Learn how to pronounce the words MESSAGE & MASSAGE with this American English Pronunciation Lesson.


MESSAGE is a verbal or written or recorded communication

MASSAGE is kneading of muscles


MESSAGE: /ˈmɛsɪʤ/

MASSAGE: /məˈsɑʤ/ or /məˈsɑʒ/


Hello it is Jennifer from Tarle speech with your question of the week. Two words today:
message a verbal written or recorded communication and
massage kneading muscles

Let’s take a look at our words. We have message and massage. First things we are going to have a stress shift here for the words. For message syllable one is going to be stressed. That means it’s going to be a little bit louder, a little bit higher in pitch, and the vowel will be a little bit longer. Most of my students miss that vowel length one. So um, you know who you are out there, if that’s you, make it a little longer. And then we are going to stress syllable number two in massage and you actually have two options um for the ending there. I do hear both so i’m going to teach both of those.

Let’s start with the m super easy breezy. Put your lips together. Air moves out of your nose. Very easy. For meh your mouth is going to be slightly open for that eh sound.

You can see the tip of my tongue just between my top and bottom teeth. eh. It’s peeking out there. So make this vowel a little more relaxed, meaning it’s not super tense. You’re not saying a a a its eh eh eh.

My tongue is relaxed in my mouth. There’s a slight little cup in the middle of my tongue. If you want to get super specific. And my tongue is not touching anywhere in my mouth. If you struggle with differentiating these vowels, it’s not e in me, it’s not mih as in mitten. It’s eh a little bit lower just peeking out of your mouth there. So we have meh meh meh. I just noticed I’m going to erase that h there because some of you will get a little bit confused because this is not the way I normally write it. And let me do my little short little u on the top there. Okay so we have meh. And then for muh for massage, super relaxed vowel uh. My mouth is open. My tongue is very neutral. It’s just in the middle of my mouth. It’s just that short uh.

Now let’s move to syllable number two. Syllable number two in both of these words starts with the s sound. For that s sound air is going to move out of your mouth continuously. Tip of the tongue is either pointed down or just behind the top front teeth. It’s not touching anywhere. Then we’re going to add that short i sound. Again let me add that. I’m on the struggle bus with my spellings here today. Sorry everyone! And for that IH we talked about that slightly. The tongue is going to be behind the top front teeth and a little more relaxed. It’s just behind the bottom part of your top teeth and you don’t really see it when you’re saying this sound, sih sih sih

Then we’re going to end with the j j. To do this touch the tip of your tongue to the back of your top front teeth. Start at that same spot where you would make a d sound and then pull the tongue back into the middle of the mouth.

message message message

If you’re struggling with this a little bit, check out that my mouth is a little tiny bit more open for this part, and then it’s a little more closed for this part because of those vowels.

message message message message message

Now for saazh or saaj you actually have two choices here. You know to start with that s sound and then we’re going to move to that open ah sound. Open your mouth wide. Tip of your tongue is low in the bottom of your mouth back of your tongue is pulled up. You can say the j like we did for the top part. ma saj with the j. Or you can just do the zh sound which is rounded lips. Voice box is on and air is just continuously moving out of your mouth and your tongue is sort of in the middle of your mouth. It’s not touching anywhere so we have ma saj with the J or ma sazh with the zh sound that zh sound.

So let’s try these all again.
message message message message
massage massage massage massage massage

That one’s hard for me because I don’t say that. And then with the s the z h there which is the zh sound

massage massage massage

So again
message massage message
massage message massage
If you want to touch your teeth and say that j for massage go for it and you can do that as well. So let’s give it a try in a sentence:

Leave a message at the salon to schedule your massage.

So give it a try i hope people notice the difference. If you found this helpful give us a like and a share. If you have time and if you need help check us out on Tarle speech for our classes and our products. Thanks so much everyone have an amazing weekend!