Swedish language backgrounds

[ see also my article on the teaching of English Pronunciation to Swedes ]

23 common English pronunciation problems

FIX PROBLEM ENGLISH SOUND - COMMON ERROR - PRACTICE MATERIALS
Relax the mouth and keep sound short. /ɪ/ "sit" /i:/ "seat" Minimal Pairs /ɪ/ or / i: / practice

Move tongue to a lower front position. /æ/ "man" /e/ "men" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /æ/ practice

Tongue low central. Lips relaxed. /ʌ/ "cup"

Minimal Pairs /æ/ or /ʌ/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ʌ/ or /ɜ:/ practice

Back of tongue high. Lips rounded but relaxed. Short. /ʊ/ "full" /u:/ "fool" Minimal Pairs /ʊ/ or / u: / practice

Weak endings: e.g. "London" "England" /ə/ "the" (schwa)

Practise the neutral vowel /ə/
using spoken dialogues


Back of tongue high. Lips tightly rounded. Long. /u:/ "fool"

Minimal Pairs /ʊ/ or / u: / practice

Fix tongue in central position. Long. /ɜ:/ "bird"

Minimal Pairs /e/ or /ɜ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ʌ/ or /ɜ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ɔ:/ or /ɜ:/ practice

Tongue moves from front centre to front high. /eɪ/ "late" /e/ "let" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /eɪ/ practice

Start with tongue low front. /aɪ/ "buy"

Minimal Pairs /eɪ/ or /aɪ / practice

Don't make last part too strong. /ɔɪ/ "boy"


Tongue central. Then tightly round lips. /əʊ/ "note" /ɒ/ "not" Minimal Pairs /əʊ/ or /ɒ/ practice

Tongue high and front. Move to centre. /ɪə/ "beer" /eə/ "bear"
Tongue from centre front. Draw back to centre. /eə/ "bear"


Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround. /ʊə/ "tour"


Voiceless. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /θ/ "thin"

Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /ð/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /t/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /d/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /s/ practice

Voiced. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /ð/ "they" /d/ "day" Minimal Pairs /ð/ or /d/ practice

Voiced. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /ð/ "clothe" /z/ "close" /z/
Voiced: tip of tongue behind top teeth. Friction. /z/ "rise" /s/ "rice" Minimal Pairs /s/ or /z/ practice

Voiced: Front of tongue to palate. Friction. /ʒ/ "measure" /j/

Unvoiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʧ/ "cherry" /ʃ/ "sherry"
British "r" is weaker & usually silent unless followed by a vowel. silent "survivor" /r/ "Sir Ivor"
Voiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʤ/ "job" /j/ "yob" Minimal Pairs /ʤ/ or /j/ practice

Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround & glide. /w/ "west" /v/ "vest" Minimal Pairs /w/ or /v/ practice


EXTERNAL LINKS: Non-native pronunciations of English: Swedish L1
Swenglish and Finglish
Consonant clusters in Swedish - phonological development