Consonant Sound / dʒ / as in “job” – American English Pronunciation
March 6, 2020
Hello there! This is the “Sounds American” channel. In this video, we’re going to talk about the American consonant sound /dʒ/, as in the word “job.” You can also hear this sound in words like “gym” – “judge” – “June” or “soldier.” We’ll be using special phonetic symbols – /dʒ/ – for this sound. You might recognize these two symbols, especially if you watched our previous videos. That’s right, the /dʒ/ actually consists of two consonants: the stop sound /d/ and the fricative sound /ʒ/. We’ve talked about these sounds on our Sounds American channel. There’s a reason why we’re doing it again. Here it goes: this video is about how the two single sounds /d/ and /ʒ/ merge into an entirely different consonant sound /dʒ/. The /dʒ/ is one of two consonant sounds in American English that are made this way. They’re called “affricates”. So, what is an affricate sound? The affricates are made by first stopping the airstream and then releasing it through a narrow passage in your mouth with an audible friction At this point, we usually explain why this sound is important for your American accent. Know what? Let’s skip this part and have some fun instead. Take a look at this sentence and try to pronounce it aloud: Was it hard? Yes, it was 😉 Who comes up with this stuff, anyway? We’ll get back to this awesome tongue twister again at the end of this video. And now let’s find out how to make the /dʒ/ consonant. OK, as we mentioned a minute ago, to make the /dʒ/ sound, you need to merge the stop /d/ with the fricative /ʒ/ into one sound. First, slightly open your mouth and push out your lips. Now, focus on your tongue. Place the tip of your tongue on the alveolar ridge behind your upper front teeth. Just as you do to make the /d/ sound. This way you stop the air. Now, to release the air, arch your tongue so it’s near the roof of your mouth. The same way as you do when you make the /ʒ/ sound. Make sure that you don’t touch the roof of your mouth and there’s a small gap for the air stream. When you release the air through this gap, it’ll flow with lots of noise: The /dʒ/ is a voiced sound, so don’t forget to add your voice. Does that sound like a lot? Don’t worry, let’s watch it again in slow motion. Remember, the /dʒ/ is an affricate sound, so it’s important to completely stop the air in your mouth and then immediately release it with friction. Now, let’s try and merge the /d/ and the /ʒ/ sounds together: Here are a few typical mistakes that people make when pronouncing this sound. The most common problem is that non-native English speakers devoice the /dʒ/ consonant, especially when it occurs at the end of words. Often, people don’t realize that they pronounce the voiceless /tʃ/ sound instead. Compare: Remember, it may be okay in other languages, but American voiced consonants are never devoiced at the end of words. By the way, don’t forget to lengthen the vowel before the /dʒ/ sound! The /dʒ/ is a voiced consonant, so vowel sounds before the /dʒ/are typically longer than before its voiceless counterpart, the consonant sound /tʃ/. Compare: This is called the Vowel Length rule and we talked about it in detail in one of our videos. As usual, you can find the link in the Description box below. Another common problem is that many non-native English speakers confuse the /dʒ/ and the /ʒ/ sounds. This happens when people don’t stop the air before making the /ʒ/ sound. Be careful as this may make your foreign accent stand out. Compare: Remember, the /dʒ/ consists of the /d/ stop sound and the /ʒ/ fricative. You have to first stop the air and then release it with the strong friction. OK, now, let’s do some practice exercises. Isn’t this your favorite part of our videos? This is how it works. You’ll see a word on the screen and hear its pronunciation. Like this. You’ll have a few seconds to pronounce the word. ♪ Do your best and practice as many words as possible. We’ll start with this sound at the beginning of words. Let’s begin. Let’s stop here for a second and catch our breath. Next, we’ll practice this sound in the middle of words. Don’t forget to stop the air and immediately release it when pronouncing the /dʒ/. Let’s continue. Let’s pause again before we practice the /dʒ/ sound at the end of words. Remember to voice this consonant and lengthen the vowel before it. Let’s do it. You’re done! Congratulations! Now, how about a quick review of how this sound is spelled? We’ll bet you’ll find it useful! Take a look: Most often, the /dʒ/ sound is represented by the letter ‘g’, as in “ginger” or “page.” About two times less often, this sound is written with the letter ‘j’, as in “job” or “object.” In quite a few words, the /dʒ/ is represented by the combination of letters ‘dg’, as in “fridge” or ‘bridge,’ And sometimes it’s written with the letter ‘d’, as in ‘soldier’ or ‘procedure.’ In a surprisingly small percentage of words, this sound is represented by two letters ‘g’, as in ‘suggest’ or ‘veggie.’ Awesome, isn’t it? Time to get back to our tongue twister challenge! Remember our sentence? Let’s try and pronounce it again. How was it? Did the exercises help? Let us know in the comments! Click “Like” if you liked this video. Share this video with your friends, pets, and relatives. Don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned on our Sounds American channel!