By Caroline Picard. To pronounce the name “squirrel” for the bushy-tailed critters is about as difficult for foreign language speakers as it is for you to keep those pesky squirrels out of your bird feeders. It looks like it’s pronounced “wor-cest-er-shi-er,” but it actually retains is British-English pronunciation. Ignominious 13. And nawiwindang is how we feel after seeing Yolanda’s aftermath: it’s shocking, unbelievable, unexpected and hard to wrap your mind around (Yes, we got all that in one word). This question may be somewhat controversial, but, in my opinion, English is a very hard language to learn. If you are an English learner, you have probably been confused by those words or difficult words like them.. The most difficult words to pronounce in the English language revealed – as well as the world’s favourite English tongue-twisters. Hello everyone. Unfortunately, the English language is full of word quirks that continue to boggle our minds. 10 more words that are hard to pronounce video script. 3. First off, the “th” combination doesn’t even exist in some languages, including German and Dutch, which raises the difficulty level. B.A., American Studies, Yale University; Olivia Valdes is the senior editor of ThoughtCo and the founder of Zen Admissions, a college admissions advising service. Tip: See my guide to the Most Common Pronunciation Errors in English. And there are also everyday words even native English speakers say incorrectly. University of Cincinnati; Mary Jo DiLonardo covers a wide range of … This two-syllable word, which is pronounced “is-muss,” refers to a narrow passage of land between two seas. The stressed syllable is indicated by a bold typeface. 5. Hell, we’re so creative we have words that defy exact translation into English. The Most Difficult English Words 1. And we’re back with another 10 words that are hard to pronounce in British and American English. Pronunciation can also be a problem. If someone is despicable or dishonorable, you may call them ignominious, that is, if you can even pronounce it properly. The problem that most English learners face is the great number of confusing words in the language. Along with pronouncing words correctly, make sure you also use these fancy words in conversations to sound smarter. While the popularity of this ancient grain has grown in recent years because of its “superfood” powers, many people still struggle with how to pronounce quinoa because of its numerous vowel blends. 5 Things That Make English Difficult for Foreigners to Learn. Onomatopoeia. In German, the “rl” typically comes at the end of a syllable like the name Karl, but in English the “rel” forms a syllable of its own. While it looks like it might be pronounced “drot,” it’s actually pronounced “draft,” (like the word “laugh”), and usually refers to an alcoholic beverage drawn from a keg. Non-native English speakers can easily get confused by the pronunciation of this British word because it has a double irregularity: first with the a-u vowel combination, and then again with the g-h-t consonant blend. In this video you will learn the hardest korean words to pronounce for foreigners. What makes it so tricky? Tip: See my guide to the Most Common Pronunciation Errors in English. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), 14 toughest tongue twisters in the English language, how to properly pronounce these 35 medical words, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. It may be because the double “c” and double “s” trips people up. A billion people are learning English around the world and most of … Worcestershire sauce originated in the town of Worcester, England, and is pronounced “Wooster,” while the term “shire” is the British word for “county” and sounds like the ending of “Hampshire.” Therefore, the word is pronounced “WOOster-sher.” Make sure you never say these food words wrong again, as well as know how to pronounce gyro. Many English speakers reading this list are probably starting to question the verbal skills of these Redditors. In fact, you’ve probably heard people pronouncing the word as “mis-CHEEVE-ee-us,” when it’s actually a three-syllable word pronounced MIS-chiv-us.” The problem lies in the fact that the old form of the word was spelled with an extra “i” at the end, which was standard until the 1700s. 1. voiced (vocal cords vibrate) as in the words: the, this, father 2. unvoiced (Vocal cords don’t vibrate) for example: three, thanks and mouth French speakers find the “TH” sound particularly difficult to pronounce as it doesn’t exist in their own language. Voiced and unvoiced. 