In this episode, I’m going to teach you how to pronounce the top 10 TV shows that are often mispronounced by non-native speakers (can you already guess what they are??!)
And why are they often mispronounced?
Well, because as you’ll notice, each one of the shows on this list has a particular combination of sounds that makes it challenging to say them smoothly.
And since we often find ourselves talking about a certain show ALL DAY LONG, it’s important that the names flow out smoothly 😉
(Don’t forget to scroll down after watching the video to see the words spelled phonetically)
Hey there! It’s Hadar and this is the Accent’s Way. Today we’re going to talk about the most complicated names of TV shows out there – complicated for non-native speakers – and how to pronounce them correctly. This is a list that you actually came up with after I posted about it on Facebook. So, let’s get started.
STREIN-j’r thin[g]z. Three syllables. The first syllable is STREIN. You start with S and then you move on to the TR. The TR sounds sort of like a CH sound – STRAY. Then it’s the A as in ‘day’. So, it’s not stre-, stre-. STREIN-, and then you close it with an N. STREIN.
The next syllable is -GER /ʤər/. You start with a G sound and you move directly to the R. -ʤər, ʤər. There is no vowel in between. STRAIN-ger.
And then, the last word is THINGS. Stick the tongue up for the TH, relaxed ‘I’, THINGS, and end it with a Z, because the S is pronounced as a Z. THINGS, Stranger Things.
They should have never given us uniforms if they didn’t want us to be an army.
The Handmaid’s Tale.
Like any good complicated word, we start with a TH. th’, th’. Make sure that the vowel after is very reduced. So, it’s not ‘the’ – ‘th’.
Then you move on to the H. HAND. If you tend to not pronounce the H, be sure to pronounce it. You need to release air from your throat. It’s like a whisper – /h/, the H-h-and.
Then you move on to the A sound that is slightly modified. Drop your jaw, listen: heah, heah. You hear this transition? Do it! ‘The hand’.
Then it’s an N and a D. But because there is an M right after – ‘The Hand- maids’, right – th-‘HAN-meidz. So, the D is swallowed. You don’t say ‘The HanDmade’, you don’t have fully pronounce the D. Sometimes you can even drop it and no one will notice, if you say it’s super-fast. The HaNmaid’s, The HaNmaid’s. The hannnnmaids , right?
And if you wanna pronounce it properly – the handddd, the D is the held D, you don’t release it – the handdd — you move on to the N: th-‘HAN-meidz – Z, not an S, TALE. An aspirated T, a long A as in ‘day’ and a dark L: te-y’l. Sounds like you’re adding a y-sound right before the L. te-y’l . The Handmaid’s Tale.
Pretty Little Liars.
A lot of flap T’s here. So, we start with PR – round your lips a little bit for the R, bring it back the tongue – PRI, and then it’s a relaxed ‘I’ sound. Not PRE-ty, but pri, pri. Then a flap T and a high E: pri-dee, pri-dee, priiii-dee.
Then we have the word ‘little’. I have a full video just about the word ‘little’. So go check it out. ‘Pretty li-‘, an L-sound and a relaxed ‘I’. pri-dee li-d’l – flap T and a dark L. So, imagine like there is an O in between: pri-dee li-d’l laɪ-ərz.
And then you move on to the L. And then laɪ-ərz. You add a y-sound, a schwa, and an R. laɪ-ərz. Okay pri-dee li-d’l laɪ-ərz, pri-dee li-d’l laɪ-ərz.
That’s such a tongue twister. Pretty Little Liars, Pretty… Pretty Little Liars, Pretty Little Liars.
Big Little Lies.
Almost the same, but different. The only difference is that we have the word BIG. It starts with a B and a relaxed ‘I’. Not BEEG, but BIG. Big. Move on to the word LITTLE, you already know how to pronounce it. Big Little, and then another L, LIES. Close it with a Z. Big Little Lies.
“Have you watched Pretty Little Liars last night? Oh no, I watched Big Little Lies.
“Oh, god, I can’t watch this.”
You start with a B-sound and then the L, BL -make the L a little heavier. Then open it to the A as in ‘cat’ – ‘blak’. Close it with a K – ‘blak’. Move on to the M of ‘mirror: black mi- relaxed ‘I’ and then don’t get all confused with the R and the O and the R. Just make it like a long R – mirr, mirr.
I kid you not! Just pronounce it like one long R. mir’r, blak mir’r. It’ll make your life a lot easier and the name is going to sound a lot clearer. mirror. Black mirror.
“Have you seen the new season of Black Mirror? Oh, it’s so black!”
Game of Thrones.
So, the word GAME is rather easy. Make sure you bring your lips together for the M at the end – game. Then you move on to a reduced word and that is the word ‘of’. So, actually you wanna connect those two together – geɪm əv, geɪm əv, məv, məv.
Then stick the tongue out for the word THRONES. You start with a TH then an R – THR, THR, pull the tongue in for the R, so it doesn’t hit anything on the way up – ‘Thrrrones’, right. ‘Thro-o-o’ so you can also prolong it for a little bit until you make sure that you pronounce the R sound correctly.
Throw – ‘O’ as in ‘go’. Make sure you add a W at the end – ‘throne’ and add a Z – ‘thrones’. Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones.
Orange is the New Black.
Orange is the New Black. Orange is the New Black.
I guess the hardest part here ‘is the’, ‘is the’, ‘is the’. You need to train your tongue to go through this transition between the Z sound of ‘is’ and the TH. ‘z’th, ‘z’th, ‘z’th, ‘z’th.
So let’s do this for half an hour so. [30 minutes later] See? A lot easier. Is the.
Orange is the, o-r’nj’z’th. And then we have the first word to add. o-r’nj’z’th. Now, the first syllable is OR: round your lips for the ‘O’, make sure that you don’t bring the tongue up too soon, so it’s not ‘ərange’, but OR, OR.
And from here you move to -range/rənʤ. So, it’s kind like you have two R’s here: ɔR-Rənʤ. An R a schwa and the nʤ-sound. ɔrənʤ. You bring the tongue up for the N and then you close it with -ʤ. So, you technically, you’re doing something like this – nʤ-nʤ – with your tongue. o-r’nj’, o-r’nj’z’th. Okay?
And then you move on to this transition that you’ve already mastered – o-r’nj’z’th nuw. An N-sound, and then the long U sound as in ‘food’, and you don’t have to say it as ‘nyuw’. You don’t have to add the y-sound, right, before the ‘u’. nuw – you can just do it like this, ‘nuw’, cuz you’re chill and you’re hip and your cool.
‘o-r’nj’z’th nuw blak’. A B and an L, BL, and then an A as in ‘cat’. Bla-. Drop your jaw, so it doesn’t sound like ‘blek’ or ‘bluk’. ‘blæk’ – push your tongue forward, the lips pulled to the sides a bit, and close it with a K. Orange’s the New Black, Orange’s the New Black.
“I’m in a dream. – You’re in my dream.”
I mean, WORLD alone is a challenging word. Right? So, let’s first learn how to pronounce that. You start with the W and then you move on to the R immediately – ‘were’. There is no ‘O’ in the middle, so don’t say something like ‘wOrld’, okay? Just switch from the W to the R, and be chill, be chill. ‘were’.
Then the L is long, is deep, it’s a back dark open L sound. A lot of times people drop the L, and then they say something like ‘word’, ‘Westword’. That’s a different name. ‘Westworld ‘o-o-l’. You want to make sure that you hear that dark deep L sound.
And only then you bring the tongue up for the D, and it has to be light. ‘were-lld, were-lld’. Once you hear the D, that’s it, the word is over. So, it shouldn’t be too dominant.
Now, the WEST starts with a W, and then it’s the ‘ɛ’ as in red. ‘Wɛ-‘, so you want to drop your jaw here. And then the S is pronounced until it is stopped abruptly, and that is technically the T. ‘Wɛs, wɛs.’ So, I don’t really pronounce the T, it’s not ‘west’. ‘wes[t]’.
Moving on to the next word – ‘world’. Westworld, okay? ‘westworld’. So, all these consonants are kind of squeezed in together. So, in order to pronounce it clearly, follow my guidelines and then do it over and over and over and over again, like 20-30 times until you get your tongue around it. Westworld.
Queer as Folk.
Here the ‘as’ is a function word, but we’re going to pronounce it fully. ‘Queer’ has a high E sound, and then you shift to the R – kwee-r. Make sure you don’t bring the tongue up too soon cuz then it’s gonna sound like ‘were’, ‘kwee-r’. So give some space for the high E to be pronounced – kwee-r.
Then open your mouth for the A in ‘cat’ and close it with the Z, not an S. kwee-raz. And then we have the word FOLK /fowk/. It is not /folk/. There is no L and the O is a long O as in ‘go’. Folk.
Queer as Folk. Connect it all together. ‘kwee-raz-fowk’
“I can’t accept your proposal.”
“What just happend?”
Classy. BATSH-l’r. You start with a B and then it’s the A as in ‘cat’. Batch- close it with a CH sound, the first syllable – Batch-. And then the most important thing here is that you don’t pronounce the O. It’s not ‘-lore’, but it’s ‘l’r’. BATSH-l’r, BATSH-l’r.
And on the contrary, we have bachelorette. bache-lo-rette/batsh-luh-RET. So, we start the same: batsh-luh-RET. Here we do pronounce an /ɛ/ sound at the end, and that’s where the stress lies: bacheloRET. BATCHelor, the BATCHelor – the bacheloRET.
Okay, that’s it. Thank you so much for watching! Let me know in the comments below what is your favorite TV show, and if there are any other shows that I’ve forgotten to mention that are difficult for you to pronounce.
Also, if you want to grab the list of the shows and the phonetic transcription, come on over to my website – it’s on my blog post. And while you’re there, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter email list so you will get a new video to your inbox every single week.
Have a beautiful wonderful day, filled with nature and love and family!
And I will see you next week in the next video. Bye.
Now, practice it again:
1. Stranger Things /STREIN-j’r thin(g)z / IPA: ˈstreɪn-ʤər ˈθɪŋz
2. The Handmaid’s tale / th-‘HAND-meidz te-y’l (turns into th-‘HAN-meidz te-y’l)/ IPA: ðə ˈhɛənd-ˌmeɪdz ˈteɪɫ
3. Pretty Little Liars / pri-dee li-d’l lai-y’rz / ˈprɪ-t̬iː ˈlɪ-t̬əɫ ˈlaɪ-ərz
4. Big Little Lies / big li-d’l laiz / ˈbɪg ˈlɪt̬əɫ laɪz
5. Black Mirror / blak mir’r (turns into mirr) / IPA: blæk- ˈmɪrər
6. Game of Thrones / gei-m’v thrownz / IPA: ˈgeɪm əv ˈθroʊnz
7. Orange is the New Black / o-r’nj’z’th nuw blak / IPA: ˈɔrənʤ əz ðə nuː ˈblæk
8. Westworld / WES(t)-were-lld / IPA: ˈwɛst̚ˌwɜrɫd
9. Queer as folk / kwee-raz-fowk/ IPA: ˈkwir æz ˈfoʊk
10. The Bachelor & Bachelorette / th’ BATSH-l’r IPA: ˈbætʃ-lər / batsh-luh-RET IPA: ˌbætʃ-ləˈrɛt