“The Chaos”, by Gerard Nolst Trenité, transcribed by Present Simple ESL

 

A student reminded me of this poem by Gerard Nolst Trenité, called “The Chaos”, so I decided to transcribe it!

I chose to do fairly detailed transcriptions, instead of general ones, so that learners can get a more accurate idea of the pronunciation and become more familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). I have included a link, at the end of the poem, to an interactive IPA chart where you can click on the various symbols and hear the sounds they make! Keep in mind that this is an international chart, so it includes all the sounds of all the languages, not just English or your first language. This is a super fun and useful tool for studying languages.

  • According to the IPA, the “ɹ” symbol represents the North American r sound in words such as right. The IPA “r” is a trilled r found in other languages, so there is actually a very big difference between the two symbols.
  • The “ʔ” is not a question mark! Nope, it is a sound called a glottal stop, and you can make this sound by saying “uh-oh”.
  • The “ɾ” is called a flap, and it’s the d sound that the t makes in words like better [bɛ.ɾəɹ]
  • The period [.] in the transcriptions marks a syllable break
  • The apostrophe [ˈ] marks syllable stress when there are two or more syllables. If the word is only one syllable, I don’t mark it.
  • I should point out that there are different ways of transcribing, so you may be used to different symbols than I have used here. For example, “əɹ”, “ər” and “ɚ” are three different symbols used to represent the same sound.

Dearest creature [ˈkri.tʃər] in creation [kri.ˈeɪ.ʃən]

Study English pronunciation [pɹə.ˈnʌn.si.eɪ.ʃən]

 

I will teach you in my verse [vəɹs]

Sounds like corpse [kɔɹps], corps [kɔɹ], horse [hɔɹs], and worse [wǝɹs].

 

I will keep you Suzy [ˈsu.zi], busy [ˈbɪ.zi],

Make your head [hɛd] with heat [hit] grow dizzy [ˈdɪ.zi].

 

Tear [tiɹ] in eye, your dress will tear [teɪɹ]

So shall I [ai]! Oh hear [hiɹ] my prayer [pɹeɪɹ].

 

Just compare heart [hart], beard [biɹd], and heard [hərd],

Dies [daɪz] and diet [ˈdaɪ. ɛt], lord [lɔrd] and word [wəɹd],

 

Sword [sɔɹd]and sward [swaɹd], retain [ɹɛ.ˈtaɪn] and Britain [ˈbɹɪ.ʔ]

Mind the latter [ˈlæ.ɾəɹ], how it’s written [ˈɹɪ.ʔ]

 

Now I surely will not plague [plaɪg] you,

With such words as plaque [plæk] and ague [ˈaɪ.gu].

 

Be careful how you speak [spik]:

Say break [bɹeɪk] and steak [steɪk], but bleak [blik] and streak [stɹik]

Cloven [ˈklow.vɛn], oven [ˈʌ.vən], how [haʊ] and low [loʊ],

Script [skɹɪpt], receipt [ɹə.ˈsit], show [ʃoʊ], poem [ˈpoʊ.əm], and toe [toʊ].

 

Hear me say devoid of trickery [ˈtɹɪ.kəɹ.i],

Daughter [ˈdɑ.ɾəɹ], laughter[ˈlæf.təɹ], and Terpsichore [tɜrp.ˈsɪ.kəɹ.i].

 

Typhoid [ˈtaɪ.fɔɪd], measles [ˈmi.zəlz], topsails [ˈtɑp.seɪlz], and aisles [ˈaɪ.əlz],

Exiles[ɛk.ˈsaɪ.əlz], similes [ˈsɪ.mə.liz], and reviles [ɹɪˈvaɪ.əlz];

 

Scholar [ˈskɑ.ləɹ], vicar [ˈvɪ.kəɹ], and cigar [səˈɡɑɹ]

Solar [ˈsoʊ.ləɹ], mica [ˈmaɪ.kə], war [ˈwɔɹ], and far [faɹ];

 

One [wʌn], anemone [əˈnɛ.mə.ni], balmoral [bælˈmɔɹ.əl],

Kitchen [ˈkɪ.tʃən], lichen [ˈlaɪ.kən], laundry[ˈlan.dɹi], laurel [ˈlɔɹ.əl];

 

Gertrude [ˈgeɹ.tɹud], German [ˈdʒəɹ.mən], wind [wɪnd/waɪnd], mind [maɪnd],

Scene [sin], Melpomene [mɛlˈpɑ.mə.ni], mankind [mænˈkaɪnd].

