How To Pronounce Any Country in English!
Whoah! Let’s take your mouth to the gym for an English workout! In this lesson, you’ll learn how to pronounce EVERY COUNTRY in English.
Uh-huh…. That’s 193 countries!
The way that you pronounce the names of different countries (including your own!) in English might be different to the way you pronounce they sound in your native language. This can lead to confusion or uncertainty when someone is listening to you in English. So, let’s make sure you are saying country names in English correctly!
I go through these countries in alphabetical order, so you can skip ahead and find the country you are looking for or stay with me for the whole English lesson and practise all of them! That’s a 1-hour pronunciation workout! Are you ready?
Hello, I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! In this video, I’m going to go over the English pronunciation of country names. Now many of you have been asking for a video like this because the way that native English speakers say your country names, can be quite different to the way that you do. And this can be a real challenge for communication. When you’re listening to a native speaker, or when you’re speaking yourself, to make sure that you’re understood.
What’s interesting with country names though, is that on the one hand, there’s the pronunciation of the country name as it’s pronounced by the native population – by the people who live there. Right? It’s their native language!
Now often, English takes that pronunciation and changes it or adapts it a little to make it easier for native English speakers. So on the other hand, sometimes it sounds completely different! And it might also sound slightly different depending on which native English speaker you’re speaking to.
So an Australian might pronounce the same country name slightly different to a Canadian or a British person. Some native English people might pronounce this name or they might say /ɪˈrɑːk/ or they might say /ɪˈrak/. So it depends on their accent.
This lesson will show you how to pronounce all the different country names or the hundred and ninety-three that have been recognised by the United Nations. And you’ll also hear the pronunciation from me, which will help you to improve your listening skills.
So I’ll go through the names in alphabetical order so if you’re curious about a particular country, then you can just skip forward in the video.
Now for my students, I know that this video is going to be long, but I think you should stay with me and practise the whole time, out loud. It’s going to be a huge English gym workout for your mouth. I guarantee that we’ll cover every single English sound in this lesson. Plus it’s a really fantastic opportunity to revise the international phonetic alphabet symbols, the IPA.
Okay? Revise those sounds and what they look like. Alright, are you ready? Let’s do this!
Afghanistan /æfˈɡænɪstan/ /æf ˈgænɪstɑːn/
Now notice the little line there under the vowel. This is the stressed syllable in this word and I’m going to use this line all the way through this lesson to show you which syllable has the main stress in English pronunciation, which vowel is the strongest vowel. You’ll also see it shown in the phonemic script here as well.
Now if you’re wondering what these crazy symbols are that I’ve put over here, then make sure you check out this lesson if you’re curious to find out, you want to learn more about the international phonetic alphabet to help you improve your pronunciation, check it out here.
Notice that the stressed syllable is the /eɪ/ as in ‘day’ vowel sound.
It’s the same stress pattern as ‘Albania’. It’s the /dʒ/ consonant sound.
So that stressed syllable is /ɔː/ as in ‘door’.
Again, it’s that same stress pattern. The stress is on the second syllable but notice as well that the consonant sound /ŋ/ is there instead of /n/
Antigua and Barbuda /ænˌtiːɡə ən bɑːˈbuːdə/
I’m a little nervous about this one because I’m not very good at saying it in English but let’s break it down together.
The second syllable is the stressed syllable in the first word, it’s the long /i/ sound. And the last two vowel letters are actually unstressed, they make just one sound, the schwa. The ‘and’ is reduced to /ən/. So there are two long vowel sounds here, /a/ and /u/ but it’s the second one that’s stressed so it’s pronounced a little more strong, a little clearer.
And finally, the last syllable is an unstressed syllable.
So the stress is on the third syllable this time. So Argentinians and Spanish speakers, notice that in English we use the /dʒ/ consonant sound not the /h/ sound. Of course, you don’t need to change your pronunciation to be understood but to reduce your accent, you would try to pronounce the /dʒ/ sound.
Can you hear the stressed syllable there?
