Because English Is A Funny Language: What’s The Hardest English Word To Pronounce?

Posted on April 14, 2015 in Specials

By Abhishek Jha:

Eighth was never a problem with me. By the time I got to E-I-G-H-T, I had eaten enough eights, and ‘ate’ never had the chance of being a living nightmare. But ‘Imagine what “eighth” is like to a non-English speaker. Not one letter is pronounced the way it should be’. True. That’s why we swallow numbers before words.

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

A Reddit question about the “hardest English word to pronounce“, got people rolling (on the floor too) with tongue twisters and other kinds of impossible pronunciations of English words. Thank Black-Fedora for letting you know that “eighth” can be deadly for some people. The most notorious words were the names of places in England. It was grossly disappointing to know, for instance, that Godmanchester- which could have been a nice little hamlet for MU fans – is pronounced “gumster”. Another user, koreanwarvet, revealed that refrigerator ends up being a leafy-cabbage-like “leefligahlata“. Netizens were, however, quick in helping the Koreans in trouble. “Fidge” it seems can do the work for “fridge”. And although English has its ancestry in German, the Germans can’t get “squirrel” right. “Interestingly, in World War 2, “squirrel” was used as a shibboleth by the English to detect Germans, and “Eichhörnchen”, the German word for squirrel, was used as a shibboleth to detect non-Germans,” Torvaun reports.

I have a terrible fear of “murder” because I always end up calling it “mother” all the bloody time. We are sure you have your demons, too. So, list them in the comments below before ze Germans get there.