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Sometimes English doesn't make sense.

I am a native English speaker and I understand how the English language works...mostly. There are some things that I just can't wrap my head around (understand). For example, I have a friend who is from South Korea and at the time of a particular conversation she would pronounce the word "one" as OHN (as in own not as in John). I explained the proper way to say it and explained that if she goes by how we are taught to read English she is right, but this word is different. 


Another example of changes in pronunciation is with the words woman and women. When speaking of more than one woman, instead of saying "womEn" we tend to say "wEmEn". But why? The letter O doesn't usually make that sound. 


Also, sometimes the letter C doesn't seem necessary in the English language except for the CH combination. All other uses can be replaced by the letter S or the letter K (unless there is a word that I'm not thinking about right now). 


People who speak Arabic have different S sounds and K sounds in their language, so maybe they can hear a difference between when we use a C and when we use a K. 


If there are any Arabic speaking people who see this this, please let me know if you can hear a difference. It will be very interesting to me to know. Also, to anyone who has had a chance to study English more deeply, please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Mar 4, 2015 6:49 PM
Comments · 2

...and CH makes more mischief by having different pronunciations! Cheese, chauffeur, chronology...


The woman/women issue has an interesting background. Reading this, it suddenly makes a lot of sense:



March 4, 2015

This happen maybe because of the local language. Our pronunciation of any language is under the influence of our mother tongue or local language. Our accent is different from one region to another. There are also so many words apart from those mentioned such as "money,behind, etc." English sometimes confuses people because words are pronunced differently as they are witten. It might happen  because of its origin (French and Germanic) in the middle English, but years B.C, Old English was a mixture of many languages (Dutch, Frisian, German, Scandinavian, Golthic). For exemple the word "genre", it sounds as French.

March 4, 2015
Language Skills
Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Xhosa
Learning Language
Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Xhosa