So the main stress is on the second syllable. That’s the /eɪ/ as in ‘day’ vowel sound. I come from Australia! And since this is my home country, I’ll give you a couple of extra tips. Many Australians are pretty lazy with their pronunciation and with their syllable stress. So you’ll probably just hear ‘Austraya’. So the final /lɪə/ is reduced to /j/ (‘ya’)
And sometimes, even the first syllable gets completely dropped. So instead of ‘Australia’ it’s ‘Straya’. So that’s just a bit of insider knowledge for you!
Now very similar is ‘Austria’. But you’ll hear that the stress pattern is different, okay? The stress pattern puts the stress on the first syllable. Okay, the first syllable is stressed.
So the stressed syllable here is actually the last one. Now I always thought it was /ʒ/ as in ‘vision’ not /dʒ/ as in ‘jam’. But there you have it! I was pronounce it wrong!
Whoop! We’re already up to B!
Usually said, ‘The Bahamas’. So the stress is on the second syllable there.
Now, the long vowel sound is actually in the first syllable but the second syllable is the one that’s stressed.
Now I know I’ve got a lot of students watching in Bangladesh so hello to all of you in Bangladesh! The main stress here in English is on the final syllable. But notice that the first syllable also has a stress as well. That middle syllable reduces down to the schwa.
So there’s a long vowel sound in the first syllable but the stress is on the second syllable. And notice that the two A’s are actually pronounced differently.
The middle syllable is unstressed and it reduces to become the schwa sound. So the main stress is on the final syllable.
The stress is on the first syllable. And the ‘I’ and the ‘U’ create the unstressed vowel sound, the schwa in the second syllable.
So hear how that stressed vowel sound is a long vowel sound in the second syllable. And we’re finishing with that /z/ consonant sound.
Again, hear that long vowel sound in the second syllable. It’s unusual for the letter ‘I’ to be pronounced like that but here we have it.
So again, there’s a long vowel sound in the first syllable. But the second syllable is the stressed one.
The first syllable is unstressed. It’s very low in pitch. The stress is on the second syllable.
Bosnia and Herzegovnia /ˈbɒznɪə/ /ənd/ /ˌhɛːtsəˈɡɒvɪnə/
‘Bos-‘ is the strong syllable there. Two syllables are easy! What about five?
Hear the /t/ sound that’s added there? That’s the stressed syllable. It’s quite a mouthful!
So the stress here is on the second syllable. So it’s a little tricky thanks to all of those consonant sounds there.
I also know I’ve got a lot of students watching from Brazil too so hello to all of you! In English, we really hit the final /l/ consonant sound there in ‘Brazil’. So the unstressed schwa sound is heard in the first syllable but the stressed sound is on the second syllable.
So the first syllable has a longer sound but it’s the second syllable that’s stressed. It’s an unstressed syllable.
‘Bul’ – it’s an unstressed syllable. The second syllable there is the stressed syllable.
Burkina Faso /bɜː(r)ˌkiːnə ˈfæsəʊ/
The stress there is on the second syllable.
So we hear the /ʊ/ as in ‘book’ vowel sound there. You hear it twice, actually. The second syllable is the stressed syllable though.
The stress is on the second syllable there. It’s the /əʊ/ in ‘go’ vowel sound.
So the stress there is on the final syllable, it’s the long vowel sound.
The stress is on the first syllable and see how the second one’s reduced to the schwa sound, the unstressed sound.
It’s probably one of the easiest country names to pronounce and the people in Canada are also lovely. They are the nicest, most polite people that I’ve ever come across. So, easy to say their name, very kind people – probably worth a visit!]
Cape Verde Islands /ˌkeɪp ˈvəːd ˌaɪləndz/
So the final ‘E’ on ‘Verde’ here is silent when spoken in English. And there’s that plural ‘Islands’ again. It comes up all the time when you’re talking about countries, doesn’t it? Comes up very frequently.
It’s the /aɪ/ as in ‘my’ or ‘sky’ vowel sound. And it’s followed by the unstressed vowel sound, the schwa. And notice that the plural ‘S’ is actually pronounce as a voiced /z/ sound.
