Monday, November 17, 2014

Connection not perfection – New way of learning with All Ears English

Hey Guys,

Today, let me speak about an amazing podcast. It is All Ears English that was founded by Lindsay McMahon “the English Adventurer” and Gabby Wallace “the Language Angel” from Boston, Massachusetts, USA. In this short article I’m going to introduce Lindsay and Gabby, their podcast very briefly, in addition I’m going to tell you who I recommend this podcast to. All Ears English is also available on iTunes, and Stitcher.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tarle Speech - An awesome pronunciation teacher

Hi everyone,

In my previous posts I introduced you to my favorite pronunciation teachers. They are Rachel and
Mandy. I referred to their materials (videos, audios, websites) in several other posts of mine such as classification of English vowel sounds. I still like their activity; however, if I wrote these posts nowadays, they could be little different. Why? I would consider another pronunciation teacher as well whose name is Jennifer Tarle. Today, I would like to write about her activity, Youtube channel and website.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Diphthongs



Hi everyone,



After reviewing all the individual vowels, let’s take a deep breathe. Now, the diphthongs are coming. What is a diphthong? It’s a sound that is the subtle combination of two vowel sounds within the same syllable. That means each diphthong consists of two vowel sounds that we learned in the previous lessons. Again and again, I will refer back Rachel’s English (including her video channel) and Mandy’s pronuncian.com podcast. Now, we’re going to learn about 6 sounds and because it can be a lot to absorb, I suggest you break it into 3 parts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Let it be sunshine - Short U (UH) and schwa (UH) vowel sounds



Hi everyone,
After a long break, let’s get back to work. A couple of weeks (months) ago, I introduced a kind of classification of American English vowel sounds.  Then we began to work on vowels in pairs: /i/ Long E (EE) and /ı/ Short I (IH)Sounds ,/æ/ Short A (AA) and /ɛ/ Short E (EH) sounds , /u/ Other OO and /ʊ/ Other U sounds , and [ɑ] Short O and [ɔ] AW sounds . We haven’t finished it yet. Today we’re going to learn about the /ʌ/ (Short U - UH) and /ǝ/ (Schwa - UH) sounds. In this article, I will mention again Rachel’s English (including her video channel) and Mandy’s pronuncian.com podcast.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My favorite Nightwish covers



Hi everyone,

After a longer break caused by some unpleasant things, I return to writing, but this post won’t be very serious. Now, let me answer a question about music. I was asked quite often about my favorite style of music, and group. Well, I’m great fan of rock music. If I begin to chat about it, I can hardly finish. I do love a lot of groups from Hungary and other parts of the world. My favorite group outside of Hungary is Nightwish from Finland. What kind of music do they play? You’ll see it, I mean you’ll hear it. At the moment, they are between two albums, and two tours. They may be preparing new songs under the radar, so I have no information about it. I don’t feel like writing about their past, about their former albums. I would rather write about other groups and singers who like performing covers. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

You rang M'Lord


As the title of this blog indicates I’m involved in learning American English. However, it doesn’t mean that I avoid every piece of material from the United Kingdom. I have some favorite musical groups (such as Deep Purple, or Iron Maiden) from Great Britain and I also like some funny movies or TV series.  In this post, I’d like to introduce you to a funny series from the BBC entitled “You rang M’Lord”. It was broadcast between 1990 and 1993 on BBC. The episodes show a house of an aristocratic family in the 1920s, contrasting the upper-class family and their servants in a house in London. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cot vs caught - Short O and AW sounds

Hi Everyone, 


My new book on Crazy English spelling.

A couple of weeks ago I began to introduce the American vowels in pairs. The first pair was Sheep vs ship - Long E (EE) and Short I (IH), the second one was Cattle vs kettle - Short A (AA) and Short E (EH), and then the third one was Suit vs soot – Other OO (OO) and Other U (UH). And now I’m going to speak about the [ɑ] (Short O - AH) and the [ɔ] (AW)  sounds.

 









Friday, May 16, 2014

Out of time

Hey guys,

I get several question about my next post here. Well, you're right. At the beginning I posted more. I have two unfinished series:
- American English vowels,
- tricks of T sounds,
- interviews.
These series are not interrupted, I'm going to continue them. 
My next posts are written right now, but I can do it slower than at the beginning. I've published 27 posts. My target is to reach the 40th post (this one is not counted).

If you want to watch nice videos about American English just follow Rachel's English on youtube. I also recommend Mandy's pronuncian.com

I'm going to post an interview with Kate very soon.