2. Can you tackle the 14 toughest tongue twisters in the English language? ‘Literally’ means, “in a literal sense”, or “what I’m saying is not imagined, but truly happened as I’m saying it.” Therefore, popular uses like “I literally died … That’s why we’ve created a list of some of the hardest English words to help you learn how to say them correctly. The tricky part, for German speakers in particular, is the “rel” ending. Like Worcestershire, “mischievous” is one of those hard words to pronounce that many Americans also have trouble saying. As native speakers, we rarely stop to think how illogical many of t… Often There are innumerable examples of conundrumssuch as: 1. Despite the word’s short length, its five syllables filled with many “i’s” and “o’s” is enough to get anyone tongue-tied. If you apply Standard English rules, you’d think it would be pronounced “qwin-o-ah,” but it’s actually a Spanish word that has numerous acceptable pronunciations, including “KEEN-wah,” “ken-WAH,” and even “KEN-o-ah.” (Believe it or not, but you may have been saying these company names wrong your entire life.). On-o-what? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you have more suggestions for hard-to-pronounce German words, send them to us at feedback.english@dw.de. Rural 17. 1. Well, aside from the silent “h” and the irregular use of the consonant “y,” the word has 21 letters and eight—yes, count ’em, eight—syllables. They sometimes replace the “TH” sound with the letters “f” or “s” … Confused yet? One user commented, “What kind of word has an ‘s’ and ‘xth’ sound?” Not sure anyone has the answer for that yet and we may never know. Okay, so this is a difficult one even for English people. Literally. Jul 21, … Onomatopoeia 7. The 31 Most Hard-to-Pronounce Words in the English Language. Keeping your tongue behind your teeth while speaking this word can help with pronunciation. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Sixth 15. 1. Squirrel 12. Also Read: 16 Colors And Their Beautiful Names In The Philippine Language. 20 Most Difficult Words to Pronounce in the English Language. We recommend our users to update the browser. The hardest word in the English language for foreigners to the pronounce is 'Worcestershire', according to a recent poll.. On a recent Reddit thread, user … Mary Jo DiLonardo . If you’re an English language learner, however, the double consonants in this Middle-English word can certainly trip you up and make you think that it’s pronounced “SKIss-ors” (when we know it’s actually pronounced “sizzors”). At first glance, the word looks like it should be pronounced “succ-ess-ful” but that is incorrect because the second “c” is pronounced like an “s,” which can confuse anyone learning how to read or speak English. 4. This is one of the trickiest sounds and to add insult to injury, there are two distinct ways to pronounce it! It will teach you about commonly mispronounced words, pro­nunci­ation patterns, and the basics of English phonology. Yes, this is a fairly common word, and most native native speakers have no trouble learning how to pronounce it. Anemone 9. A Reddit thread asked users to weigh in on which words in the English language were hard words to pronounce and “sixth” made the list. May 18, 2016 . The list below contains some of the most commonly mispronounced words (mostly by foreigners) in English. The list below contains some of the most commonly mispronounced words (mostly by foreigners) in English. “Overlook” and “oversee” have opposite meanings, while “look” and “see” mean the same thing. This article was based on my guide to English pronunciation mistakes, which explains many similar topics. Let’s be honest: This word is actually hard for native English-speaking Americans to pronounce too. Education Expert. After all, there are words spelled completely differently than they actually sound, multiple words that sound the same but mean totally different things, and complex grammar rules that still make our heads spin. Olivia Valdes. Say what? Draught 5. Temperature 20. It will teach you about commonly mispronounced words, pro­nunci­ation patterns, and the basics of English phonology. Synecdoche 19. However hard you try to learn English, there will always be exceptions to the rules to make your life harder. Pronunciation is given in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and in a notation that uses just three IPA symbols (ə as in “again” or ”a book”, æ as in “cat”, and ʌ as in “but”) and should be quite intuitive to read. Isthmus 10. One of the reasons why English is known for being difficult is because it’s full of contradictions. What may seem at first incomprehensible series of letters is actually your new challenge! It will teach you about commonly mispronounced words, pro­nunci­ation patterns, and the basics of English phonology. So if you have problems using the formal pronunciation, which is “oh-toh-rye-no-lar-ing-GOL-uh-jee,” you can just refer to the doc by her more informal title: an ENT. Then, to further complicate matters, the “th” in this word is silent, so you can ignore it anyway. At Confidence Learning Services, we freely admit that English is a difficult language to pronounce.That’s why we offer advanced English