10 more difficult words to pronounce in British and American English

We’re back with 10 more words that English learners find hard to pronounce. British spelling is so different from its pronunciation! Some of these are tricky, but they’re also fun. Check you’re saying them right! You’ll hear how we say them in British and American English.


Click here to see our first video with ten words that are hard to pronounce, and click here to see the second one.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos.

10 more words that are hard to pronounce video script

Hello everyone. I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American.
And we’re back with another 10 words that are hard to pronounce in British and American
English.
Thank you to everyone who has told us about words you find hard to pronounce.
Yeah, that was great. Let’s get going.
OK, here’s the first one.

Queue. I don’t know.
Oh. que, que, que?

That’s funny. This word looks nothing like it sounds.
Yeah, the spelling is so different.

Queue. Queue. Queue.

Now they’ve got it right!
Yes.
Queue. Queue.
But we don’t usually say queue in American English. When we’re waiting, we wait in
line.
And British people wait in a queue. We do it a lot because we’re very polite.
Yeah right. Let’s see what’s next.

Iron. Iron. Iron.

Ah, not quite. This word is tricky. In British English, the r is silent.
So you write r but you don’t say it?
Yes, we say iron. Iron.
Mmm. I think you say it a little differently in American.
Iron.
Ah, so you pronounce the r, but it comes after the schwa.
Iron. Iron. Say it with us.
Iron. Iron. Iron. Iron.
What’s next?
OK, several people suggested this one.

Chocolate. Chocolate.

That’s not right.
Yes, it looks like it has three syllables but it only has two.

Chocolate. Chocolate.

They’re good! It has 2 syllables – chock-lit-
and the final vowel sound is I, not ay.
Chocolate.
Chocolate.
Now I come from Brooklyn in New York and we have a different sound at the start too.
What’s that?
Chawklit.
Chawklit. So like chalk?
Yeah, chawklit! Chawklit.
Don’t say it like that! Chocolate! OK, what’s
next?
Another suggestion from a viewer.

Environment. Environment.

Ah, it’s not veer, it’s vai. Environment.
Environment.
Environment.
You’ve got to get the rhythm right. Vi gets the stress.
EnVIronment
Let’s back chain it. Say it with me.
-ment -ronment -vironment – environment
So that n sound is very weak?
Yes, and sometimes it disappears. Say it with our learners.

Environment. Environment. Environment.

Next one?
Yes – this one’s a very common word.

Wednesday. Wednesday.

Not quite. OK, so there’s a question here.
Is it three syllables – Wednesday – or two syllables – Wednesday?
Wednesday. Wednesday.
It’s two syllables. Wednesday.
And remember the first D is silent. Try it!
Wednesday? Wednesday. Wednesday. Wednesday.
Next one?
Yep.
This one will really get your mouths moving.

Sixth. Sixth. Sixth.
Errr… Sixthes? Six? Sixth?

It’s really hard.
Is it the th sound?
Yes, very few languages have this sound. Unfortunately
English is one of them. Sixth. Sixth. After six you’ve got to get your
tongue forward to say sixth.
Sixth.
Sixth.
We should make another video about that th sound.
Yeah.

Sixth. Sixth. Sixth.

Hey, they were pretty good. Is there an easier way to say this?
Yes. You can cheat. Skip the th sound and say siks.
Siks.
Siks.
We sometimes say that when we’re speaking fast.
Next one?
Yeah.
This comes from a viewer too.

Err tongue.
Tongue. I don’t know.

The spelling and pronunciation are so different.
Yes. This is your tongue. Tongue.
Tongue. So we don’t say tong. It’s tongue.
Yeah. It’s an ^ sound. And there’s no g sound
at the end. It’s just ng. It’s in your nose. ng.
Tongue.
Tongue.
Say it with our learners

Tongue. Tongue. Tongue. Tongue.

OK, the next one’s interesting.
What’s that?

Infamous. Infamous. Infamous. Infamous. Infamous.

Ah, they’re all wrong!
It’s hard. So what’s the problem here?
The word stress – we say INfamous. Not inFAMous
INfamous. It means famous but in a bad way – not in a good way.
Yes, like an infamous killer.
An infamous crime.
Infamous. Infamous.
The prefix ‘in’ can change the meaning of a word into its opposite.
Like, incorrect is the opposite of correct.
Yes. Independent, indirect, inexpensive. They’re
all opposites.
OK, next one?
Yeah. Let’s have something easier.

