The online language laboratory

South African English....Vowel Sounds

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Please note: the words and symbols below refer to the British English sounds. They
are only provided for comparison.  Many of the South African sounds are quite different!

the, letter, calendar, a, madam, nation
bird, heard, herd, world, were, curl, girl
beat, seat, sheet, receive, brief, the (before vowels)
bit, kit, mint, hill, hymn
bet, let, set
air, where, there, their, they're, hair, care
bat, cat, hat, add, madam
but, some, mother, come, other, thorough
bad, mad, sad, glad, ma'am
cart, heart, arm, radar
should, good, would, could, wood
shoe, to, two, too, you, who, sue, through
cot, hot, got, on
caught, bought, all, sport, war, poor, or, raw, roar
 

 

 

A final note: "to", "the", and "at", "from" and "for"are pronounced as above, except at the end of a phrase, in which case the 'strong' form (Eg 'to' rhyming with 'shoe') may be used. The strong forms of "the" (rhyming with "tea") and "to" may also be used before a vowel.

Our warmest thanks go to ...

Speaker Geographical origin Date of recording Approx age


Unnamed
Unnamed


Johannesburg
Natal

Feb 10, 2006
Feb 10, 2006

50
22


 

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