September 26, 2011

Not Sure How to Say a Word? Let Pronunciation Book Help

We all know that YouTube is composed of 95% cat videos, 4% of random crap from users (like vlogs about ANTM, for example) and about 1% actual helpful information.

A few weeks ago when shooting one a segment for Likes or Yikes? I needed to know how to pronounce the designer Lanvin. I thought I knew how to say it, but I couldn't get anyone in the office around me to confirm that I was correct. After some quick research online my coworker, Michele, stumbled upon the YouTube channel Pronunciation Book, which gives simple, spoken pronunciations for common words that may be a little confusing to say. Luckily for me, Lanvin was one of the words!

Were you saying it correctly? I mean, do you ever actually need to say this word aloud in your everyday life?

Four of the top six most-viewed videos on the channel are beauty/fashion related that may be tricky to the English-speaking individual, like Givenchy, L'Occitane and Hermes. Also up at the top is the berry acai, and the name of pop star Ke$ha, whose dollar sign may confuse those learning English for the first time (or anyone with a brain.)

But speaker, beware! There is also a spoof channel out there called Pronunciation Manual which gives incorrect -- albeit humorous -- pronunciations of commonly misspoken words. Try Onomatopoeia for example: