How do you pronounce development?
I do a lot of accent reduction coaching with IT professionals. And one word that almost all of my clients mispronounce is development.
It’s a tricky word!
Development is a tricky word…unless you understand a two key things about American English.
1. Key #1~ In the word development, the second syllable is stressed.
2. Key #2 ~ In the word development, the other vowels are pronounced with a schwa vowel sound /ǝ/.
Reframe the word using my code
When I work with clients, I always reframe the way they look at words using a code that I’ve developed. Below is my spelling of development.
- dǝ VEL➝ ǝp mǝnt
You can see that the unstressed syllables have a schwa vowel sound /ǝ/.
I’ve capitalized the stressed syllable and added an ➝ after it.
That tells my clients that the stressed syllable, in this case VEL➝ ,should be said with extra pitch and length.
The vowel sounds in the other syllables should be reduced.
Listen to the pronunciation of development
Other words like this
I use the same method to help my technology and engineering clients pronounce many other problematic words including:
American accent training for IT professionals
If you’re an IT or engineering professional, looking for some specific techniques for speaking American English more clearly, take a free trial lesson in my American Accent Training for IT Professionals course.
This customized training program will teach you how to pronounce IT words and phrases in a way that your American colleagues will immediately understand!
About the author
Susan Ryan is an American English communication and accent reduction coach.