Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen by Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité)
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
It will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear.
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
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.)
Made has not the sound of bade;
Say, said, pay, paid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,
Previous, precious, fuschia, via,
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
Woven, oven how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, reviles;
Wholly, holly, signal, signing
Same, examining, but mining,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
From “desire”: desirable
-admirable from “admire”;
Lumber, plumber, bier but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown but known,
Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Billet does not end like ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
Ricocheted and croqueting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s O.K.;
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Hugh but hug and hood but hoot,
Buoyant, minute but “minute”.
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover,
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal.
Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it,”
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and “hammer,”
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Soul but foul and gaunt but aunt;
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant.
Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic,
Prison, bison, treasure-trove
Treason, hover, cover, cove.
Don’t be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet – buffet;
Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, stool,
Worcester, Boleyn, foul and ghoul.
But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolley, realm and ream.
Schedule, mischief, schism and scheme.
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.
Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry, fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual but victual
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite and unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, senate but sedate,
Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific,
Tour but our and succor, four,
Gas, alas and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Rally with ally; yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Starry, granary, canary.
Crevice but device and eyrie.
Face, but preface, but grimace.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally: which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, cough, hough
Hiccough has the sound of “sup”.
My advice is give it up!!!