British English Accent Training Lesson 33: Two Tricky Poems (with captions)


Hello and welcome, everyone. In this lesson, I have two poems for you.
Neither are by me. The first one is by an anonymous author, we
don’t know who wrote it, but it’s very popular on the Internet. It’s called: “Why English is so Hard” And the second one is just called: “Pronunciation Poem” And that’s by the British Council. Many reasons to do this for you: for the normal
British accent stuff. There’s also reading practice and listening practice for you, hopefully.
And these might be slightly fun. We’ll see. The first one then I will read is “Why English
is so Hard”. The text will be in the Youtube description or on Facebook, wherever. You
will find the words to read along. Please look for those if you want to. And this first one, it is quite funny in a
way. There’s lots of stuff about plurals and the confusing things about English. So this
is: “Why English is so Hard” (author unknown) We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is
boxes, But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice. If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet, And I give you a boot, would a pair be called
beet? If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth? Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose, And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren, But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim! Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren’t invented in England. We take English for granted, but if we explore
its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings
are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers
don’t fing, grocers don’t
groce and hammers don’t ham? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends
but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get
rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up
speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what other language do people recite at
a play and play at a recital? We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell. We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway. And how can a slim chance and a fat chance
be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of
a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it
out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on. And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come
Mother’s not Mop? That’s all for now. That one is anonymous, we don’t know who wrote
it, unfortunately, but it’s really great isn’t it? I hope that was interesting. Maybe you might
need to do some research on some of the content of that yourselves, in any of that was confusing
for you. Now this second one is “Pronunciation Poem”
and it’s by the British Council. There is a video of it already so you might
want to watch that because they do it perfectly, but one of two people suggested I do it anyway,
so here we go. And this is about pronunciation. You might
also want to check the original because the woman speaks perfectly and I doubt that I
will do it perfectly because, as you know, I’m far from perfect. But here we are, the second poem today, it’s: Pronunciation Poem (by the British Council) Here is some pronunciation.
Ration never rhymes with nation, Say prefer, but preferable,
Comfortable and vegetable, B must not be heard in doubt,
Debt and dumb both leave it out. In the words psychology,
Psychic and psychiatry, You must never sound the p.
Psychiatrist you call the man Who cures the complex, if he can.
In architect, chi is k. In arch it is the other way. Please remember to say iron
So that it’ll rhyme with lion. Advertisers advertise,
Advertisements will put you wise. Time when work is done is leisure,
Fill it up with useful pleasure. Accidental, accident,
Sound the g in ignorant. Relative, but relation,
Then say creature, but creation. Say the a in gas quite short
Bought remember rhymes with thwart, Drought must always rhyme with bout,
In daughter leave the “gh” out. Wear a boot upon your foot.
Root can never rhyme with soot. In muscle, sc is s,
In muscular, it’s sk, yes! Choir must always rhyme with wire,
That again will rhyme with liar. Then remember it’s address
With an accent like possess. G in sign must silent be,
In signature, pronounce the g. Please remember, say towards
Just as if it rhymed with boards. Weight’s like wait, but not like height.
Which should always rhyme with might. Sew is just the same as so,
Tie a ribbon in a bow. When you meet the queen you bow,
Which again must rhyme with how. In perfect English make a start.
Learn this little rhyme by heart. That was “Pronunciation Poem” by the British
Council. I think I read it accurately, in fact. I didn’t
make any mistakes that I was aware of, so hopefully that’s all right, but we’ll see. Two poems then: “Why English is so Hard” and
“Pronunciation Poem”. I hope that you enjoyed them and they were useful for learning English
in a variety of aspects. This was something a bit fun for today but
there will be many more to come, so please join us on Youtube, check the channel for
current ones available and subscribe for new ones: http://www.youtube.com/user/CJWorkman17 And on Facebook etc. you can find links in
the description on Youtube. On Facebook, there’s a page and group for
learning English and British English. Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/UKEnglishTweets Skype: BritishEnglish_Teacher And the website is http://www.learnbritishenglish.co.uk/ Everything is free and we are posting and
discussing stuff more or less every day. So please join us if you have time and want to
learn English, and share if you want to, everyone is always welcome. That’s it for today then but there’s quite
a few more coming in the next few days as I said. I want to do one about Business English
soon and one to help you talk about your studies or your job. Please keep checking and keep
in touch for all those things. Thank you very much for your time for today.
I hope it was useful for you. I look forward to seeing you again in the future. Please feel free to contact me on any of those
websites, send questions, whatever, and I will be in touch soon, I’m sure. But take care for now and I will see you next
time.

6 thoughts on “British English Accent Training Lesson 33: Two Tricky Poems (with captions)

  1. It's absolutely brilliant. Your videos are super! Can't wait to watch the next one.

  2. Oh boy, the first one is so funny, I almost couldn't stop laughing!
    Thanks for reading it! Although I can't understand how you could do that all through with a straight face.

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