“Consider the following sentence. The same letter combination, ‘ough,’ appears repeatedly throughout the sentence, but the sounds are different every time: ‘Though I coughed roughly and hiccoughed throughout the lecture, I still thought I could plough through the rest of it.’ This incredible inconsistency can make English really hard to master for non-native speakers. But what if English were phonetically consistent?”
From there, he goes through a variety of different letters and letter combinations, explaining all the different sounds they can make. As he introduces these sounds, he picks one possible sound a letter makes, and only uses that one for the rest of the video. As he breaks down more letters, his speech sounds stranger and stranger, like he’s a speech synthesis program or like he has a bizarre European accent. Pronunciation is a tedious thing to communicate in writing, so at this point, you’re better off just watching the video, especially the part when he reads Shakespeare with the new speaking rules he’s made for himself.
Have any of you dealt with learning English as a second language? If so, can you relate to this video? If you’re a native speaker, does it make you stop and think? Let us know how you feel about it down in the comments!
Featured image: Asja Boroš/Flickr