on 27 August 2011
I would highly recommend that any teacher of any foreign language read this book. It is a genuinely practical book which teaches the reader more about how we function when we speak than any other phonetics book I have ever read.
The author never goes off into fuzzy theoretical descriptions, but always stays with his learners and carries them through the process of getting their own sound production system working in all sorts of unexpected ways. I discovered muscles I never know I had.
My only regret is that Catford didn't write it years earlier. It is exactly the book I would have liked to own when I studied phonetics.
Beautifully written, clear and concise, a real treat for anyone interested in the field of phonetics.
Thank you, Mr Catford, for an excellent book.
on 20 November 2007
In the preface to the first edition, Catford explained that he had written, not just for students of linguistics, but for actors, language teachers, the deaf, and many others. Anyone interested in learning the basics of phonetics and, above all, in learning how to pronounce the many sounds of the world's languages, will find this the ideal introduction.
on 21 August 2011
I'm amazed that I'm only the second person to review this book. Well, it's beautifully written, and wonderfully informative. Most of all it's genuinely practical (as the title promises). There are over a hundred straightforward exercises that sensitise us to the workings and possibilities of our vocal tracts for sound production.
Together with the same author's 'Fundamental Problems in Phonetics' (now sadly out of print), an invaluable legacy. I feel very grateful.