AccenTraining Podcast

#102 How to Pronounce V Sounds

March 08, 2022 Patrick Season 5 Episode 102
AccenTraining Podcast
#102 How to Pronounce V Sounds
Show Notes Transcript

Few languages use the English V sound, and so it's very common to replace it with a sound from one's first language. Most often, I notice students use an English B, W or F sound in place of a V. This can lead to mixing-up one's words altogether, so don't miss a second of this episode, and get a good grasp on the V sound with me here!

Check out my video course on Udemy to master your use of Syllable stress!
https://www.udemy.com/course/command-the-american-accents-rhythm-and-pronunciation/?referralCode=C96318A268600601A20F


Follow along with these idiomatic Expressions:

1. Live it up
Enjoying an experience to the fullest
Enjoy Miami, I hope you really live it up!

2. Liven it up Make something more exciting
Let's liven things up with some better music.

3. Hold out an olive branch
To make a gesture of peace
Accept their olive branch and forget about your fight. 

4. Get over something To accept an unpleasant fact
They’re mad about another loss, but they’ll get over it. 



Speaker 1:

Welcome to the accent training podcast, a podcast where I teach you to harness the sounds of your spoken English to take control of them, to use them as you like My job as an accent coach is to show you just how you can manage that , what mouth movements you can make to change the sound of your spoken English and produce clearer, more confident sounds. My name is pat and I'm an accent coach and well, that's just what I'm here to help you with learning the American accent. Now, today we're gonna take a look at something that's, it's very general through spoken English and very consistent. And it's the pronunciation of the letter V you see, I've got students from all over the world, speaking all sorts of different languages, whether it's Japanese or Spanish or French or Korean Mandarin, Portuguese, Italian, or one of the many languages from all over India or all over Eastern Europe as well. It is so common for people to mix up the letter V you see the letter V like,

Speaker 2:

Mm , mm . Is

Speaker 1:

What we would call a fricative sound. This means that it flows out. It doesn't build up in fresh . It's just flowing

Speaker 2:

V .

Speaker 1:

However, a lot of people will build up pressure when they pronounce their vs. And they'll give it a bit more of a,

Speaker 2:

B , B

Speaker 1:

Kinda sound, The trouble for English speakers is that this sounds real close to a

Speaker 2:

B , B , B .

Speaker 1:

Now you almost can't hear the difference.

Speaker 2:

B B

Speaker 1:

So tough to tell Other people on the other hand will make the letter V Into kind of a

Speaker 2:

W

Speaker 1:

Sort of sound w Making their lips kind of push away from their face.

Speaker 2:

W w

Speaker 1:

Very common difficulty. And finally other people will make their vs into F sounds like, Especially at the ends of words Vs ending words, a lot of people will make that mix up. Instead of saying five, they'll go five or give they'll go G . Now, as I've said in the past, the reason why you may do this differently for myself is simply because

Speaker 2:

The

Speaker 1:

May not exist in your native language. At least not in the same way as it does in my language. And so your muscles just aren't to that movement. Your ears may not even hear that sound. And so my job is to introduce your muscles to that movement, make it a little more familiar. So you can repeat that sound with ease And Subtle differences in the movements, but we're gonna work on all three today. So folks make sure that you listen all the way through. You don't wanna miss a second of this, so you can take control of that

Speaker 2:

V

Speaker 1:

V sound. Now, just before we get into the works of how we make a

Speaker 2:

V

Speaker 1:

V sound, I'd like to remind you that if you have not already make sure that you hit subscribe to this podcast, you wanna follow this. You wanna subscribe to this. I've been getting more subscribers on Spotify lately. That means you folks are taking my advice and you like what you're hearing. Wow . I'm actually just checking my Spotify, subscribers and listeners right now. It's way up. So folks make sure that if you're not already subscribed to this, you hit that subscribe button so that you're always updated and moving forward when it comes to mastering the American accent. And beyond that, if you're looking to take things to a whole other level, make sure that you check out the video course, click that link in the description. And I will introduce you to the rhythm and flow and sounds of the American accent and breakdown for you step at a time, how you can develop this all using the letter T making it soft, making it maybe kind of disappear. Sometimes words like internet. That word has two Ts in it, and I'm not actually pronouncing either of them internet. So check out the video course to learn about this for yourself, allow me to show you how to take control your spoken English. All right , folks, let's break down the

Speaker 2:

V

Speaker 1:

Sort of sound. We wanna be very careful not to get a woo sort of sound, where we bring the corners of lips inwards to get a w we also wanna be careful. We don't get a B sort of sound notice B making a lot of pressure against my teeth. So making these clear V sounds. Here's the thing we focus on the bottom lip, not the corners of the lips, not a woo , but just a, We bring that bottom lip up. He touch the top teeth with it.

