Words people stumble over


The British Institute Of Verbatim Reporters (BIVR) is the UK’s leading organisation for professionals involved in taking down speech at court and tribunal hearings. 

Leah Willersdorf, of the BIVR, said: ‘We work with many different types of professionals and hear all kinds of voices during our work. However, when it comes to the English language it always seems to be the same few words that verbally trip people up, with the speaker having to repeat the word in order to get it right, or just abandoning their attempts and moving on.’

  • phenomenon
  • remuneration
  • statistics
  • ethnicity
  • hereditary
  • particularly
  • conjugal
  • specific
  • processes
  • development

I have also found that native speakers trip over February and regularly.

Foreign speakers tend to have problems with words having two ts in quick succession: negotiation, adaptation, deforestation, competitive, administrative. Or words with sounds they do not have in their own language. Others they tend to struggle with are legitimacy, reciprocity, unaccompanied.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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