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7 common English pronunciation mistakes of Vietnamese speakers (Part 2)

In the first part of this article, we have already seen the top 3 common mistakes that prevent Vietnamese learners from speaking correct English. However, there are still a few more mistakes that will prevent you from speaking fluent English. What are they? Let’s take a look.


4. Localization of the English pronunciation

  • Why: There are similar letters and letter combinations in Vietnamese and English, so we apply our Vietnamese pronunciation when we speak English!
  • Example: /ei/ sound being pronounced as “ê” and “ây” in Vietnamese (Okay /əʊ ‘kei/ as “Ô-kê”)


  • How to correct:
    • Spend some time to study the phonetics table. This will enable you to look up how a word should be pronounced using a dictionary.
    • Or, watch videos on how native speakers use their mouths to speak those words.

5. No stress or wrong stress patterns

  • Why: In Vietnamese, we speak all words almost with the same volume! English, on the other hand, is a very musical language – you need to raise your voice up and down or else, native speakers will start complaining that your English is too monotonous and you don’t sound like a native speaker!
  • Exampe: For the word interesting, the correct stress should be placed on “in” /ˈintərəsting/ but many people place it on “res” /intə’rəsting/ instead.
  • How to correct:
    Look up how to stress using a dictionary. There is also a few rules on how to place correct stress patterns that you can learn from. Or, just listen to podcasts, watch videos, meet many native speakers, immerse yourself in the sound of English.

6. No intonation and word connections

  • Why: Many people only practice pronouncing words separately without putting them into a phrase or a sentence.
  • Example: For this sentence She is-a dancer, we usually forget to connect the “s” sound in is with a (/ ʃi – iz – ə -ˈdɑːn.sər/).
  • How to correct: When you practice, don’t just say one word. Put the word into a phase or a sentence, read it slowly then faster.


7. Spending too little time listening

  • Why: A lot of English students think that if you want to excel at speaking, just speak.
    This is true, but not enough. All the skills can be as complementary as you want it to be. Listening is, in fact, very helpful for English speaking learners, especially in getting a natural accent.
  • How to improve: Listen to the voices of native speakers and try to imitate them as similarly as possible.


To sum things up, all these mistakes come down to only one word: habit, habit and habit. Don’t apply what you use in Vietnamese to English. Be open and accept a whole new way of moving your lips, tongue and teeth together. Every time you don’t know how to speak a word, don’t worry. Slow down, try to split the word into smaller parts and pronounce it correctly until it becomes natural to you. Listen as much as you speak, and most importantly, find a good native speaker friend to talk to you and help fix your problems.


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