What's the best way to find and record minimal pairs for a language without pronunciation trainers, like Khmer?

What do you do when you want to learn the minimal pairs of a language we don't have a pronunciation trainer for? We have a few recommendations to get you started. Let's run through them, using Khmer as the example. 

  • Find a private tutor/language partner who speaks the language (in this case, Khmer) natively. We recommend iTalki.com for connecting with native speakers. 
  • Create or find a list of example words. What works best is having a set of examples for each letter/sound of the alphabet, since you'll be able to turn those words into spelling flashcards.
    • Try working with your tutor to create example words.
  • Have your teacher say each example word, and then do your best to repeat it. Record your teacher both saying the word correctly and impersonating your mistake. 
  • Create minimal pairs from your recording. The goal is to be able to confidently tell whether your teacher is saying the word correctly or incorrectly. 

Note: There is a guide at the bottom of http://fluent-forever.com/chapter3/ to using the free audio program Audacity to create individual sound files out of your recordings. 

 

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