 

Billet [ˈbɪl.ət] does not rhyme with ballet [bæ.ˈleɪ],

Bouquet [boʊ.ˈkeɪ], wallet [ˈwa.lɛt], mallet [ˈmæ.lɛt], chalet [ʃæˈleɪ].

 

Blood [blʌd] and flood [flʌd] are not like food [fud],

Nor is mould [moʊld] like should [ʃʊd] and would [wʊd].

 

Viscous [ˈvɪs.kəs], viscount [ˈvaɪ.kaʊnt] , load [loʊd] and broad [bɹɑd],

Toward [tə.ˈwɔɹd], forward [ˈfɔɹ.wəɹd], reward [ɹə.ˈwɔɹd]

 

And your pronunciation’s OK [oʊ.ˈkeɪ],

When you correctly say croquet [kɹoʊ.ˈkeɪ].

 

Rounded [ˈɹaʊnd.əd], wounded [ˈwund.əd], grieve [ɡɹiv] and sieve [sɪv]

Friend [fɹɛnd] and fiend [find], alive [ə.ˈlaɪv] and live [lɪv],

 

Ivy [ˈaɪ.vi], privy [ˈpɹɪ.vi], famous [ˈfeɪ.məs]; clamour [ˈklæ.məɹ]

And enamour [ə.ˈnæ.məɹ] rhyme with hammer [ˈhæ.məɹ]

 

River [ˈɹɪ.vəɹ], rival [ˈɹaɪ.vəl], tomb [tum], bomb [bɑm], comb [koʊm],

Doll [dɑl] and roll [ɹoʊl] and some [sʌm] and home [hoʊm].

 

Stranger [ˈstɹeɪn.dʒəɹ] does not rhyme with anger [ˈæŋ.ɡəɹ],

Neither does devour [dəˈvaʊ.əɹ] with clangour [ˈklæŋ.əɹ].

 

Souls [soʊlz] but foul [faʊəl], haunt [hɑnt] but aunt [ænt],

Font [fɑnt], front [fɹʌnt], wont [wɑnt], want [wɑnt], grand [ɡɹænd], and grant [ɡɹænt],

 

Shoes [ʃuz], goes [ɡoʊz], does [dʌz]. Now say finger [ˈfɪŋ.ɡəɹ],

And then singer [ˈsɪŋ.əɹ], ginger [ˈdʒɪn.dʒəɹ], linger [ˈlɪŋ.ɡəɹ]

 

Real [ɹil], zeal [zil], mauve [moʊv], gauze [ɡɑz], gouge [ɡaʊdʒ], and gauge [ɡeɪdʒ],

Marriage [ˈmɛɹ.ɪdʒ], foliage [ˈfoʊ.li.ɪdʒ], mirage [məˈɹɑʒ], and age [eɪdʒ].

 

Query [ˈkwiɹ.i] does not rhyme with very [ˈvɛ.rɪ],

Nor does fury [ˈfjʊ.rɪ] sound like bury [ˈbɛ.rɪ]

 

Dost [dʌst], lost [lɑst], post [poʊst] and doth [dʌθ], cloth [klɑθ], loth [loʊθ].

Job [dʒɑb], nob [nɑb], bosom [ˈbʊ.zəm], transom [ˈtɹæn.səm], oath [oʊθ].

 

Though the difference seems little [ˈlɪ.təl]

We say actual [ˈæk.tʃə.wəl] but victual [ˈvɪ.təl]

 

Refer [ɹɪ.ˈfɜɹ] does not rhyme with deafer [ˈdɛ.fəɹ].

Feoffer [ˈfɛ.fəɹ] does and zephyr [ˈzɛ.fəɹ] and heifer [ˈhɛ.fəɹ].

 

Mint [mɪnt], pint [paɪnt], senate [ˈsɛn.ət], sedate [sɪ.ˈdeɪt],

Dull [dʌl], bull [bʊl], and George are late [leɪt].

