English is the official universal language. It is, by far, the language of international trade, finance, diplomacy, etc. It is used not only in English spoken countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and The United Kingdom but worldwide. Pronunciation is the way a word or a language is spoken. English pronunciation is one of the most difficult, challenging and yet important skills to acquire. It is key to speaking English and being understood.
Try to imitate native speakers when you talk and chat with them as much as you can. Do not get discouraged and do not be afraid of making mistakes. Always remember, you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. In other words, we cannot achieve anything important in life without sacrifice and failure -you need failure to succeed!
ESL resources for English Pronunciation:
Google can now teach you how to pronounce words. Open your favorite browser. Go to Google.com, and type in Pronounce [word], and then hit the Listen icon.
Install a text to speech extension like SpeakIt! - Text to speech for Chrome. It is a free text to speech extension that reads selected text using TTS technology with language auto-detection. First, select the text, then click its icon to start listening.
You can also use Espeak. It is a compact open source software speech synthesizer for English and other languages, for Linux and Windows. An alternative is Festival.
They can be used from the console in GNU/Linux. Just follow these simple instructions: 1. Install the packages festival and espeak: sudo apt-get install espeak festival (Ubuntu, Debian). 2. Type one of these commands into your console or terminal: espeak “How are you?”; echo “How are you?” | festival ‐‐tts; or echo “How are you?” | espeak.
If you prefer a female voice, then the command to run would be, echo “How are you?” | espeak -ven+14. -v sets a Voice for the speech.
Last, but not least, espeak –f myFile.txt reads what is written in the file myFile.txt.
There is nothing that can replace an English teacher or a native speaker to help you improve your English. However, EnglishCentral is an incredible website that has a huge library of videos that you can watch, read as you listen, and repeat the video you have just heard. It records your voice and gives you instant feedback on how well you have just pronounced the words and sentences, so you can compare them with the original speaker.
However, it is not free. Quite the contrary, it is very pricey.
Shiporsheep.comteaches English pronunciation with minimal pairs practice (sheep/ship, tin/ten, cat/cart, etc.).