Paola Buscema
Professional Teacher
What's the strangest word you have ever learned?
When you learn a new language, some words may sound a bit strange as they have a different alphabet or pronunciation compared to our native language sound or intonation.

I remeber that when I was learning Romanian, the word 'zmeura', which means 'rasperry' had an impact on me and, surely, it's one of the words I remember the most.

Have you ever had a similar experience?



Quando impari una lingua nuova, alcune parole potrebbero suonare un po' strane, forse perché hanno un alfabeto o una pronuncia differente dalla nostra lingua madre.

Per esempio, quando studiavo rumeno, ricordo che la parola 'zmeura', che significa 'lampone', mi ha fatto effetto (forse perché la z seguita da una consonante non è presente in italiano o forse perché lo associo a un suono 'duro' quando invece il lampone è un frutto così romantico), ma proprio per questo è una di quelle parole che ricordo più facilmente.

Avete mai avuto un'esperienza del genere?
Jun 16, 2020 1:48 PM
Comments · 5
In Kinyarwanda if they want to say “NO” which is pronounced “oh yeah” but spelled “Oya” and am always thinking Is it “yeah or no” 🤷🏿‍♂️ It confused me a lot
June 16, 2020
Hi, Guillem! Yeah, my discussion was brought for the reasons you clearly got. Phonetics is so relevant in many ways when learning a language and that's why it's worth spending some time and work on it. I totally agree with the -borough ending and the 'th' sound, as well. :)
June 16, 2020
Well. Definitely!. I remember some words that killed me in several languages. I.e overwhelming (abrumadora),weird (extraño), deja vu (recuerdo del pasado), This last one was so difficult since pronunciation of the "u" cannot be used as in spanish (please correct me if I am wrong). I actually believe, he weirder the word is pronounced or spelled, the more likely you'll remember it. What do you think?. I had also struggled with English endings -ture and -borough (in Spanish txa and bra). But I had a great lecturer who told us how to join sounds. That is why is so important to focus on fonetics. Right?
June 16, 2020
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July 24, 2020
Erik, that sounds very confusing. :D
June 16, 2020
Paola Buscema
Language Skills
English, French, Italian, Other, Romanian, Sicilian, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, Other, Romanian, Spanish