Category Archives: pronunciation tips

Pronunciation tip: Irish counties

It’s St. Patrick’s again, and why would I pass up a chance to do a pronunciation tip on something Irish? This time it’s the counties (and provinces) of Ireland. And although there are 32 of them (and four provinces), it’s a quick one!

Pronunciation tip: 10 useful German words

My latest pronunciation tip is about 10 German words that I rather like and occasionally find the chance to use in English contexts: gemütlich, Sitzfleisch, Korinthenkacker, Sehnsucht, Weltschmerz, Kummerspeck, Schnapsidee, verschlimmbessern, fremdschämen, and Backpfeifengesicht. It includes a bit of background information too!

Pronunciation tip: Uranus

OK, we all know that there are two ways people pronounce Uranus. We may even have strong opinions on which is better. But are they both correct? Is one more correct than the other? Time to find out!

Pronunciation tip: decisive, divisive, err

My latest pronunciation tip is about three words that my mother often corrected me on when I was young. I decided to bring the subject up again when I was visiting my parents… so this one has some cameos!

Pronunciation tip: sbagliato

Recently Emma D’Arcy (of House of the Dragon) made a splash when they mentioned that their favourite drink for unwinding is a negroni sbagliato. I’m not here to tell you how to make cocktails – recipes are amply available online – but people are uncertain about how to say sbagliato, and that’s where I step in. Here’s my latest pronunciation tip.

Pronunciation tip: Ancient Greek philosophers

I’ve been wanting to do this pronunciation tip for a while, but I needed to wait until I could get my two friends to give the Classical and modern Greek pronunciations to go along with the English versions of the names. The time has come! (Advisory: The Greek pronunciations are for fun only. If you go around saying these names in those ways, no one will understand you and/or they’ll think you’re a pretentious weirdo.)

Don’t miss the craic!

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and for my latest article for The Week I’ve taken a look at a word you may see in the vicinity of an Irish pub:

Have yourself a cracking St. Patrick’s Day

And while we’re on St. Paddy’s, I’ve made some videos over the years on how to say some Irish things:

Pronunciation tip: Dutch names

Any time I get to watch speed skating, I can’t help but notice two things: Dutch skaters are really good, and English-speaking announcers are really… challenged by Dutch names. So I decided to do a pronunciation tip that gives you a heads-up on some key details of Dutch pronunciation.

Pronunciation tip: Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic venues

I’ve done a quick pronunciation tip video to help anyone who’s a bit daunted by some of the place names that are associated with the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Pronunciation tip: Umlaut

One of the viewers of my last pronunciation tip asked if I could do one on letters with umlauts on them. So I did – with a little digression on articulatory and acoustic phonetics just to explain a bit of what is going on, and because I’m a huge linguistics geek.