zeal  熱意

November 15, 2014 =========
☆ zeal  熱意
Do you know this word, zeal? Do you know how to pronounce it? It is pronounced like “steal” or “deal” or “heal.” In the Eigo Techo, we have the phonetic alphabet to help with the pronunciation, but to be honest, most native speakers (me included!) have no idea how these phonetic symbols can help you pronounce a word!! We just don’t learn those symbols.
Sometimes English can be really hard to pronounce right? Words that look the same are pronounced differently, for example “horse” and “worse” (“worse” is an “e” sound.) Then there are the words that look different but are pronounced the same, like “busy” and “dizzy”. Crazy!
So, what do you do if you come across a word you don’t know how to pronounce? You can just guess, or you can ask a native speaker if possible. Another simple solution – the Internet of course! Do a search for “How do I pronounce XX” and you’ll most likely find a YouTube video to help you!
For example, my search on “How do I pronounce zeal” helped me find this:

(It’s about 15 seconds long, and the sound doesn’t start until the 9-second mark.)
By the way, my Irish friend’s name is Niamh, and I had NO IDEA how to say her name, so I checked YouTube, and found the same kind of video – “how to pronounce Irish names”. Ha ha! It’s really amazing what you can find on the Internet… (By the way, her name is pronounced Neev.)