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INDIANS In comparison with English, Hindi has approximately half as many vowels and twice as many consonants.

This leads to several problems of pronunciation. One difficulty is distinguishing phonemes in words such as said / sad; par / paw; vet / wet, etc. Words containing the letters th (this, thing, months) will cause Hindi learners the same kind of problems that they cause most other learners of English. The phoneme / / as exemplified by the s in pleasure is missing in Hindi and so pronunciation of such words is difficult. Consonants clusters at the beginning or end of words are more common in English than Hindi. This leads to errors in the pronunciation of words such as straight (istraight), fly (faly), film (filam). Compared to English Hindi has weak but predictable word stress. Learners therefore have considerable difficulty with the irregular stress patterns of words such as photograph / photographer. Hindi learners are disinclined to 'swallow' unstressed syllables such as the first syllables in the words tomorrow, intelligent, remember, etc., and will often try to clearly articulate short, common words that are usually weakly stressed in English: has, and, was, to, etc. Hindi has tenses that similar those used in English: present simple, past continuous, etc., but there is a lack of correspondence in their use to express various meanings. This leads to the very common overuse by Hindi learners of the present continuous when in English the present simple is required: I am always playing golf on Sundays. / I am not knowing the answer. MALAYS Tendency to drop the // sound to form consonant clusters e.g. beri, sekolah, kelapa Malay words which are adopted and borrowed from English; is not very different from the original word, most of the students pronounced them in English. E.g. kreatif (creative), inovatif (innovative), ideologi (ideology).
CHINESE Chinese and English differ in terms of how they are written, how they sound, and their grammatical structures and rules. Chinese does not have an alphabet but uses a logographic system for its written language. In logographic systems symbols represent the words themselves - words are not made up of various letters as in alphabetic systems. Because of this fundamental difference, Chinese learners may have great difficulty reading English texts and spelling words correctly. English is almost always written from left to right. However, Chinese can be written from top to bottom, right to left, as well as left to right. Unlike English, Chinese is a tone language. This means that it uses the pitch (highness or lowness) of a phoneme sound to distinguish word meaning. In English, changes in pitch are used to emphasize or express emotion, not to give a different word meaning to the sound. For example, compare "You like pudding" with "You like pudding?". Because the latter sentence is a question, it ends with a rising intonation. This intonation is different to tone as used in Chinese dialects. English has more vowel sounds than Chinese, resulting in the faulty pronunciation of words like ship/sheep, it/eat, full/fool. diphthongs such as in weigh, now or deer are often shortened to a single sound.

Chinese learners find it difficult to hear the difference between l and r, and so may mispronounce rake and rice as lake and lice. A major problem is with the common final consonant in English. This feature is much less frequent in Chinese and results in learners either failing to produce the consonant or adding an extra vowel at the end of the word. For example, hill may be pronounced as if without the double ll but with a drawn out i, or as rhyming with killer. Unlike English, there is no grammatical tense in Chinese. For example, while the English verb "do" becomes "did" to express past tense, Chinese verbs do not change in this way. Instead, Chinese relies on expressing aspect. For example, the aspect particle "le" can be used after a verb or at the end of a sentence to imply that an action has been completed. Expressing completion and expressing tense are different things. Chinese does not, in general, pluralize words. In English, there can be "one dog" or "two dogs", with the "s" indicating plural. But in Chinese, there is "one dog" and "two dog". That is, the noun "dog" (in Chinese, gou) does not change when the number changes. However, the suffix "-men" can be used in Chinese to indicate plural in pronouns such as "he", "she", and "it", and in words such as "classmate." One major similarity between English and Chinese is that they are both SVO languages, as they both follow the same basic order of Subject-Verb-Object. For example, the English sentence "I eat pumpkins" has identical structure in Chinese. In English much information is carried by the use of auxiliaries and by verb inflections: is/are/were, eat/eats/ate/eaten, etc. The concept of time in Chinese is not handled through the use of different tenses and verb forms, as it is in English. Here are some typical verb/tense mistakes: What do you do? (i.e. What are you doing?) (wrong tense) I will call you as soon as I will get there. (wrong tense) She has got married last Saturday. (wrong tense) She good teacher. (missing copula) How much you pay for your car? (missing auxiliary) I wish I am rich. (indicative instead of subjunctive) Chinese does not have articles, so difficulties with their correct use in English are very common. Vocabulary: English has a number of short verbs that very commonly combine with particles (adverbs or prepositions) to form what are known as phrasal verbs; for example: take on, give in, make do with, look up to. This kind of lexical feature does not exist in Chinese. There are various differences in word order between Chinese and English. In Chinese, for example, questions are conveyed by intonation; the subject and verb are not inverted as in English. Interference from Chinese, then, leads to the following typical problems: When you are going home? English is a very hard to learn language. Next week I will return to China. (More usual English: I will return to China next week.) Zhao (1995) also made two claims with respect to the diphthongs of English. The first is that Chinese speakers tend to reduce the distinction between long and short vowels in English, which would

