Improving Foreign Language Pronunciation: Interview with Hacking Chinese on Language is Culture

A few weeks ago, David Mansaray over at Language is Culture asked me if I was interested in appearing in his new interview series focusing on different aspects of language learning. Since the content he had produced earlier looked really interesting and he seemed to be cool guy in general, I didn’t hesitate. After having discussed briefly, we settled on pronunciation as the topic of the interview. You can listen to the interview here:

Everything you Need to Know About Improving Foreign Language Pronunciation

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Naturally, we didn’t talk about everything related to learning pronunciation (just like Hacking Chinese doesn’t actually tell you everything you need to know about learning Chinese), but we did cover a lot of interesting topics, such as:

  • How to train your ears to distinguish similar sounds in a foreign language
  • How to learn the pronunciation of words at the start of your language learning journey
  • The path to sounding like a native (and the reason why most people fail)
  • The best ways to get honest feedback on your pronunciation
  • How to manipulate the production of sound coming out of your mouth
  • How to constantly improve your pronunciation

The interview is about 70 minutes long and you can listen to it directly or download it from Language is Culture.

Some thoughts and reflections

I just listened through the interview myself and I’d like to share a few thoughts:

  • It’s great talking to other people who are also interested in pronunciation
  • It’s very hard to explain complicated topics in a limited amount of time for an imagined audience
  • I want to spend more time improving my own pronunciation, both in English and Chinese
  • I really do believe that the system is heavily stacked against people who don’t learn quickly
  • I have almost no photos of myself available (that was the only one I could find)
  • Pronunciation really is the most interesting part of learning a new language!

What did you think?

 If you listen to the interview, it would be great hearing what you think. Remember, I have (virtually) unlimited amount of space on this website to write more about any of the topics mentioned in the interview, so if you want me to expand on something, let me know! I also think I have a lot to learn when it comes to interviews and creating/contributing audio content in general, so feedback in that area would also be much appreciated!