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English Audio Request

207 Words / 3 Recordings / 4 Comments
Note to recorder:

Can a native North American speaker please record this one with a deep slow, musical voice? (The reason being that's the kind of voice and accent I'm going for.)

I'll listen to the recording, record myself afterwards and then compare both versions a lot. Thanks! :)

(This is from Gerard Nolst Trenité, a traveler from the 19th century, and is supposed to highlight the irregularities of the English spelling and pronunciation.)

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.



Dec. 15, 2012

Thank you Jay, just what I wanted. I guess a couple of words in there are obsolete bu it still makes for nice practice.

Dec. 19, 2012

In all honesty, I think jaystarkey made a few mistakes...In any case, I looked up all the words whose pronunciation or stress/accent I wasn't 100% sure about, so they should all be correct.

Just so you know, a lot of the words in this poem are uncommon, but THESE words are either obsolete or so obscure that I'm sure you'll never use them:

Dec. 20, 2012

Yeah, I probably didn't pronounce some of those obscure words correctly I'm sure -- but I'm well-educated (probably too-well educated, I have an MD) and not knowing them means they aren't too important. Two words that are (relatively) common though:

billet - a piece of paper designating something (like orders/lodging) - comes up in old military settings
chalet - a type of dwelling with overhanging roofs - comes up in wintery settings

Dec. 20, 2012

Hey, I wasn't saying that it was bad not knowing obscure words. Like I said, there were quite a few I didn't know either, and I've been an avid reader my whole life.
I don't believe I've ever seen billet used before, but maybe I've been reading the wrong books. :/


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