29
May
09

‘V’ in ‘Very’

Once upon a time in junior high school, i took an english course in Lembaga Indonesia Amerika (LIA), where i had this gentleman as my teacher. My teacher is a kind of an old-wise man who can makes you feel that learning English is very important and it has to be done seriously. Very seriously (eg. don’t forget to bring dictionary in his class). But of course, he understands not to leave jokes and humour to make English even more fun. For example, he might calls you with names that he instantly makes from the letters that are printed in your t-shirt or pictures that is drawn on it. So, don’t wear t-shirt with some monkey smiling on it. Joking. Or sometimes we sang songs to practice our pronounciations. We enjoy it, we miss that guy.

So, one day we learned how to pronounce the letter ‘V’. He told us about how to correctly pronounce it.

“If you can’t pronounce ‘V’ as the way it should (look at the dictionary), then it’s better to pronounce it like ‘W’ instead of ‘F’. For example, if you can’t speak the word ‘very’ correctly, then it’s better to pronounce it ‘wery’ than ‘fery’, because ‘wery’ sounds closer to ‘very’ than ‘fery’ “

He told us to pronounce it again, again, and again until it is correct. Difficult, but we made it. We spoke ‘very’, ‘everyday’, and ‘volkswagen’ just like true englishman. Cool.

Until several weeks ago i listened this song about ‘jomblo’ by a woman singer.

“..I’m single and very happy…”

That’s what she means, but listen carefully. She pronounce it ‘fery happy’ instead ‘wery happy’ or even further than ‘very happy’ itself. It bothers me because ‘fery happy’ is part of reffrain, so it is repeated again, again, and again. If he listen to this, maybe he will tell us,

“Now you understand why i told you that, so perhaps you can smile every time that song is played. Maybe i should open an english class special for singer. Their song is listened everywhere by everybody, so they must pronounce words correctly”

There you go. So, let’s pay attention to the words we are pronouncing, it’s important. My friend once told me that he felt so unconfidence when his American relative told him after a little bit misunderstanding session,

“Excuse me, what are you talking about ??”

Now back to the song. It has nice melodies. It’s just the problem of ‘fery’ and the lyric itself that tell us not to be affraid of being single. A married couple perhaps will sing another song too. They say,

“..I’m married and even happier…”


2 Responses to “‘V’ in ‘Very’”


  1. May 30, 2009 at 11:03 am

    an interesting pronounciation lesson. thanks

  2. June 1, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    @ lesly: you’re welcome,


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