Ah, English, the language whose spelling makes little sense. The history of why we spell words the way we do is quite interesting but not important when you’re trying to communicate.

If English is your first and perhaps your only language, you must appreciate the incredible challenge for those who learn this language later in life.

I never find it funny or charming when a non-native speaker mispronounces a word, I think “Ah ha. That is how it seems to be pronounced.

The following are some of the common tricky words that make some people wonder how English speakers communicate at all.

WORD – It rhymes with BIRD

WORLD – It rhymes with WHIRLED or CURLED

COUNTRY – It is rhymes with FUN TREE…CUN-TREE

COMFORTABLE – It is reduced from a 4 syllable word to 3 syllables. CUMF-TBL

And this last one is very important.

FOCUS – The O must be a long OH sound, as in NO. If you use the wrong O sound, it could sound like you’re saying a very bad swear word, “f*#k us”.

Be careful!