When you say the word “Internet,” do you feel like you say it with confidence? Clearly, like a native English speaker? How about the words “text,” “Facebook,” “Twitter,” “Instagram,” “TikTok,” “Snapchat,” and “meme?” These are some of the most commonly mispronounced Internet and tech words in English!
If you want to sound more like a native English speaker, and speak with more confidence and fluency, then keep reading! Our English linguist, Luke, is going to teach you what’s happening with these commonly mispronounced tech words that makes them so difficult to pronounce. He’ll also show you how you can apply what you learn from these words to other challenging English words.
Commonly Mispronounced Internet and Tech Words in English
The word “Internet” is probably one of the most commonly used tech related words. A lot of students will ask me if they are pronouncing it correctly, because they are pronouncing it the way it is spelled. You know that in English, that is a very good question to ask!
Let’s talk about the first “t” sound. “T” is often deleted when it follows an “n” sound. Words like “interview” are usually pronounced as “innerview.” “Documentary” becomes “documennary.” You will sound more natural if you say “Innernet” instead of pronouncing the first “t” – “Internet.”
Now we have to talk about the second “t” at the end of the word. (You can hear me say this at 3:25 in the video.) We call this last consonant an “unreleased t.” I’m not saying the full “t” sound, stopping the air and then releasing it. I stop the air, but I don’t drop my tongue to release the air.
The same thing happens to the last “t” in the word “text.” We usually just say “tex.”
Bonus Sound – The Letter “X”
Speaking of the word “text,” there’s something very interesting about the letter “x.” It’s one letter pronounced with two sounds – first, a “k” sound, then an “s” sound. This is why some people have a hard time saying words like “text,” because it’s actually three consonant sounds in a row – k, s, and t. And that’s why the final “t” usually is not pronounced. It’s just easier and quicker to say!
More “tech” words that are commonly mispronounced
This is two words put together to make a compound word. Just say them together, more quickly than you would say them individually. The first syllable might be stressed a little more than the second, but not very much.
First, make sure you are saying the first letter, “i,” as a short “i” sound. This is a very common mistake for English learners. If a short “i” sound is pronounced with a long “e” sound, it’s incorrect.
Second, the first “a” isn’t a normal short “a” sound, but it’s the short, quiet “uh” sound. If you’ve heard of the “schwa” sound in English, this is a great example of this very common sound.
Finally, the “a” sound in “-gram” is a very clear, short “a” sound, as in “cat” and “man.”
The short “a” sound is also very important in this word. “SnapChat” has two very clear and well-pronounced short “a” sounds. (Listen to me say it at 4:39 in the video.)
In the first syllable of “TikTok,” we again have the short “i” sound. Just like in the word “Instagram,” be sure to say the short “i,” not the long “e.” In the second syllable, “Tok,” the “o” has a clear short sound, very similar to the vowel sound in “father.” It’s pronounced exactly like the word “talk,” if that helps as well.
We use a long “e” sound for this word, and it also has a silent “e” at the end – “meem.”
This symbol is pronounced exactly like the word “at.”
8. Period (.)
When you see “.” used in a web address, we say “dot.” For example, “GoNaturalEnglish.com” would be pronounced “Go Natural English dot com.” Remember that the “o” in “dot” and “com” has a short sound, as in “hot” or “rock.”
You might know this symbol as a “pound sign” or a “hash” symbol. When we use it with social media like Twitter, it’s called a “hashtag.” If you’re talking on the phone, you might be asked to press the “pound key” or the “hash key.” “#” is the button they are asking you to press. But on social media, it’s referred to as a “hashtag.”
Now that you have some of these commonly mispronounced internet and tech words under your belt, I encourage you to go forth and share with the world your awesome English pronunciation! I know you can do it!
I really hope that these were helpful for you and that you got some good practice! If you’d like to learn more about that “schwa” sound we talked about in “Instagram,” check out this post. You can also learn about our Complete English Program by clicking here. Bye for now and I’ll see you in the next video!