Good alif-ba-ta, good English
“I nak speak English..tapi takut salah sebut..malu.”
“Lidah dah keras laa..”
As English coaches, we’ve heard these scripts one too many, especially when conducting courses for adults. Of course, such script is uttered jokingly and we will end up laughing and poking fun at one another.
Anyway, there’s no way one’s tongue can be ‘keras’ or ‘pendek’ – ‘bercabang’ maybe!
So now, is there a way to beautify our pronunciation when learning another language? Mandarin, Tamil, Spanish, Japanese, etc.
In other words, how can we pronounce words like a native speaker? Surely we cannot sound EXACTLY like them, but it is very possible to be ‘quite’ like them. Near-native speakers.
The best way to practice is (for Muslims who recite Quran daily) is to keep reciting Quran with good tajwid and through proper makhraj (tempat keluar bunyi huruf).
Why? From alif until ya’, our mouth is conditioned to produce sounds from various places and tongue positions and vibrations. We have ‘ha’ pedas, ‘ha’ bulat and kha.
We have ‘thaa’ and ‘siin’.
We have ‘alif’ and ‘ain’.
Even the thickness and thinness of ‘ra’ also varies according to ‘baris’ right?
In a nutshell, be grateful that we are Muslims. Through proper makhraj training, we can be good not only at English, but any other language in the world. Bravo!
ps: SPOKEN ENGLISH PLAYSHOP for EDUCATORS at ADNI PreSchool. How fortunate for the kids to get such ‘sporting’ and Muslimah teachers there!