 

Scenic [ˈsi.nɪk], Arabic [ˈeɪɹ.ə.bɪk], Pacific [pə.ˈsɪ.fɪk],

Science [ˈsaɪ.əns], conscience [ˈkɑn.ʃəns], scientific [saɪ.ən.ˈtɪ.fɪk].

 

Liberty [ˈlɪ.bəɹ.ti], library [ˈlaɪ.bɹɛɹ.i], heave [hiv] and heaven [ˈhɛ.vən],

Rachel [ˈɹeɪ.tʃ.əl], ache [eɪk], moustache [ˈmʌ.stæʃ], eleven [ə.ˈlɛ.vən].

 

We say hallowed [ˈhæ.loʊd], but allowed [ə.ˈlaʊd],

People [ˈpi.pəl], leopard [ˈlɛ.pəɹd], towed [toʊd], but vowed [vaʊd].

 

Mark the difference, moreover [mɔrˈoʊvəɹ],

Between, mover [ˈmu.vəɹ], cover [ˈkʌ.vəɹ], clover [ˈkloʊ.vəɹ];

 

Leeches [ˈli.tʃəz], breeches [ˈbɹɪ.tʃəz], wise [waɪz], precise [pɹə.ˈsaɪs],

Chalice [ˈtʃæ.ləs], but police [pəˈlis] and lice [laɪs];

 

Camel [ˈkæ.məl], constable [ˈkɑn.stə.bəl], unstable [ʌn.ˈsteɪ.bəl],

Principle [ˈpɹɪn.sə.pəl], disciple [də.ˈsaɪ.pəl], label [ˈleɪ.bəl].

 

Petal [ˈpɛ.ɾəl], panel [ˈpæ.n̩əl], canal [kəˈnæl],

Wait [weɪt], surprise [sə.ˈpɹaɪz], plait [pleɪt], promise [ˈpɹɑ.məs], pal [pæl].

 

Worm [wəɹm] and storm [stɔrm], chaise [ʃeɪz], chaos [ˈkeɪ.ɑs], chair [tʃeɪɹ],

Senator [ˈsɛ.nə.ɾəɹ], spectator [ˈspɛk.teɪ.ɾəɹ], mayor [ˈmeɪ.jəɹ].

 

Tour [tʊɹ], but our [aʊɹ] and succour [ˈsʌk.əɹ], four [fɔɹ].

Gas [gæs], alas [ə.ˈlæs], and Arkansas [ˈɑɹ.kən.sɑ].

 

Sea [si], idea [aɪ.ˈdi.ə], Korea [kəɹ.ˈi.ə], area [ˈeɪɹ.i.ə],

Psalm [sɑm], Maria [mə.ˈɹi.ə], but malaria [mə.ˈleɪɹ.i.ə].

 

Youth [juθ], south [saʊθ], southern [ˈsʌ.ðəɹn], cleanse [klɛnz] and clean [klin].

Doctrine [ˈdɑk.tɹən], turpentine [ˈtəɹ.pən.taɪn], marine [mə.ˈɹin].

 

Compare alien [ˈeɪ.li.ən] with Italian [ɪ.ˈtæl.i.ən],

Dandelion [ˈdæn.də.laɪ.ən] and battalion [bə.ˈtæl.i.ən].

 

Sally [ˈsæl.i] with ally [ˈæ.laɪ], yea [jeɪ], ye [ji],

Eye [aɪ], I [aɪ], ay [aɪ], aye [aɪ], whey [weɪ], and key [ki].

 

Say aver [əˈvəɹ], but ever [ˈɛ.vəɹ], fever [ˈfi.vəɹ],

Neither [ˈni.ðəɹ], leisure [ˈli.ʒəɹ], skein [skeɪn], deceiver də.ˈsi.vəɹ].

 

Heron [ˈheɪɹ.ən], granary [ˈɡɹeɪn.ə.ɹi], canary [kə.ˈneɪɹ.i].

Crevice [ˈkɹɛ.vəs] and device [də.ˈvaɪs], aerie [eɪɹ.i]

 

Face [ˈfeɪs]but preface [ˈpɹɛ.fəs], not efface [ə.ˈfeɪs].

