Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Phonemic Differentiation

Educated Philippine English tends to follow American rather than British pronunciation. English is often the language of choice for reading and writing among educated Filipinos, but it is less commonly used in everyday speech. As such mispronunciation can sometimes occur for English words whose spellings differ significantly from their correct American or British pronunciations.

Here are examples of common mispronounced words:

*margarine (mispronounced with hard "g" as in get instead of the "j" sound or soft "g" as in gem).
*lead ( as in lead pipe, mispronounced to sound like "lead", meaning leadership, instead of sounding like "led")
*lettuce ( mostly pronounced as spelled, which is very common to us Filipinos, instead of sounding like "letis").
*climber ( when silent b is sometimes pronounced).

Most of the peculiarities of Philippine English pronunciation have to do with the lack of certain sounds in the indigenous Philippine languages. For examples, the sound of the short "a" (as in "cap"), short "o" ( as in " cop"), and short "u" ( as in cup) are often merged into the same sound like the "a" in the "father".

But whether we have gone far or not in our use of the English language, still it's an achievement to us as non-native speakers of the language to be able to compete with the native English speakers globally.

8 comments:

pchi said...

so true!

agree with you. i didn't know about lettuce (letis) until my friend asked me to check the dictionary

good thing there is m-w.com online. It has a pronunciation guide

bwzone said...

good observation :) Pinoys and Latinos seem to have the tendency to mispronounce words the same way.

As for the short u, it is common for Pinoys to mispronounce "lunch" as "lanch" :)

I think the most mispronounced English word is country, being pronounced as "cowntry" :)

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.::. Vanny .:. said...

wow! english 101. :D
oo nga. so true yung sa lettuce. :D

ka bute said...

wow english lesson. nosebleed. hehe. joke. more please... :)

batopik said...

indeed! hakhak!
and also not to mention
the word "internet" should be pronounced as "inernet" (silent 't')

hakhak! marjarin. marjarin. marjarin.

EXTRAORDINARY said...

yah luv da american english... but its somehwow nice in the ears the accent of the british..... fan kasi ako ng harry pottah.... hehehe

Janjie said...

Geez.... I was guilty of that before... Tnx for sharing Nyl... It's been quite a while since I hopped around here...