Why Pronunciation Is Such A Big Deal
But maybe you’re wondering why it’s such a big deal… What’s so bad about having an accent, after all? Who cares if you can’t say something the right way...?
Well, there is one very important reason why you must learn good pronunciation. It’s something no one’s probably told you before:
If you struggle to say something quickly in Russian, then you will also struggle to understand that same phrase when you hear it spoken out loud.
If you struggle to pronounce, you will struggle to understand!
I first studied English in University. Our professor was very serious about pronunciation. We learned about all of the muscles in our mouth. We used mirrors when we practiced new sounds.
We spent the first half of the course pronouncing, “This is that. That is this."
Unfortunately, our entire course lasted only two semesters and we wasted half of it learning how to pronounce “this is that." Did I have a perfect pronunciation by the end? No. Did I sound like a native speaker? Not even close.
Don’t get me wrong, pronunciation is very important. But you have to take the right approach. Pronunciation is a skill. You can choose to polish it forever, or you can just start with the basics.
You don’t need to spend long hours studying how the muscles in your mouth move and try to learn how to make your tongue do the right thing.
It’s really much less complicated. Just think about how children learn to talk. First, they spend a few years practicing. They listen, then repeat, listen, then repeat. Later on, if they still aren’t able to pronounce a sound correctly, they can work with a specialist.
Think like a child. Do it the easy way. Don’t start with complicated charts and guides for perfect pronunciation.