Archive May 2013

A few water under the bridge

I just overheard an English phone conversation on the bus. A German university student gave instructions how to mop a floor, using the sentence Take few water, and few soap. I was quite surprised that such a rather simple sentence could turn out to be  so difficult for a young person who has spent many

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How to pronounce Caterham

Whenever I watch Formula 1 on German TV, I notice that the commentators pronounce Caterham incorrectly, namely either as cat-er-ham [ˈkætəhæm], listen here, or as cater–ham [‘keɪtəhæm]. In both cases, the letter r is not pronounced, and the second part, –ham, is pronounced just like ham. The problem is that—as is often the case with

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How to pronounce radius, circumference, diameter

If you ever talk about circles in English, it is useful to know how to pronounce the words radius, circumference, and diameter. radius: Both the British and the American pronunciation is [ˈreɪdiəs], listen to it here. German native speakers should be careful not to pronounce the word in the German way, [‘rɑːdiʊs]. Finally, the plural

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How to pronounce PayPal

PayPal™ (I’ll drop the trademark symbol from here on) has become a ubiquitous name in online shopping. For many years, I had never thought much about its pronunciation. However, since I encountered a different pronunciation recently on German television, and could not find a satisfactory answer online, I decided to explore this topic. The most

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