Bye bye,

Attila

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tricks of T sound 3 – What happens with T (or D) sound between two consonants




Hi everyone,


After the flap T, and glottal stop  let’s see what can happen with the T (or D) sound between two consonant sounds. Try to pronounce the word exactly”. Its “official” pronunciation is /ɪgˈzæktli/. It means that the T sound should be pronounced but it’s not so easy, especially in quick everyday speech. So what happens in real everyday conversations, or even in formal situations? I have an easy job now. What I will do is only refer to one of Rachel’s recent videos.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tricks of American T sound 2. – Glottal stop



In the previous post, I introduced the Flap T with the help of Jennifer’s video channel and I also mentioned Rachel’s and Mandy’s materials. It means that sound T can be pronounced as a soft D sound in specific situations (between vowels – or sound L and R, when it’s not stressed). T can be interesting in other occasions as well. You can hear something interesting when an American says these words: button, written, Clinton, mountain, fountain, sentence. In the dictionaries, you can see the “official” pronunciation of the “-ton”, “-ten” or “-tain” is /- tən/ or /-tən/ or /-tn/, but you can hear something else. This is called a glottal stop.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tricks of American T sound - Flap T


I have a series on American English vowel sounds, but I think it’s important to speak about consonants as well. I would like to begin with the 'T' sound. If you have learned British English the American T sound can be very tricky for you as it can change in several ways. First of all I would like to speak about Flap T.  In American movies you can often hear the 'D' sound rather than the 'T' sound (like in water, or city). It is one of the characteristics of American English and it’s accepted even in formal speeches, however some teachers (even from the States) consider Flap T as lazy speech, but they’re not right at all. You can hear Flap T everywhere.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Today's idiom - Bend over backwards



Hi everyone,
After learning the idioms spill the beans, and pay through the nose  we’re going to speak about the idiom ”bend over backwards”. As I mentioned before, learning the idioms is a great adventure. I can’t show you all the idioms, I can show you some of them, in addition I can recommend some sources that can help you learn them.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Suit vs soot – Other OO and Other U sounds



Hi everyone,

Some weeks ago we began to work on American English sounds in pairs. We learned the difference between ‘sheep and ship’ (Long E – EE – and Short I – IH – Sounds) , and between ‘cattle and kettle’ (Short A – AA – and Short E –EH –sounds) . We also learned that in American English, long vowels are NOT consequently longer than short vowels. Long and short vowels are simply the names that have been used for naming them for ages. 

In this article, we will compare the other OO and other U sounds. I have to add that if you only read my article, it’s probably not enough. If you want to learn this topic entirely, you should visit the materials that I recommend you. Let’s get started.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Interview with Jaime Miller - TOEFL teacher

Hi everyone,

In my former blog posts, I was writing about Jaime Miller. First, when I summarized my TOEFL experience. Second, when I introduced her excellent right notes course. And now I'm very happy because Jaime gave me the possibility to conduct an interview with her. I hope you'll like it and maybe some of you feel like visiting Jaime's website, youtube  channel or even working with her.

Update - please visit my other interviews as well: Gardeniafly and Kate. Both of them from Georgia, USA.

So, let's meet Jaime.

 -     Hi, Jaime. Thank you very much for this interview. Let’s begin with your studies. When and where did you graduate from university? 
-       I graduated from a school called Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon. It was in May, 2008. It was five years ago.
-       What kind of faculty did you attend?
-       I studied History mostly.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Today’s Idiom – Pay Through the Nose



Hi everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I began a new series about idioms. The first idiom was spill the beans. As I told you, Americans (and other native English speakers) use a great number of idioms. It makes the English language beautiful, varied and alive. If you try to learn them, it is a great adventure. In this series within my blog, I can show only a few idioms, but I’m going to introduce books, websites, and video channels that can help you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cattle vs kettle - Short A (AA) and Short E (EH) sounds



Hi,

Earlier in this blog, after the classification of American English vowels, we began to work on the vowels in pairs. In this series, we were speaking about the /i/ (Long E - EE) and /ı/ (Short I – IH)sounds. And now we’re going to learn about the /æ/ (Short A - AA)  and /ɛ/ (Short E – EH) sounds. The methods we will use will be similar. We’re going through some useful materials from Rachel’s website and video channel, and we will talk about Mandy’spronuncian.com and her excellent podcast. There are many good teachers who concentrate on American English pronunciation, but in my opinion Rachel and Mandy are the best.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Five Common Excuses Not To Learn a Foreign Language – guest post from Lingholic

Hi,

I don’t need to tell you that I like learning languages. I know there are many people who don’t like to do so. When I ask them why, there are some frequently repeated answers. It’s surprising these people don’t know each other, but I hear the same reasons again and again. I was very surprised when I found a blog called Lingholic. This blog has excellent articles that are helpful and I’d like to show you the kind of excuses the author encounters when he asks, “Why aren’t you learning a foreign language?” This article is based on the passage that I read on Lingholic (written by Sam Gendreau). I have added my comments to each statement. Also, I will give two additional excuses that I hear frequently. You can find Lingholic on Facefook as well.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sheep vs ship - Long E (EE) and Short I (IH) Sounds


Hi,

Let’s begin to work on vowel sounds in pairs. One of my mistakes was that I couldn’t differentiate between two vowels:  the long E vowel (like in sheep) and short I vowel (like in ship). Understanding the difference between these two vowels is very important, otherwise you can misunderstand others, or you can be misunderstood and  get into an awkward situation. For example, if you say shit instead of sheet during a presentation, or bitch instead of beach, or piss instead of peace, you may seem  offensive, vulgar or very rude. You have to be careful. In this article, I will mention Rachel’s English (including her video channel) and Mandy’s pronuncian.com podcast.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