Phlegm [flɛm], phlegmatic [flɛɡ.ˈmæ.ɾɪk], ass [æs], glass [glæs], bass [beɪs]

 

Large [lɑɹdʒ], but target [ˈtɑɹ.ɡət], gin [dʒɪn], give [ɡɪv], verging [ˈvəɹ.dʒɪŋ],

Ought [ɑt], out [aʊt], joust [dʒaʊst] and scour [skaʊɹ], scourging [ˈskəɹ.dʒɪŋ].

 

Ear [iɹ], but earn [əɹn], and wear [waɪɹ] and tear [taɪɹ]

Do not rhyme with here [hiɹ] but ere [aɪɹ].

 

Seven [ˈsɛ.vən] is right, but so is even [ˈi.vən],

Hyphen [ˈhaɪ.fən], roughen [ˈɹʌ.fən], nephew [ˈnɛ.fju], Stephen [ˈsti.vən],

 

Monkey [ˈmʌŋ.ki], donkey [ˈdɑŋ.ki], Turk [təɹk] and jerk [dʒəɹk],

Ask [æsk], grasp [gɹæsp], wasp [wɑsp] and cork [kɔrk] and work [wəɹk].

 

Pronunciation (think of phyche! [ˈsaɪ.ki])

Is a paling [ˈpeɪ.lɪŋ] stout [staʊt] and spikey [ˈspaɪ.ki]?

 

Won’t make you lose your wits [wɪts],

Writing groats [ɡɹoʊts] and saying grits [ɡɹɪts]?

 

It’s a dark abyss [əˈbɪs] or tunnel [ˈtʌ.nəl]:

Strewn [stɹun] with stones [stoʊnz], stowed [stoʊd], solace [ˈsɑ.ləs], gunwale [ˈɡʌ.nəl],

 

Islington [ˈɪz.lɪŋ.tən] and Isle [ˈaɪ.əl] of Wight [waɪt],

Housewife [ˈhaʊs.waɪf], verdict [ˈvəɹ.dɪkt], indict [ɪnˈdaɪt].

 

Finally, which rhymes with enough [ə.ˈnʌf],

Though [ðoʊ], through [θɹu], plough [plaʊ], or dough [doʊ] or cough [kɑf]?

 

Hiccough [ˈhɪ.kʌp] has the sound of cup [kʌp],

My advice is to give up!

Advertisements

Lost in Translation

Or, Cross-cultural communication. What the English say vs. what foreigners hear.

The concept of saying the opposite of what you mean may seem both confusing and unnecessary to many people.

WHAT THE BRITISH SAY WHAT THE BRITISH MEAN WHAT FOREIGNERS UNDERSTAND
I hear what you say I disagree and do not want to discuss it further He accepts my point of view
With the greatest respect You are an idiot He is listening to me
That’s not bad That’s good That’s poor
That is a very brave proposal You are insane He thinks I have courage
Quite good A bit disappointing Quite good
I would suggest Do it or be prepared to justify yourself Think about the idea, but do what you like
Oh, incidentally/ by the way The primary purpose of our discussion is That is not very important
I was a bit disappointed that I am annoyed that It doesn’t really matter
Very interesting That is clearly nonsense They are impressed
I’ll bear it in mind I’ve forgotten it already They will probably do it
I’m sure it’s my fault It’s your fault Why do they think it was their fault?
You must come for dinner It’s not an invitation, I’m just being polite I will get an invitation soon
I almost agree I don’t agree at all He’s not far from agreement
I only have a few minor comments Please rewrite completely He has found a few typos
Could we consider some other options I don’t like your idea They have not yet decided

Common Word Collocations With: Big, Great, Large, Strong, Deep, Heavy

news_word_cloudIn English, a collocation is two or more words that go together naturally. Learning collocations is essential for making your English sound fluent and natural!

Here are 50 common English collocations with the words big, great, large, strong, deep, and heavy.

The word big is often used in collocations with a happening or event, for example:

  • a big accomplishment
  • a big decision
  • a big disappointment
  • a big failure
  • a big improvement
  • a big mistake
  • a big surprise

 

The word great is often used in collocations with feelings or qualities.

