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Can somebody explain to me why the "L" in Salmon is supposed to be silent? And why does it need to be there if it is not needed? If the "A" is supposed to be pronounced longer then why is it not "AA" or at least with an apostrophe that shows it needs to be pronounced longer?

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Good question whnuien, I guess the answer is that people got used to saying it like that. We had a reform in Portuguese recently and most of the silent words were removed, so maybe that will happen with English in the future?

Samon doesn't look good though!  :tongue:

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I agree, "Samon" doens't look very good.

I think one reason is just that... It's always been like that, and even though the l is silent, I feel like it matters. I feel like if it was written "samon" a lot of people would pronounce it like sam-on (like the name Sam).

I suppose the silent l also causes a lot of people to say it wrong the first times... But well. I don't know.

It's an interesting question though, but I think it ultimately just comes down to being something that has always been like that for a very long time, and the people who are in "charge" of the dictionaries just don't want to change it because it's always been written like that. You could probably ask them though, but you might not get a good answer...

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Words are pronounced based on their root, meaning where they derived from and so on. I believe that the word salmon may be old English or Latin.

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Samon doesn't look good though!  :tongue:

Samon makes me think of a name Simon.

I hope this will be removed though because this is one of the reasons why teaching English is difficult  :wacky:

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There are simply some words in English that are supposed to be pronounced that way.  If you listen to it as well, salmon really sounds better without the letter "l". 

It can be very tricky if you are not aware of all these types of words with silent letters.  That's why it really helps a lot if you watch a lot of movies or English shows because you see things as people say it.

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Nope, I can't explain it really, but it is a good question. There are TONS of examples of this in English...we just sort of stole bits and pieces from other languages and mashed them altogether ;). I hate all the silent "g's" floating around.

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You have asked a good question there. There are so many things in life that do not have an explanation. People create a language and develop it as they go along. Maybe the person who came up with the word salmon decided that they did not like how it sounded pronounced with an L. Maybe they would keep correcting their friends when they pronounced the L until they got it right. Just saying!

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English is kind of weird sometimes. So, all you can do is accept it as it is. Even natives freak out at all those silent letters. The reason why are they used in the first place? Well, it depends on many factors. One of them: if we take the silent letter out there might be already existing word with that spelling. 

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