Donald Tram

Posted by on November 24th, 2016 | 2 responses | consonant clusters, IELTS, phonemes, pronunciation, speaking

Indonesian flag ‘Trump’ is a little bit tricky for Indonesians for two reasons:

  1. It contains the phoneme /ʌ/, which is extremely rare in Bahasa Indonesia.
  2. It ends with a ‘consonant cluster’ (/mp/) – also rare in Bahasa Indonesia.

Indonesians will use sounds that are close enough for the sake of communication, and when they say ‘Donald Tram’, we know they mean ‘Donald Trump’. But if you’re taking IELTS you can easily score points for pronunciation by producing the correct sounds:

  • /trʌmp/

The phoneme /ʌ/ is very common in spoken English: up, under, mother, thorough, etc.
Finding spoken examples of ‘Trump‘ should be easy – just switch on CNN! (And remember to switch on your ears, too!)
BTW in British English, ‘trump’ is a slang word for ‘fart’! 🙂

2 responses to “Donald Tram”

  1. Sri says:

    Haha, hilarious!
    I think this ‘donald tram’ case is also one of hypercorrection examples in pronunciation which a lot of Indonesians make. Despite the knowledge of its spelling, their subconcious mind has told them that anything which is spelt ‘a’ should be ‘american english -wise’ pronounced /ae/ like in black bag /blaek baeg/, , not /blʌk bʌg/. So again, they think because we are talking the President of America..they thought that when others said donald /trʌmp/, that’s wrong – i had to be donald /traem/ . Having said that, I totally agree with you with the rarity of consonant clusters in Indonesian.

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