Archive for the Category: Pronunciation

Speaking with a foreign accent

I came across an interesting post today over on David Crystal’s blog about foreign accents. He believes that as long as other people can understand what you say in a foreign language, it doesn’t really matter if you speak it with a non-native accent. In fact your accent conveys your identity. He states that “it […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 13 Comments


Hypercorrection happens when people try to avoid making one type of ‘error’ in speech or writing, but overcompensate and apply the corrections to too many words. For example, those who habitually ‘drop’ their h’s sometimes add an h an just about any word beginning with a vowel when trying to speak ‘proper’. One case of […]

Also posted in English, Language 13 Comments

Dropping letters

George Bernard Shaw once said: “It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman despise him” Shaw, an Irish man, was to some extent poking fun at the English, but there certainly is some truth in his statement. English speakers have been complaining about the way other people speak […]

Also posted in English, Language 26 Comments

Regional variations

Last week’s language quizzes got me thinking about how the pronunciation of languages varies from region to region and country to country. When I hear someone speaking English, I can usually work out or guess which country they come from, and possibly which region. I don’t always get it right – I’m not very good […]

Also posted in Language 28 Comments

The joy of phonemes

I’ve been listening to Scottish Gaelic radio all day today. I don’t understand a lot yet, though can get the gist if I concentrate. As I listen, I often repeat some of the words and phrases I’m hearing – it’s a good thing I work at home most of the time, or my colleagues might […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning, Scottish Gaelic 23 Comments

Why you no understand?

Although I’m very used to hearing English spoken by non-native speakers, I do sometimes have difficultly understanding some of what they say. This is often because of mispronunciation and/or misplacement of word stress. Sometimes people have to repeat a word several times before I work out what they’re trying to say. The same happens to […]

Also posted in Language, Language learning 11 Comments
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