English is such a zany language. It confuses the heck out of everyone, natives and non-natives alike. If you can speak English, then kudos. It’s not easy to speak a language whose madness knows no bounds. To demonstrate what a crazy language English can be, we have put together a compilation of how people were often confused by English. Don’t forget to share your favorite or add more to the list. Have a good read 🙂
The pronunciation of the English language stands as the most controversial aspect of English and the hardest to get a hold of for people trying to learn the language. There is not a single foreign language learner who doesn’t express their frustration with the pronunciation of the English language. The reason why English pronunciation is so difficult to master is that English is a phonetic language. What this means basically is that there is not a one-to-one correspondence between a letter and a sound. Often, a letter does not correspond to only one sound. This makes it very challenging to learn the pronunciation of a word simply from how it’s spelled.
Let’s tell a story about this spelling/pronunciation inconsistency madness.
So, you’re learning English when you come across the word ear. It’s pronounced ee-ur. Got it! that’s easy. Ee-ur. I can say that. Then you see dear and you think dee-ur. Same thing for fear: fee-ur!
I’m loving this!
Then you encounter this: bear. Now, you’ve never heard this said aloud. You’re reading about it. You casually mention to someone that you’re afraid of grizzly bears. But of course, you don’t say grizzly bear: you say grizzly BEER!
Now, your interlocutor looks at you like you’re speaking Ancient Martian. You don’t understand why. After all, what you’ve said is perfectly clear. You wonder how someone in America can grow up not knowing what a grizzly bear is.
You’ve never heard of a grizzly BEER?
You don’t understand why he’s looking so puzzled. Then he says, with a mixture of amusement and bemusement: “You’re not trying to say grizzly BAIR, are you?”
It rhymes with AIR???
You wonder if he’s pulling your leg.
Are you sure it’s not grizzly BEER? You say EE-UR, and DEE-UR, and FEE-UR, so why not grizzly BEE-UR?
But every time you mention grizzly bear, you send him into a fit of hysterical laughter. You go home dejected.
You think about it that night.
English is stupid. I still think it should be grizzly BEER.