No matter how much I correct my students, they still get basic vocabulary wrong. I often hear my students referring to China as ‘Chiner’. I don’t understand why they do this, it could be because ‘a’ is a vowel and it’s at the end of the word. This goes for the country ‘Russia’, where they will say ‘Russer’. ‘Clothes’ is another tricky word; constantly hearing them pronouncing the silent ‘e’.
Another word I often here mispronounced is ‘Idea’. Chinese people will always say ‘Ideer’. I tested one of my Chinese friends, where I would say ‘Idea’ and ‘Ideer’… he thought I was saying ‘idea’ in both cases! Ha there is no hope!
One student of mine drops the ‘y’ altogether from ‘energy’, where it now becomes ‘energ.’ It took me a while to figure out what he was actually talking about! Other sounds they have difficulty with are the ‘th’, ‘r’, ‘l’ and ‘v’ sounds. For example, they would say ‘Wolwo’ instead of ‘Volvo’.
I have also had to change my speaking! For films, I now say movies. I also have to change my ‘r’. I pronounce ‘r’ like the word ‘or’. The students pronounce it like ‘are’. They would look at me puzzled when I say it my own way!
I guess, when in China, do as the Chinese!