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9 English words that are hard to say in British and American English

November 28, 2019

We’re back with some more words that are
difficult to pronounce in British English. And in American English.
Are you ready to try them? I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American. And all the people you’ll meet in this video
come from lots of other countries. English is their second, or third or even
fourth language and we’re going to ask them to pronounce some tricky words.
So let’s get started! Jostle.
Jostle. Jostle.
Jos – jostle – so difficult! There are two things to remember here. The
word starts with ‘j’ – jostle. So it’s a /d/ and ‘zh’ sound together- ‘j’,
‘j’. And the letter t is silent. We write it but
we don’t pronounce it. Jostle.
Jostle. So what does jostle mean?
If you push roughly against someone in a crowd, you jostle them.
You push or knock them. When I get on the train in rush hour I get
jostled. Say it with our learners
Jostle. Jostle.
Jostle. Jostle.
OK, next word. Temperature.
Temperature Temperature.
Temperature. Ah nearly.
How many syllables does it have? Temperature.
Temperature Temperature.
Temperature. Temperature
So it has three syllables. Temp-p(e)ra-ture Temperature
Temperature. And temperature is the measurement in degrees
of how hot or cold something is. For example, the temperature is about 80 degrees today.
He means it’s about 27 Celcius. In the US they still use Fahrenheit to measure temperature.
Yeah, I’m always really hot! Say it with our learners.
Temperature. Temperature.
Temperature. Temperature.
Er, temperature. What’s next?
OK, the next word is complicated. Mayor.
Mayor. Mayor.
That’s nearly right but it has a different vowel sound.
Mayor. Mayor.
Mayor. That’s better. We pronounce this word in different
ways in the US. Some people say may-or with two syllables. And I say mayor, with one.
What is a mayor? It’s a public official – the head of a
city or town. Like the Mayor of London.
May-or or mayor Mayor.
You don’t pronounce the r sound at the end. Yeah. Unless the next word starts with a vowel,
there’s no R sound for me. Mare. Say it with our learners.
Erm, Mayor. Mayor.
Mayor. Mayor.
Mayor. Mayor.
OK, next one. Manoeurvre. That one is French!
Manoeurvre. It’s a French word so… Manoeurvre. French. Whatever.
They’re right, of course. It’s a French word we use in English but we say it differently.
We met one French learner who knew the pronunciation would be different and he had a guess at how
we might say it in English. Manovee? Manovee?
Great guess but he’s completely wrong! Maneuver.
Manoeuvre. You know, I think it’s easier to say this
word if you’re NOT French. Manoeurvre.
Manoeurvre. They were good.
What does maneuver mean? It’s a skillful or careful movement that
we make. For example, I’m very good at maneuvering
our car into tight parking spots. That’s true! He is!
Say it with us. Maneuver.
Manoeuvre. What’s next?
Despicable. Despicable.
They’re almost right. They just need to change the vowel sound in
the middle. Despicable. Despicable.
What does it mean? Something that’s really bad and not moral
is despicable. A despicable crime.
A despicable person. Say the word with us.
Despicable. Despicable.
The next word’s hard. The spelling is misleading again.
Have a guess. Er, pneumonia.
Pneumonia. Although I don’t know what’s that. Pneum.. pneumonia.
Pneumon.. pneumonia. Pnu..Pnue… Uh! Pneumonia.
Oh no, they’re all wrong. It’s hard because the spelling is so different
from the pronunciation. The letter p should be silent.
Ah! Pneumonia. Pneumonia.
Pneumonia. They got it!
What is pneumonia? It’s a serious illness that affects your
lungs. It makes it difficult to breathe. You know
we say this word a little differently. Really?
Yeah. Pneumonia.
Pneumonia. I say nju – there’s a little y sound.
Pneumonia. And I say nuu. Pneumonia.
Say it with our learners. Pneumonia.
Pneumonia. Pneumonia. Cool!
Next word. Pathetic. Pathetic.
Pathetic. Pathetic.
Pathetic. The tricky thing here is the ‘th’ sound.
Yes, it’s not a /t/ sound. It’s ‘th’. Pathetic.
Pathetic. How far should your tongue stick out to make
a th sound? That’s a good question. You don’t want
it going out too far – that’s silly – and you don’t want it back too far either or
you’ll make a /t/ sound. This is a good measure. Just touch your finger
lightly with your tongue. My tongue is down in the middle and I can
feel its sides between the sides of my teeth. And I’m blowing air out. ‘th’, ‘th’. That
does it! Say the word with our learners. Pathetic.
Pathetic. Pathetic.
Pathetic. Pathetic.
Pathetic. OK, next word.
Our learners were pretty good at this one. Tsunami.
Tsunami. Tsunami.
So is it ‘tsunaaami’ or ‘tsunahhhmi’? Tsunami.
Tsunami. It’s ‘tsunahhhmi’.
An ‘ah’ sound. What’s a tsunami? It’s a huge wave in the
sea caused by an earthquake. It’s a Japanese word and it starts with a
Japanese sound – tsu. So a t sound quickly followed by s. tsu. tsu.
Then ‘nah’ then ‘me’. Say it with us. Tsunami.
Tsunami. Let’s have a really hard one now.
OK. Wow! Ubiquitous.
Ubiqui – ubiquitous. Ubiquitous.
Ubiquitous. Ubiquitous.
Ubiquitous. No!
It’s very hard! Ubiquitous.
Ubiquitous. Ubiquitous.
They came very close! Yeah.
What does ubiquitous mean? If something seems to be everywhere, we say
it’s ubiquitous. For example, in Philadelphia there are lots
of stores where you can buy donuts. Yeah, Dunkin’ Donuts are ubiquitous.
And places where you can buy cheesesteaks are very common.
Yeah, they’re ubiquitous too. Cheesesteaks are a Philly dish.
Ubiquitous. Ubiquitous.
So it starts with a /j/ sound. And it has four syllables. U-bi-quit-ous.
What’s that trick for saying long words? Backchaining.
With a long word it often helps to start at the back and work forward. Try it with me.
-tous. -quit – tous.
-BI-quit-ous. u-BI-quit-ous.
So that’s it. But we’ve made lots of other videos about
words that are hard to pronounce. I’ll put a link to the playlist at the end
of this video. We want to say a big thank you to all the
learners who helped us teach these words. They were terrific and it was lovely to meet
them all. If you’ve enjoyed this video please give
it a thumbs up and share it with a friend. And don’t forget to subscribe and click
that notification bell! Bye-bye.


