English Language: Pronounciation

    • wuerstchenwilli
      wuerstchenwilli
      Black
      Joined: 07.04.2008 Posts: 18,755
      Hallo Guys,

      I am a german Reg and I have a discussion with another german (edit: austrian) Player. I hope you can help me:

      We discuss about the pronounciation of the word "iron".

      I don't really understand his position. It's something like "There is an "R" but it is hardly to hear" or something like this.

      To me - in british english - you cannot here an "R" at all. Neither before the "O" nor behind (like in american English). What do you say about that?

      Not even the Link convinces him.

      He sais something like "It is the same with the pronounciation of the word "burn"."

      To me it is totally diffrent because not even the Americans speak the "r" in iron where it is: In front of the "O". In Germany it is a typicall mistake to say I - ron.
  • 19 replies
    • londonsystem
      londonsystem
      Silver
      Joined: 19.11.2008 Posts: 747
      From East of Canada, I do not hear the 'R'. However, it could be somewhat different in Texas or California.

      I heard some people actually pronunce it as Ah-ee-Er-n, but very rare. And I know Japanese also pronunce it as Ah-ee-Rong, but it is as a borrowed word from English.
    • ThatGuyMatt
      ThatGuyMatt
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 3,759
      I've never heard anyone say I-ron :D . Sounds like I-on/I-un when I say it.

      Perhaps Irish/Scottish would pronounce the R.

      I do hear the R in Burn though thanks to the "ur". Similar with words that have "or" such as More, Sore & Pore. Can't see how you can say these without hearing a little bit of an R sound.

      As for a rule about when you hear an R, I've got no idea.

      But to confuse you, I'll put the word "Irony" out there :D

      Also you can't say you'll never hear an R before or after an O, it depends on what letters come after it. You can clearly hear the R in Abroad.

      I'm rambling on now and have even started to question myself, I'm tired and will probably contradict myself in the morning >.<
    • wuerstchenwilli
      wuerstchenwilli
      Black
      Joined: 07.04.2008 Posts: 18,755
      Originally posted by ThatGuyMatt
      I've never heard anyone say I-ron :D .
      Only Germans do when they talk english.

      But thanks! Irony is a good example. I can hear an "R" before the "O". That is how german pronounce "ironman" for example. Without the "Y" of course.

      So there is a difference between irony and iron isn't it? Except the "Y".

      And of course it depends on the word. But I think iron is a special word. Especially because some Americans say Ah-ee-ern.

      Just klick my Link in the OP to hear the difference as I got to know.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,979
      I'm from Western Canada.

      Most common pronunciation here is "I urn" -- most definitely hear the R sound.

      I ron and I run are also heard.

      Southern US make long I sounds like a flat A as in "Ah" so it become "aaarn"

      In the link you provided to the word "burn" I hear the R sound in all.

      In this link to the word "Iron" I hear the R sound in each, but in the first it is quite subdued. The second one most closely matches my pronunciation.

      Also check bird. In the first instance, the "R" sound totally disappears.

      A lot depends on the locale of the speaker, I think.

      Cheers,
      --VS
    • TinoLaan
      TinoLaan
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,411
      No native English speaker myself, but as far as I know the R is generally heard after the O, basically the way VS mentioned above. At least, that's how I pronounce it.

      I've also heard people say "Ion" where you don't hear an R at all. But then I've also heard one person say something close to "Iran" instead which is just weird :f_confused:

      And yeah it does sound like "I-ron" is something like Germans would say as well as a lot of Dutch people.
    • wuerstchenwilli
      wuerstchenwilli
      Black
      Joined: 07.04.2008 Posts: 18,755
      Please correct me and please don't feel offended, but canadian english is closer to AE than BE isn't it?
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Silver
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,944
      Native English speaker and when I say it - its sounds like

      I-urn
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Silver
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,944
      Originally posted by ThatGuyMatt
      I've never heard anyone say I-ron :D . Sounds like I-on/I-un when I say it.

      Perhaps Irish/Scottish would pronounce the R.

      I do hear the R in Burn though thanks to the "ur". Similar with words that have "or" such as More, Sore & Pore. Can't see how you can say these without hearing a little bit of an R sound.

      As for a rule about when you hear an R, I've got no idea.

