Language has evolved over the course of human civilisation. Starting from the point when humans communicated through inscribing on stones, to till date when communication has moved to emojis, language has seen a sea of changes. However, the basic premise still remains the same, communication with one another. Language serves more than just a means of communication, it can be a skill, it can also be a way to carry forward cultures and their inheritance.
Language has many technicalities incorporated in itself. It’s not just what we speak it’s also how we speak and communicate. Two important facets of language are Pronunciation and Vocabulary. Pronunciation is the correct way of speaking the different words that make up a language. Vocabulary is the stock of words an individual uses to communicate a language. When we raise a question, whether pronunciation or vocabulary is tougher, we are essentially asking how difficult it is to have a good grasp over any language?
At times one can be tougher than the other, for example if one sets out to learn a new language which is phonetically and geologically completely alien, both pronunciation and vocabulary are similarly different. Again if we look at languages stemming from Sanskrit and languages of Dravidian origin, we can see that anybody acquainted with any of the two language strands will find pronouncing from the similar strand much easier than building a strong vocabulary in a short duration of time.
Thus, we can see there are different contexts associated with the relative toughness of pronunciation and vocabulary. To have a better understanding, let us further explore individually both pronunciation and vocabulary.
Gather Information Regarding Basic English Skills and become proficient in the language and speak fluently with confidence. Try the Tips over here and Improve your English Writing and Speaking Skills.
The process in which we execute the sound of words is known as Pronunciation. It is a form of speaking a word, particularly that is generally accepted or understood. It is also described as the manner or act of pronouncing phrases, syllables and words with regard to the production of sounds and the placing of stress, intonation, etc.
To pronounce words, we thrust air from our lungs up through our throat and vocal chords, through our mouth, past our tongue and out between our lips and teeth. To enhance the sound that we are executing, we essentially use the muscles of our tongue, mouth, and lips to control the shape of our mouth and the flow of air.
Speakers of different languages manage to stimulate different muscles of the mouth for Pronunciation. When we converse a foreign language, our muscles may not be fully developed for that language, and we find it difficult to pronounce. By training in pronouncing the foreign language, our muscles become stronger and Pronunciation gets better.
Ways to Improve Pronunciation
- Learn to listen: To improve our pronunciation, one of the fundamental ways is to listen properly. The better we get at hearing words, the more skilled we will become at pronouncing them.
- Speak Slowly: Many people assume that to speak fluently, they need to speak faster, which is a wrong thing to think. Speaking too fast bolsters bad habits and makes the speaker sound agitated and ambivalent. Slow talking will provide us time to breathe and think and pronounce correctly before saying anything.
- Pay attention to stress and intonation: Good pronunciation is about subduing individual sounds. Reading speeches and notes and poems loudly and clearly can help in improving our pronunciation.
Vocabulary is generally described as “all the words known and applied by a particular person.” It is also known as a word-stock or wordstock. A vocabulary is usually improved with age, serves as a beneficial and a fundamental tool for communication and obtaining knowledge. Receiving an extensive vocabulary is one of the most considerable challenges in learning a second language.
Vocabulary plays an essential role in the reading process and offers significantly to a reader’s comprehension. A reader cannot comprehend a text without understanding what most of the words imply. Students learn the definitions of most words obliquely, through everyday activities with oral and written language. Other words are acquired through carefully planned guidance.
Ways to Improve Vocabulary
- Develop a reading habit: Building vocabulary is easy when you find words in context. Words appearing in a novel or a newspaper can be far more convenient than seeing words in a vocabulary list. It helps in gaining exposure to unfamiliar words.
- Use the thesaurus and dictionary: Online dictionaries and thesauruses are helpful resources if used accurately. They can lope our memory about synonyms that would be better words in the context of what you’re writing. A full glossary definition can also educate us about root words, antonyms, and related words, which is another way to learn vocabulary.
- Use new words in a conversation: It’s likely to gather a huge vocabulary without actually understanding how to use words. By exploring in low-stakes circumstances, one can follow the art of word choice and, with a little bit of trial and error, one can set in the accurate word for a specific context.
- Use flashcards: A quick way to develop a large vocabulary is to study words via flashcards. In today’s digital age, an extensive collection of smartphone apps make flashcards available and easy to assemble. Attempting one new word a day can be reasonable.
Which is Tougher?
In this article, we have tried to understand some intricacies of pronunciation and vocabulary. We started by understanding each one separately and developed a clear understanding of what is what. We then dived into ways of improving pronunciation and vocabulary. All of these now bring us back to where we started, which is tougher, pronunciation or vocabulary.
From the discussions in the previous sections, we get some clear idea about the idiosyncrasies of both pronunciation and vocabulary. As both are equally crucial to have a reasonable command over a language, it actually comes down to our own learning capabilities to a great extent. In the previous sections, we have clearly illustrated ways through which we can improve both vocabulary and pronunciation.
Thus, we can say that toughness is highly relative in this context. With an ample set of tricks and methodologies available at our disposal, pronunciation and vocabulary can both be easy, given one is dedicated to improvement. However, at times developing right pronunciation can be more difficult due to years of faulty learnings. Again, vocabulary is significantly dependent on memory, and not all have the same level of memorisation abilities. Therefore, it is safe to assume that both pronunciation and vocabulary are tough and easy at the same time.