History teachers know a lot. We have to have at least an intermediate understanding of how multiple governments work, multiple economic systems, the basics of an array of religions, how geography influences a culture – then add in how these things changed over time and influenced each other.
But sometimes, pronunciation can get the better of us.
When I was a new world history teacher, the pronunciation of names and places was nerve-wracking. I taught in a state with a slightly different accent than my own and I taught to an almost entirely ESL audience. Not that they didn’t understand English but their accent also changed the dynamic of pronunciation.
Free in my TpT store are the pronunciation guides for three cultures that commonly give teachers anxiety:
The longest pronunciation video is 1 minute 33 seconds. I have included a visual of each name I am pronouncing and my favorite part is how easy it is to listen to a specific part – over and over and over again.
Many of the words were learned over time and many were learned by listening to tons of YouTube videos. I do not speak a word of Hindi but I watched a lot of videos and listened closely for the name I was looking (at least I assume the videos were in Hindi).
Remember, unless you are awesome with pronunciation (because some just are) it is okay to stumble. It is okay to not say it quickly. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having to read Mahajanapada as you say it. I had to look it up and sound it out to type it.
The most important thing is you try and you get close. Just as you ignore a slight mispronunciation of English by a foreign speaker, native speakers in China or Japan or India are fine with you not saying the names perfectly.
If you use my pronunciation videos on TpT, please leave me feedback. They are free and you will NOT receive credit for it but I would so appreciate it. If for some reason you cannot give me a 4-star review, please email me before hand and I will see if I can accomodate you.
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