Introduction to the Schwa ๐Ÿ“น

How to produce the schwa

Ok guys. Here we go. Itโ€™s time to talk about one of the most important sounds in English. I feel like I say that everyday but this time, I really mean it. So listen up, the schwa sound. 

Ok so what is the schwa? It is this really relaxed central vowel. Uh. 

The two most common mistakes that I hear Brazilians making with this sound is they either say ah, or รณ, instead of uhh... which means youโ€™re making vowels sounds that are too open. 

For example, a lot of times I hear /Whaht are you doing?/ Which is almost the long A sound in chato, prato. Which is way too open. 

I also hear the รณ sound a lot. Like frรณm. Frรณm. But it should be from. From. come. Sun. fun. Run. 

An example I talk about a lot is my dogโ€™s name is Sonny. Sonny. But my girlfriend always says sรณnny. Come here sรณnny. 

And last but not least. Many Brazilians have the tendency to make the /u/ sound. Which means your are making a vowel sound that is too closed. Like cuuulture instead of culture. Fruuustration instead of frustration. Etc. 

So both of these mistakes are connected to tension. You probably donโ€™t realize it, but when you make sounds like a, aw, or u. You are creating tension in your mouth and tongues and lips. But the schwa is a completely relaxed sound. 

So letโ€™s have our little moment of zen if you are having any difficulties making this sound, just make sure that your face is super relaxed. Get in the position like you are ready to talk. And then relax your face, body, muscles, just a little bit more. Like your face is melting. 

And then you just let air flow out of your mouth. Uhโ€ฆโ€ฆ.