What’s a good YouTube video without a bit of fun at the expense of others? A recent video from the French Morning Media Group stationed a host in central Paris, where she asked passersby to pronounce a series of overly complicated English words for no better reason than to watch them stumble. While one or two did end up correctly saying each one, often with a prompt from the host, what’s most noticeable in the video is how thoroughly the French pronounce every letter they speak. This is evidenced by their inability to pronounce “thorough” without a hard push on the “u.” Silent letters threw the Parisians for a loop on the word hedgehog as well, as they couldn’t quite let go of that second “e.”
Another stumper was the word “jeweler,” but perhaps a pass is in order on that one, as “w” isn’t the easiest letter to pronounce no matter your native tongue. One practice that worked out well for one contestant was using the words in a sentence. None of those interviewed successfully said the word “lettuce” without surrounding it with commonly associated words, such as “romaine lettuce” and “bacon lettuce tomato.”
We’d bet native English speakers would also trip up at the word “psychophysicotherapeutics.” That word is just too long and contains too many unnecessarily similar syllables, something that the French apparently have no time for. This has us wishing for a video in which anybody from around the world was asked to pronounce words in the Icelandic language.