      But to confuse you, I'll put the word "Irony" out there :D

      Also you can't say you'll never hear an R before or after an O, it depends on what letters come after it. You can clearly hear the R in Abroad.

      I'm rambling on now and have even started to question myself, I'm tired and will probably contradict myself in the morning >.<

      Fish at your own language!
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,979
      Originally posted by wuerstchenwilli
      Please correct me and please don't feel offended, but canadian english is closer to AE than BE isn't it?
      Americans have great fun mocking Canadian English, mostly because for the most part our total lack of accent confuses them :coolface:

      Seriously, for the most part Canadian English sounds like Cornwall region of England, with the exception of a few vowel sounds.

      Canada is so large, it is has its own regional accents.
      Newfoundlanders can be distinguished from Maritimers for example.

      The US has many more varieties. The Tennesse/Kentucky region has a beautiful lilt to their speech, and vowel sounds are lengthened for example.

      In Canada, we have a peculiar way of saying words with "out" like "shout" and "about". It even has its own wikipedia article

      We pronounce "cloud" and "clout" quite differently, most Americans pronounce them the same, and almost all "ou" words get pronounced like "cloud"

      Cheers,
      --VS
    • wuerstchenwilli
      wuerstchenwilli
      Black
      Joined: 07.04.2008 Posts: 18,755
      Originally posted by HollyMichelle
      Native English speaker and when I say it - its sounds like

      I-urn
      And where are you from?
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Silver
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,944
      Rep of Ireland.
    • ThatGuyMatt
      ThatGuyMatt
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 3,759
      He's Irish, not English.


      :coolface:
    • peche025
      peche025
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.12.2008 Posts: 1,387
      I say Iron and Ion exactly the same.

      Vorpal, I'm not sure if you've been to Cornwall but I don't think a Canadian accent sounds like a Cornish one, although I once had a Canadian tell me I sounded like I'm from New Zealand (I'm from the North of England) so I'm guessing we all get confused :f_biggrin:
    • PumaPerez
      PumaPerez
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.11.2009 Posts: 4,289


    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,979
      Originally posted by peche025
      I say Iron and Ion exactly the same.

      Vorpal, I'm not sure if you've been to Cornwall but I don't think a Canadian accent sounds like a Cornish one, although I once had a Canadian tell me I sounded like I'm from New Zealand (I'm from the North of England) so I'm guessing we all get confused :f_biggrin:
      We had an exchange teacher from Penzance when I was in school.
      Not a lot of difference. Main one I remember was in a Canadian folk song is the the line:
      "Where still the mighty moose, wanders at will"

      I had no idea what the moose was wondering about.


      Cheers,
      --VS
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,979
      Great pair of video clips.

      Notice that in the second video, he also pronounces "world" and "first" w/o an "R" sound, as well as "for" "carbon" and a host of others.

      Whereas in my region of Canada, the "r" sound is strongly pronounced in all.

      There is a common speech impediment where people have difficulty producing an R sound, and it comes out sounding more like "w". Elmer Fudd is famous for this.

      Dropping the "r" sound from words isn't the same thing.

      --VS
    • wuerstchenwilli
      wuerstchenwilli
      Black
      Joined: 07.04.2008 Posts: 18,755
      Is there no one from England???

      In Texas there is an "R" in every word but as farer you get away the better the english is ;) at least to my ears.
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Silver
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,944
      Originally posted by ThatGuyMatt
      He's Irish, not English.


      :coolface:
      Most English can't speak English

      - I fink!
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      You could drop an ion (eye+on) on your foot and it wouldn't hurt like dropping an iron on it (eye+rn), so best get it right. :)
      In south Wales, iron might often be pronounced (eye+yen)

      I think you will find regional accents make how these words are pronounced very localised.
      Scottish would mostly leave the 'r' in and extend the sound, whereas a more southern accent might not pronounce it at all.
      For example, the word 'southerner' would have an extended 'r' if said by a Scot but a blander English accent might leave it out altogether, i.e., 'southene', with just about every combination in between.

      We also have that infuriatingly ridiculous BBC announcer's accent that bares as much resemblance to English as my passport photo does to me. They would say iron as (eye+rn) most likely.

      In summary, regional accents rule for general usage in the UK and I can't think of a rule or law for whether to pronounce an r before a vowel or after one; I'd be interested to find out.

      Doesn't help much I know.

      Mal.