It’s the 4th of July!
And since I teach American English, it is only expected that I acknowledge it with an appropriate video:)
In today’s video you’ll learn:
- How to pronounce ‘fireworks’ without biting your tongue
- How to pronounce 4th of July effortlessly (Yes, there’s a trick)
- What silent fireworks are and why do we need them (a short interview with my student Shirly Kantor, a silent (or quiet) fireworks activist.
Watch my Fourth of July special:
Hello-hello my friends! It’s Hadar
and this is the Accent’s Way!
Welcome to today’s fourth of July special. We’re gonna talk about how to pronounce ‘fourth of July’
and ‘fireworks’ and then I have a
special guest on the show, my student
Shirley Kantor who’s going to talk about
her passion project: silent fireworks.
Curious? So stay with us!
‘Fourth of July’ is comprised of three
words the first word is the trickiest
because it has an R in it and a TH – everyone’s favorites!
So you start with an F sound and then it’s the OR as an ‘four’, of course, cuz it’s ‘fourth’
So make sure that you pronounce the O sound clearly before you bring the tongue up for the R.
So it doesn’t sound like ‘firth’, ‘firth’
cuz then some people may think it’s ‘first’ right.
So ‘fo-‘ keep the tongue down after the F sound fo- until you hear a clean clear O sound
and then you lift the tongue up for the R.
Once you hear the R sound bring the tongue out for the TH
The next word is ‘of’. First’ of all, the F is a V, just so you know, and O is reduced to a schwa.
However the word ‘of’ is often reduced to a simple schwa sound ‘uh’
as in ‘cup of coffee’
or ‘bottle of water ‘.
So same thing here. You don’t have to say ‘fourth v’ July’,
You can just say ‘fourth a,
If you say it quickly enough it will sound perfect
‘fourth a July’
Then we have a j sound and then ‘lai’.
Stress on the ‘fourth’ and the main stress
is on ‘July’
‘fourth of July’
Two R’s this time!
We begin with an F sound and then it’s the ‘ai’ as in ‘my’.
The next part is y’r
So think of it as a j sound and an R. y-r
Like ‘your jacket’, your jacket is nice, ‘ y’r, y’r
then connect the two: ‘fai-y’r’.
So the ‘i’ of the ‘fai’ connects with the ‘y’: ‘fai-y’r’.
Then you move immediately to ‘works’. So you round your lips for a W
right, now make sure that when you get to that W,
now I’m telling you this as a friend, you should bring the tip of the tongue down
So the W should be pretty clear if you lift the tongue up
if you keep it up because of R it’s gonna sound hollow and weird.
if that’s what you’re hearing then your tongue is up as you you’re pronouncing the W
‘fai-y’r’-wha-‘ but then you need to bring the tongue up again for the R.
fai-r-y’r-w’ – tongue is down, ‘wer’ and then you pull it in again for the R ‘works’.
Now look, there is no O here, so you shift from the W to the are immediately
That’s easy. We’re home.
a K sound and an S
FIRE-works. Stress on ‘fire’. FIREworks.
It’s fourth of July let’s go check out the fireworks!
Did you know that we have silent fireworks this year?
Do you know what silent fireworks are? If not then stay with us for the interview I had with Shirley.
Shirley is one of my students who participated in my group courses at my school in Tel-Aviv
and as part of the course each student had to present a topic that they’re passionate about
and she introduced all of us to something that she’s super passionate about
and that is silent fireworks. Now up until that moment I had no idea what this thing was
and when I heard about it I felt that more people should know about it and be aware of
and that’s it this is why I invited her to come talk about it here so let’s bring her in.
I’m super thrilled to have you here thank you so much for coming and
spending this time with us how are you
I’m great, very excitied to be here with you thank you for asking me.
I’m super excited, I’ve been missing you, I have to say.
So, Shirley, is my student as I told you and I think we ended the course when like a few weeks ago?
Yeah, few weeks ago
a few weeks ago, too long, too long
Already miss you in the class.
I know! It was the best group ever!
I mean we met every Wednesday night, right for 10 weeks. It was so much it was fun
It was fun and it was very effective as well. Thank you for that!
No, thank you!
