Hey there, it’s Min again!
Recently, I have been thinking about the struggles one may have when learning English and realized that pronouncing homographs is definitely one of them.
Homographs are words that are spelled the same but are not necessarily pronounced the same, and may have different meanings.
These words may cause us to pronounce them incorrectly because it can be one or the other. The only clue to choosing the right pronunciation is to understand the context of the writing.
もっともよく目にする同形異義語の“tear” と “bow”
Two commonly known homographs are “tear” and “bow”. Their pronunciations and meanings are as follows:
“t-air”: to rip
“t-ear”: to cry
“b-au”: to nod/lower one’s head (when greeting to show respect)
“b-ou”: a weapon commonly used for shooting arrows
“b-ou”: decorative ribbon
Even I sometimes pronounce homographs incorrectly at the first reading. For example, I may pronounce “tear” as “t-ear” because I come across the meaning “to cry” more often. On the other hand, I may pronounce, “bow” as “b-ou” since I love crafting and work with ribbons and bows a lot more.
Other homographs include:
“l-ad”: a kind of metal
“l-eed: be at the front showing something/someone the way, guide
“w-ind”: moving air
“w-aind”: to turn something (usually in a circular motion)
“min-it”: a period of time
“mai-nyut”: extremely small or tiny
Have you come across other homographs in your daily lives that aren’t listed here? Feel free to share!
Hi, I am Min and I live in Melbourne, Australia.
I am a freelance translator and during my time off, I like to run, swim and do crafts.