Harish Jharia

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10 July 2009

Learn English: How To Speak Better English (Speech)

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© Harish Jharia

In the “Third Step to Speaking English (Speech)”, we will discuss the right ways to speak English fluently. Fluency is the most important aspect of our speech for speaking any language and so is in the case in English speaking. Let us discuss the right way for a right speech.

In the “first and second steps to speaking English”, we discussed the importance of thinking and speaking both in English while speaking this language.

By doing so, we would be able to synchronize our mind in order to remove the delay and confusion between the processes of thinking and speaking. Likewise, we develop a natural instinct to speak out appropriate words and sentences that are required for expressing the message that we need to convey.

The main requirements for developing effective speaking power are as follows:
  1. Vocabulary
  2. Proper words and sentences suitable for speech
  3. Expressions and body language
  4. Tone and volume of speech
Vocabulary:

Vocabulary means stock of as many words as possible in our mind. Each word has many synonyms (many words carrying one meaning). We need to increase our vocabulary in order to select the most appropriate word out of many that fits in for a particular expression.

Here are some examples of synonyms of words:
  1. security = safety, refuge, sanctuary, safekeeping, safety measures, defense, protection, precautions
  2. belief = faith, conviction, principle, idea, confidence, trust, certainty, credence
  3. betray = be disloyal to, give up, hand over, let down, deceive
  4. trouble = problem, difficulty, dilemma, mess, nuisance, snag, danger
Proper words and sentences suitable for speech:

For better spoken-English, we should use appropriate words and construct proper sentences for effective expression of the messages that we need to convey.

We should always remember that there is a slight difference in written and spoken English. We speak short forms of some words and make sentences a bit more expressive as compared to that we write.

Here are some examples of written and spoken English sentences:
  1. Written: What is your name?Spoken: What’s your – ‘name’?
  2. Written: My name is Harish.Spoken: I am – ‘Harish’.
  3. Written: Yes!Spoken: That’s ‘right’!
Whenever someone asks us, a question and we need to reply in affirmative then we say, “That’s right!” Rather than saying “Yes.”

We should better say, “What’s” in place of “What is”.

I had an Anglo-Indian friend Joe. One day I asked his son... “What is your name”

The child did not understand my question. Joe asked him the same question in a different way...“What’s your name, dear?”

…and the child looked quite comfortable with his question.

Deviating from written language such ways of abbreviating certain words or the combinations of two words are followed even in other spoken languages. Spoken English thus differs from bookish English.

Expressions and body language:

Gestures and actions are inseparable part of English speaking without which our speech world look dull, ineffective and would not convey the real meaning of your message. Nevertheless, we should be cautious against being loud in our gestures and body language lest we might look funny.

Our speech would be incomplete if we do not synchronies our speech with proper expressions on our face and body language. In other words, we should use facial gestures and actions with our hands etc.

There is a big difference between interaction with somebody and reading a news bulletin on TV.

In a civilized society, we need to express our sympathy facially and verbally if someone conveys something sad. We should follow this protocol in a suitable way, while answering or conveying a message carrying a particular feeling or emotion like exclamation, pleasure, distress, excitement etc.

Tone and volume of speech:

Tone and volume of speech differ from place to place, depending on the dialects spoken in that area, the temperament and social & cultural environment in that area. It even differs between urban and rural parts of the same area.

Almost the same tone and volume for speaking English is followed allover the world. Our tone has to be soft and volume to be moderate while speaking face to face with someone. Nevertheless, the volume may vary with the environment, emotional situation and distance from the listener. However, the tone will continue to be soft, all the time, in all the conditions.

Non-English-speaking people usually pickup styles and vocabulary from English films made in Hollywood or in Hong Kong. Likewise, we also do the same and learn to speak shrieks, shouts, slang and abuses from interactions between bad characters in the films. It is a natural tendency of humans to be aggressive and we too learn aggressive language first with an intention to dominate others.

We should remember that English is spoken among educated masses in non-English-speaking countries. Therefore, we need to learn decent and civilized ways of English speaking. Hence, if we like to pickup English from films, then we should select decent characters in the film for emulating their style of English speaking.

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Read more articles on similar subject: Click on the following links
Discover Life: Speaking English- 1  
Discover Life: Speaking English- 2  
Discover Life: First Step to Speaking English (Words)  
Discover Life: Second Step to Speaking English (Sentences)  
Discover Life: Speaking English (Speech)  
Discover Life: Speaking English (Practice)
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