And actually in one of the sessions Shirley gave us a presentation about
something she’s super passionate about and this is why I invited her to talk today
because it’s related to fireworks. So before we begin Shirley why don’t you quickly introduce yourself
Okay, well, I work as a corporate responsibility and social impact consultant
I worked with large corporate in Israel and large brands but in my free time I’m social activist
and one of the activities I’m engaged in is this campaign we’re going to talk about
‘The Silent Fireworks’.
So what is ‘silent fireworks’?
Yeah, this is a quite new technology.
Silent fireworks are fireworks which are less noisy than the usual fireworks.
There are still, you know, noise of explosions because they must explode
but it’s much less noisy and a regular fireworks.
What is the problem with real fireworks? Like up until today I never even thought about that?
but it could be if I mean my little girl would cry every time she would hear the fireworks exploding
but I would be like: ‘okay, that’s because she’s small’. But other than that like I
I was like in my own world. So maybe talk about those populations and the people who actually suffer from it?
Well, I think that we all know that dogs suffer from this noise and farm animals as well.
Farm animals, they also really suffer
but also people suffer
for example, people with post-traumatic stress disorder
People that have experienced situation
traumatic situation in which there was a very strong noise explosions like in the war or terror attack.
Every time of the explosion they go back to the traumatic event and it triggers the bad experience.
And also people and kids with the sensory processing disorders like people ADHD.
Or some people with the autism. They they find it very difficult to handle strong noises and bright lights
and they cannot… when they try to avoid the noise. It’s not enough.
So they don’t go to people, they don’t go to that Independence Day parties
because they do not want to suffer and their families have to stay at home with them.
So the whole family misses the the celebrations.
mmm because of that and like something that we take for granted and it’s super fun
and easy and beautiful, right actually
create suffering for other people
There’s actually a good friend of mine, he
was the one that initiated this campaign
his name is Rami and he was a soldier in a one of the wars and he got wounded.
You know, it’s a mental wound, it’s not a physical one and every year he suffers really bad from the fireworks
and when he found out that there is such a thing like silent fireworks
he asked me to join him and start this campaign
and actually this last Independence Day after the campaign he disappeared
because once yeah he was thrown back into his suffering.
So our goal is that next year all the municipalities in Israel will use only silent fireworks.
So everyone everyone can celebrate, no one is excluded and no one will suffer.
Do people resent it? Like do you feel that there is a reason for people to say ‘no’ to such thing?
I think I ran into only one person said why do we all have to change our habits because of some people
But he was really the minority of the minority.
All other people and thousands of people signed the petition.
We have, we uploaded the petition to the Internet and thousands of people signed a petition willingly.
They said ‘okay, it’s the option and people suffer, we’ll be very glad to change to silent fireworks.
It’s not it’s like, you don’t have to give up and something big. It’s not like they’re asking you to give up on fireworks
although I’d be more than willing to do that if that makes other people feel better and safer.
This is just a small price to pay and it’s so so incredibly valuable.
Anything else you want to share Shirley?
No just I just want to thank you for the opportunity to share this campaign
and to thank you for helping me building your confidence to speak in this video
oh, that’s beautiful. It’s it’s my honor to have you here as a student
and also as an activist that I admire
and you know I look up to you all the work that you do
and all the help that you provide other people.
So thank you in the name of the world and society and also as a friend.
So thank you so much for coming here. It was a pleasure listening to you and that’s it. Good luck!
Good luck with that and I hope more people are going to be aware of this and deliver the message.
I would like to encourage people to start your own campaign for silent fireworks in your own city or state
and try to raise awareness and ask people to sign the petition
and support the idea of switching to silent fireworks.
I’m sure that in every place not just in the United States actually all over the way in everybody’s there are people
that would be very happy to be able to join the party with everybody else.
Yeah, absolutely. And what are we here for if not to just make this a better society,
be better people and help others, right, so. And what are we here for if not for that.
Now Shirley and I would love to hear what you think?
What do you think about silent fireworks? Do you think it’s a good idea? Should we promote this?
Or do you think it’s a terrible idea and we should just stick with a regular fireworks?
Whatever your opinion is write it down in the comments below and we’ll start the discussion and
that’s it if you celebrate fourth of July have a beautiful, beautiful Independence Day
and tell us what you’re doing, what your plans are and
If you’re not watching it on 4th of July have a beautiful day! Thank you so much for watching and
I will see you next week in
the next video