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Minimal Pairs for Japanese Speakers


Here are some of the more common difficulties I've noticed with my Japanese students. For some ideas to use these with students, go to my minimal pairs activities page.

If you want to know more about difficulties which Japanese students and other nationalities have with English pronunciation (as well as grammar and vocabulary), I thoroughly recommend the book "Learner English".



ɪi:
shipsheep
iteat
hitheat
binbean
liveleave

ɜ:ɔ:
workwalk
birdbored
furfor
shirtshort
sirsaw

vb
voteboat
veryberry
vanban
vestbest
vetbet

ɜ:ɑ:
burnbarn
heardhard
hurtheart
firmfarm
pursepass

sθ
sinthin
sumthumb
sankthank
sinkthink
sawthaw

zð
zenthen
whizzwith
breezebreathe
lowsloathe
closeclothe

lr
lightright
liesrise
flyfry
playpray
pilotpirate

ɔ:əʊ
bornbone
caughtcoat
walkwoke
snoresnow
sawsew

æʌ
catcut
ankleuncle
ranrun
drankdrunk
matchmuch

 

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