Central African Republic /ˌsentrəl ˌæfrɪkən rɪp’ʌblɪk/
Three words. ‘Central’ – the first syllable there is stressed. ‘African’ – the first syllable again, the second to reduce. So can you hear that in ‘Republic’ it’s the second syllable that’s stressed? The first syllable reduces right down, it becomes the schwa.
We’re moving on to the ‘ch’ consonant sound here. So bring the corners of your mouth in a little and flare your lips to make this sound.
Now, most English speakers will say ‘Chile’ rather than ‘Chile’ though those that have actually visited Chile are probably likely to pronounce it bit more like the locals.
Again, we have the ‘ch’ consonant sound. The consonant sound is followed by the /aɪ/ vowel sound, /aɪ/ as in ‘my’. And then we have the final unstressed syllable. Unstressed.
Colombia /kəˈlɒmbɪə/ /kəˈlʌmbiə/
Native English speakers will say both but the stress is on the second syllable.
So the stress here is on the first syllable.
Republic of the Congo /rɪˌpʌblɪk əv ðə ˈkɒŋgəʊ/
Again, we learnt this one before. ‘Republic’ and it’s followed by two unstressed words (they reduce down). ‘Congo’ – so the stress there is on the first syllable.
Democratic Republic of the Congo /demə’krætɪk rɪˌpʌblɪk əv ðə ˈkɒŋgəʊ/
Now right next door to the Republic of the Congo is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. So that stress there, can you hear it?
Costa Rica /ˌkɒstə ˈriːkə/
So both unstressed syllables are schwa sounds there.
Ivory Coast /ˌaɪvəri ˈkəʊst/
So again we have the /aɪ/ as in ‘my’ vowel sound here. So we have a short syllable following.
So this is the /əʊ/ as in ‘go’ vowel sound.
Again, the /əʊ/ as in ‘go’ vowel sound. So the middle syllable is the stressed one here. And again, the /eɪ / as in ‘day’ vowel sound.
So remember, this is the English pronunciation of this word. Notice the /j/ sound that’s included.
It’s the consonant letter ‘Y’ that creates the stressed vowel sound here. The second syllable is shorter and lower in pitch.
Czech Republic /ˌtʃek rɪˈpʌblɪk/
This one’s tricky for native English speakers too! The first word, ‘Czech’ sounds exactly like that word ‘check’.
So we went over ‘Republic’ a few countries ago. And the stressed syllable there is the second syllable. And it’s often used with the article ‘the’. The Czech Republic.
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea /demə’krætɪk ˈpiːp(ə)lz rɪˌpʌblɪk əv kəˈriːə/
So there’s quite a few words here, but let’s focus on the stress. So we have the unstressed form of ‘of’. It’s low in pitch. It kind of links to the end of ‘Republic’.
So the middle syllable is stressed there. The other two reduce to the schwa sound.
Also known as North Korea /ˌnɔː(r)θ kəˈriːə/ . So that’s the /ɔː/ vowel sound followed by the unvoiced ‘-th’ consonant sound. Push that air out through your mouth.
The first syllable is stressed, it’s the strongest.
That’s the /dʒ/ as in ‘jam’ consonant sound. And the /u:/ as in ‘food’ vowel sound.
Now be careful here, the stress is actually on the third syllable. It’s the long /i/ vowel sound, as in ‘she’. So the other syllables reduce down.
Dominican Republic /dəˈmɪnɪkən/ /rɪˈpʌblɪk/
So there’s a little stress change there between the two that are very similar. There’s a stress change, now we’re stressing the second syllable and the others become short and fast.
East Timor /iːst ˈtiːmɔː/
So that’s the long /i/ vowel sound in ‘East’. So the stress is on the first syllable but note that there’s a linking between these two words that happens when English is spoken because ‘East’ ends in the same consonant sound that ‘Timor’ starts with. We can push those words together and we only pronounce the /t/ sound once.
