Commonly Mispronounced English Words by Filipinos

4 Dec

First of all, I’m not an accent trainer in any call center companies. Mispronunciations are OK. We are Filipinos and it’s natural to speak English with regional accent. Besides,  grammar is more important in speaking. But then, as Sue Sylvester said,  WORDS are HARD. And because of that, we have to learn these words. These are just few words that I found over the web. Next time we come across any of these words, we would be aware of how to say them. I used to do these sort of compilation back when I was still an English major taking speech classes in college.

CLEANLINESS- kLEN-liness not kLEEN-liness

ARRAY-        a-RAY not A-ray

STIGMATA- stig-MAH-ta not STIG-ma-ta
WHOLE-        HOWL not HUL
SCION-          SAY-uhN not SI-UN
NEWS-           NUS or NYUS
UTENSIL-      u-TEN-sil, not U-ten-sil
CHARACTERISTIC- CHAR-acteristic, not charac-TER-istic
CULTURE-    KuHL-ture not kul-ture
CAFFEINE-   ca-FIN or CA-fin not ca-FEIGN
POMADE-      po-MADE not PO-made
AUDACIOUS- o-DAY-SHUS not o-DA-shus
BODACIOUS- bow-DAY-shus not bo-da-shus
VISCOUNT-  VIE-count not vis-count
BEAU-            bow not  biew
BUCOLIC –    bu-CO-lic not bu-co-lic
APROPOS-    a-pro-PO not a-pro-pos
DEGAS-         Dey-GA not DE-gas
POTASSIUM- po-tas-si-um not potashum
CENTENNIAL-  \sen-ˈte-nē-əl\
CALCIUM-    cal-ci-um not calshum
MORTGAGE- MOR-gij not MORT-gage

SAUCE- sos not sows

THAILAND- Ty-land (no H)

GROSS- grows- not gros

PIZZA-           peet-sa not pee cha
CATEGORY- CA-te-go-ry not ca-TE-go ry
MATURE-      ma-tur not ma-chur
FLAMMABLE- fla-ma-bol not fley-ma-bol
COMPROMISE- COM-prah-mize not com-PRAH-mis
PERCENTAGE- per-CEN-tage not PER-cen-tage
MANGO- mAng-go not mEng-go
NEW HAMPSHIRE- nu- ham-shir not nyu hamp-shire
ARKANSAS- ar-kan-so not arkansas
CONNECTICUT-  conneri-cut not connec-ti-cut
GUITARIST- GUITAR-ist not GUI-tarist
EVALUATE- i-val-YOO-wait not eVAL-wait
EXAMPLE / EXAM / EXACT / EXAGGERATE / EXHIBIT – igsample, igsam, igsakt…)
COCOA- kow-kow not kok-wa

EXHAUST- ig-zost (no H)
GRADUATE-gra-joo-it
PRODUCE-  pro-doos not pro-jus
SECRETARY – se-kre-tEri but not se-kre-trAri
RADIUS -rey-di-yoos not rey-joos
LENGTH-lengKth (w/ k sound)
INVENTORY- IN-ventory not in-VEN-tory
ORGANIZATION- OR-ganization not or-GA-nization
TUESDAY-Toos-day, not Choose-day
PROCESSES- PROS es eez not PROS es uhs
EXPECTANT-ik SPEC tunt not egz PEC tunt
MANDALA-MUN dull uh not MAN da lah
ARDUOUS- AR joo wuss not AR doo wuss
PLAID- PLAD not PLAYD
EROGENOUS- i ROJ uh nuhs not e ROJ eh nuhs
BURY- BEARee not BUR ee
CIRCUMSTANCES- It’s cir-cum-STAN-ces, not cir-CUM-stan-ces
MENU-  MEN-yoo not me-NOO
ROSE-  rohz not rohs
BUSY- biz-ee  not bee-see
OF- uhv or ov not off
RISE -rize not rice
COMFORTER- CUHMferter  not comFORterr
DIABETES-die-uh-BEE-tis not ja-BEH-tis
AFFIDAVIT-af-i-day-vit not af-i-da-bit
JEOPARDY- JEPerdee not JOpardee
CAPABILITY- kay-puh-BIL-i-tee not cah-puh-BIL-i-tee

