The book service now includes the CD Pronunciation for Beginners, a re-recording of an audiocassette made by Miko Sloper when he was the director of the C.O. The recording has been divided into two parts: part I contains basic pronunciation information, and part II contains readings from Richardson’s Learning and Using the International Language.
The CD comes with the complete text of part I so students can follow along and read the words and phrases as Miko speaks them.
Both parts of the recording and accompanying text are available for free online at: http://esperanto-usa.org/info/general_links.html.
The CD is for those who don’t want to burn their own copy.
Pronunciation is one of the facets of Esperanto education which does not get enough attention from students and teachers. This is particularly true of courses taught by enthusiastic Esperantists who are not trained foreign language teachers. For example, the material at lernu.net varies in pronunciation accuracy from excellent to poor.
One reason for this oversight is that it’s difficult to put into words exactly how to pronounce certain letters and sounds; exactly what the student is doing incorrectly; and exactly what the student should do to correct his/her pronunciation. Another difficulty is that many students are self-taught, and don’t know how to evaluate their pronunciation, or how to improve it.
The advent of the computer has made it possible for individual students to improve their pronunciation, but few take the time and trouble to do so. One effective method is to record yourself speaking sentences from the text referred to above, and then listen to the recording again three or four days later. If you listen critically, you will no doubt find errors.
Many free recording programs are available. For example, the open-source Audacity allows you to record and edit sound files on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. See: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.