Speaking Proper: Phonetics

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

Why do we say dogs with a ‘z’ but cats with an ‘s’? Why can’t you pronounce ‘m’ while holding your nose? Why can we say “ffffffffffffffffffff” but not “ppppppppppp”?

Phonetics is the study of the sounds of language. It involves understanding how we physically make sounds, how to hear the differences between them, and how to reproduce them. If you’ve ever wondered why people from other nations have trouble pronouncing certain English words (and vice versa!), you can understand why with phonetics.

Learning a second language? – knowing phonetics will help you pronounce it like the natives!
Ever noticed the symbols in brackets in the dictionary? – learn what they mean!
But maybe the best thing would be just to learn something new about the language you use every day.

What will we cover?

This class will cover the basics of phonetics. You will learn how speech is produced, and how to classify the sounds of speech. You will be taught how to pronounce all the sounds that are capable to being pronounced by the human mouth (some which you didn’t even know existed!) There will be examples from a variety of languages, such as French, German, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Russian and Xhosa. Probably more.
You will be taught how to read the International Phonetic Alphabet, and get a copy of your own to take home!

Who will be teaching?

Stephanie Bellmaine is currently doing a PhD in organic chemistry at Melbourne University, but studied linguistics and German as part of her BA. She enjoys the look of delight on people’s faces when she pronounces their names correctly, and the ease at which she can get people at parties to stand around making stupid sounds while holding their fingers to their throats and staring into space.