Speaker 2:

Ooh , Ooh .

Speaker 1:

I'm not making a lot of pressure on my teeth. I'm not giving it a

Speaker 2:

V

Speaker 1:

Releasing a vowel sound after, but just a

Speaker 2:

V

Speaker 1:

Letting that sound fade away. That's the important thing there. This is full flowing and it can fade like that. Now, the other important part of this is that I'm not using the dry part of my lip. I'm rather using the inside part, the fleshy part.

Speaker 2:

Mm mm .

Speaker 1:

Really vibrates. And when I don't make any pressure on that, it flows quite clearly and nicely.

Speaker 2:

Ooh ,

Speaker 1:

That's the trick to this V sound. So let's get the hang of this a little bit right here. Let's see how we can develop our own muscle memory using the V. Well, first off, what I would like to do is focus on V having a vowel sound after it. So let's just see here. Uh , some words, like Rather, not words sounds, sounds starting with

Speaker 2:

The ,

Speaker 1:

Again, I'm not it a , But I'm holding that V out. Not making a lot of pressure on the teeth. Here's another one here.

Speaker 2:

Vava

Speaker 1:

Flowing out. Fricative as I mentioned before, another one

Speaker 2:

V V

Speaker 1:

Just pushing it out, not holding the air back, letting it flow, and then a vowel sound after let's put that V . Now between a couple of vowel sounds, it's very common that we find V tween vowels in the middle of a word. Let's get used to this, starting with

Speaker 2:

A , a ,

Speaker 1:

Again, not an a nor is it an O M not bringing the corners of my lips in, at all. I'm keeping the corners of my lips. Totally neutral. And just the bottom lips moving up and touching my teeth.

Speaker 2:

A

Speaker 1:

Here's another one here.

Speaker 2:

E E

Speaker 1:

Just sounds not full words or anything. Just these sounds E And then finally, we're going to put that V behind some vowel sounds, let's start with

Speaker 2:

A,

Speaker 1:

We've seen Ave , So we're not doing that one again, this isn't an Ave , But just holding the

Speaker 2:

A ,

Speaker 1:

How about ,

Speaker 2:

Uh , uh ,

Speaker 1:

Having my bottom lip lightly touching my teeth, letting the sound flow out

Speaker 2:

Of

Speaker 1:

Here's one more for you ,

Speaker 2:

Eve E

Speaker 1:

Flowing right out. So at this point, you may be starting to notice that you make a slightly different sound from myself and that's all right . That's what we're here for. You've learned the way that you normally speak ever since you were a baby. And so that's why we're taking baby steps to learn. These sounds now as an adult it's . So now that we've got some of the basics, a V before vowel, or between vowels or after vowel, let's see how we can put this into some common words here. Repeat after me a few of these words, starting with Very , that's an extremely common word. Is it very , I'm not giving it a Berry Berry or a, We bringing the corners of my lips in only the bottom lip is lightly touching the top teeth. Very here's another one

Speaker 2:

Visa

Speaker 1:

Holding the V sound

Speaker 2:

Visa.

Speaker 1:

So those are V at the beginning of a word, let's see V in the middle. Now, every, every a note, by the way, how I'm not saying every , but every kind of dropping that E that's in the middle, right out of the word, just to have an every , here's another one here never I'm exaggerating the V a little that's all right. Just to help your is pick it up and your muscles adjust, never Holding that V out. And finally V at the end of a word, five, Five, Once again, I'm not giving it a five or a five, five. I'm not doing that either. I'm only holding that V position, letting the sound fade five, Or what about this? One of O F

Speaker 2:

Of

Speaker 1:

Notice how that O F

Speaker 2:

Of

Speaker 1:

Is coming out like a UV sound

Speaker 2:

Of ,

Speaker 1:

Again, I'm not giving it an off, off, that would be O F F off with a short O and two Fs, but this is an O making kind of a U sound often even reduced to AWA