  • Reply Mario sabbetti November 22, 2019 at 7:53 pm


  • Reply Mario sabbetti November 22, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    I love u

  • Reply Mario sabbetti November 22, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    Thk for your video

  • Reply Maddy The Wizard November 22, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    🙂 ur videos are awesome ?

  • Reply Hanan حنــان November 22, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    I'm so excited to watch this video Nice to see you.??

  • Reply Free V-Bucks November 22, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    nice video

  • Reply Michael Ganapolsky November 22, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Hi, I have started to watch you some weeks ago and you have helped me to practice my British English,
    Thank you and you are very cute teachers and youtubers?

  • Reply Pat Nowak November 22, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Vicki and Jay,

    Thanks for all your videos, they are great. You are not only very good
    teachers but also very good actors. That supports remembering of
    English language rules you teach us. ?

    Is it possible that your very awaited e-book will be available by
    the end of the year?

  • Reply Απόστολος Γου_8 November 22, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    I am not hater, but you look like someone???

  • Reply Marcos Bastos November 22, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    I am Brazilian, my name is Marcos and i have 25 years old, I watch their videos everyday to learn English

  • Reply Anon Ymous November 22, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Aww you’re both so cute together

  • Reply Leopolds Kreicbergs November 22, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks a lot !

  • Reply Senda Tamie November 22, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    HI teacher , it`s been a long time. give your a big thumbs up !!!!!!

  • Reply Oleg Chaus November 22, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Oh God, you're such a cute couple!

  • Reply Milena Yamashita Sato November 22, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Thank you so much for the new words pronunciations! And I hope this channel could be ubiquitous!

  • Reply カレン・ステファニーテイラー November 22, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    English has some words whose consonants we mustn't pronounce! That's one of the difficult points. For example,
    I was surprised to know that "tsunami" is one of the difficult words to pronounce, because I'm a Japanese!

  • Reply Natalie November 22, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    It was fnny! Thank you for the video 🙂

  • Reply Joanne kiwigal November 22, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Hi guys love these vids. thanks for making them ?

  • Reply Andréia Nascimento November 22, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Great! I am a brazilian living in France. I'd like improve my English to work and travel. I love this channel?

  • Reply And November 22, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Great explanation, I often struggle with the pronunciation of those words and this is helpful, thank you so much! Yay?

  • Reply Well thats messed up November 22, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    I love you, your channel,videosss??

  • Reply John Holz November 22, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    When I see despicable I think of the movie Despicable Me

  • Reply amalee grace November 22, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Thank you this really helped me!

  • Reply Javier anonymous November 22, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    This channel is way too good to have just 158k subscribers. Let’s help Jay and Vicky grow by sharing their channel with our friends. A Spanish fan here!

  • Reply Ogi Zzz November 22, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I'am from montenegro and i speak serbian.I love english so much and my name is Ognjen i have 10 years old and i watch your videos every day.

