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Hard To Pronounce Words


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I'm a native speaker, and I tend to stumble over "probably" a lot. It's not hard, I just get tongue tied

Words that tend to be hard to pronounce depend on the country of origin.  PEople will have trouble pronouncing sounds that are not in their native language, or not used the same way.  A lot of people say "ing" like "in" and omit the nasal sound.  Others have trouble with "r" and make it an "l" etc.

The same is true of English speakers, of course, when they are faced with sounds not part of english, or not used as we use them.

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I'm a native English speaker. "Strengths" is the longest one-syllable word in the English language. Trying to say it in one beat is a bit of a challenge I find.

Auxiliary is a word that I have various pronunciations for  :tongue: I never seem to remember the correct way to say it.

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There are some words I hate to pronounce in English. One of those examples is the word "thread". I just always feel stupid when pronouncing this word, as I know that I can not pronounce it very well  :angry:

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Yes, some English words are hard to pronounce even if you're a native speaker, which I am.   

I sometimes have trouble with "statistics," which is actually a common one that people find difficult.  I also have trouble with "suggested," especially if I am saying "She suggested." 

There are probably a few other words I have trouble with, but those two come to mind immediately.  When I do have trouble with a word -- or if it's a new word -- breaking it down into syllables and double-checking which syllable(s) are accented helps a lot. 

So it would be "stat - TIS - tics."

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Metamorphosis used always be a tongue twister for me for the longest time.  Honestly, there are not that many that I use in everyday speech that present pronunciation difficulties.  Another would have to be surreptitiously.  I used to have trouble saying the word "extravaganza".  That is a funny sounding word.

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I hadn't thought about this before but now that I saw this thread, and read some of everyone's views, I just realized that even I feel very weird and stupid saying the word "probably" There are just too many 'b's and I feel my mouth getting fat and falling trying to say it. Also there's a word "remuneration" that I keep calling "renumeration". Oh and amongst animals, I wish I never had to say the word "hippopotamus". What a god awful name for a poor animal!

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  • 2 weeks later...

For me is and has always been ''Teeth''.  I also have a lot troubles pronouncing the word ''Pear''.  For some reason I can't get that one right most of the time... not without feeling a bit awkward!  I have some toruble with english words that have the ''th'' sound.  That ones are really hard!

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Yeah, I struggle with 'th' as well, but I'm trying :P I think I'm already doing better than a year ago.

Especially a word like 'months'. I usually leave out the 'th' completely there.

Also, I'm having problem with 'require'. We pronounce the 'r' differently in Dutch, so when I try it in English, it comes out like 'wequiwe'.

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The word 'ouija'. I probably pronounce it 10 different ways, all wrong. Still not sure what is the correct way to pronounce it is.

That is a baffling word, as it is pronounced completely differently from the way it is spelled.

Phonetically, it is pronounced "WEE-Gee"  -- long "e" vowel sounds with the emphasis on the first syllable.  It makes no sense but that is how it's pronounced! 

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It does make sense if you know where the name comes from.

Oui is French and ja is German, both meaning yes.

So oui is pronounced wee and ja is pronounced yah, so ouija is pronounced wee-yah, although more often you'll hear it as wee-jah.

But if you think that's weird, why is geoduck pronounced gooey-duck? :P

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When I was  trying to learn more about proper English pronunciation, I had a hard time pronouncing 'sixth' because of th. Please take note that I am not a native speaker. :)

In my years of experience teaching Asian students, the words literally, intercontinental, and village proved to be bothersome. I agree with the others saying that one's origin is of consideration. The issue of enunciation is always affected because of the mother tongue of the learner. The differences of the two languages, the first and the second one, always surface in all aspects of language learning but it is usually most obvious in oral delivery.

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I was truly worry about my pronunciation knowing that some words are somewhat difficult to me, but I realized that this problem might not be about learning the correct pronunciation but about my own pronunciation in my mother tongue.

With a Greek father, I had a friend that used to called me up when I was young and made a remark on my father's accent. Through the years, I found many people, besides my friend pointed at my "accent" but since I was not born in Greece I never thought I could have one but just speaking the language of the country where I was born like all other people do.

Lie, seems that I have an accent, probably acquired from my parents, and this accents makes naturally difficult my pronunciation of certain words regardless the language they belong in.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, as a Filipino, I am having pronunciation slips when the words have /p/, /f/, /v/, and /b/ sounds.

Somehow similar to this. :)

Hahaha, I gotta say that this really made me laugh! Good job on finding this video. As for this topic, one of the hardest words that I have always had a difficulty in pronouncing is "withstand". I just could not properly make the "s" sound after "th".

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any word containing the "th" sound is difficult for me to pronounce correctly.

There is nothing like it in French (My native language) and I always struggle with its pronunciation.

There are many other things that make an English word difficult to pronounce for me, but this one is the primary cause of my struggle with English pronunciation.

Oh and I almost forgot there is also R's that I apparently just can't pronounce right. Sounds the same to me though, but native speakers tell me it doesn't...

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Theatre" and "truth" have always been my weakness. I don't think I have too much of a problem with it when I don't think about it, but once I do, I get too conscious about it in a way that it feels awkward to say. I probably never would have ever thought about it too if it weren't for my friend who brought it up when I was younger.  :speechless:

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It does make sense if you know where the name comes from.

Oui is French and ja is German, both meaning yes.

So oui is pronounced wee and ja is pronounced yah, so ouija is pronounced wee-yah, although more often you'll hear it as wee-jah.

But if you think that's weird, why is geoduck pronounced gooey-duck? :P

I always thought ouija was pronounced as 'ui-ya' or 'ui-ja'. Well, you learn something new everyday.

'wee-ya'! It is a weird word alright.

[/quote

I've only heard Ouija pronounced as "Wee-jee"!!

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