 Great + feelings

  • great admiration
  • great anger
  • great enjoyment
  • great excitement
  • great fun
  • great happiness
  • great joy

Great + qualities

  • in great detail
  • great power
  • great pride
  • great sensitivity
  • great skill
  • great strength
  • great understanding
  • great wisdom
  • great wealth

 

The word large is often used in collocations involving numbers and measurements.

  • a large amount
  • a large collection
  • a large number (of)
  • a large population
  • a large proportion
  • a large quantity
  • a large scale

 

The word strong is often used in collocations with facts and opinions:

 Strong + facts/opinions

  • strong argument
  • strong emphasis
  • strong evidence
  • a strong contrast
  • a strong commitment
  • strong criticism
  • strong denial
  • a strong feeling
  • a strong opinion (about something)
  • strong resistance

 Strong + senses

  • a strong smell
  • a strong taste

 

The word deep is used for some strong feelings:

  • deep depression
  • deep devotion

It is also used in these expressions:

  • in deep thought
  • in deep trouble
  • in a deep sleep (when the person won’t wake up easily)

 

Heavy is used for some weather conditions

  • heavy rain
  • heavy snow
  • heavy fog

The word heavy is also used for people with bad habits:

  • a heavy drinker
  • a heavy smoker
  • a heavy drug user

 

 

50 Collective Nouns to Bolster Your Vocabulary

From www.mentalfloss.com

Collective nouns may seem like quirky ways to describe groups, but 500 years ago, they were your ticket to the in-crowd. Most collective nouns, or “terms of venery,” were coined during the 15th century. Many were codified in books of courtesy, like the 1486 classic Book of St. AlbansSt. Albanswas a handbook for medieval gentlemen, and it contained essays on hawking, hunting, and heraldry. Appended to the hunting chapter sits a list of 164 collective nouns, titled “The Compaynys of Beestys and Fowlys.” (Contrary to the title, many terms actually describe people—a biting example of ye olde satire.)

As silly as some sound today, the phrases were formal and proper descriptions. St. Albans was, after all, a vocabulary-booster, a primer designed to help gentlemen-in-training avoid the embarrassment of “some blunder at the table.” Over the next century, the book’s popularity bloomed. Similar courtesy handbooks caught on, and by the end of the 16th century, a slew of collective nouns had entered the lexicon.

Some have achieved widespread currency and acceptance, like a “flight of stairs,” “a board of trustees,” and a “school of fish.” Others, like a “murder of crows,” barely cling on. However, a handful of obscure phrases have made a comeback, thanks to James Lipton’s wonderful compendium of collective nouns, An Exaltation of Larks. Here are a few from Lipton’s book that you should add to your repertoire.

1. Business of Ferrets

2. Labor of Moles

3. Mustering of Storks

4. Shrewdness of Apes

5. Gam of Whales

6. Smack of Jellyfish

7. Host of Angels

8. Fusillade of Bullets

9. Baptism of Fire

10. Quiver of Arrows

11. Tissue of lies

12. Murder of Crows

13. Unkindness of Ravens

14. Dule of Doves

15. Clowder, Cluster, or Clutter of Cats

16. Kindle of Kittens

17. Mute of Hounds

18. Pass of Asses

19. Ostentation of Peacocks

20. Team of Ducks (when flying)

21. Paddling of Ducks (when on water)

22. Trip of Goats

23. Sloth, or Sleuth, of Bears

24. Charm of Finches

25. Hill of Beans

26. String of Ponies

27. Hand of Bananas

28. College of Cardinals

29. Shock of Corn

30. Band of Men

31. Knot of Toads

32. Wedge of Swans (when flying)

33. Parliament of Owls

34. Superfluity of Nuns

35. Abominable Sight of Monks

36. Untruth of Summoners

37. Doctrine of Doctors

38. Damning of Jurors

39. Sentence of Judges

40. Rascal of Boys

41. Gaggle of Women

42. Gaggle of Gossips

43. Impatience of Wives

44. Tabernacle of Bakers

45. Poverty of Pipers

46. Fighting of Beggars

47. Neverthriving of Jugglers

48. Herd of Harlots

49. Worship of Writers

50. Hastiness of Cooks

According to Lipton, the terms above “are authentic and authoritative. They were used, they were correct, and they are useful, correct—and available—today.” You can pick up a copy of Lipton’s book here.

www.mentalfloss.com