English is such a hard language :-)

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English is such a hard language :-)

Postby hattie » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:48 pm

I came across this email a few days ago and thought I'd share it with all you native english speakers!!! Just so you see how hard it is to pronounce your language.
The first time I saw this poem : :D :geek: :? :shock: :shock:



After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!
Vampires have risen from the dead, the grave and the crypt, but have never managed it from the cat.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby MongoGutman » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:09 pm

All seems perfectly straightforward to me. Just goes to show, foreigners don't try hard enough.
Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? ~~ Oddball
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Conforumist » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:11 pm

Wow, that's all I have to say about that.

rrriiiight :)
English is my second language, but because I was only 9 when I started learning it, I think it was easier. I really struggled with the writing part of it though.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby hattie » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:14 pm

Well I grew up speaking English and German but we moved to Austria when I was 8... which means I have the perfect vocabulary of an 8 year old and am trying quite hard to get it up to scratch :-)

Not trying hard enough :lol: right! we don't have people struggling with pronunciation in German :lol:
Vampires have risen from the dead, the grave and the crypt, but have never managed it from the cat.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Catch-up » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:24 pm

That is ridiculous, isn't it?! I would love to learn a second language. Took a stab at Japanese in college, but buckled after two semesters. :oops:
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:34 pm

I found high German grammar so difficult . :? and I'm not able to speak enough Scottish Gaelic for my liking and lived to far south for it to be taught in school but we had French and German taughtin lessons. :(
He willnae tak' a drink! I think he's deid! , on the other hand though A Midgie in yir hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby The Mad Collector » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:09 pm

I've taught English in a few countries and yes it can be tricky but at least we don't have genders to worry about and English speakers are remarkably forgiving for pronunciation. We have to be, the language is mangled frequently (often by natives) so even if it is a mess English speakers will attempt to understand what you are trying to say. Try that in France where you may as well speak Martian as mispronounced French. German is easier in theory, but the habit of running words together into one massive 'where the hell do I start' word is daunting for less experienced speakers.

Love the poem though :D , Americans as opposed to Brits (two countries divided by a common language) can't do that right all the way through and as a lot of English taught outside the UK is their pronunciation by implication a lot of people taught English as a second language are also going to struggle.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby MongoGutman » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:34 am

If they don't understand talk louder and slower. And wave your arms.
Last edited by MongoGutman on Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? ~~ Oddball
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby ChristianBecker » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:41 am

What a nice poem. Sums it up nicely. :D

The Mad Collector wrote:... English speakers are remarkably forgiving for pronunciation. We have to be, the language is mangled frequently (often by natives) so even if it is a mess English speakers will attempt to understand what you are trying to say...

That's a blessing, really.
As for German - I'd love to try teaching it to a foreigner, but I don't know how far I'd come. There are so many rules one knows (as a native speaker) and interspersed with sub-rules to the rules and the odd exception here and there, that I wouldn't know where to begin (and, come to that, what all the rules are).
On with their heads! I'm the clown prince of fools
if you don't get the joke it's your loss
Love and laughter you see are the new currency
'cause greed's coinage is not worth a toss

Exile yourself to the unforgiving continent of Wraeclast!
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby stripy_tie » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:31 pm

The Mad Collector wrote:I've taught English in a few countries and yes it can be tricky but at least we don't have genders to worry about and English speakers are remarkably forgiving for pronunciation. We have to be, the language is mangled frequently (often by natives) so even if it is a mess English speakers will attempt to understand what you are trying to say. Try that in France where you may as well speak Martian as mispronounced French. German is easier in theory, but the habit of running words together into one massive 'where the hell do I start' word is daunting for less experienced speakers.

Love the poem though :D , Americans as opposed to Brits (two countries divided by a common language) can't do that right all the way through and as a lot of English taught outside the UK is their pronunciation by implication a lot of people taught English as a second language are also going to struggle.


Oh god the genders, why must other languages give everything a sex? words aren't male or female they're just words


hattie wrote:Well I grew up speaking English and German but we moved to Austria when I was 8... which means I have the perfect vocabulary of an 8 year old and am trying quite hard to get it up to scratch :-)

Not trying hard enough :lol: right! we don't have people struggling with pronunciation in German :lol:


Well your written English seems spot on, there's no hard and fast rules for anything in English and I think that's what gets a lot of other language speakers. It's been changed and influenced and has stolen bits of every language that's ever existed in Western Europe.

So the only real way to learn it is the way it evolved, piece by piece, word by word. You'll get there in the end.
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Ridcully » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:20 pm

Very funny Hattie and very true, or should i say - Sehr witzig? :D
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby hattie » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:24 pm

I definitely hope so :-)
I know word genders are really hard :-) Everyone tells me German is hard...Germans tell me they can't understand Austrians.. Americans have the same problems with Brits...oh well :D
When I learned french, the hardest thing was that the same words in German and French have different genders...complicated !!!

@Ridcully yes! wirklich witzig :-)
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby jaznbonnie » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:49 pm

MongoGutman wrote:If they don't understand talk louder and slower. And wave your arms.



Sounds like you've met a few of our US tourists. :lol:
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby Ridcully » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:12 pm

:clap:
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Re: English is such a hard language :-)

Postby michelanCello » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:53 pm

English pronounciation can be quite confusing... :? But it's always fun to listen to "hungrish*" :lol:









*A word our english teacher always uses for weird pronounciation or grammar structures someone takes over from the hungarian language ;)
Listen.
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