방, 빵, 팡

Tensed consonants are my weakness. I actually didn’t notice (or opted not to notice it) the difference when I was self-studying. I first paid attention to it last semester when a Korean friend corrected another friend’s pronunciation by using these three words:  방, 빵, 팡. Since then, I have to use these three words to help me make the correct pronunciation. Say, I want to say 빵, I have to start saying 방, 빵, 팡 first before I can say 빵 (and I am not even sure if I pronounced it right). Also, say 빵 is in the middle of a sentence, most likely I’ll mispronounce it.

Today we practiced for our short play. A group mate keeps mispronouncing 빵 as 팡. I practice with her too because I am also struggling with that.

Until a dear Korean friend gave us a tip. And I recognized right away why I always mispronounce 빵. Even if we were “tensing” it (contracting our throat muscles), we were also releasing air as we open our mouth to pronounce it. Since we focus on putting the stress, when we release the sound, air comes with the sound too, thus a puffing sound making our 빵 closer to 팡 instead. My Korean friend told us to tightly close our lips together and snap them out as we release the sound. And viola! I was able to produced a tenses sound without any bit of air with it.

It also makes me produce the rest of the tensed consonants. After I was able to successfully pronounce 빵, I was able to finally realize how to block the air for tensed consonants. And I also noticed that I don’t have to exert that much effort in tensing the sound. Simply avoiding the release of air and tensing it just a bit more than the plain consonant sounds would do.

Finally! I now see some hope. Recently I’m really getting worried that my ‘bad habits’ in pronunciation will not be cured anymore. But today, just a simple and clear instruction has corrected one of my most terrible mistakes. So maybe, the rest of my ‘bad habits’ can still be corrected.

빵, 빵, 빵, 빵… this is kinda addicting (and my mom probably thinks I’m going nuts!)

소띠! Thank you for teaching me! 고마워용~ ❤

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