  • Reply Thought for the Day November 22, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I was impressed with some of those pronunciations, especially with jostle.

  • Reply Marco Antonio November 22, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Hey Friends! "Temperature" in portuguese we say "Temperatura" pronunciation with five syllables.?

  • Reply Marco Antonio November 22, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    "Mayor" in Portuguese we say "Prefeito"

  • Reply Marco Antonio November 22, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    "Pneumonia" in portuguese we say "Pneumonia" too,but letter "P" is prounounced.

  • Reply 333Liger November 22, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    Oh Geez Ubiquitous! That's A New One For Me HAHA:P

  • Reply Steffi S November 22, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Oooh I just came home from a pre-Christmas-Party…. every word – even in German – it's tricky to pronounce right now ?

    All jokes aside! This week's video is truly helpful! I never ever heard of the word ubiquitous and I love it! ?
    And I always have to look up the pronunciation of "manoeuvre" ? Luckily I don't have to use it that often ?

    Thank you so much Vicki and Jay! ?
    I can't wait until you've finished your E-book! I'm still so excited about it!

    Sending you lovely greetings from Germany ♥

  • Reply Jonathan 21 November 22, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Hi Vicki and Jay! It's me, Jonathan 🙂 I don't remember if I told you that I passed the admission test and got into economics school right after graduating high school this year… but you know exams are not easy and I think I might switch to teaching, since I don't have an intrinsic passion for economics… it's also a question of whether it's worth the commitment, because money doesn't equal happiness. I don't want to have a degree in my hand one day having an empty feeling inside of me. at the end of the day it comes down to the people that are around you, because they affect your life the most. nothing can be that important to neglect the people around you, that's how I see it… not everyone is strong enough to admit it, but so many people are looking to be loved and accepted – that's human nature.

  • Reply Mollie Tai November 22, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    Keep an eye on AE & BE with Simple English.

  • Reply Candy Twiggy Twist November 23, 2019 at 12:40 am

    What means 'pathetic'? Is it pejorative ?

  • Reply Claudio Toffoli November 23, 2019 at 12:42 am

    For us Portuguese speakers the tricky thing resides on words that have the same spelling and the same meaning as in English, but a completely different pronunciation, as “rural” and “pneumonia”, this one pronounced “pneu-mo-NI-a”, NI stressed. Very cool and useful your video!

  • Reply Jesús Mendoza November 23, 2019 at 1:23 am

    1:44 a español le cambia la letra "e" a "a" de TEMPERATURE a TEMPERATURA la pronunciación para nosotros los hispanos es "tempechar" yo se que todas las palabras inglesas cuando termina en "e" nunca se pronuncia.

    2:27 la palabras "mayor" paras ustedes los inglese son "alcalde" pero aqui la palabra "mayor" para nosostro los hispanos es "higher" también la palabras "mayor" si le quitas la "r" que es "mayo" es el nombre de un mes y si se pasa en el ingles es "may"

    No es la unica palabras que se anto los ingles como españoles utilizamos palabras del otro idioma pero su significado es diferente por ejemplo las palabras inglesas que se utilizar en español:
    ONCE = es el numero 11 pero si se utiliza en el ingles es "una vez"
    SON= una palabras cualquier de sistema de oraciones pero en él ingles es "hijos/hijas"

    5:39 yo escuche decir "DEMONIO" por su pronunciación pero es "neumonía"

    6:23 al español es "PATETICO" pero la pronunciación de la palabra "pathetic" es "paderic"

    Palabras como los hispanos pronunciación palabras inglesa
    International = internashional
    -Nation = nastión
    -Beautiful = biudifu
    -Horse = hous
    -Train = trein
    -Ten = tin
    -Nine = Nain
    -history = histori
    -google = gugul
    -youtube = yutu
    School = scul

    -Todas las palabras de terminación "tion/al" se pronuncian "shión/al"

    -United states of america = yunaiter esteited de america o yunaiter estetites of merican, esta pronunciació lo dice los mexicanos

  • Reply Alex Curt November 23, 2019 at 2:03 am

    I just failed one!!! Lol
    You're great, friends!

  • Reply Pipo Bernal0528 Vlogs November 23, 2019 at 2:41 am

    5:40 pneumonia

  • Reply Lenalight November 23, 2019 at 2:42 am

    I always had such amazing English teachers, whom I appreciated and respected so much. You two amazing people fall into my “respectable educators” categories.❤️

  • Reply ruth Villas November 23, 2019 at 2:48 am

    I learned. More from your video ❤️

  • Reply Tanisha Nitol A.K.A Miraculous Fan November 23, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Hello, I Have A Question For You, And That Is, Is It "Honey And Milk Come From Animals" Or "Honey And Milk Comes From Animals"? I Am Sure That Here "Comes" Is Correct And "Come" Is Wrong. But My Teacher Says That It Should Be "Come". Could You Please Tell Me Which One Is Correct?

