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for some reason I always try to say it like a mixture between a K and a Z
The reason has a name: orthographic interference. You must read through the X section of the dictionary five times daily, clearly pronouncing a Zwhile looking at those initial X's. Let me know if you're still having trouble after 100 days of this! Emotion: smile

CJ
CvillaI remember this time when I was on a meeting with my colleagues. I am from Costa Rica, and we were on a conference with our coworkers from Maryland. One of my friends was talking about a new idea they came up with, and he said "... and in this spreadsheet..."(pronouncing "sheet" just the way he wasn't supposed to). Right after the meeting I told him, "look, dude, I don't think you want **** spread all over the room, especially when the big boss is around!" Hahaha!

Unfortunately, things like this often happen in Italy because we've only got five vowel sounds (at least, in my neck of the woods. There are more in some areas).

When I was taking my CAE test, my speaking partner wanted to say that she liked a particular type of sheet, and she ended up saying "sh-it" Emotion: smile

These days, a foreign relative of mine is on holiday here. She can speak only a few words in Italian, so we communicate in English.
She usually goes to the seaside. A few days ago, she asked me if she was dressed appropriately for her first day out in the countryside. I replied, "Maybe, it is too beachy" ... well, that's what I wanted to say ... What she understood was, "Maybe, it is too bit-chy" ... Can you imagine the way she stared at me? Emotion: embarrassed
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TanitWhen I was taking my CAE test, my speaking partner wanted to say that she liked a particular type of sheet, and she ended up saying "sh-it" Emotion: smile

Hi Tanit,
hang on a sec: are you saying that some Italian pronounced sheet as sh-it? How's that possible? I thought it was always the other way around. I thought no Italian knew the vowel in sh-it... I know Italians don't know the vowel in sh-it, so they say sheet instead, and so also deed and did are the same (both sounds deed), beach and bit-ch (both sounds beach), etc. Emotion: smile
Hi Kooyeen,

Believe me, what I wrote really happened! During the CAE speaking test, the examiner (he was English) was about to laugh, and my cousin (she is Dutch, and very fluent) was nearly shocked!

I was thinking that maybe our regional background might have some influence. I mean, vowels in Sardinia are not pronounced the same way as in Tuscany (for instance, we cannot differentiate pèsca from pésca, or bòtte from bótte). Or another explanation might be AmE versus BrE, I really don't know.
Howjsay doesn't let you listen to British pronounciation of sh-it and bit-ch, but I checked [url=http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=sheep&submit=Submit ] "sheep" [/url] and [url=http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=ship&submit=Submit ] "ship." [/url] Trust me, if I'm not paying attention, I find myself saying ship instead of sheep. Emotion: sad
Wow, interesting! Well, on second thought, I think someone down there in the South could well have "reduced vowels", so Italian i's become English i's, as in "ship". I remember the way Franco Neri says the i in "peperoncIno"... almost like "peperonceno", lol. Or think of the way they talk in Naples, there are vowels that seem schwas to me (final vowels, as in "mammata"...).
Here where I live there are only "pure" vowels... so people say "sheep" instead of "ship". Emotion: smile
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My teacher found I don’t open my mouth big enough to say “au”, as in “mouth, house, cow, bow…”

I CAN say “au” correctly actually, but I feel UNcomfortable to open the mouth that big while saying these words. Kinda funny, isn't it?
sorryseems to be the hardest word...Emotion: wink

at least that´s what elton john would sing now.
MapleMy teacher found I don’t open my mouth big enough to say “au”, as in “mouth, house, cow, bow…”

I CAN say “au” correctly actually, but I feel UNcomfortable to open the mouth that big while saying these words. Kinda funny, isn't it?
Hi, I don't think you need to open your mouth like you're biting into a huge hamburger. In American English, for example, the less you move your mouth the better you sound, LOL. Really! Ok, you have to open your mouth, but not like you're yawning. Emotion: smile
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Kooyeen
MapleMy teacher found I don’t open my mouth big enough to say “au”, as in “mouth, house, cow, bow…”

I CAN say “au” correctly actually, but I feel UNcomfortable to open the mouth that big while saying these words. Kinda funny, isn't it?

Hi, I don't think you need to open your mouth like you're biting into a huge hamburger. In American English, for example, the less you move your mouth the better you sound, LOL. Really! Ok, you have to open your mouth, but not like you're yawning. Emotion: smile

Great relief to hear that! Emotion: big smile It's not euphonious at all to open my mouth stupidly big!Emotion: indifferent

(But some guys still say I've mispronounced them! If I reread them with more attention, they would say "that's correct!" Emotion: sad
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