Which English word is always misread

10 English words with difficult phonetics for Germans

Even if you already speak a little English and have already been able to make use of your knowledge, you will probably have faced the situation that you repeat something over and over, but the only reaction is: "Sorry, what did you say?”(Sorry, what did you say?). This is an experience that is not all that rare. Because in English there is an essential difference between the written word and the spoken word. Sometimes it is enough to change the intonation a little and you are already saying something that is not understood at all. Then there is the phonetics and the fact that many letters in English are written but not necessarily pronounced.

We want to help you a little and give you a few tips so that you can circumnavigate phonetic cliffs well. That's why we've prepared 10 commonly mispronounced words for you. Some of the rules can also be applied to similar words.

Mishap / ˈmɪshæp / (mishap)

If you don't really know how to pronounce a word, it is easy to misunderstand. At school we learned that the English “sh” is pronounced like the German “sch”. So we would pronounce the following word like a "mi-shap". Not correct. Because actually this is a shortened "mis happiness". The pause in speaking is between “mis” and “hap”. the "a" is pronounced like an "ä".

I had a mishap yesterday.
(An accident happened to me yesterday.)

Wednesday- / ˈwenzdeɪ / (Wednesday)

Two consonants together. Since in German all syllables are stressed individually, this would probably come out: "wed-nes-de “.It is correct here, however, that d not to be emphasized and the second e is also simply left out. The result: wens-de

Wednesday is the third day of the week.
(Wednesday is the third day of the week.)

Scissors - / ˈsɪzəz / (scissors)

Again, the problem is the tendency to pronounce all the letters of the word. In this case, however, the combination “sc” is pronounced as “s” and the “r” becomes an unvoiced “r”.

Could you hand me the scissors, please?
(Can you give me the scissors, please.)

Iceland- / ˈaɪlənd / (island)

Who first read this word and didn't think that was the name of Islands in English? You thought wrong, because the word means island. The initial “i” reads “ai” because it is a diphthong, while the “s” is not pronounced.

Iceland is a volcanic island and the least populated country in Europe.
(Iceland is a volcanic island and the most sparsely populated country in Europe.)

Queue / kjuː /(Queue / waiting line / standing in line)

In German this term is known from billiards and is pronounced “Kö”. In English completely different, not only that the word has different meanings and is very common, it is also pronounced differently. How best to do it. just say "Kjuh".

At the cash register was a long queue
(There was a long line at the checkout.)

Hungry- / ˈhʌŋɡri / (hungry)

Be careful with this word. Although someone can hungry (hungry), also quickly angry get angry. The problem lies in the pronunciation because both words sound very similar. When you are hungry in English, it becomes a. The only difference is the "h", which can be emphasized a little more.

I ate a sandwich, but I am still hungry.
(I ate a sandwich but I'm still hungry.)

Stationery- / ˈsteɪʃ (ə) n (ə) ri / (stationery)

The difficulty with this word is that it can be confused with the word "stationary". In this case, however, the difficulty is objective, since the pronunciation of these two words is practically identical. This means that you have to pay special attention to the context in order to know what you are talking about.

I sell stationery items in my shop.
(I sell stationery items in my shop.)

Debris / ˈdɛbriː // (Rubble)

English is also used from the vocabulary of other languages. This land dates from the time when parts of France were part of England. As with many French words, the "s" is not pronounced here: deb-rieh. The word is not very common these days, but it could certainly be found in one or the other book.

The town was in debris.
(The city was in ruins.)

Recipe- / ˈresəpi / (recipe)

As is well known, hamburgers do not come from Hamburg. And if one of your American friends one day presents you with a freshly grilled hamburger, american style, spoiled, you shouldn't miss the recipe. Once read, the word looks similar to the German recipe. When speaking, however, you have to note that the "c" is spoken like an "s" and the word consists of three syllables: ress-ə-pieh.

Can you give me the recipe of the hamburger you made yesterday?
(Can you give me the recipe from the hamburgers you made yesterday?)

Women- / ˈwɪmɪn / (women)

This is the irregular plural of the word woman. The plural of woman is probably one of the first irregular words we learned in school. However, the pronunciation is just as deceptive as the spelling. In fact, however different they are, the two vowels are pronounced as "i".

Women is the plural of woman.
(Women is the plural of woman.)

The best way to speak correct English and avoid all phonetic traps is to take an English course. If you don't have a lot of time, you might want to try an online course like ABA English. Here you will find 144 free instructional videos and the same number of short films, all from everyday life and therefore super practical. Are you ready to learn how to pronounce new words?