How to pronounce body and code

How to pronounce body and code

English words which are frequently used in German often acquire their own, modified pronunciation (for example, London). Less frequently used words do not have their own German pronunciation, but are supposed to be pronounced as in English (for example, Boston). Today I want to explore the difference between English and German pronunciation of English words, using the examples of body and code.


The English pronunciation of body is [ˈbɒdi] (British English) and [ˈbɑːdi] (American English), listen here. The British pronunciation is also the recommended pronunciation in German, [ˈbɒdi], according to the Duden (note that the phonetic symbols can be different for German and English). Hence, while I do not agree with Nivea’s pronunciation of “Nivea Men” in their German commercials, see here, their pronunciation of “body milk” in the spot below is actually correct.


The second example I want to mention is the pronunciation of the word code, motivated by a commercial on German television (alas, I did not catch the company or product) involving the phrase

Einfach den Code scannen.

The English pronunciation of code is [kəʊd] (British) or [koʊd] (American), listen here. The German pronunciation according to the Duden is either [koʊd] or [koːt], listen here. The pronunciation of the letter o in the second variant does not have an exact equivalent in English. However, what got me interested in writing about the word code in the first place is that [koːt] is also the pronunciation of the German word Kot, which translates to words such as dirt, dung, or excrement. If you want to avoid confusion about what you want people to scan, I suggest you stick to the English pronunciation [koʊd] …


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