Top 10 Mispronounced Words in an Interview

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The Philippines is among the top outsourcing destinations on the planet thanks to our strong American background and love for Hollywood movies. This does not however suffice the global requirement for English Language proficiency. Since Language is ever evolving, from the time we were liberated and eventually colonized by the Americans, we have created our very own Filipino English. We have collected the Top 10 commonly mispronounced words by applicants based on their interview with recruitment specialists.

Testimony

Commonly pronounced with a stress on the second syllable (tes – TI – monee)

The correct way to pronounce the word is with a stress on the first (TES – timonee). Same is true with Matrimony and Alimony (MA-tri-monee) and (Ah-li-monee).

Beneficiary

Similar to the first example and in parallel with syllabication, this word is often abused as (BE-NE-fi-shia-ry) as supposed to (bene-FI-shary).

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Filipinos fancy pronouncing the middle “d” with the “j” sound. The words media and podium are pronounced as (mee-ja) and (po-jum). It doesn’t take much effort to pronounce the letter “d”, all you need is a little practice. The correct pronunciation is (mee-DIA) and (po-DIUM).

 

photo courtesy of http://www.theaccentcoach.com/

The Rule on “T”

The Filipino language has a distinct rhotic accent, with a stress on the letter /r/. As such when we pronounce the word “internet,” we tend to syllabicate it with a focal point on the “er” part, like so: (in – TER – net) as supposed to the correct pronunciation (IN-tdernet).

Rules to remember on the “t” sound

If it is in the beginning of the word, the “t” sound is highlighted (ts). As ten (ts-en), together (tsogether), truck (ts-ruck).

Most of the time, when the letter “t” is in the middle of the word, it is pronounced with a harmony of the “d” sound. So when you say better, butter, and bitter. It should not sound like (be-TER), (buh-TER), and (bi-TER). Preferably, someone with a neutral accent would say: (be-dder), (buh-dder), and (bi-dder).

If “t” is the last letter of the word, the sound is held back and should not be stressed. So the correct way of saying “eight” is (eyt) not (eyts) or “correct” as (cor-rekt) and not (cor-rekts)

It sounds funny to some but it is the correct way – neutral.

The P and F, B and V

Given the earlier premise, Filipinos habitually interchange the sounds of p and f, b and v. A veteran recruiter shared his experience, he asked the interviewee about his role in his previous company. The reply was, “My fart was really big.”

Practice is the only way to solve this deficiency. Take time to consistently pronounce words that you find difficult; tongue twisters can help a lot too.

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Address

The word “address” has two forms, a noun and a verb. When you talk about your residence (the noun), the stress is on the first syllable (Ah-dress), if you refer to a speech or a statement, the stress is on the second syllable (a-DRESS).

 Photo courtesy: pronunciationstudio.com

News

Even TV personalities are guilty of this. “News” is often pronounced as (nius), the correct pronunciation is (noos). The same is true with the word “new” – (noo) and not (niu).

First Year

Recruiter: Describe to me your High School Days.

Interviewee: When I was in “fersheer,” I studied at…

Yes, it is as prevalent as corruption in the government. It makes one wonder if the next level is “secondsheer.”

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So why do we have these deficiencies in the first place? One, you ask your teachers and two, you watch TV. We acquire these mispronunciations unconsciously as we repeatedly hear it from them.

The global requirement does not entail accent, neutral English is the way to go. One does not need to mimic what they hear from foreigners to sound good in English. Human beings are adoptive creatures, especially when it comes to language but if your English needs to be globally relevant, then the neutral accent is imperative. News reporters from reputable news agencies deliver the best neutral accent, so the best tip is to listen to them speak.

 

 

So can you speak the English Language well enough to land you a job?

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Title image courtesy of questromworld.bu.edu