follow from the fact that Mandarin Chinese does not use length as a distinctive feature. She then proceeded to say that diphthongs are like long vowels, thus diphthongs which are influenced by Mandarin Chinese will be short. A particular sound which does not exist in the native language can therefore pose a difficulty for the second language learners to produce or some times to try to substitute those sounds with similar ones in their mother tongue. These sounds include both vowels and consonants. For example, there are no vowels like /e/, //, etc. and no such consonants as //, //, /v/, etc. When learners have trouble in perceiving the sounds which do not exist in their native language, they tend to find the nearest equivalents to substitute those new sounds. A typical example will be the substitution of /s/ or /z/ for the English // as in the word clothe, /a / or /e/ for the English // as in the word that. The erroneous substitution takes place where the English /r/ and // are very different from the Mandarin Chinese /r/ and /sh/. This is because the place of articulation and the manner of articulation of the sounds in two languages are relatively different. It is not surprising when the words English, pronunciation and rose are uncomfortably heard when produced by Chinese speakers (Zhang & Yin, 2009). Chang (1987) also found that Chinese students often confused // with /i:/ because there is no such distinction in Mandarin Chinese. Mandarin Chinese morphemes are generally made up of a consonant plus a vowel with no consonants cluster and usually ending with a vowel (Zhang & Yin, 2009). According to Gao (2005), final voiced stops do not exist in Mandarin Chinese and therefore Chinese speakers will have great difficulties with words with final voiced stops. For instance, they would occasionally pronounce words book and bed as /......./ and /......./, by adding an extra vowel sound. According to Zhang (2005), Chinese speakers may insert a schwa /...... / in consonant clusters such as /....... / for the word black or eliminate a consonant by pronouncing the word strawberry as /tr:beri/. The most conspicuous differences between English, Mandarin Chinese and Malay are the number of consonants used in the first and final syllable. English has comparable number of consonants in the first and final syllable. Mandarin Chinese has 24 consonants in first syllable, but only two consonants in the final syllable. Malay has more syllable final consonants than Mandarin Chinese, but still less than English. Both Mandarin Chinese and Malay have fewer syllable final consonants than English. It is presumed that the speakers of Mandarin Chinese and Malay will find realization of consonants in final syllables difficult (Phoon, 2010). The vowel system of Mandarin Chinese and Malay is relatively simpler than English. According to Sariyan, A. (2004) and Hashim & Lodge (1988), there are 19 consonants (b, p, d, t, g, k, s, h, m, n, , , , t, ) and 2 glides (j, w), 6 monophthongs (i, e, a, u, o, ) and 3 diphthongs (ai, au, ua) in Malay phonology (as cited in Lodge, 2009). Phonemic Chart Vowels: Monophthongs 1. 2. /i:/ // as in as in key bit /ki:/ /bt/ Vowels: Diphthongs

13. 14.

/e/ //

as in as in

edge sew

/ed/ /s/

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

/e/ // /:/ // /:/ //

as in as in as in as in as in as in /u/ // // //

pen sat art hot law book

/pen/ /st/ /:t/ /ht/ /l:/ /bk/ as in as in as in as in

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

/a/ /a/ // // /e/ // true mud earn enter

as in as in as in as in as in as in

hive cow joy dear pair cure /tru/ /md/ /:n/ /ent/

/hav/ /ka/ /d/ /d/ /pe/ /kj/

Consonants 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. /p/ /b/ /t/ /d/ /k/ /g/ /t/ /d/ /f/ /v/ // // as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in peel bat tell dad cart god chair joke fool vine third bathe /pi:l/ /bt/ /tel/ /d/ /k:t/ /gd/ /te/ /d/ /ful/ /van/ /:d/ /be/ 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. // /z/ / / / / /h/ /m/ /n/ // /l/ /r/ /j/ /w/ as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in as in sob zinc shy visual horse men niece king love rude yet war /sb/ /zk/ /a/ /v/ /h:s/ /men/ /ni:s/ /k/ /lv/ /rud/ /jet/ /w:/