Gail Armstrong of openbrackets recently mentioned a subject that sometimes irritates me: how do I, as a native speaker of English, pronounce English words that have entered the German language and are pronounced ‘wrongly’?
bq. The only times Ive failed to understand what for the love of Pierre a French person was saying have been when English words were involved.
bq. I once spent many minutes talking with someone about Dire Straits and another group called Deer Straats, certain that we were speaking of two different bands, and so struck by the similarities. Im still looking for a recording by another band called Tallkeen Eds.
bq. I have regular bouts of panic when having to ask for an American product. Upon entering KFC (ka eff say), say, does one order a byoockette or a bouquet, and is it salade de chou or ze slow on the side? Who knows.
On the whole, I pronounce the words the way the Germans do, but when it comes to the products, problems arise. For instance, there is a chocolate and caramel bar called Twix in Britain. In Germany it was originally called Raider. However, this was pronounced not raider but rider. Later, they changed the name to Twix, for perhaps obvious reasons, and there was a much-repeated exhortation in their TV ads ‘Raider is now Twix’. Yet they laughed at me when I tried to buy a peanut bar called Nuts, pronouncing it ‘Noots’. Vick had its spelling changed to Wick, of course.
I have sometimes annoyed people by repeating all the English words in the TV advertisements in order to improve my German accent. I still find it hard to pronounce the last word in the shampoo name ‘Head and Shoulders’ – something like shooowwlders – preceded by ‘hett ‘ ent’. The Douglas saying ‘Come in and find out’ (apparently taken by many Germans to mean ‘Come in and then manage to find your way out again’) is pronounced staccato, with lots of glottal stops: Come ‘ in ‘ and ‘ find ‘ out. (See report by PapaScott).
Today I heard on the radio that John Carey won the Iowa primary, but later I found out it was John Kerry.