Enunciation is the act of pronunciation and one of the key elements in speaking when you try to be understood. When you order food in a restaurant, you do not get roasted lamb when you really want toast with jam. Hence, attempt to enunciate clearly. The first use of this word was in 1623. It was defined as making a definite statement of syllables and uttering sounds. Enunciation is the mode of utterance and declaration as regards distinctness.
Where does ‘enunciation’ come from?
The word “enunciate” is derived from the Latin “enuntiate” meaning speaking clearly. It includes saying the words while opening your mouth and moving your jaws appropriately (as opposed to mumbling). When you do not speak clearly and the words are muffled, your listeners can not understand what you are saying. On the other hand, clear enunciation helps your listeners understand your thoughts.
One of the most irritating speech habits for listeners is to hear something that is enunciated ambiguously. When you do not pronounce the syllables of each word properly, or when words get slurred together, the speakers and the listeners can not understand what they are saying. You can read the article about the 10 ways helping improve your pronunciation. Someone, for example, do not enunciate the letter G when saying coming or going. Some people are lazy when uttering the sounds. They do not move the parts of their mouth, jaws, and throat properly. If you speak fast, your enunciation is less distinct. People often like to slur words, and phrases together. For example, instead of saying ‘What are you doing?’, they say ‘What cha doing?’. This might be taken as an error when it is a formal talk, in particular.
Learning how to enunciate: Exercises
There are some exercises that help you learn to speak with better enunciation over time.
The mirror face test
A mirror helps you when you are working on your enunciation. This technique is called the face test. When you are enunciating properly, your mouth, jaws, and tongue move. You can stand in front of a mirror and say I am going to go to the theater. See how your lips purse and retract when you say going. Say other sentences out loud, and watch yourself in the mirror when you speak. Now say them all again, slow down your rate of speech and focus on your facial movements.
The partner’s feedback
You can get help form a partner. It is a lot easier for someone to follow your sloppy speech habits than you hear yourself. For convenience, choose someone that lives around you (children, adults), and explain that you are working on your enunciation. Then, ask them to tell you when you are dropping ‘G’ or do not speak clearly. What you should see, as you continue speaking clearly, is the number of times your speech monitor perceives your sloppy speaking decreases.
The benefits of learning how to speak clearly
As your enunciation improves, your listeners will form a better impression of you when you speak. What is important for you to observe is to focus on the message, rather than being distracted by the way you are expressing yourself.
What is the difference between enunciation and pronunciation in speaking
Good enunciation is the act of speaking clearly and concisely. Pronunciation is a component of enunciation. It is to pronounce the sounds of words correctly.
Pronunciation is the act of clustering each group of letters to make the correct sounds while enunciation is the act of clearly speaking to allow someone to understand you.
You can mumble a word and pronounce it correctly, but you are not enunciating it well. If you properly enunciate a word, but you cluster the letters wrong, you are not pronouncing it correctly.
The two main components in speaking
Enunciation and pronunciation are two very important components in any language, particularly in speaking skill. They deal with clarity and accuracy in the spoken language. You can not master a language without increasing your knowledge of pronunciation and enunciation. Increasing your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary can not help you learn a foreign language. Paying attention to enunciation and pronunciation helps individuals to communicate better and better in a foreign language.
What needs to be aware of pronunciation
Pronunciation can be quite tricky for language learners, specially adults. The language they are learning may have the same alphabet, but some letters are pronounced entirely different. At the beginning, it can be confusing, because they are not pronounced the way they should. Pronunciation is sometimes overlooked by language learners. Trying to learn it is the first step that English language learners should pay attention to before diving in the depths of language. They should learn how a group of letters is pronounced and if there are accented letters, they should learn as well. The goal is not to master the pronunciation right from the start, but to learn how language works. When learners correct their mispronunciation from the start, they do not take in bad habits and it is extremely difficult to correct the errors after years of reinforcement.
Each word in a language has a standard way of being spoken. Correct pronunciation means saying words in its standard method. Individuals can learn correct pronunciation by using dictionaries and listening to the natives. Pronunciation is the most important aspect of any language. When you communicate in a foreign language, the first thing that your listeners notice is the pronunciation, not grammar and vocabulary. When you speak and pronounce the words, you have to pay attention to pitch, volume and tone.
Why is enunciation in speaking important to English language learners?
To know how and where to combine English sounds
Distinct enunciation helps the audience understand the speaker better and distorted enunciation acts as a barrier to communication. On the other hand, mispronunciation leads to confusion in comprehending the words because it is not a correct combination of sounds. Acceptable pronunciation and enunciation are great aids for foreign language learners to communicate successfully and for the listeners to get a good impression and create interest and attention. If words are clear, they are recognized, but if they are muffled and indistinct, there is a confusion of sounds. English learners communicate better by clear enunciation and correct pronunciation. If they do not neglect this as important to communication practice on distinct enunciation and correct pronunciation, they can be the excellent communicator of facts and information.
To be able to control poorly speaking
More than knowing how to say the sounds properly, language learners should learn to say them in a space that is understandable. They de-emphasize some sounds to say the words quickly, but they should not de-emphasize all of them and they should observe a rule in this regard. Saying some sounds like ‘Th’ is difficult for English learners and they manage to say the sounds correctly, but it is hard for them to say the sounds clearly. In this situation, it is better they make a conscious effort to enunciate the sounds clearly. When examinees, for example, get nervous in IELTS speaking interview, as a consequence, they may start speaking quickly, without even them knowing it. This leads to poor enunciation, so its important to keep their nervousness under control.
To be aware of the importance of context establishment rather than accent imitation
When learning English language, it is important that language learners focus on establishing context and being understood. To enunciate the sounds is more important than trying to speak like native people who tend to mumble quite a bit. One of the most important things is to never let pronunciation keep language learners from speaking and it is important for them to practice speaking as much as possible. Spoken practice helps them to enunciate clearly and communicate with correct pronunciation. Sometimes, it is difficult for language learners to say the words correctly because they can not reproduce sounds. Reading can fix this problem. Knowing how to spell each letter is a great aid for learners to learn how to enunciate and pronounce words in sentences. Learners can also listen to the audio materials and repeat out loud. This is the way that they can practice on enunciation as well as pronunciation.
Abstract of the article
Enunciation and pronunciation are two key components in the foreign language learning, but with this difference that enunciation is the act of uttering distinct sounds clearly, while pronunciation is the combination of a group of letters to make correct sounds. Distinct enunciation and correct pronunciation are vital for making an understandable communication. If you slur the words and muffle them, you can not communicate as well as possible and your listeners can not decipher what you say. You can also follow us on Instagram for more tips on speaking English.