Archive June 2013

How to pronounce Disney, Wembley, and volley

Today, I want to cover a topic that has been suggested by Gerrit, a follower of my blog on FB. He pointed out that German native speakers (and quite likely also people with other native languages) sometimes have difficulties getting the pronunciation of the syllable ‘ey’ right. For example, in the words Disney, Kinsey, hockey,

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What is your funniest typo?

Typos happen whenever something is written. Even spell checkers and proof reading can not always eliminate all mistakes, for example when the misspelled word is also a valid word in the language used (but with a different meaning). Among the countless boring typos, there are some which stand out, because they transform a regular sentence

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Stress is a stressful false friend

Here is an interesting false friend for those trying to learn German. The English word stress has a number of different meanings. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the word is used for, for example, mental pressure (as in stress management), physical pressure (for example, a stress fracture), emphasis (the boss lays great stress on

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How to pronounce lieutenant and colonel

The pronunciation of the titles lieutenant and colonel, given to selected army and police officers, respectively, is both challenging and interesting. First, the British and American pronunciations are very different in the case of lieutenant. In British English, the pronunciation is [lefˈtenənt], see and listen here, whereas in American English it is [luːˈtenənt]. Second, colonel

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