Speech Difficulties

I have talked to 3 Koreans via Skype call before. One of them was my language exchange partner and we had Skype sessions every night for about two weeks. Next is an 언니 who used to practice her English with my brother on Skype. And then there’s our Charley 선생님 for the free Korean classes on Skype. All three of them have one thing in common. They all said that I need more practice to improve my speaking skills.

I’m totally aware that my speaking skills sucks. There are some consonants which I cannot pronounce properly. Mainly because I have an overbite and braces which affect my speech. Consonants which are stressed like ㅉ or not aspirated like ㅈ becomes unintentionally aspirated. For instance, ㅈ and ㅉ turns to ㅊ and ㄷ turns to ㅌ. This often happens when the consonants are in the initial position of a word such as 저는, 짱 and 달. I’m not even sure I’m pronouncing the word 진짜 right. I sometimes think I’m pronouncing it as 친차. I’ve been trying to fix this problem by practicing and recording myself over and over again but no matter what I do, I still hear myself saying ㅊ and ㅌ instead of ㅈ, ㅉ and ㄷ. I guess the only way to fix it is if I fix my overbite first.

What is an overbite? An overbiteis the misalignment of the upper and lower teeth with the former slightly overlapping the latter by a few millimeter which creates space for more air to come out than necessary when I’m pronouncing some consonants thus making it aspirated. To fix my overbite, my dentist said they need to extract two of my upper teeth and continue using braces until my upper teeth recedes and aligns with my lower teeth. I really wanna fix this problem because it’s serving as an obstacle in my Korean learning so I’m planning to head to the dentist within this month. I hope that in a few months my overbite will be fixed and I can finally pronounce the consonants properly with ease. Wish me luck! ^^

Oh boy, the things I do just to acquire Korean. XD

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. – Dale Carnegie 

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  1. I know this post is over 4 monthes old, but if you still get comments, I just wanted to add something.
    Depending on your native language, the unintentional aspiration may just be “natural” to you. I took a linguistics class this past semester, and we learned about phonological rules, including that in English, the first consonant of a syllable is generally aspirated, whereas consonants found elsewhere are not. So, a native English speaker who’s been using this rule for all their life, 20 years or whatever, is going to have a hard time not using the rule. Not to mention, for native English speakers, since aspiration doesn’t change the meaning of a word, it’s a lot harder for us to hear. Since I only took an introductory class, I’m not sure what ways there are to try and combat this in second language acquisition! ㅠㅠ

    1. Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog. ^^

      I’m not a native speaker of the English language. My native language is Filipino but I guess it still applies since in our language, whether a consonant is aspirated or not, it doesn’t really affect the meaning.

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