April 13, 2011

Back to English 1

Hi, guys! It's been two days since I last blogged, but it feels like a century ... well, not quite, but anyway, here I am.

Today I want to ramble about pronunciation. As most of you know, I'm from Argentina, so English is not my native language (Spanish is, in case you were wondering). Back in Argentina, I used to work as a teacher of English. I felt very comfotable doing my job; I don't think I ever had big trouble putting together a concept and I can honestly say I consider myself a good teacher. I always had control of the class and spoke very confidently because I knew I was the authority.

That has changed now that I am living in a place where everybody else knows more about the language than I do, naturally. You can't imagine how many times I need to think before I dare open my mouth! It's sometimes daunting. I am too aware of the fact that I am "the student" now and well, I hate to make mistakes and fail.

As for pronunciation ... well, that's another big issue. The truth is my pronunciation depends on who I'm talking to and how lazy I allow myself to be. And there are a few words I try to avoid at all costs!

Liaison ... I'd like to hear all of you pronounce that word, hehe. I'll always forget the right way to say it.

Popeye ... eeeh, I'll remember how to pronounce it the next time I see Popeyes' ad on TV, haha.

Maintenance: I remember when Val told me that was probably the most difficult word to pronounce. When I asked David what the correct way to pronounce it was, he didn't even understand what word I was talking about! I think that pretty much sums it up.

Mobile: I'd always pronounced it /'mobail/, like the British do. Americans say it in a completely different way! Why, God, why?!

Lettuce: this one is actually not a big deal, but I always feel stupid pronouncing it. You probably do not get why; well, ask a native Spanish speaker, ha.

Murderer: I remember that when I was in college a language teacher asked every single student to say that word. After my turn, she said, "still not quite there", haha.

Margaret Thatcher: you probably can't imagine how a person could possibly mispronounce her name. Well, I did; in class again (damn it!).

And I'm saying goodbye with a song I never cared to look up in and will hence always and forever keep "singing" my own way; that is, just mumbling whatever sounds I think Debbie Harry is saying ... FYI not even English words, haha.

Are there any English words you have a hard time pronouncing?

Hope you are all having a great week! ;)

All images via Yahoo.


Marie said...

a lot
I speak very fluently but not beautifully, I think (although many native speakers have congratulated me on my English)
but you know, tomeito, tomato, poteito, potato, it's not that big a deal

laura said...

I can totally relate. I was born and raised in the Philippines and was exposed to a totally different dialect of English there. I have lived in the US for over 12 years now, but I still feel insecure about my grasp over the pronunciation of words and vocabulary. But oh well. The little peculiarities in how we say words makes us interesting and different, right? :)
hearts, laura♥
the blog of worldly delights

Audacious Allure said...

As I read this entry I sat there asking my Dad to say each word because his native language is spanish as well and he was terrible with "murderer". And don't get me started on the word "Iron"

daisymay aka Chantele said...

Lol, miki your so cute. You should do a pronunciation video for your blog of words you have trouble with, then we can all do videos back of how we say the words.
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Nena Nadine said...

I still have trouble with some words and I speak English. lol.

Bethany Kellen said...

awww you're so cute.
i said each word out loud as i read the post.
i say the 1st word: lee aye son, but more like lee aye zon

Rosie said...

I have trouble with some words and i was born in england ^.^
i have trouble with 'chandelier' and 'dandelion'
yayyy so glad you receieved my prize :D hope you enjoy it :))

Rosie xo

gale said...

you're so cute miki...i wish we could hang out:) it's so awesome that you were a teacher in argentina. & i love what you said about that blondie song haha. i sing my own words to that song too lol. also, don't worry too much about your'll get used to it in no time. i even, yet to learn a lot of english words! oh and i really like daisymay's suggestion;)

p.s. what's with lettuce? please tell me haha

Chrissy said...

I hear you! Feel the same and try to aoid certain words as well! And depending on the person I am talking to, my English is great or horrible...but if someone would ever complain about my pronunciation I would offer talking in German or French instead....bitchy, I know, but so good!!! And I love the fact that when I talk to my daughter NOBODY understands us!! haha

Hello Naka said...

awh i would love to hear ur accent! and i speak enlighs but i had lots of trouble saying the word millenium and specific. I used to always pronounce specific as spiffin T_T!

I hope u gain more confidence, making mistakes is the fun part i think :p

Ashley said...

I always have trouble say specific and pacific... I try to avoid them at all costs! Haha or say them slowly. Most of the time I just talk way too fast anyway :)

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a video of you pronouncing all of these words! I love hearing non-native speakers talk. My teacher is from Jamaica and there are many, many words in our text books that she pronounces differently. Sometimes it takes me a moment to catch her meaning and sometimes when she pronounces something differently it sounds more correct coming out of her mouth (I don't know why!) Today she said "laden" instead of "ladle" and I thought it sounded just beautiful. I think words should be whatever you want them to be.