Is this why foreigners find it difficult to

  pj123 17:03 18 Mar 2007

learn English.

rough, (ruff). tough (tuff). bough not buff but bow.

Table (ble) Label (bel). Why isn't Label spelt like table so it reads lable?

Maybe it would be better to spell all our words phonetically?

eg. akchual = actual.

  Forum Editor 17:20 18 Mar 2007

about the French studentwho came here to learn English. As he walked through London's theatre-land he saw a poster advertising a musical called 'Cavalcade'. Across the middle was one of those stickers that give the verdict of newspaper threatre critics. It said "Pronounced success".

He turned around and went home.

  Graham. 17:31 18 Mar 2007

In India, besides English, there are 15 official languages: Hindu, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit.

  pj123 17:32 18 Mar 2007

FE, I like it. My partner who speaks fluent French liked it as well.

You're not supposed to be here on Sunday, isn't that your day of rest?

  Forum Editor 17:47 18 Mar 2007

sound similar but have radically different spellings is that they have different roots, or are corruptions of foreign words.

Our language has many words which survive from Norman French, and were used here during the time of the conqest. Among these are : adultery, archer, matrimony, vicar, surname, salmon, rape, penthouse, hogmanay, fashion, custard........the list goes on and on. There are literally hundreds of words with Norman French origins.

Then there are words which came from afar, and have gradually changed into their present form. 'Chocolate' is a classic example of this process. When the Spanish arrived in Mexico they came across a drinkl the Aztecs made from a bean they called Choco - the aztec word for 'bitter'. They ground this bean into water ('Atl' in Aztec ) to produce 'Choco-atl' (bitter water).
The 'tl' sound is common in the Aztec language but not in Spanish, and the Spaniards mispronounced the name of the drink as 'Chocolato'.

The tasty drink was brought to Europe (with sugar added) where the pronunciation and spelling in English became chocolate.

Lots of words came into our languge that way, and from many countries. English contains words from Sanskrit, Arabic, Farsi, Italy, France, Spain, and of course many latin words. The man who comes to fix your pipes may not know that the name of his trade 'plumbing' comes from the latin word for lead - plumbum.

  Forum Editor 17:49 18 Mar 2007

"isn't that your day of rest?"

Yes, but I have magazine article deadline looming, and I'm sitting here waiting for inspiration to strike.

  octal 18:07 18 Mar 2007

"Yes, but I have magazine article deadline looming, and I'm sitting here waiting for inspiration to strike."


Sorry, couldn't resist that. Now I wonder where that was derived from.

  VCR97 19:50 18 Mar 2007

Pro cras tenare.

  VCR97 19:52 18 Mar 2007

Pro = for cras = tomorrow tenare = to hold

  p;3 20:11 18 Mar 2007

can I strike for inspiration instead of going to work?

my 'deadline' is to get certain folks through an area in record time ..and in preferably one piece...else they go back to A&E for a second attempt

  Kate B 20:58 18 Mar 2007

Further to the point about words that derive from Norman French, they tend to be the more upmarket version of a word, while more earthy words tend to be Anglo-Saxon.

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