When you look at a musical instrument, it may seem like any other ordinary object to you. Without a guide or manual, you won’t be able to create good music from it. But an instrument player knows exactly which part creates what kind of a sound.
To be a successful musician, you would also need to consider how the listeners would perceive the sounds. Similarly, to be a good speaker, your words should sound clear and appropriate to the audience. This is what separates the efficient speakers of a language from the amateur ones.
Whenever you’re learning a new language, this skill is taught through phonetics. Phonetics is a part of linguistics that focuses on the sounds of speech. It involves learning to use your vocal organs correctly to pronounce the words more accurately.
Phonetics is further divided into three categories namely articulatory phonetics, auditory phonetics, and acoustic phonetics. Let’s learn a little more about each of these types.
As the name suggests, articulatory phonetics is a study of how different speech sounds are made. Acoustic phonetics tells us more about the physical properties of sounds. Lastly, auditory phonetics studies how speech sounds are perceived.
For a beginner, the more important question is, why should you learn phonetics? Well, the greater efficiency of a spoken language improves your confidence and gets your message across more accurately. It avoids confusion and makes communication much easier.
When you’re learning a skill or language, such subdisciplines can improve the quality of your experience immensely. If you’re doing something new, you should also try to excel at it. Otherwise, there is little charm in the acquisition of new skills.