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We are not afraid of discussing mistakes to improve our English.

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Looser oder Loser?

[Switch to an English version of this post] Das englische Wort loser wird auch im Deutschen gerne verwendet. Loser hat sogar den Weg in den Duden gefunden, obwohl es mit Verlierer und Versager eigentlich brauchbare Alternativen gibt. Abgesehen davon, dass man sich fragen sollte, ob man wirklich jemanden so bezeichnen möchte, machen viele den Fehler,

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How to pronounce smooth and smoothie

I have previously written about the different pronunciations of the th (an example of a digraph) in English, see this post. Today, I want to discuss the tricky words smooth and smoothie, which are very often pronounced incorrectly. The main reason is that many nonnative speakers feel uncomfortable with the sounds [ð] and [θ]. However,

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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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Feynman was a fine man – how to pronounce Feynman

Most scientists are very familiar with the name and work of Richard Feynman. Among his many achievements and contributions, let me mention Feynman diagrams, the Feynman path integral (an alternative formulation of quantum mechanics), and his work on quantum electrodynamics for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. Feynman is not only

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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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Ironic iron – how to pronounce iron

Iron appears to be mispronounced by almost all non-native speakers of English. I don’t remember learning the correct pronunciation in school and most people presumably never notice that there is a right and a wrong pronunciation. I have heard numerous, highly-trained scientists with otherwise excellent English skills who spend their day working with iron consistently

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