English Pronunciation

Apparently these are the ten English words most mispronounced by foreigners.

My heart goes out to them — English is not a phonetic language.

Notice the British and American pronunciations were slightly different. Here’s a short video with other examples.

And here’s a longer one (about 20 minutes) analyzing the five key differences between British pronunciation and American pronunciation. It may be too long for you, but I thought it was interesting.

The part I liked best was one of the comments:

ohh so that’s why whenever I talk in British English, my mouth kind of tired doing it


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13 Responses to English Pronunciation

  1. tammy j says:

    what fun!
    although she was a distraction I thought with all her hand movements.
    English must be a terribly hard language to learn.
    and you so often hear of people who’ve come here and say they learned how to speak it from watching television! amazing.
    I love the British pronunciations. but then I love all things British really.
    they didn’t even begin to try to explain the deeper Southern dialects of this country!
    how they can take a single syllable and turn it into at least TWO! LOL.
    bill. or bee’al.
    tammy j´s last blog post ..moving on old bean

  2. This was fun…Thanks
    peppylady (Dora)´s last blog post ..Lotteries We Can Dream Big

  3. Rummuser says:

    I quite enjoyed it. One of my great regrets is that young Indians are giving up English pronunciation in favour of American thanks to the influence of Hollywood films. It is appalling for an old Anglophile like me.
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..Golden Jubilee Wedding Anniversary.

  4. Canadians, like me, are influenced by both. Poor us—neither here no there!
    Still the Lucky Few´s last blog post ..The Post—Three Compelling Reasons to See This Movie

  5. Cathy in NZ says:

    I didn’t watch much, if any of the last clip – but then I remembered that our English down here is so mixed up that I think I won’t be a worrying too much about whether I’m speaking it right or semi-wrong.

    the other problem that we have is the spelling, when you say a word like “the sea was so blue today” and then “see that little boat out on the sea” – it doesn’t at times even relate to tones…

    then of course we might not even mention the colour of the sea at all…there’s an assumption of the colour…

    • Jean says:

      That last one was very long, but I included it because of the first part about how differently we form the sounds. And because of the comment about the person’s mouth getting tired when speaking British English.

      I’m intrigued by some of the terms you use, like “arvo”, and I read an article about how that came about in Australia. It will be in a post very soon.

    • Cathy in NZ says:

      don’t forget “smoko” – a VIP event…depending on where and when you use it…

    • Jean says:

      I looked up “smoko” and they say it’s an informal break, (from cigarette breaks) which makes sense. I had never heard the term before.

    • Cathy in NZ says:

      smoko is usually in the morning, a few hours after you start work, a bit like morning tea but not in a formal setting – you get your cuppa, your smoke and have a break – sometimes you might get a biscuit or scone with your cuppa – that particularly if you aren’t going to smoke.

      of course now with introduction of the no smoking in many building – you find huddled groups outdoors – loitering on the street, puffing away – they mightn’t even have their cuppa, just their smokes…

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