0

As a non-native English learner and speaker, I faced many words in dictionaries or in articles that those words have surprising pronunciations that I didn't expect their productions of their appearance and letters order and mostly I mispronounced them at first and remembering those were a little difficult for me and still is for new ones that are new for me. I listed a few of them below and I wonder if there's a technical term for these kinds of words in English Language or not?

Leopard (I pronounced Leo-Paard)! comptroller, subtle, draught, chaos, lieutenant, niche, and many many others.

6
  • 1
    Related is hyperforeignism. – Weather Vane Jun 18 '20 at 10:09
  • 1
    You probably mean 'Is there a technical word or expression for the words that are mispronounced the most by non-native speakers?' And note that this is very broad-brush; many native speakers find many words difficult to pronounce correctly, and there will be gross differences between say French-speaking ESL students and Polish-speaking ESL students. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 18 '20 at 11:16
  • @Edwin, just curious is there a specific term for these kind of word that have strange pronunciation against their regular appearance. Many words can't be guess easily for a non-native speakers like the examples I mentioned, also many words have different pronunciations in verb and noun forms, like "record" that I've found out it recently. I understand linguistic technical terms like "homophone", "homonym" and so on, but wonder if there's a term for the words with unexpected and weird pronunciation or not. – Masoud Moghaddam Jun 18 '20 at 11:43
  • 1
    Not that I know of. Grammarly just uses 'Words that Are Not Pronounced How They Are Spelled', though one has then to define what 'pronounced as they are spelled' actually means. 'Weirdly spelled' and 'unpredictably spelt' (!) occur in a Google search. I suppose we have to go with the primacy of speech, so 'weirdly pronounced' would be a misnomer. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 18 '20 at 13:02
  • @Masoud so which one of record (noun) and record (verb) would you place in this category? – Weather Vane Jun 18 '20 at 13:06
1

English is not a phonetic language. This makes it difficult to pronounce words correctly when reading - even for native speakers - unless you have already heard the word spoken. It is especially difficult for children who read a lot of books intended for older children or adults. They often meet words that they have never heard spoken and so do not know how to pronounce.

Not only this but American English and British English are often pronounced differently even when the words are spelled the same.

There is a relevant article here:

"...the term homonym refers both to homophones (words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings, such as pair and pear or roll and role) and to homographs (words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, such as "bow your head" and "tied in a bow"). https://www.thoughtco.com/what-are-homonyms-1690934

As for a single word, I can't think of one, maybe the phrase "commonly mispronounced words" would suffice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.