Learning English has never been an easy concept especially for those who do so as their second language. In the Middle East, the Arab learners have a very heavy accent. In this regard, they make many pronunciation mistakes without even realizing it. In their everyday speech, they make several phonetic confusions, which may make another person think that they are talking about different things. In this research, the various vowel and consonants produced by the English learners will be analyzed to establish the differences. Additionally, the problems that exist with the pronunciation of different words will be discussed. This will be for the purposes of establishing the linguistic background and the simple solutions that can be applied in future.
The most common error that is made by Arabic-English learners is that of the phonetic sound th. Instead of using the phonetic th, most Arabic speakers replaced it with a heavier phonetic z (Saifain, 2015). For instance, the phrase did they come? is pronounced, as did zey come? Additionally on another phrase such as my shoes are over there, the Arabic speakers would pronounce it as my shoes are over here. Although the phonetic sound th forms part of the Arabic alphabetic, the pronunciation is different. This is because; they tend to transfer the sound from their local dialect (Arabic) into the English accent, which makes the pronunciation faulty. Most importantly, most Arabic-English learners and speakers experience that phonetic confusion. In the Middle East, the problem is more persistent than in the other countries where the Arabic speakers are found.
Concerning the vowel sounds, the Arabic speakers replace the English vowel sounds with their native alphabet that they are used to. This is compounded by the mere fact that some of the English letters are nonexistent in the Arabic alphabet. For instance, they might confuse the vowel sounds, which will completely change the meaning of a particular word. Taking the example of the name Brett, most of the Arabic learners would pronounce this as brat which is something very different. Actually, it is an insult. Additionally, the misuse and confusion of verb is another problem that the Arabic speakers have to deal with. For instance, an Arabic-English learner would be comfortable in using the following phrase; our teacher learnt us about verbs this is when he wanted to say, our teacher taught us about verbs. This is because they have a clear understanding of the meaning of the word although they have problems in its application. The p sound is also another problem that Arabic learners have. In this regard, they use the sound b instead (Jenkins, 2015).
In conclusion, the Arabic/ Middle East learner have a very heavy accent. As such, they tend to confuse the use of some of the sounds that do not form part of their alphabet. In the case of the consonant sounds, they replace them with heavier accents, which they are used to applying. As for vowels, they replace them with their native alphabets. This is partly because English is not their first language. Additionally, some of the sounds are not found in their Arabic alphabets. However, English is about practice, with time, maybe they will be able to pronounce the vowels and consonants well.
Saifain, A. (2015). Common Mistakes in English by Arabic Speakers | Learner's English Software. Learnersenglish.com. Retrieved 16 December 2015, from http://learnersenglish.com/common-mistakes-english-arabic-speakers/Jenkins, S. (2015). /p/ versus /b/: A Helpful Tip For Teachers Of Arab Learners IH Journal. Ihjournal.com. Retrieved 16 December 2015, from http://ihjournal.com/p-versus-b-a-helpful-tip-for-teachers-of-arab-learners
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