Archive January 2014

How to mix password and Passwort

While listening to German radio the other day, I noticed that the presenter repeatedly pronounced the German word Passwort incorrectly. The mistake was that he pronounced “Pass-” as in the British pronunciation of the English word password, listen here and here. The correct pronunciation of Passwort can be found here. I find the mistake quite

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Do you care for feedback?

Since a substantial part of the material covered in this blog comes from my encounters with scientific papers and talks, I am wondering how many of you would actually like to get feedback regarding potential shortcomings regarding their English skills. I have never been a fan of public practise talks, simply because I think that

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Mathematical English: How to pronounce Gaussian

As you may remember from school, the bell-shaped curve that plays a key role in statistics, often referred to as a normal distribution, is also called a Gaussian. I have noticed that there is a lot of confusion and variation regarding the pronunciation of the word Gaussian, in particular among German native speakers. The reason

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How to pronounce et cetera

The Latin phrase et cetera (usually abbreviated as etc.), which may be translated as “and so forth” or “and other things”, is commonly used in the English language. While listening to this video, I remembered that I had previously heard a number of people pronounce et cetera in an unusual way. The correct pronunciations (there

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kindergarten oder kindergarden?

The German word Kindergarten has become part of the English language in the form of kindergarten. Interestingly, many native and non-native speakers instead use kindergarden. However, the dictionaries I consulted only include the word kindergarten. Moreover, there is no official support for pronouncing kindergarten like kindergarden. The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary provides the British and the

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Commas and capitalization in English letters

I have noticed that people with a German-speaking background often mix up conventions when writing letters and emails in English. For example, in German, the text directly after the greeting is considered to be a continuation of the greeting itself. Therefore, the first word starts with a capital letter if it is a noun or

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