Speaker 2:

Of

Speaker 1:

Now, just before we get into some more common phrases and idiomatic expressions with the V sounds, I'd like to take a look at a few pairs of words that people very frequently mix up words where V may be mixed up with a, B or a V with an F or a V with a w very commonly done all over the world. So what can we do about this ? We can focus and we can practice first off V with a B here's a couple common words for you . Berry notice both my lips coming together here, B Barry is a build up a voice, and then it bursts out the other on the other hand, Very , Very , my bottom lip is just lightly touching my top teeth. Very here's another for you V and F a lot of will mix up. As I mentioned off, making an F sound

Speaker 2:

Off

Speaker 1:

O F F and

Speaker 2:

Of

Speaker 1:

Getting that Sort of ending. And as I mentioned before, the O in the word of isn't making an O sound, I'm not saying off once more off is O F O F with only one F comes out

Speaker 2:

Of, of

Speaker 1:

Couple more words that I hear. A lot of people mix up are the words, life and live Live. Instead of saying, I saw a live concert, we want, I saw a live concert just to get those Fs and vs very distinct whether or not you're making voice or just air .

Speaker 2:

Mm ,

Speaker 1:

Same positioning. Just a matter of if your voice is coming out, if you're using your throaty voice sound couple more here that a lot of people mix up all over the world. Words went

Speaker 2:

With a w

Speaker 1:

Where I'm bringing the corners of my lips in, and then releasing

Speaker 2:

W

Speaker 1:

And vent.

Speaker 2:

Ooh ,

Speaker 1:

Went vent, went Vent. The second, I'm only bringing my bottom lip up, lightly touching my teeth and holding that,

Speaker 2:

Hmm ,

Speaker 1:

Sound out. Then I gotta vowel coming after it. Hmm . Whereas the first, the corners of my lips, words and release a w sort of sound. Here's another one for you folks. How about the words? Why

Speaker 2:

W

Speaker 1:

