Home > Uncategorized > Some things about English that native speakers do not consciously know…

Some things about English that native speakers do not consciously know…

As speakers of English, we are often confused by the lack of vowels in some other languages.  For instance, “Kyrgyzstan” -> how the hell do you pronounce that???  It probably just looks like “kerrrrrrstan” to most English speakers.

But guess what, we confuse the hell out of non-native speakers too.  (And most of us do not know these consciously.)  Let me give you some examples to illustrate my point:

Consider the word ‘world’.

It’s really pronounced as ‘werrr-rerld’, as if there were another vowel between ‘r’ and ‘ld’.

But someone trying to learn English would not be able to understand that.  Especially speakers of languages like Turkish, Japanese, Chinese etc., where every syllable consists of a vowel.  And in the romanized versions of these languages, the vowels are all explicitly spelt out!

Consider the word ‘will’.

It’s supposed to sound more like ‘wee-ill’, but many non-native speakers tend to say ‘wil’.

Honestly, we can find many more examples -> and this goes to show that either:

1) 26 letters in the alphabet is not enough to describe all the sounds in a language

2) we actually have a really bad correlation between the way our words are spelt and the way they are said

So really, if English is not your first language, and you have trouble understanding the pronunciation, try this trick: there might be ‘hidden vowels’ in many words.  Try to read a word assuming that there’s a hidden vowel sometimes.  You may discover that hey, I’m able to sound more correct now!

And if you have a friend who does not speak English as the first language, try helping him or her to pronounce the word ‘world’.  I think he or she will be grateful to you. 😀

So… anyone has more examples of these oddities in English? 😀

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