So can you hear that stress? It’s on the first syllable. So that last syllable is the /ɔː/ as in ‘door’ vowel sound.
So there’s the long /i/ vowel sound followed by the /dʒ/ consonant sound. Now don’t forget the last consonant sound, the /t/. So listen out for the final two consonants, they are both there – though the /p/ reduces a little and it’s without the air pushing.
El Salvador /el ˈsælvədɔː/
So in English, we hear that /v/ consonant sound clearly. Make sure that your teeth are touching your bottom lip to make that sound.
Equatorial Guinea /ekwəˌtɔːrɪəl ˈɡɪni/
Where is the stress there? It’s the third syllable.
Now don’t worry about all of the vowel letters in the second word, it’s simply pronounced ‘Guinea’.
So the third syllable is the stressed one. The others reduce down.
So that stressed syllable there is the second one. The /əʊ/ vowel sound as in ‘go’.
So the third syllable there is actually the strongest.
It’s the long /i/ vowel sound. So the consonant sound /dʒ/
So the first syllable is stressed and the second syllable is unstressed so that vowel sound reduces down.
Notice that it is an unvoiced /s/ consonant sound at the end there.
The second syllable there is the stressed one. The first one reduces to the schwa.
The Gambia /ðə gæmbiə/
So we have the unstressed ‘The’. ‘Gambia’ – so that first syllable there is the strongest one.
So starting with the /dʒ/ consonant sound, /dʒ/ as in ‘jam’ then the /ɔː/ vowel sound. Then we have the second syllable which includes the unstressed schwa sound.
Same consonant sound again. So we have the same vowel sound and the first syllable is the stressed syllable. That’s the /ɜː/ as in ‘her’ vowel sound. The two second syllables are reduced and unstressed.
The first syllable is stressed, the second one unstressed.
Oh my gosh, we’re up to ‘Greece’. If you haven’t been to Greece, you have to go! It is one of the most beautiful palces that I’ve ever been. And the food! I’m just dreaming of a European summer right now, it’s cold here in Australia!
So we have one long sound of the vowel sound here because there is just one syllable.
Watch that middle syllable there, the stressed one. The sound is the /eɪ/ vowel sound like in ‘day’.
So we’ve got four syllables here and the third one is stressed.
Now we’ve already talked about ‘Guinea’ with ‘Equatorial Guinea’ so remember that you don’t need to worry about all of the vowel letters here, okay? It’s just pronounced ‘Guinea’.
Guinea-Bissau /ˈɡɪni bɪˈsaʊ/
And here we have it again, so the stress is on the last syllable in the second word. It’s the /aʊ/ as in ‘now’ vowel sound.
The stress here is on the second syllable. But the first syllable also includes a stronger vowel sound.
So here the ‘ai’ is pronounced as /eɪ/ in the same way as ‘day’. It’s the same vowel sound.
So the stress there is on the second syllable – also the most trickiest.
Notice the little extra syllable there, so it sounds different from the adjective ‘hungry’.
So that’s the firsts syllable that’s stressed /aɪ/ as in ‘buy’ or ‘my’. The next syllable is unstressed. You hear the schwa sound.
The stress there is on the first syllable. I know I’ve got a lot of students watching in India as well so I’m really pleased to say hello to all of you!
So here, we’ve got the third syllable stressed. So that’s the /ʒ/ consonant sound like in ‘vision’.
Now, Indonesians will probably pronounce that as ‘Indonesia’ so that /s/ consonant sound is different.
Indonesia is also a beautiful country to visit for a holiday.
Iran /ɪˈrɑːn/ /ɪˈran/
So the second syllable is where the stress is and the vowel sound might be slightly different.
Iraq /ɪˈrɑːk/ /ɪˈrak/
Same for ‘Iraq’.
So, this is a little tricky. It’s pronounced slightly different to ‘island’. There’s an extra schwa sound in there. Notice that I don’t pronounce that /r/ there but Irish English speakers will, they will pronounce ‘Ireland’ – there’s my rubbish Irish accent but note that there will be distinctions between native English accents and that’s one of them.
