pattern with the reintroduction of another "s"... as in "toasts." This can be exaggerated by saying "toast-tss, toast-tss, toast-tss." This builds a strong "sts" sound by working on it in two pieces. This is a routine I remember from speech therapy in the first grade.

    You can also practice with "ghosts", "posts", and "roasts". Each has a slightly unique terminating sound when you sat them repetitively. If you're having trouble saying them, say them WAY slower and work your way up to normal speed.

    In general "ks" is not hard on it's own. Zoobyshoe provided a decent outline above.

    Lastly, combine the two sounds by saying "text" and then an additional "tss." It will sound unnatural and forced at first, but should resolve into a relatively fluid two+syllable sound. Think of it like this: "tec - ks - tss" or "teck - sts". Exaggerate the hardness of the sounds as you speed up the pronunciation. Soon you'll be saying "texts" like a boss.

    BONUS: Do the same with "kts" by using the word "acts." There is a strong predisposition to pronouncing the letter "t" in "act" with the back of the tongue as though the word were "ack." Force yourself to avoid this by noting the fact that a "t" can only be pronounced by placing your tongue against the upper pallet and behind your front two teeth. This is a much less natural sound, but by performing it repeatedly in an exaggerated manner it will soften and become easier.
     
  10. Jun 17, 2013 #9

    Borek

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    Grzmi i zgrzyta, brzęczy i trzeszczy
    straszna maszyna do żęcia leszczy.
     
  11. Jun 17, 2013 #10
    "Thunder and grinds, hums and crackles
    terrible reaping machine bream."

    What kind of sadistic Polish poetry is this?
     
  12. Jun 17, 2013 #11

    jedishrfu

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    In the interests of keeping the thread in English per forum rules, Google says that Borek said:

    "roars and grinds, hums and crackles terrible reaping machine bream"

    in Polish.

    It seems that Google thinks its a quote from "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak.
     
  13. Jun 17, 2013 #12
    We broke Borek.
     
  14. Jun 17, 2013 #13

    jedishrfu

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    His name is an anagram for broke.
     
  15. Jun 17, 2013 #14

    turbo

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    @OP, you will find regional variations in pronunciations in the US, especially between the Northeast and the deep South, IMO. When I was doing consulting work in FL, AL, GA, etc, I had to listen very carefully to catch subtle variations in similar words. Even then, stuff could trip you up.
     
  16. Jun 17, 2013 #15

    Ben Niehoff

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    Russian, Polish, and I assume other Slavic languages have a "shch" sound that is like the English "sts", except it's palatal instead of dental. In English, the sound can turn up between words, as in "fresh cheese".

    And I can never manage to pronounce Krzysztof correctly.
     
  17. Jun 17, 2013 #16
    Ben is our new linguistic guru.
     
  18. Jun 17, 2013 #17

    Borek

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    Actually I wrote it just for this thread.

    Being married to a speech therapist I write such things now and then just because. I know enough about Polish and speech therapy to write things she can use when working with kids.

    Should be a "terrible bream harvesting machine".
     
  19. Jun 17, 2013 #18

    SteamKing

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    'X' is pronounced in English as 'ks', except when the 'x' is the first letter in a word, e.g., the element 'Xenon' is pronounced like 'Zenon'.
     
  20. Jun 17, 2013 #19

    turbo

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    Poor Marzena!
     
  21. Jun 17, 2013 #20
    A few of those are decently difficult to pronounce. Here's some tough ones that I run into that are hard to say (without practice) in a sentence while keeping the same tempo.

    Peculiarly
    Particularly
    Auxiliary
    Profligate
     
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