Since this blog focuses on pronunciation, and the way that native Hindi speakers say "pronounce" and "pronunciation" is often noticeably different than native speakers of American English, I figured it'd be a good idea to go over the pronunciation of these words.
Let's start with the verb form, pronounce.
The word pronounce has two syllables, and is stressed on the second syllable.
The first syllable of pronounce is "pro". It starts with the /p/ sound. American English speakers might say this differently than Indian English speakers. In American English, words that begin with /p/, /t/, or /k/ are aspirated -- they are pronounced with a big puff of air. Indian speakers are less likely to do this. Make sure when you say this word you create a large puff of air after you say the /p/.
The next sound in this syllable is /r/. American English speakers use the alveolar "r" sound, not the retroflex "r" sound. Don't turn the tip of the tongue backwards and touch the tip to the roof of your mouth. Point your tongue tip slightly behind your two front teeth, don't touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and bunch up the middle of your tongue making this sound instead.
American English speakers generally pronounce this syllable using the schwa vowel, instead of the full o vowel or the diphthong o sound. When Hindi speakers say this syllable, they often don't use a schwa, but instead they use a full "o" sound. Try to make this syllable shorter and quieter when you say it, so that the second syllable sounds out more.
Both native speakers of Hindi and American English speakers use a similar "n" sound when saying this syllable. Americans pronounce the second syllable with the ou diphthong.
There are five syllables in the word pronunciation, and the fourth syllable receives the most emphasis.
The first syllable of pronunciation is pro. Make sure that the the p sound used is the aspirated p, made with a big puff of air. If you don't make a big puff of air when you say this /p/, it might throw off American speakers, and they might even perceive that you are saying "b" instead, because "p" and "b" are similar sounds, and Americans don't pronounce "b" with a big puff of air when it is at the beginning of a word.
The "r" sound in this syllable should be the alveolar "r" sound of American English, not the retroflex "r" sound. Don't turn the tip of your tongue backwards and touch the tip to the roof of your mouth. Instead, point your tongue tip slightly behind your two front teeth, don't touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and bunch up the middle of your tongue making this sound instead.
Americans generally pronounce this syllable with the