Unvoiced glottal fricative
Common words[edit | edit source]
Initial pronunciation of /h/:
- With "h": Haiti - half - hand - happen - Harold - hard - hat - have - Hawaii - he - head - hear - heat - help - Henry - here - high - history - hit - home - hold - hot - house - how - human - Hungary - hut
- With "wh": who - whole - whose
Mid-word pronunciation of /h/: ahead - alcohol - behave - behaviour - behind - childhood - Ohio - Oklahoma
Loan words[edit | edit source]
- From Spanish
- Don Quixote (current Spanish spelling Don Quijote): /dɒn kiːˈhoʊtɪ/
- jalapeño: /hæləˈpeɪnjəʊ/,BrE /hɑːləˈpeɪnjəʊ/AmE
- junta: /ˈhʊntə/,AmE /ˈdʒʌntə/BrE
- Oaxaca: /wəˈhɑːkə/
- San Jose (California): /sæn hoʊˈzeɪ/
- From Yiddish
- chutzpa: /ˈhʊtspə/
Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit | edit source]
Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.
Chinese[edit | edit source]
Chinese /h/ tends to be stronger and throatier than English /h/, which is a lot softer.
French[edit | edit source]
Spanish[edit | edit source]
Some Spanish speakers will replace /h/ by [x], a similar sound which corresponds to the letter "j" in Spanish.
The letter "h" in Spanish is always silent. This means that "hospital" is [ospi'tal]. Compensating for this, some students will pronounce the "h" in English words such as honest and honour.