Pronunciation Guides

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:

Chinese Dynasties Pronunciation Guide   Japanese History Pronunciation Guide   Indian History Pronunciation Guide

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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9 responses to “Pronunciation Guides”

  1. I love this! I ma glad I am not the only one worried about the pronunciation of names and places. Lol… There are so many Latin words and so many places and names that are mispronounced in English. For example, the name of Italian artists from the Renaissance or from other periods of time and the names of Italian places are often mispronounced because of phonetic differences. I will definitely add this pronunciation tool to my resources! Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I started the TpT adventure in July. But, I am not in love with the concept anymore. I did sell the “About me” resource four times…then nothing. TpT is so competitive and requires time and patience. Plus, if you have the free plan 60% of what you earn goes to TpT..means you have to work hard to earn a bit more than nothing. I prefer to read and review..for now…and get books for free….. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is very competitive, especially at the elementary level. Middle school and high school have less sellers but also less buyers regardless of how TpT wants to spin it. I stick with it because I stay home with my children otherwise I would never. If you ever decide to jump in and go for it, get the premium membership. Despite poor sales I did make my money back on my membership in the first year.

        Liked by 1 person

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