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How To Pronounce Wednesday

Hindi speakers often have a way of pronouncing the word Wednesday that sounds very distinctive to American English speakers. Native speakers of Hindi often say this word with an extra syllable, and this word contains many of the sounds that American English speakers notice are pronounced very differently than the way that would say it. Let's take a look at how this word might be pronounced by native American English speakers vs native Hindi speakers.

General Pronunciation Information

When Hindi speakers pronounce this word, it often has three syllables.

Syllable breakdown:

Wednesday
WED-nes-day
ˈvednezdei

When American English speakers pronounce this word, it has two syllables.

Syllable breakdown:

Wednesday
WEDNES-day
ˈwɛnzdi

First Syllable

When native speakers of American English say this word, they use the consonant. This sound is made by rounding your two lips and constricting an area towards the back of your mouth known as the velum slightly while air flows through your mouth.

Hindi speakers very frequently say this word with a sound that sounds more like to Americans, although it isn't exactly the same as the sound used in American English, but somewhere between and .

It sound like to Americans because Hindi speakers tend to touch their bottom lip when making it, which is what Americans do when making the sound. Make sure that you aren't touching your bottom lip to your teeth at the beginning of this word and that your lips are rounded, not spread apart, so that it will sound like . For more information, check out our post on how to pronounce V and W.

AE speakers use the vowel in this syllable. Hindi speakers are likely to pronounce this word with the instead. Make sure you say this sound with your lips closer together.

When AE speakers say this sylllable, it Ends in a consonant cluster, n followed by s. Hindi speakers are likely to end this syllable in the retroflex "d" consonant.

This syllable has primary stress. It is longer, louder, has a higher pitch, and contains a vowel, , that does not occur in unstressed syllables.

The Syllable Americans Don't Say

Usually the second syllable for a Hindi speaker who is pronouncing the word Wednesday is some variant of "nes". I'm not going to go into the specifics here, because if you want to sound like an American, you need to not say this syllable at all. Make sure that when pronouncing Wednesday there are only two syllables, not three.

At one time, all of the letters used to write Wednesday would have been pronounced. The means "Odin's day" or "Woden's day". Odin is a Norse God and Woden is his Old English counterpart. Over time, we've stopped pronouncing his name fully when we say the name of the third day of the week.

Last Syllable

Starts with consonant . Americans pronounce this sound with the tip of their tongue touching just behind their teeth and not curved backwards. Hindi speakers often pronounce the "d" by curling their tongue backwards and touching the roof of their mouth. This type of d is called a retroflex d, which is different than the d sound Americans make, which is an alveolar d. This is pronounced without curling the tongue backwards, and touching the tip of the tongue slightly behind but not touching the two front teeth.

American English speakers use the with the diphthong in this syllable, but native Hindi speakers tend to use the vowel /e/ when saying it, because this diphthong, which is a combination of the vowel /e/ and the vowel /i/, doesn't exist in Hindi. To sound more similar to an American, make an effort to quickly slide from the /e/ sound into the /i/ sound.

This syllable has secondary stress. It is shorter, quieter, and has a lower pitch compared to the first syllable of Wednesday.

Summary

The way many native speakers of Hindi pronounce Wednesday is very distinctive, even compared to other non-native speakers of English. Make sure that you pronounce this word with only two syllables, instead of one. You should emphasis the first syllable in this word. If you'd like to continue to change your pronunciation of this word, you could practice your pronunciation of the vowel in the first syllable, as well as making sure the consonants you use are similar to ones a native speaker of American English would use.


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