English Vowel Sounds – Part I. Classification


Hi,

Let’s jump to a serious topic that I’ve had the most difficulties with in my English learning:  the system of the American English vowel sounds. I won't tell you that I haven’t had any problems with consonants, But for now I’d like to concentrate on vowel sounds. This entry will be rather long. Sorry guys, I have to go through it. Hopefully it won’t be as painful as a tooth extraction! First, I must  explain how I will name the American English vowels.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Interview with Gardeniafly



Hi everyone,




Starting with this post, I'm beginning a new series within my blog. I plan to conduct interviews with some teachers whom I work with or whose materials I use. The first teacher I spoke with is Gardeniafly. You can read her comments at the bottom of each blog post.







Sunday, February 2, 2014

Today’s idiom – Spill the Beans



Hi everyone,
I'm writing today’s entry because a lot of people have asked me to speak about idioms. What is an idiom? An idiom is “a group of words that have a special meaning that is very different from the ordinary meaning of the separate words” (from the Longman Dictionary of American English). Americans (and other native English speakers) use a great number of idioms. It makes the English language beautiful, varied and alive. However, it also makes the language learner’s life difficult. But believe me, it’s a great adventure. In this series within my blog, I’m going to introduce books, websites, and video channels that can help you. An important notice: I never use other people thoughts as mine. I always indicate the source. I can’t show all the idioms, it’s impossible, but I can show you where you can learn idioms from.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My American life - Part two



Hi everyone,

In the first part of this entry, I began to summarize the long period of time that I spent in the United States. I spoke about the greatest challenge, the first nice experience, the most frequent experience (diversity), and I showed pictures of the nicest places I visited. A great Hungarian blog called “My Life in America and Afterwards” (Élet Amerikában és utána) published my entry in Hungarian as well. Let’s continue.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My American life - Part one


Hi everyone,

I’ve mentioned in other entries that I spent a long period of time in the United States. I’ve received several questions about it; in addition, I was asked to write a whole entry on what I experienced over there. Not only did readers of my blog ask for me to do this, but also the author of a great Hungarian blog called “My life in America and Afterwards” (Élet Amerikában és utána). If you can speak Hungarian,  you should definitely visit it. So I decided to write the same entries in two languages: an original English version and a Hungarian version. So this is the second bilingual entry after “The Communist Army and the English Language  & “A kommunista hadsereg és az angol nyelv”. 

Part two is available here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

American English University

Hi everyone,

As I mentioned before, I spent a long period of time in the States. I wrote several messages on the thoughts and ideas I had over there which I use as a basis for my entries. Because I also get many questions from readers that I try to pay to attention to, I get new ideas from them as well. Today, I'm writing this post based on three questions I have received: (1) “Why do you prefer American English to British English?”, (2) “When I hear Americans speaking, I don’t understand them at all. How can I improve my comprehension skills?”, and (3) “Rachel’s English and Pronuncian.com are great, but could you recommend something that does not expand week by week? So, in other words, could you recommend a series of DVD's or a book that can help me develop an American accent?” So let’s get started answering these questions.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Communist Army and the English language



Hi everyone,

I mentioned in my previous entry, I had an adventurous life between graduation in 1986 and beginning college in 1988. After graduation I received an order to serve one year in the Army. In addition I had to serve in the military base furthest from my home. What is the connection between the communist army and the English language? I’m going to tell you. On Friday (January 17th), this story is available in Hungarian as well. Former soldiers are speaking about their experiences in the army on the Hungarian Milstoryblog

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Challenge of English Pronunciation and Spelling


Hi everyone,

Welcome back. Now let’s begin to work seriously. For this post, I'll write about some methods that show the pronunciation of English words in written form. At the same time, I would like to talk about the wall that was built in my brain as a consequence of my first English teacher. Later, other teachers were able to demolish this hindering wall. I'll try to connect different methods with my personal experiences.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Right Notes for TOEFL IBT – Excellent Course from Jaime Miller

Hi everyone,

Some people might think, “Taking notes? Not a big deal! I just write down what I hear.” If you can do that, you’re lucky. Now consider writing down only a small part of what you hear. If you know any shorthand methods , you’re lucky again. Most people don’t know shorthand. You have to take notes as effectively as possible since this is a key factor in your success on the TOEFL  exam which, in turn, can be important in fulfilling your dreams of working or studying in the United States. Jaime’s  excellent course can help you learn how to take notes well.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My successful presentation in English

Hi everyone,

Doing a presentation in front of an audience? It can make anyone nervous. Speaking in a foreign language in front of other people? It’s a challenge even for those people who can speak quite well in any foreign language. Being videotaped? I think everyone begins to behave differently when he or she sees a camera with a little red light glowing on it. Receiving questions after your presentation? Okay, you are prepared well, you know your slides, and you know what you want to say, but you don’t have any idea what questions you'll receive. During my career, I’ve had to make several presentations and now I will tell you about how I did it in the States a couple of months ago.