Rachel's English

How to pronounce the 50 states (4/4)


Part 4 of 4 on the 50 state names.

Rhode Island. As you probably know, the S in 'island' is silent. Rhode Island. Again, it is a two-word state name. And the D in Rhode very softly connects to Island. Rhode Island, Rhode Island. South Carolina. Just as in North Carolina, after the T-H, there is a very slight break. South Carolina. 

South Dakota. Again, there is a bit of a break after the T-H. It's not thdd, thdd, South Dakota. And again, the T here in Dakota is pronounced as a D: Dakota.

Tennessee. The first E is the 'eh' as in 'bed' [ε] sound. The second is a very quick 'ih' as in 'sit' [ɪ], it is unaccented. And then we finish off with the 'ee' as in 'she' [i]. Tennessee.

Texas. The 'eh' as in 'bed' followed by the kk-ss sounds of the X. Then, a schwa [ə]. Texas, Texas. Utah. The first part of this state name is the word you, as in you. This beginning Y consonant [j] sound can be difficult. Yy, yy. Remember that it starts not just here, that would be the 'ee' as in 'she', but down here, yy, and you bring it up, Utah.

Vermont. This begins with the vv sound, which really needs to be obvious here because it is the beginning of the word: vv, vv. So be sure you are voicing that with your vocal cords. Vv-Vermont, Vermont.

Virginia also starts with this vv, vv sound. Virginia. Now it ends -nia, the same way as Pennsylvania: nn, 'ee' as in 'she', very quickly into the schwa. Nia, nia, Virginia.

Washington. Starting with a W, so the mouth must be very small when you start. Wa-. It then opens up into the 'ah' as in 'father' [α]. Washington. Ee, ing, ing, 'ee' as in 'she', Washington, tn. West Virginia. Again, the mouth must start very small for the ww, West. Now, Virginia, the emphasis was on 'gin'. West Virginia: the emphasis is on 'West'.

Wisconsin. Wi-, 'ih' as in 'sit', co-, 'aw' as in 'law' [ɔ], sin, kind of a schwa, be really more straight into the nn sound. Wisconsin.

Wyoming. This state name starts with the word why, though it's not spelled the same. Wy- with the 'ai' as in 'buy' [aɪ] diphthong, 'oh' as in 'no' [oʊ] diphthong, Wyoming, ee, 'ee' as in 'she', into the ng, NG sound. Wyoming.

How to pronounce the 50 States

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3      Part 4   

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