Foreign Language Mispronunciations

April 4, 2008

I’ve always been bothered by this situation. If you are a native English speaker, and your listener knows that you are a native English speaker, you are allowed to jokingly make a mistake that a native English speaker would never make (e.g. pronouncing “muscles” with a hard c, “mus-culls”).

When you’re speaking a foreign language, it’s not obvious to your listener that you are messing up on purpose, so nobody is clued in to your jokes. As when I recently claimed that something was “eatable” and my mother corrected me with “edible,” it ruins the fun.

Language Log has a somewhat-interesting article on this mispronunciation buisness.

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