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English Words Foreigners Hate Saying — This List Is a Guaranteed Smile

Growing up we all had trouble pronouncing certain words: magazine, specifically, ridiculous, etc. But what if English was your SECOND language? Here are the top words ESL folks just can’t handle. If you don’t laugh out loud I can at least GUARANTEE a smile or your money back!

  • I speak czech and the word “quick” never seems to stop fascinating me because in my language it is the sound a pig makes.
  • Miscellaneous: Mishelanoos? Miskelanejus? Misc and angle juice?
  • First language was German. I found the word gift interesting, as the German word for poison is spelled the same. “There’s Christmas poison under the tree!”
  • My friend from Switzerland adores the word “bubble”. She pronounces it “BAHHH-bul”
  • My German cousin instead of saying “the bomb” she would always say, “watch out for da bomba” (like in a video game). Or in a movie when a time bomb everyone was looking for was revealed, she would say “oooooh, da bomba.”
  • Icelandic speaker: Slurry. It makes me want to vomit. Also, pants.
  • My mom (South Korean) thinks “bumper to bumper” is hilarious. She says it like “bumpatabumpa.”
  • Hyperbola, Pythagorean theorem, segue
  • Arab here. Doozy is the funniest. I’m even laughing as I type this. Just think about it. Doozy doooozy doozy doozy doozy!
  • Rural. I don’t even know what my tongue is supposed to do.
  • I’m a native Spanish speaker and the first time I saw the word “homelessness” it blew my mind. I find difficult even to think about it. It’s a weird word.
  • Soliloquy, said nice and slowwww. Solllillooquyyyy
  • I hate all TH Sounds. Fink about it.
  • First time I arrived in states I was all like ‘I love your bologna (bo-log-na)!” Until my little niece quietly said “buh-lo-nni”. WTF
  • Jewelry — f*** that word
  • Dutch here and mine is Worcestershire. The pronunciation is something like “Wuhstersher.” Makes me laugh every time.
  • German: mushy (muschi is female genitalia in German)
  • Lisp… I HATE the word almost as much as the actual thing. Colonel — have no idea how the pronunciation makes sense. “What” – it’s just an odd sound to have for a very common word.
  • As a French guy, the words “scourge” and “crotch” tend to make me feel uncomfortable. No idea why.
  • “Literally” is literally the worst word ever. I’m Russian. Also, one Korean guy tried to say the word “parking,” but all I heard was “f***ing.” He said: “F***ing is free.” That was hilarious.
  • Native bilingual French/English speaker here: STRENGTH. One vowel in an 8 letter word? Really?
  • Polish speaker: Scuba and moose. Lol
  • Italian, “Shenanigans” makes me laugh. “He/she’s a keeper” makes me inexplicably angry. “Baby shower” makes me want to punch a baby.


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