“The Chaos” is a poem about the craziness of English spelling and pronunciation. Gerard Nolst Trenité was a Dutch teacher of English who wrote it to to sympathizemit jmdm. fühlen, jmdn. verstehensympathize with his students. English words are not phonetic – the way they are written often does not help you with their pronunciation at all. Words might look the same, but still don’t rhyme. Some of the words from this poem are rare, so even native speakers may struggle with pronouncing them correctly. What about you?
Read the poem (maybe even aloud?) and try to solve the three exercises below.
by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870–1946)
Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpseLeichecorpse, corpsTruppecorps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzybenommen, schwindeligdizzy;
Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.
Have you ever yet to endeavoursich bemühenendeavoured
To pronounce to revereehrenrevered and to severreißen, durchtrennensevered,
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mouldForm; Schimmelmould like should and would.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does to devourverschlingendevour with clangourKlirren, Schmetternclangour.
Pilot, pivotDrehpunktpivot, gauntdünn, magergaunt, but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, gingerIngwerginger, to lingerverweilen, fortbestehenlinger.
Real, zealEiferzeal, mauvemalvenfarbig, hellviolettmauve, gauzeGewebe, Gazegauze and gaugeMaßstab, Spurweitegauge,
Marriage, foliageLaub, Blätterfoliage, mirageIllusion, Fata Morganamirage, age.
Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather(Seifen)schaumlather, bather, father?
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, boughAst, Zweigbough, coughHustencough, tough??
hiccoughSchluckaufHiccough has the sound of sup...
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!
What’s it about?
1. What’s it about?
Do they rhyme?
2. Do they rhyme?
What does that word mean?
3. What does that word mean?
Neugierig auf mehr?
Dann nutzen Sie die Möglichkeit und stellen Sie sich Ihr optimales Abo ganz nach Ihren Wünschen zusammen.