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.
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
OK, next word. Temperature.
Temperature. Ah nearly.
How many syllables does it have? 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.
Er, temperature. What’s next?
OK, the next word is complicated. Mayor.
That’s nearly right but it has a different vowel sound.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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. 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. OK, next word.
Our learners were pretty good at this one. 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.
It’s very hard! 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.
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.
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.