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In some languages, spelling and pronunciation are closely linked. Spanish is an excellent example: you can immediately tell the pronunciation of a Spanish word from its spelling. Obviously, as has ...
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  1. #11
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    In some languages, spelling and pronunciation are closely linked. Spanish is an excellent example: you can immediately tell the pronunciation of a Spanish word from its spelling. Obviously, as has been amply demonstrated above, this is not true of English. On the other hand, you have languages like Chinese, the alphabet of which consists of characters that have meaning, and pronunciation of a character must simply be memorized (and can differ based on context).

    English is an interesting language because it is actually made up of lots of OTHER languages. As hazel said, English is rooted in German (coming from the Saxons), but William the Conqueror introduced lots of French into English in the 1000s, which can of course be traced back to Latin. The sciences then went and introduced Greek. And in today's modern world, we're all borrowing words and phrases from all sorts of languages.

    English spelling is incredibly difficult, both for learners of English and native speakers. And there's no "standard" English: Canadians, Brits, Australians, and Americans all spell different words rather differently. Even within a single country, pronunciation and spelling can differ: compare Cockney English to Received Pronunciation, or New York English with Texan English.

    In any case, English spelling is tough, but it's definitely conquerable. Just get lots of practice and it will eventually come to you! Out of curiosity, what is your native language?

  2. #12
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabhan View Post
    compare Cockney English to Received Pronunciation, or New York English with Texan English.
    And then you have Redneck English, which is found in the deep south... Alabama, Georgia, and others.
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  3. #13
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayd512 View Post
    And then you have Redneck English, which is found in the deep south... Alabama, Georgia, and others.
    And not forgetting Geordie... That little dark haired lass in the girl group on X Factor here in the UK - when they interview her I can't understand a word she says.
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  4. #14
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    The English language is a beast. The same meaning for different words. Different meanings for the same word.
    Then you have stuff like this...
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  5. #15
    Linux Enthusiast cousinlucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    Not much correlation in English

    1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
    2) The farm was used to produce produce.
    3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
    4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
    5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
    6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
    7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
    8 ) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
    9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
    10) I did not object to the object.
    11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
    12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
    13) They were too close to the door to close it.
    14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
    15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
    16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
    17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
    18 ) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
    19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
    20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
    21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

    Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.

    Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

    And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?

    Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

    If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

    Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people:
    Recite at a play and play at a recital?
    Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
    Have noses that run and feet that smell?

    How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

    You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

    English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
    PS: Why doesn't "buick" rhyme with "quick"?
    That is just great Elija can I use that?
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    well, I am pretty good with reading English (can still improve but all and all I can read English and comprehend it pretty well)

    However, over the years I sort of got into the habit of speaking and spelling phonetically. (Probably because I read/speak Phonetically in my mind when I read a book)

    Is their anyway to correct my speaking and spelling from my years of Phonetically speaking/spelling?
    Or any easy way to do this.(I.E best way to go about solving this problem)

  7. #17
    Linux Enthusiast cousinlucky's Avatar
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    Many moons ago, in my childhood, my aunt ( she was a schoolteacher ) always told us to keep a dictionary handy
    whenever we were reading anything. She said a story is like a train going down a track; if you come to a word that you do not understand you have to stop and look it up so that you can correctly read that line of the story.

    One of my Yoga teachers said that the English language is great to use if you want to deceive or defraud people.
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  8. #18
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cousinlucky View Post
    That is just great Elija can I use that?
    It's all over the Internet, it's not mine
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


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  9. #19
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    Seems you missed one...

    don't forget we "Drive on a Parkway and Park on a Driveway!"

  10. #20
    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
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    And of course:
    • gh, pronounced as in tough
    • o, pronounced as in women
    • ti, pronounced as in nation

    Then 'ghoti' is pronounced 'fish'


    Must confess though, to me English is mostly a written language. I can read and write it almost without effort. Spelling is just a matter of memorisation. Why for example, do you spell 'to pronounce' but 'pronunciation' ... where does the 'o' go?
    On the other hand, I know the meaning of words like 'awry' or 'usurper' but I would have no idea how to pronounce them. And to my dismay and to the enjoyment of the American tourist I was talking to, I found mid sentence that my accent prevents me from pronouncing 'brewery' which can only come out as 'bwewewy'.

    I think learning to write in English is just a matter of doing it a lot. Practise makes perfect What, at least to me, is MUCH more difficult, are all the idioms used in languages. That's why, even if I know the difference between their, they're and there, I will never be able to sound like a native speaker.

    I found a funny thing btw about idioms. The same sentence in three languages, meaning very different things:
    English: "That doesn't give"
    German: "Das gibt nicht"
    Dutch: "Dat geeft niet"

    As far as my best English is able to determine, "that doesn't give" means that it doesn't give way. The wall was hit hard but it didn't give.

    In German it means "it doesn't exist" or along these lines "I can't believe it" or "that's impossible"
    In Dutch it means "it doesn't matter"

    So here you are, a Dutch tourist in Germany, and the host at your hotel politely begs you to wait five minutes and you, unaware of these differences, say "Oh das gibt nichts"
    Heh, you just now didn't say "Oh sure no problem" like you intended, but "that is unacceptable".

    Same with the expression "heads up" which in Dutch means "cheer up" and in English "pay attention". It took quite a while before I noticed that
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