Speaking and pronunciation of English words is the most difficult part for people learning English as a second language to do well. One group of words which is commonly mispronounced by many non-native speakers of English is people's first names.

Some first names are easy to pronounce (e.g. Sally or Peter), but there are some which are difficult to pronounce correctly (e.g. Sean or Laura.). And mispronouncing somebody's first name when speaking to them can be very embarrassing (both for you and the person you are speaking to).

To help you both learn and remember the pronunciation of the most common English first names (for both men and women) which many non-native speakers of English say incorrectly, do the below pronunciation exercise.

In this first of two exercises on pronouncing difficult first names, you will learn the correct pronunciation of 11 male and female first names. In the second part of this exercise (which is coming soon), you will learn the pronunciation of 11 more first names.

This exercise is for British English pronunciation.

To see all our online pronunciation exercises you can do, go to our 'English Pronunciation Exercises Menu'.


Exercise:

For each question in this online pronunciation exercise, first listen to the name by playing the question's audio player. Then say the name you hear. After this, spell the name in the text box and press the 'Check' button.

After you have spelt the name correctly, a 'speaking test' for the name will appear (a text box and 'Record' button) to check your pronunciation. Press the 'Record' button and say the name. To do this on a computer, you need to have a microphone connected to your computer.

The speaking test only works on the Google Chrome browser (but not on iPads, iPhones or iPods). So I recommend you use this browser to do this pronunciation exercise on.



1.

Now say the word you heard and then write it in the text box below and press 'Check'.

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Now press the 'Record' button and say the word to check your pronunciation of it. Don't look at the word when you say it!

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Although the pronunciation is the same, there are two ways to spell this name in English: Ian or Iain.

    
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Although the pronunciation is the same, there are three ways to spell this name in English: Sean, Shawn, or Shaun.

    
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Although the pronunciation is the same, there are two ways to spell this name in English: Stuart or Stewart.

    
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If the test below returns 'Ralphs' instead of 'Ralph', you have pronounced this name correctly. I don't know why it does it, sorry.

    
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