Why and Vie vie common mix up between these two? So those sounds have some common mix ups all the time. People mix those up between Hmm . And, and B Mmm . And woo . Making a w we gotta avoid that. And we wanna focus that only the bottom lip is touching us top teeth. So where do we go from here when we wanna practice? V sounds compared to other sounds well, amatic expressions. That's what I'd like to bring to your attention. Now , a few idioms, because idioms are useful. You can work 'em into your daily life, and you'll sound a little more casual. Now, the first idiomatic expression that I'd like to bring to your attention today are the words, live it up, live, live it up. Notice how, when we voice that V live it live . It, it helps us link the words together. If we only get lift it up or li it up, live it up with a, B , B , we're gonna get a bit of a choppy sound, but voicing that V at the end of that, live it up helps our speech flow. So to live it up, what does that mean? Well, that means enjoying a pleasurable experience to the fullest. Maybe a vacation. You know, you want to go live it up in Miami, on vacation or something. It's like, have fun. Live it up, have a good time. Enjoy yourself, live it up, man. Live it up. So live it up is very useful. There's a lot of times we wanna tell that to people, Hey, live it up, have a good time. However, in order to live it up, we sometimes have to liven things up, live in it up, make something more ex siding. Let's liven things up with some better music. Let's play some better music and liven things up. Now I would just like to point out the spelling of liven it up is only one letter different from live it up . Liven is spelled L I V E . Whereas live is L I V E live liven . So to liven something up is to make it more exciting. You could say, I wanted to liven up my life by getting on a plane to Cancun , to go live it up a little bit. I liven things up. So the I could live it up. I made things more exciting so that I could enjoy them to the fullest. Now that phrase right there is a little bit forced, I suppose, is not something that you would say, oh , I wanted to liven it up so I could live it up. But that's the context that we'd use those things in liven things up, make it more exciting, live it up, enjoy it, enjoy it to the fullest. So those first two that we saw, weren't too tough. They had a V going into a vowel sound. How about though, if we've got a V ending a word and we're not gonna connect it to a vowel sound such as the word, olive, olive, olive branch, olive branch, hold out an olive branch olive notice. I'm not saying olive olive, nor am I saying olive, olive, but olive, olive branch. So to hold out an olive branch, that is our next idiom here today. And this is making a J of peace. You hold out an olive branch. When you give an opportunity for a dispute to end, maybe you've gotten in an argument with a friend or a loved one. And, and even weeks, or months or years of past, and every time you see this person, your blood boils, you get angry. However, you love them. A deep down inside you, you know that you love that person. The best thing to do hold out an olive branch, try and make peace. Maybe that could mean bring them a pie, make a pie, bring it over to their house, or just give them a call. Maybe that's what the both of you are waiting for. Both of you are waiting for the other person to call and that's all that you need to make peace, whatever it is, hold out an olive branch. Forget about the fight and make some peace. So we gotta live it up, live in it up, hold out an olive branch. How about one more for today? Get over something. You gotta get over it, buddy. Get over it over. This is to accept an unpleasant fact, hold out an olive branch and get over it, except that things didn't go well in one way or another. Just accept it and move on with your life. Get over something again, not an over or an over with a w over, but a get over something. Accept an unpleasant fact. They're not about losing the game, but they'll get over it. They'll get over it and maybe they'll win next time. Get over it, hold out an olive branch, liven it up, live it up. Useful idiomatic expressions and great suggestions for our daily lives. Are they not? Do we all not need to get over something? I know I've got things that I have a hard time getting over. I'm working on it, I'm working on it, but I gotta get over it. There are people in the world I've gotta hold an olive branch out to , I've gotta give some folks a call. I'm not a Saint. I've got my own issues. I gotta hold out an olive branch and I gotta fix up some troubles with some folks. And that way we can live it up together. We can live it up. I , again, I'm just kind of forcing things here, but once I hold out that olive branch to my loved ones, we can live it up and we can enjoy life at the fullest and maybe even get more opportunity to liven things up, liven things up. All right . So that's our lesson for today. This is, you know, just skimming the surface on the V versus double U and B and F sounds. And this is something that you folks can develop with a little focused muscle memory practice. It's gonna take a little bit of work. So why is the American accent so difficult to learn as an adult? Well, we're changing habits that you've formed since infancy. You see, as a baby, you would li listen and repeat the sounds and the words that you heard, your friends and family say, your teachers, you'd repeated so many times that your ears and your brain began to think that those are the only sounds that you need to speak. However, now, as you see speaking a different language, there are more sounds that can make more and more that you can discover and develop. And so your accent, it's not a bad thing. It's just habits from your first language habits, from your infancy and from your natural way of speaking, kind of leaking over into your English. My job is of course, to show you how to change , change those habits for a little bit more clarity, confidence, and to speak using an American accent. If you so desire, I have an accent. Of course I do. Just cuz I'm speaking my own native language doesn't mean I don't speak it with an accent compared to most of the world, I sound different. And when I speak Spanish, my second language, I have a very thick accent. People may not think I sound like a typical gringo. You know, I don't sound like a typical north American English speaker. However, I certainly don't sound like a typical Mexican person, even though I'm living in Mexico, I've got an English speaker's accent when I speak Spanish. So all of that is to say that your accent, isn't a problem. When you're speaking another language, it's not like it's stopping you from speaking that language or it's not like it's making your words any less valuable than anybody else's however, having an accent is just a part of you and who you've developed to be. And that doesn't mean that you're not able to change it. If you want to . I change things about my Spanish speech all the time. My vowel sounds they're too moving. When I speak in Spanish, they don't need to be, I gotta keep. 'em kind of static and that's a tough habit for me cuz I wanna move my vowels. Oh Ooh . A you don't do that speak in Spanish. So these habits are things that we're totally capable of changing if we want to . It's just about consistency. Well, on that note, we're gonna wrap things up for today. Folks. I very much appreciate your time and you should also give yourself a pat on the back and appreciate the fact that you've just opened your ears to some new sounds of spoken English, things that you possibly weren't so aware of in the past may be a little bit clearer to you now. So give yourself a pad on the back. You've learned something new today and what's left to do from here. Practice what you've learned, be consistent. Put these idiomatic expressions that we practiced today to work and harness the potential of your spoken English. Now I've gotta go take my dogs out for a walk. Those dogs I've been very patient with me today. I've been busy. I've been teaching classes and I've been writing a little bit and I I've been busy with one thing after another. So it's about time that I let my dogs out, Which means I've gotta go for now. However, don't you worry for a second. I will be back next week with many new, great things for you to learn from regarding commanding the sound of the American accent . Thank you for your time today, folks and have a good one.