17-09-03-priceless

It’s really beverage, not beaverage *sigh*

Everyone knows that English is weird. English is also priceless. Since English is my second language, I’ve learned the hard (and hilarious) way.

I discovered just today that the word beverage is not only not spelled beaverage, as I’d thought, but is also not pronounced bee-ver-age. Until now, every time I ordered a beaverage, I was really ordering a drink made out of beavers. I also thought it funny that when you ask for a beaver-age, you’re apparently asking for the beaver’s age. Its being beverage in fact explains it somewhat (and also takes some of the beaver magic out of it).

Mousse came to English by the way of French, which might explain my ignorance (or not). Again, I was mispronouncing mousse as mouse. So, when I was telling a waiter with a serious face that I’d like a coffee with mouse, I was literally ordering a hot beaverage with a beaver and a mouse on top of it. The waiter and my company of two native English speakers maintained their poker faces. I wanted to hide under the table and die when I realised my mistake. But I just drank my hot beverage with mousse, ashamed.

Being a lifelong learner of English really brings you in priceless situations.

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Posted by Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

22 Comments

  1. Your written English is very good Mara, of course I’ve never heard you speak. How about uploading an Audio post? Maybe I should do that too. 😬

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. LOL, no way, audio posts are not my thing! But you go ahead and give it a try, that sounds like fun! My written English is better than my spoken one, as I’ve learned the language mostly through reading…

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      1. Yes, your written command of English is very strong! You can hear me talk on some of my videos… So exciting! 😜

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        1. Oh I should probably watch the videos with sound then…!

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  2. That’s hilarious. Your English is exceptionally good, however. I don’t think you should be troubled by mispronouncing just a couple of words. I have no second language in which I am fluent. I’m always impressed by those who are bilingual.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! I’m always embarrassed when I make a mistake, though I know that is happens. When I talk with someone for whom Czech is second language, I know I’d never ridicule them for mispronouncing something or making a mistake – I have too much respect for them even trying to speak the language. I think English speakers have little incentive to learn another language – there’s no practical purpose to it, English is the language in which most of the world communicates. So I wouldn’t be worried if English is your only language.

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      1. I absolutely agree with you. It’s that lazy attitude that means we don’t get exposed to language instruction at a young enough age. By the time I started learning languages, it was High School and my brain wasn’t plastic enough any more to find it easy enough to persevere along with all my other subjects. My Grandfather on the other hand had been exposed to other languages from babyhood and could, therefore, pick up new languages with ease.

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        1. I don’t think it’s necessarily lazy, it’s utilitarian 😉

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  3. You’re right English is so weird – different spelling with same pronounciation (mousse, moose), same spelling with different pronounciations (through, tough) – the list is endless. No wonder us bilinguists get confused !!

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    1. Maybe all languages are weird, when it comes to it! But that’s part of their fascination.

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  4. […] I wrote about the priceless confusions of English, today I’ll do the same for my mother tongue: Czech. It also has a huge potential for comic […]

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  5. Then there’s the different spellings in British English and American English. The spelling in practise and practice, confuses me the most. English is a really funny language with different meanings and spellings 🙂

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    1. You’re right, the British and American English differences keep on confusing me though I’ve been working with both languages for many years. It’s curious how the language development turned out in the case of English!

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  6. My most embarrassing mispronouncement was Quiche. I pronounced it Quickie…who knew?
    “I would like a Quickie, please”.
    He didn’t say a word…nor did he remove his clothes.

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    1. Hahaha, okay, your mispronunciation is more embarrassing than mine! But you take it with good humour. Thank you for sharing your priceless story!

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  7. Hilarious and totally relatable, from a non-native speaker, who also learns some words first through reading and assumes a given pronunciation that turns to be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. I’m glad you can relate! Though I do hope that your mispronunciations didn’t include ordering coffee with rodents.

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    1. Don’t even go there 😀

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  8. Loved this post! Can relate to it a lot as I keep making errors like that every now and then, struggling to pronounce words in German. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, I’m glad you can relate! It’s probably something all learners of a foreign language have in common. It’s a struggle sometimes, but a rewarding one!

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