Thursday, 6 September 2012

A Compilation of Student Mispronunciations

I'm currently compiling a list of my favourite student mispronunciations. More than just being amusing, they also serve the purpose of learning common mistakes that students make in English which can be invaluable when you're teaching.Some are a little bit rude but as they were innocent mistakes and happen quite frequently, I've included them. I'll update this page regularly as and when I hear more. 

"Oscar Wilde is bored in his grave" (buried)

'Is there any desecrated coconut?' (dessicated)

'I've got wind' (overheard while playing weather bingo with 6 year olds)

'I've had many problems with wind' (Note: Wind is the name of a major phone company in Italy) 

"Teacher! I love your herrings!" (ear rings) 

"My uncle has a big bird on his face" (beard) 

"If you go into the forest, you might be attacked by a big beer!" (bear) 

"I spend a lot of time in the chicken" (kitchen) 

"I've got piles. I will have bigger ones next week"  (Pies - she was making meat pies for a special lunch) 

Student: Do you like cocaine?" 
Me: "err could you repeat that please?" 
Student: "Yes, do you like coca... err... cooking" 

Child: 'The air conditioning is too cold. I feel like a polar bee!'  (bear) 

Student: "I am not a grape!" (Rather surprisingly this was meant to be "I don't agree")

"I've got the shits teacher" (sheets) 

"I have two chickens. Marco is my favourite chicken because we play football together" (cousins) 

An 80 year old man: "Can you explain what 'kinky' means? No scuse me, I mean kick off" (phew! That one could have been awkward) 

"I feel such a penis!"  (happiness) 

'He is my new poo'  (I never did work out what this child was trying to say...) 

I hope these tickled your funny bone! I'd love to hear your opinions or any snippets 

you've overheard in the classroom so feel free to leave comments in the box below.

For more amusing posts, check out Italian vs English: False Friends!


  1. Haha love them! I've seen and heard a good few errors like these. Very amusing indeed! (especially the last one?!)

  2. My korean friend had a picture of my korean language class from our leavers meal with the caption 'I love guys!'... even after another friend explained in Korean what he had written (and then changed to 'I love you guys') he still cant really understand why it was a mistake and why I was dying laughing!

    1. I still have issues forgetting 'ho caldo' (I'm hot) with 'sono caldo' (I'm hot in a sexy way) but can be reeeeally embarrassing! Do you have any others examples from your kids? x

    2. I committed this one in Spain, declaring it to a waiter immediately after John had excused himself to the boy's room, the service was great, but oh the shame afterwards!

      I told a five year old Harry that he looked handsome to which Kate piped up, 'am I Gretel? '

  3. I see that the one with the beard (pronounced as bird) is quite common ;) My (italian, duh) boyfriend asked me if I liked birds, before we started dating ;)

    1. There's usually at least one bear/beer/bird/beard related incident every day. It never fails to make me chuckle!

  4. Cool. Very cute indeed.

  5. That is so funny - especially the pies! Looking forward to more.

    1. Thanks! (and thank you for the link) I had to really try hard to cover my laughter when she kept repeating that she had piles! x

  6. OK I have one...
    Me running into the house to tell my wife and mother in law I've just seen a lovely red fox in the garden". In Swedish...

    I actually said :

    "I just saw a lovely red arse in the garden." Much hilarity from them.

    Fox = Räv (ä sounds a bit like "air"
    Arse = Röv (ö sounds a bit like "er"

  7. I love this, masha'Allah, lol! I used to teach ESL and citizenship classes. I remember one student was so frustrated over the difference between "bathe" and "shower". "Why can't there just be one word?!" he exasperated. I asked him if there was only one word in his language and then he laughed and guessed there were plenty more than in English.

  8. It's funny because I can just imagine the happiness one in the English italian accent. Bless them! We all have to start somewhere :D

    And always be on the look out for those old man :o lol!

  9. This is probably one of my favourite posts. Janeyre and Jeckyllide were the beginnings of an excellent list of mispronunciations. Probably.


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