  • Reply против биомусора November 23, 2019 at 6:32 am

    Ubiquito(u)s? Does it depend on British/American accent? Btw, in Russian you can say "всеобъемлющий" ( ) or "вездесущий" ( ). But really we don't use these words in such a context. Actually they are words you can meet mostly in books. And the last word is tricky, it also means that someone pisses everywhere ("везде ссущий").

  • Reply Armand Majer November 23, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Another fabulously useful video! Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply Emy Emmy November 23, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Hi lovely couples ??‍♀️
    Great as always , thanks a lot ?

  • Reply Mamy Mimma November 23, 2019 at 8:02 am

    I love the idea of involving people ? thanks Vicki and Jay ♥️for the cutest way of teaching the th sound!

  • Reply Yunus Emre Aktuylu November 23, 2019 at 10:12 am

    6:47 oh? Jay

  • Reply Roberson Oliveira November 23, 2019 at 10:49 am

    You two are a lovely couple. Thanks for another lesson. Sometimes I don't do any comment, but I'm always watching and giving thumbs up on the video.

  • Reply budi isnadi November 23, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    English is so hard, even native speakers give up pronouncing some letters.

  • Reply Amira Is Tiny November 23, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    A hard word to say is Wednesday,

  • Reply l0cq_ November 23, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    I love both of you so much ❤❤

  • Reply Hadi Al mayahy Mayahy November 23, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks a million for this useful lesson and have a nice weekend.

  • Reply farshid rabbani November 23, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    The hardest thing for me was that the internet of entire country (Iran) was disconnected for a week ? I was loosing my mind ?

  • Reply SweShooga November 23, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Despicable Me

  • Reply Димитър Дзимбов November 23, 2019 at 3:49 pm


  • Reply EngVloger November 23, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Cool Video. I learned some new words and know now how to pronounce them in British English! I also learned also to pronounce the ”th” even better! Great!

    Waiting for more! You're funny and informative, so I like your channel.

    Kind Regards

    Marsel Madzar from Switzerland

  • Reply Kafiya Sulaiman November 23, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    I like Ammerican accent❤

  • Reply Deniz Sincar November 23, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    …. — .– ..-. .- … – -.– — ..- — — .-. … . ..–..

  • Reply Aparecido FERREIRA VAIS November 24, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Hi Vicki Hi Jay nice to see you again
    These words are very hard to pronounce I will practice more
    Thanks a lot and have a lovely weekend ???

  • Reply Constantinos Lapiotis November 24, 2019 at 3:48 am

    That was so well made.

  • Reply Bee Queen November 24, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Here is my list of English words difficult to say and spell: miscellaneous, reconnaissance, chauffeur, thoroughfare, circuit, turquoise, proboscis.

  • Reply farideh kodrami November 24, 2019 at 8:04 am

    I am glad i live in uk .British accent is the best .?????

  • Reply Harry123themasterof Games November 24, 2019 at 8:48 am


  • Reply Sergey Ufimtsev November 24, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Such a lovely format back again once more, thank you very much!

  • Reply SARFEX November 24, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    you-big-with-us, ubiquitous

  • Reply Evangeline Rowland November 24, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    My first language is English, however I am still finding this entertaining and useful Xx keep making the amazing videos, you 2 or so fun! ??

  • Reply Dalil Jousif November 24, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    ubiquitous was a new word for me. but I know the word omnipresent, isn't a synonym?

  • Reply Iceu_ Unicorn November 25, 2019 at 1:29 am

    I found these types of videos! Omg I love you guys. I hope you guys have a great day

  • Reply Roman Kril November 25, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    I'm not only learning new interesting tricks about English language but also raising my self-esteem discovering that I'm not that bad at pronouncing English words xD. And I also like to see those funny incorrect pronunciations of not native speakers, they are cool! 😀

  • Reply emiliana lembo November 25, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    A “ though/If/ whether and till/ until lesson “ please ???????

  • Reply Kelvin thb November 26, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    100th comment lol

  • Reply can I get to 2k subs for no reason please November 27, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Can you make videos individual, like only American English on a video and on the other video only British English please:)

  • Reply Deniz Sincar November 27, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    jay, can you send me the link of your profile on facebook? i will morse on voice message

  • Reply MicahFoReel November 27, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I've learnt something, I have always thought the "t" is Tsunami was silent…

  • Reply ωild τυrκεγ November 27, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    I'm American & I know what a Tsunami is!?

  • Reply 威汤 November 28, 2019 at 3:15 am

    Hi I really love this series! I found those words challenging to pronounce: concord, ellipsis & ethnicity.

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