Anyway if you want to practise with an Irish accent, practise pronounce that /r/
That first syllable is the stressed syllable, the other two reduce.
Okay, let’s take a break! Quick ad break, grab a mouthful of water, shake things up a little bit and relax. Then come back and join me for the letter J.
So that’s the /dʒ/ as in ‘jam’ consonant sound. The second syllable is the stressed one and the others reduce. So that’s the /eɪ/ as in ‘day’ vowel sound.
Again, we have the /dʒ/ consonant sound followed by the schwa which tells us that the first syllable is unstressed. So that’s the /æ/ as in ‘apple’ – strong vowel sound in the second syllable.
Again, the /dʒ/ consonant sound followed by the /ɔː/ vowel sound, /ɔː/ as in ‘door’. The second syllable is unstressed.
So the stress there is on the final syllable. And there’s quite a few countries that end with this suffix, ‘-stan’. Okay so you’ll hear native English speakers pronouncing it either /stæn/ or /sta:n/
So that stress is on the first syllable.
The third syllable is the stressed one.
That’s the /ʊ/ as in ‘book’ vowel sound. The /eɪ vowel sound.
So you’ll see that the third syllable is the stressed syllable. But the first syllable is also quite strong, it’s a secondary stress.
This is the /aʊ/ as in ‘now’ vowel sound.
The first syllable is the stressed one.
The first syllable is stressed and the second and third syllables are unstressed.
Okay this one, I have been saying incorrectly for my entire life! So the stress is on the second syllable there. That’s the /u: as in ‘zoo’ vowel sound.
And the ‘-th’ you don’t need to pronounce as a /th/ sound.
So the first syllable is the /aɪ/ as in ‘buy’ vowel sound. So the second syllable is stressed and it has the /ɪe/ as in ‘here’ vowel sound.
So the first syllable there is the strongest as well.
‘Liech-‘ is the strongest syllable, ‘-stein’ – that’s the /aɪ/ as in ‘buy’ vowel sound.
So it’s the third syllable that’s stressed.
So we have the /ks/ consonant sounds together. So that last syllable there, is pronounced – the vowel sound is pronounced /ɜː/ as in ‘her’.
So we have a couple of stressed syllables here but the third one is the strongest. The first syllable is also quite strong.
So the middle syllable there is the stressed one, the strongest syllable.
The second syllable there is the stressed one. The other two are unstressed syllables, so they reduce. And just like ‘Indonesia’, you’ll hear the /ʒ/ consonant sound, /ʒ as in ‘vision’.
I used to live in Malaysia actually, in Penang. Also delicious food! Lots of beautiful places to visit too, I recommend it.
The /ɔː/ as in ‘door’ vowel sound is the stressed sound. Then you hear the long /i/ vowel sound in the second syllable.
Gosh The Maldives is one place that I would love to visit! Have you ever been? I hear it’s quite expensive but maybe that’s why people go there for their honeymoon. But it’s on my bucket list, I really want to go!
So that long /ɑ:/ vowel sound is the stressed sound.
Malta /ˈmɒltə/ /ˈmɔːltə/
Now you might hear the vowel sound in that stressed syllable pronounced sightly differently by different native English speakers.
Marshall Islands /ˈmɑːʃəl ˌaɪləndz/
So ‘Mar-‘ is the stressed syllable and then you’re adding the /ʃ/ consonant sound.
So that stressed syllable there is the third, the /eɪ/ as in ‘day’ vowel sound. And we can hear the first sound quite clearly too.
So the first syllable is unstressed, you can see that it reduces to the schwa. So there’s the stressed syllable. So hear as well, how the third syllable reduces down to the schwa.
Okay now in English, it’s ‘Mexico’ – another place on my bucket list! Watch out for the consonant cluster here in the English pronunciation, you have /ks/. Okay that last syllable uses the /əʊ/ as in ‘go’ vowel sound.
Now think back to ‘Indonesia’, this is very similar, right? It’s the same stress pattern. /ʒ/ is the consonant sound there. Okay it’s that long vowel sound.
