How to Correctly Pronounce “-ism” (tourism, prism, etc)

How to Correctly Pronounce “-ism” (tourism, prism, etc)


Both…(coughs) bugger. (coughs) Ooh bugger. Hi guys, welcome back to English with Max. I’m back with another short
pronunciation video. This topic was actually suggested to me by an Italian
friend of mine. Hi Emilio. I’m going to talk about the suffix “-ism”. Which is at
the end of many English words. For example: nationalism, altruism or prism.
To some people it might seem very easy, but a lot of non-native English speakers
don’t realise that when “-ism” is pronounced, there is a definite schwa
sound between the S and the M. It’s “i-zehm”. “I-zehm”. And that’s the same in both
British and American pronunciation It’s not like in French or Spanish, for example.
In French the equivalent is “-isme” and in Spanish it’s “-ismo”. “Nationalisme”
in French. “Nacionalismo” in Spanish. In both French and Spanish the S links
directly to the M. And I know it’s like that in some other languages like Italian.
In English we say: “nash-ehn-ehl-i-zehm.” Nationalism. We don’t say: “nash-ehn-ehl-i-zm”.
Remember as well that the S is pronounced “zzz”, not “sss”. It’s similar to the “sss” sound, but it’s voiced. The mouth is in the same position as for “sss”, but there is air flowing
through the voice box. The voice box is also called the larynx. Spanish speakers
in particular need to be careful with this because, like I said before, the Spanish
equivalent is “-ismo”. In English we say “izehm”. Not “issehm”. Here are some other examples: consumerism,
criticism, cubism, euphemism, fascism, patriotism. I hope you’ve found that useful. If you did,
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when I release a new video. See you next time!

23 thoughts on “How to Correctly Pronounce “-ism” (tourism, prism, etc)

  1. Spread the love! If you'd like to contribute by translating the subtitles of this video into your own language, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?ref=player&v=llWkfyL81HU

  2. thank you for the lesson …by the way I have a small question …we might say – british people are prod of britishness …but how doest it say  – ness  ending in reference to australian people …Australian are proud of australianess ??

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