Chinese speakers have problems with vowel sounds in English because the modern Chinese alphabet – the Pinyin– is phonetic meaning they should be pronounced the way they look.
As a consequence, instead of əˈbaʊt they are likely to say æbaʊt. That’s AH-bout instead of UH-bout.
Now there is a very subtle difference in tongue movement so, look at the secret weapon for fixing this. Enter, vowel chart!
The vowel chart, also known as the vowel quadrilateral, is a cross-section of the tongue position in the mouth. It shows you the exact coordinates for vowel sounds. For this example, to make the ə sound, it is a central vowel sound meaning your tongue is in the center of your mouth behind the lower teeth. what about the height? Mid height!
If you say æbaʊt (AH-bout) this is WRONG. But it’s equally important to know the vowel chart position for it so you can adjust it to the correct tongue position.
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