So we’ve got two letter O’s here but they’re pronounced differently. The main stress, in the second syllable is pronounced as /əʊ/ like the verb ‘go’
So the first syllable is stressed and the second syllable relaxes to become the schwa.
So the second syllable there is stressed.
The third syllable there is stressed. You can hear that the first one is also quite strong. And that final syllable there is the /əʊ/ as in ‘go’ sound.
So the second syllable there is the stressed one. So that final syllable is the /əʊ/ vowel sound but the stress syllable in the middle is the short sound.
So the first syllable, we have the /əʊ/ vowel sound. And the last syllable is the stressed syllable. It’s louder and clearer. The long /i/ vowel sound.
This is actually an interesting word for native English speakers to try and pronounce because the /m/ and j/ consonant sounds don’t often appear together in English. But it’s the second syllable that is stressed.
Can you hear that second syllable is the stressed one?
Three syllables here and the second one is stressed. So if there are any Australians watching at this point, our neighbours, our little neighbours must be pretty sick of us calling their country ‘Naahhru’, it’s ‘Nauru’.
So it’s the second syllable that’s stressed here and the vowel is the /ɔː as in ‘door’ vowel sound.
The Netherlands /ðə ˈneðələndz/
So we have an unstressed ‘The’ followed by the stressed syllable. And then followed by the voiced consonant sound.
New Zealand /njuː ˈziːlənd/
Can you see that extra /j/ there that’s included in the word ‘New’? Try to make sure that you can hear that word. Then the second word, ‘Zealand’ has the first syllable stressed.
You’ll hear lots of English pronunciations of this one which is quite different from the way that Nicaraguans actually pronounce their country name. But this is how English speakers usually pronounce it.
Niger /niːˈʒeər/ /ˈnaɪ.dʒɚ/
Okay so there is two different pronunciations that you’ll hear native English speakers using. /niːˈʒeər/ is much closer to the French pronunciation of this word which I think makes it a little more correct but you’ll hear /ˈnaɪ.dʒɚ/ quite a lot, as well. And that might be because of ‘Nigeria’.
You hear the second syllable stressed, that’s the /ɪe/ as in ‘here’ vowel sound.
So for ‘Norway’, you’ll hear the first syllable stressed. It’s much louder and much stronger than the second one.
The second syllable has the strongest stress and it’s the longer vowel sound. /ɑː/ like in ‘father’.
So again, you’ll hear the stressed syllable pronounced slightly differently depending on which native speaker you’re listening to but you’ll hear a strong first syllable and the main third syllable stressed.
See the unstressed syllable at the start. And the stronger ‘-lau’ as the second syllable.
The first and the last syllables there are quite strong.
Papua New Guinea /ˌpæpuə njuː ˈgɪni/
So the first word has three syllables. Again, lots of vowel letters in that last word but it’s just pronounced ‘Guinea’.
So the first syllable is stressed and the third syllable is quite interesting.
Another place on my bucket list. First syllable unstressed. Second syllable stressed.
So in English, the ‘-ph’ makes the /f/ consonant sound. THe first two syllables are very short and fast. It’s the /f/ voiced consonant sound.
So here, in the first stressed syllable we have the /əʊ/ as in ‘go’ vowel sound.
Another beautiful country! So that’s the /ɔː as in ‘door’ sound in the first and stressed syllable. That’s an unstressed syllable at the end. Very low in pitch.
Qatar /kaˈtɑː/ /ˈkʌtə/
/kaˈtɑː/ or /ˈkʌtə/ depending on which English speaker you hear! So the stress changes there.
Now the main stress is on the second syllable, so it’s /eɪ/ as in ‘day’ and the first syllable is unstressed so it reduces right down. Sometimes to the schwa.
The stress is on the first syllable there and it is a short vowel sound, the /ʌ/ vowel sound as in ‘up’. Followed by – so the double S here, ‘S-S-I-A’ makes the /ʃ/ consonant sound. That’s the unstressed schwa sound at the end.
So the first syllable you have the /u:/ as in ‘shoe’ vowel sound but the second syllable is stressed.
Saint Kitts and Nevis /sənt ˌkɪts ən ˈniːvɪs/
So for ‘Saint’ it’s often said quite quickly. Hear how ‘and’ reduces and links to the consonant sound before it. That’s a longer vowel sound thee on the first syllable.
St Lucia /sənt ˈluːʃə/
The stress on the first syllable, then ‘-cia’ is pronounced.
St Vincent and the Grenadines /sənt ˌvɪns(ə)nt ən ðə ˌgrenəˈdiːnz/
Again we can link that vowel sound to the consonant sound. ‘-dines’ is the stressed syllable there.
That stressed syllable is the /əʊ/ as in ‘go’ vowel sound.
San Marino /ˌsæn məˈriːnəʊ/
So the stress there is on ‘-rino’
Sao Tome and Principe /saʊ təˌmeɪ ən ˈprɪnsɪpeɪ/
Now I have to admit that I’m not the best person to pronounce this correctly but as a native English speaker who doesn’t speak Portuguese, I’m going to give it my best shot!
So we have ‘Sao’, that’s the /aʊ/ as in ‘now’ vowel sound. So that is unstressed, you can see the schwa there. ‘-me’ is stressed, sounds like /eɪ as in ‘day’. It kind of rhymes!
Saudi Arabia /ˌsaʊdi əˈreɪbiə/
So you have the stressed syllable in ‘Arabia’.
So the last syllable here is the stressed syllable. It’s the /ɔː as in ‘door’ vowel sound.
So that stress is on the first syllable.
Now the second syllable is actually the stressed one. Sounds a lot like ‘shells’. And don’t forget the plural /z/ sound at the end.
Sierra Leone /siˌerə liˈəʊn/
Now it’s actually the last syllable that’s stressed there. It’s the /əʊ/ as in ‘go’ vowel sound.
It’s the first syllable that’s stressed. We have that /ŋ/ consonant sound. That unstressed vowel sound.
You can hear that stress is on the second syllable.
It has the same stress pattern. It’s that long /i/ vowel sound.
Solomon Islands /ˈsɒləmən ˌaɪləndz/
So the stress there is on the first syllable. You can see how the other two syllables in ‘Solomon’ reduce to the schwa.
The second syllable is the strongest.
South Africa /saʊθ ˈæfrɪkə/
So in the first word we have the /aʊ/ as in ‘now’ vowel sound and the unvoiced ‘-th’ is the strongest syllable in ‘Africa’. And the consonant and the vowel sound can link together.
South Korea /saʊθ kəˈriə/
So we have ‘South’, So that’s the second syllable that’s stressed there. I’m pretty excited! I’m visiting South Korea next week and it’s my first time to visit South Korea. I’m going to Seoul, the capital. So I think that street food is pretty amazing there in South Korea so I’m going to eat as much as I can while I’m there and I’ll report back.
South Sudan /saʊθ/ /suːˈdɑːn/
So the second syllable there is the stressed one.
Spain – also delicious food oh my gosh. This video is making me hungry! ‘Spain’ has the /eɪ as in ‘day’ vowel sound. Notice that the consonant is the /n/ consonant, okay?
Sri Lanka /ˌsri ˈlæŋkə/
‘Sri’ is unstressed so it’s quite short and low in pitch. But our main syllable, the stressed syllable is ‘Lan-‘
We went over this one a few minutes ago.
Now this first vowel sound is quite an uncommon one, it’s the /ʊə/ as in ‘tour’ vowel sound. And the last syllable is the stressed syllable.
Now I just found out that only a few months ago did this country name change! And now it’s not called Swaziland, it’s known as The Kingdom of eSwatini. SO forget Swaziland, it’s The Kingdom of eSwatini now.
So that stressed syllable is the first syllable and it’s a long vowel sound.
So our strongest syllable is ‘Swi-‘. It’s a short vowel sound but we have the consonant cluster.
The Y makes a short vowel sound.
So the main stress here, like all of the other ‘-stans’ is on the last syllable but we can also hear the first syllable clearly.
So here, we’ve got the third syllable is stressed. It’s a short vowel sound but it’s the strongest.
Now the ‘-th’ doesn’t make the usual sound here. So in English, actually we pronounce ‘Thailand’ with a stress on the first syllable. Thai people usually stress the second syllable.
Another beautiful country with delicious food!
So we have the same vowel sound that’s repeated, it’s the /əʊ/ in ‘go’ vowel sound.
The stress is on the first syllable with the second syllable being the reduced schwa sound.
Trinidad and Tobago /ˌtrɪnɪdæd ən təˈbeɪgəʊ/
‘Trinidad’ – so that’s all short vowel sounds. The reduced ‘and’ sound and ‘Tobago’ – that’s the /eɪ / as in ‘day’ vowel sound.
So notice here the /j/ consonant sound.
The stressed syllable is the first one and it’s the /ɜː/ as in ‘her’ vowel sound.
So again, we’re starting with the /ɜː/ vowel sound here. Now ‘-men’ is the secondary stress here so we hear it a little more clearly.
‘-stan’ is the strongest syllable.
The second syllable is the strong one and they’re all long vowel sounds.
We have that /ju:/ sound there. The second syllable is stressed.
Again, we have that /ju:/ pronunciation. The second syllable is the stressed one. It’s the /eɪ/ as in ‘day’ vowel sound.
United Arab Emirates /juːˌnʌɪtɪd arəb ˈɛmɪrəts/
The stress in ‘Emirates’ is on the first syllable.
United Kingdom /juːˌnʌɪtɪd ˈkɪŋdəm/
Now of course the United Kingdom is made up of:
and Northern Ireland.
And I want to highlight ‘England’ because some of my students – particularly my Chinese and Korean students – they have trouble with the first vowel sound in ‘England’. It’s a short /ɪ/. Okay so focus on that short /ɪ/ sound. Notice how the second syllable reduces to the schwa.
United States of America /juːˌnaɪtɪd ˌsteɪts əv əˈmerɪkə/
We’ve been over this one. So ‘States’ has the /eɪ/ as in ‘day’ vowel sound. ‘of’ – reduced sound there. ‘America’ – it’s that second syllable that’s stressed and strongest.
So you can hear at the end there that that ‘ay’ is pronounced as /aɪ/ like ‘bye’
It’s the /ʊ/ as in ‘book’ vowel sound at the start. So ‘-bek’ is the second stress’, ‘-stan’ is the strongest stress.
That third syllable is the stressed one.
Notice that in English, the pronunciation of that V is /v/
Again that /j/ sound but the stress is on the first syllable.
The first syllable is stressed.
The second syllable is the strong one.
We made it! If you stayed with me the whole way through that lesson, give yourself a huge pat on the back. That was insane! I’m completely exhausted now.
But keep in mind that this is the standard English pronunciation of these countries in my Australian accent. So there’s definitely going to be variations when you listen to pronunciation between native English speakers. But learning and practising the English pronunciation with me is going to help you to communicate a little more clearly and to help your listening skills as well.
I need a glass of water. I need to drink about three of those, I’m sure you do too.
This has been such a great pronunciation practice lesson. It’s literally like taking your mouth to the gym for a workout, I think you probably need about give minutes break before I send you to another video so I won’t recommend any just yet.
But please do hit that subscribe button if you haven’t done so already. You definitely have earned new lessons from mmmEnglish just by sticking around through that whole lesson so make sure you click that button. Click the little bell button so that you get notified whenever I release a new lesson for you.
Thanks for watching and thanks for working so hard with me today. You’re amazing! Thanks for watching and I will see you next week. Bye for now!
Links mentioned in the video
Silent Letters | English Pronunciation & Vocabulary | PART 1
How to get a better English accent! 👄 DAILY PRACTICE!
How to Say 20 Business English Verbs CORRECTLY!