FLAMMABLE – flam-mab’l not flame-able
CHOCOLATE – choc’lit not choc-o-late
RADIANT – ray-diant not rayjant
VULGAR- VaL-gar (short a) not  VOOL-gar
OVEN – UH-ven not ow-ven
SHOVE -shuv not showv
ANY – Eh-nee not Ay-nee
PURCHASE – per-CHIS and NOT per-CHEYS.
SOUTHERN –  Sa-DERN and NOT SAW-dern

GIGANTIC – pronounced as JAI-gan-tic

CUPBOARD – Ku (like the u in up) KU-bird
HAMBURGER – HEM ber-guhr
CHOCOLATE – chalk-lit

13 Responses to “Commonly Mispronounced English Words by Filipinos”

  1. PInPin August 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    The accent is not the problem – for example, in the US, people from Texas and New York pronounce “water” with different accents, but the syllable emphasis is the same. The problem, to get technical, is “supersegmentals”. That’s the reason Filipino English sounds so odd to Australians, Canadians, Americans, Brits etc. Pinoys put the emphAsis on the wrong syllAble (to paraphrase Mike Meyer’s) or, more commonly, put the emphasis on the wrong word in the sentence. A bunch of the examples above illuminate this. Studies on call center problems have shown that “supersegmentals” are much more important in understanding what someone is saying than accents are.

    • athena April 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

      I have to agree to the previous comment. This is Filipino English and there is nothing wrong with that. When one goes to other places, for sure, some words here will be pronounced in a different manner. But still, thank you for the reminder. :)

    • vanilla marcos June 2, 2013 at 4:12 am #

      Thank you for all the corrections! (keep it coming) .Sorry if I can’t provide any reference because I just compiled it from a book as part of my homework in my speech class before. (That was the time when I can’t even pronounce TH in THree. Because of frustration, I ended up looking for commonly mispronounced words).

      Accent, indeed, is not really a problem. It’s just that sometimes we tend to put the wrong stress on the syllable. Variations of pronouncing English words are also acceptable (e.g.- route- \ˈrüt, ˈrau̇t\ and many others). Kindly check meriam-webster.com if your in doubt of some of the words here.

  2. Shane November 12, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    please indicate your sources or references in this site. Thank you!

  3. ernie zarate December 4, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    With regards to “centennial,” I disagree. My Webster’s dictionary has only one way of pronouncing it–”sen TEN yuhl”

    • neiliosif February 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      There are several words here that need corrections. it’s not KOHL-ture but KUHL-ture. You can say ma-chur. It’s definitely “SAYuhn” not YON.

      Don’t get me wrong. I laud your efforts, but I wish you would have spent more time making sure that your corrections are correct.

  4. Hazel Alvarez April 26, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Pls doube check this one out! from what ive read its cen TEN-ial.
    CENTENIAL- cen-TEE-nial is more acceptable over cen-TE-nial.

  5. Jackson April 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Thanks but there are variations of pronunciations. In the Meriam Webster Dictionary,Utensil and uTensil are both correct.

  6. The exorcist April 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    We Filipinos should not make our own English. There is a standard pronunciation for a word. Variations in the US are acceptable because they are made by Americans. They own those words so to speak.

  7. Jexter September September 10, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    is mispronounced word the same with mistressed word?

  8. naomi March 19, 2014 at 4:02 am #

    In Britain we say “Choose-day” for Tuesday… “NYUS” for news… So the Filos are right for those…

  9. Johan Hernandez March 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    When we say ‘mispronounce’, we tend to say “wrongly stated.” Since english language is not the native tongue of the majority of filipinos, it is expected that we cannot say it how americans do. They don’t tell you that you say it the wrong way, instead they’d rather say ‘you have an [different] accent.’ That means, you pronounce it in a bizzare way. Americans speak english more nasal, loud/clear and they give emphasis on syllables unlike us, filipinos we always tend to bend and twist words as we say it hence practically we get used to it. Moreover, Australians speak english of diff’rent accent, British have theirs, Canadians etc. Point is, if a single language is not your native tongue, this will surely drive you to say it differently, causes misinterpretations and the aspect of correct/fair grammar.

  10. jm12nhfn@yahoo.com April 9, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    There is Filipino English nowadays but learning the right american English is an asset especially for Call center.

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