February. February. February. It’s very difficult this word for French people.

They’re pretty good.
Yes. We can pronounce this word in different ways. We can say the r sound – roo – Feb|roo|a|ry
or we can make a j sound Feb|you|a|ry.
Feb|roo|a|ry Feb|you|a|ry. Oh yeah.
I think most people say Feb|you|a|ry. It’s
a little easier.
February.
February.
Another question. How many syllables does it have?
Feb|ru|a|ry – 4 syllables.
OK, in British English we also say Feb|ru|ary.
Feb|ru|ary. 3 syllables. February. So say it however you like and we’ll probably understand.
Chocolate.
No, not Chocolate, but February.
That’s easy to say.
Yes. Now let’s finish with a hard one. OK.

Worcestershire. Worcestershire.
Worcestershire. OK. Worcestershire. What is that?

This is the name of a place in England, and it’s also the name of this sauce.
It’s hard to say.

Oh my god! Worcestershire

She nearly got it right!
Yeah, we say Worcestershire (Woostershire).
It’s the name of a county in England, so an area that has its own government. And Worcester
is the name of a town.
We have a town called Worcester in Massachusetts – same spelling and pronunciation.
You got it from us.
Worcester
Worcester
It’s the same in British and American.
But there’s another town in Pennsylvania called Worcester, so some people might say
that. Worcester.
Well what’s this?
Well I say Worcestershire sauce.
In British English we drop the shire and just say Worcestershire (Wooster).
Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce.
Would you like some Worcestershire sauce in your tomato juice?
In my tomato juice, yes.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all the English learners who helped us make this video.
They were terrific and such good fun.
If you liked it please give us a thumbs up and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel.
And if there are words you find hard to pronounce
in English, please tell us in the comments below, so we can make a video about them.
See you all next week.
Yeah, bye everyone.
Well, what’s this?
Well, I say Worceses….
Click here to see our first video with ten words that are hard to pronounce, and click here to see the second one.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos.

8 thoughts on “10 more difficult words to pronounce in British and American English

  • October 20, 2017 at 11:30 pm
    Permalink

    Loved this video so much. You’re both so charismatic!
    Great tip about SIXTH. This short word can drive people crazy. And today we got it right.
    🙂

    Reply
    • October 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm
      Permalink

      Oh great to hear from you Cristina. So glad you liked it.

      Reply
  • October 21, 2017 at 12:49 pm
    Permalink

    Well, I guess it depends on nationality. Some people find it easy but I agree that some of them seem quite hard to pronounce. Anyway, interesting video.

    Reply
    • October 22, 2017 at 5:44 pm
      Permalink

      Yes, you’re quite right Alphabeta. It depends on your native tongue. Different languages have different sounds and some of them will be the same as English and others will be different and hence, more difficult.

      Reply
    • October 22, 2017 at 5:46 pm
      Permalink

      Oh that’s a great one Angelkes. Thanks for that suggestion. I’ll add it to the list and ask some learners to say it when we next go filming.

      Reply
  • October 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm
    Permalink

    I grew up on Long Island NY. I’m over 80. Our school system was outstanding. One might say “prep school” quality. Heavily influenced by “The King’s English” (eventually “Queen’s” since Elizabeth was crowned in the 40s) and British literature. For many years after, I was confused about “check” and “cheque” etc. And pronunciation of various words. Then, at 3-4 years old, we lived in Savannah, Ga where I picked up a very thick southern accent. Not to mention, my father never lost his thick German accent.

    Life was confusing, but kids eventually figure it all out. Fun, actually.

    By the way, I’m Kathy Fagan’s mom.

    Reply
    • October 22, 2017 at 6:15 pm
      Permalink

      Oh great to meet you Rhoda! WE are so grateful to Kathy for all the help she gives us. It’s always fun to have shoots with her and she’s such a great actor, too. Jay and I still discover differences in how we say and write things and we like exploring some of them in our videos. Thanks so much for writing!

      Reply

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