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Hoy escuche, que en Madrid los turistas se quejan del...

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Hoy escuche, que en Madrid las o los...

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*et ne s'utilise pas dans le même contexte

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What are the most common mistakes Lingora’s English language learners are making?

With Lingora, you are not just told by native speakers which mistakes you are making in the languages you learn.  You are also regularly reminded of the areas you need to work on in terms of your speaking and writing skills.  

Each week Lingora sends its members out a customised summary of all the corrections native speakers have provided them with on the site. Let’s look at an example of one here:

If you are keen to receive one of these useful summaries on a weekly basis why not login to your Lingora account where you can:

  • Add an audio of yourself practicing your speaking skills in a language you learn so native speakers can give you feedback on your intonation, pronunciation and fluency.
  • Add a text of yourself practicing your writing skills in a language you learn so native speakers can give you feedback on your grammar, spelling and style of writing.
  • Start chatting directly to native speakers using Lingora’s chat feature.
  • If you learn English or Spanish and want to improve your skills, you can take one of Lingora’s custom lessons. Learn more about them here.

If you’re not already a member of Lingora, then what are you waiting for? Sign up here.

Today we’ll be focusing on the most common errors people who learn English using Lingora are making.

Lingora’s English language learners often mispronounce the names of counties in England.

Examples include:  Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire.

Now as we all know, there are many words in the English language which are not pronounced the same way they are written. The names of counties in the United Kingdom are unfortunately no exception.

So how have Lingora’s members been told to improve when they pronounce the names of counties in England?
What can they do to improve their pronunciation of them?

You will notice that counties mentioned above all contain the word “shire” at the end of them: Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire.

So what?

The word “shire” /ʃaɪər/  -which is is an old English word meaning county -  is pronounced in a different way when it is on it’s own. It is pronounced like this:  [shahyuh r]

It’s not commonly used in everyday modern English so when you’re chatting to native English speakers, it’s unlikely you’ll be using it. We recommend you listen to the pronunciation of it here.

The key mistake many of Lingora’s members who learn English have been making is that they pronounce the names of the counties using the word “shire”. For example, many pronounce the counties (Worcestershire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire) with the /ʃaɪər/  [shahyuh r] sound at the end.

This is incorrect and does sound strange to native English speakers. To specifically improve their pronunciation of the English language, Lingora’s English language learners were told to focus on a [sheer] / [sher] sound instead of the [shahyuh r] one.

[woo s-ter-sheer]

Why not watch this excellent video where you can hear a native English speaker pronounce the names of the UK’s counties

Lingora’s members who learn English need more practice when reading temperatures

If you’re an English language learner, how would you read out these temperatures? Imagine you’re practicing English with a friend and you’re telling him or her what the weather is like where you are and how hot or cold it is.

7 °C

To help them improve their English, Lingora’s English language learners were told by English native speakers to remember to include the word “degrees” when mentioning the temperature in their written texts and audio recordings.

“7 degrees Celsius”
“10 degrees Fahrenheit”

This might be a small detail, but it is a significant one nonetheless. If you’re studying for an English exam or if you want to work in an English-speaking environment, these small specifics are important for you to remember.

People who learn English on Lingora regularly struggle with the pronunciation of the “th” sound.

If you’re learning English, why not have a go at reading this paragraph out loud.

I thought a thought. But the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I thought. Three thin thieves thought a thousand thoughts. Now if three thin thieves thought a thousand thoughts how many thoughts did each thief think? The thirty-three thankful thieves thought that they thanked the other thirty-three thankful thieves

How did you find it?
Tough? Impossible? Ridiculously hard?
Don’t be afraid if you found the exercise all of the above!

The simple fact is that not many languages include this type of sound. If you’re learning English, it’s certainly going to take you plenty of practice to get it right.

So what advice were Lingora’s English language learners given to help them improve their pronunciation of words containing the “th” sound?

For the the voiceless dental fricative /θ/ (for words like “things” “thoughts”) they were advised to “place the tips of their tongues between their teeth and blow air through their mouths without vibrating their vocal cords.
However for tricky elements of pronunciation, it is much better for them to watch videos of native speakers pronouncing these words. They were advised to watch fantastic videos such as: