How to pronounce colleague

How to pronounce colleague

I’d say that 90% of the people who work with me on their American accent mispronounce the word colleague.

In American English, the word COLLeague is stressed on the first syllable.

The second syllable has secondary stress.

Take a look at the image below from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

The phonetic spelling is below the word, on the right side in blue font.

Can you see that tiny ‘ before the c?

That tiny ‘ tells you that the first syllable is stressed.

How to pronounce colleague

This is important for clear American speech.

When speaking American English, stressing words on the correct syllable is absolutely critical.

Listen to the American pronunciation of colleague.


Follow this link to learn more about syllable stress in American English.

About the author

Susan Ryan is an accent reduction coach. Contact her with your questions about clear American speech.