Phonetics For Pronouncing 'Oscillate'?
A Quick Overview Of Oscillate
How to pronounce oscillate
The '-sci' can be challenging to non-native English speakers because it forms very different sounds in other languages. In English it only makes one sound, and that is 's'. Think of a word like 'science'. The phonetic pronunciation for oscillate is 'o:sɪ:leɪt with the stress on the first syllable. If you get the stress wrong, the word sounds wrong. The audio is with a Received English pronunciation. The 'o' changes slightly in an American accent, but there is no dramatic difference in pronunciation.
How to pronounce oscillated
In the past tense, 'oscillated' you kee the stress on the first syllable, and use the 'i' in 'tip' as a reference along with the audio, so 'o:si:leɪ:tɪd
How to pronounce orphan
In English, the 'ph' is a remnant of Greek spelling from the Pi φ. It is always pronounced as an 'f', for instance, philosophy, Sophia and so on. In 'orphan' the stress is on the first syllable. In the American pronunciation, you will sound the 'r', but other than that and slight variations in the vowel due to accent, the pronunciations are very similar. The phonetic spelling is ɔ(r)ːfn̩. The final 'a' disappears, but in a pinch you can pronounce it like a neutral vowel if that sounds presents a problem, so ɔ(r)ːfən̩. Whatever you do, do not say the the '-an' as in 'fan' because that's wrong. Scroll down for 'orphaned'/
How to pronounce orphaned
The past tense is more challenging to English learners because of the 'nd' sound. The easiest way to deal with this is by associating it with words that you do find easy to pronounce, such as 'find', 'mind' and so on. If you are still struggling, add a subtle 'i' on the second syllable as you do in 'oscillated'. This is the 'i' sound in 'tip' and not the sound in 'find', so: ˈɔːfin̩d. You will see that in practice it's very hard to distinguish whether someone is pronouncing a 'pure' '-nd' sound or a subtle '-ind' sound. Listen to the audio without looking at the phonetics and you will see that you could spell the phonetics either way without pronouncing it incorrectly.
People who find English a trial to learn will be relieved to know that as many English speakers are puzzled by the odd pronunciation rules as learners from other languages. Here is an article where readers answer why there is a 'ph' in 'phonetics' from The Guardian.
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