Pronunciation courses and offer tips and videos on Accent Reduction. No one would say the English language is simple. Why don’t you check it out? Ironically, the word that means happiness makes lots of people (mostly foreigners) very unhappy. Native English speakers know that this 16th-century word, which is derived from Middle French, is pronounced “ker-nul.” However, those learning English as a second language get confused by the first “o” sounding like an “e,” the “l” that sounds like an “r,” and the second “o,” which is completely silent. Here, we’re looking at the common 18 English words that Spanish speakers mispronounce when trying to learn English. As a follow up to our article on confusing words, here are ten of the most difficult words in English. Why? 16 English Words That Are Hard for Non-Natives to Say By. After all, most of us have grown up saying the word squirrel on a regular basis. Slam poet and former teacher Taylor Mali says that he makes students spell definitely and beautiful over and over again, until they never misspell either one of those words again.. Senior Writer. English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing By. For many non-native speakers, the “xth” three-consonant cluster in words like “sixth” are quite the tongue twister. Whether you think it's 'rural' or 'fünfhundertfünfundfünfzig,' the most difficult word to pronounce is mostly relative to where you're sitting. Onomatopoeia is the hard-to-pronounce name given to a literary device referring to words that imitate the sound they make, such as “buzz,” “meow,” and “roar.” The pronunciation of the word, however, is slightly less easy to understand, because more than half of the six-syllable word’s 12 letters are vowels—and five of them are blended together at the end. Yeah, that was great. English can be a tricky language for foreigners to learn, especially when it comes to deciphering these hard words to pronounce. Tip: See my guide to the Most Common Pronunciation Errors in English. You can also join the discussion on Twitter with DW at … Still struggling? If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If you know a language purist, watch out. Phenomenon 16. On top of that, those hardest words often contain Polish diphthongs: ‘sz’, ‘cz’, ‘rz’ and special Polish characters like ł, ś and ć. Here are 17 words even smart people mispronounce without realizing it. Misuse of this word has been known to raise people’s blood pressure. Thank you to everyone who has told us about words you find hard to pronounce. Quinoa 6. We will teach you how to sound like a native Korean speaker! Find out what the longest word in English is. Successful 14. This is the term given to an ear, nose, and throat doctor, and is probably one of the most difficult-to-pronounce medical specialties in the entire history of humankind. Neither is there any apple nor pine in pineapple. Otorhinolaryngologist 11. istock. Many English language learners are quite unsuccessful reading and pronouncing the word “successful” for the very first time. If you … It’s also one of the most confusing hard words to pronounce for non-native English speakers to learn. 40 Hard-to-Pronounce Words You're Probably Getting Wrong Share Flipboard Email Print Elly Walton / Getty Images. 1. Mischievous 4. School/Eschool Sure there are accent differences, but there are also a few common pronunciation mistakes Spanish learners of English can make. Nemo’s answer: “An anemonemone. These exceptions only prove the rules, and yes, you heard that right – there are very clear rules governing English pronunciation. There is no ham in hamburger. Which words are most difficult for Spanish Speakers to pronounce? If you say "rural" perfectly every time, you must be superhuman. Say “on-o-mot-o-PEE-a,” and you’ll be on your way to sounding like an English-literature professor. 1. And I’m Jay and I’m American. Now that you know how to say otorhinolaryngologist correctly, make sure you know how to properly pronounce these 35 medical words too. Colonel 2. I’m Vicki and I’m British. Not to mention that it ends in an “s,” which typically refers to a plural and is called a “pair,” even though it’s a single instrument. Amnemonemomne.” It’s not surprising that even little Nemo trips over his own wild-flower habitat: The vowel-heavy word looks like it should rhyme with “tone” or “bone” and be pronounced “an-e-MOAN” or “ayn-moan,” but it’s actually a four-syllable word pronounced “ah-NEM-oh-nee.”. Specific 18. English. If you’re a fan of Finding Nemo, you might remember the scene where Mr. Ray asks Nemo what type of home he lives in. Scissors 8. We’ve compiled thirty such words. We asked our Instagram followers, as well as our students and English teachers, which words they struggled with the most when they first started learning English. Next, find out the 20 words even smart people mispronounce. 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