The ʒ sound (/ʒ/ Phoneme) shj Sound

Hi there this is the ʒ sound. As in the words:

  • decision /dɪˈsɪʒən/
  • usually /ˈjuːʒuəli/
  • television /ˈteləˌvɪʒən/

The ʒ sound is from the ‘Consonants Pairs’ group and it is called the ‘Voiced palato-alveolar sibilant’. This means that you create friction through clenched teeth by directing air flow through a narrow channel formed along the middle of the tongue.

How to Pronounce the ʒ Sound

The/ʒ/ phoneme is made through the mouth and it is Voiced which means that you vibrate your vocal chords to make the sound.

It is defined by shape of your tongue and the position of your teeth and it is a Sibilant, which is a sound made by directing a stream of air with the tongue towards the sharp edge of the teeth, In this case .
To produce the sound Clench your teeth together lightly and pull your tongue away from them. Then push air though them, whilst voicing out.

How the /ʒ/ phoneme is spelled.

The /ʒ/ phoneme is normally spelled with the letter ‘su’ as in the words:

  • measure /ˈmeʒə/
  • usual /ju:ʒu:əl/

But can also be spelled with the letters ‘si’ as in the words:

  • vision /vɪʃən/
  • version /vɜ:ʃən/

It is very rare for English words to start or end with the /ʒ/ phoneme. But here are some words with the/ʒ/ phoneme in the middle:

  • conclusion /kənklu:ʒən/
  • pleasure /pleʒə/
  • unusual /ʌnju:ʒu:əl/
  • luxury /lʌkʒəri:/

So, that’s it for the /ʒ/ phoneme but we have made additional videos on each of the groups of sounds Vowels, Diphthongs, Single Consonants, or Consonant Pairs as well as a video explaining the the phonetic chart.

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