Originally Posted by floobie
I grew up speaking German, despite being born in Calgary. And, in German, if there's a letter in a word, you fucking pronounce it! None of this sloppy English bullshit with random "e"s slapped at the end of every other word, or full on British style where syllables are just totally omitted (like Worcestershire... absolutely idiotic). And how in the fuck is colonel pronounced kernel?! Or lieutenant pronounced "left-hannent". Blargh!
If you disagree with me, you're wrong!
/flobbie's rant of the day
Spanish is the same. You pronounce every damn syllable and strongly. There are a few silent letters, usually "h"s, but other than that, everything is pronounced.
The problem with English is that is has a long and complicated history of languages mixing. There was an early Gallic language spoken (at least I think). Then the Roman conquest added a bunch of words and grammar. Then there was the Anglo-Saxon influence (from the Angle and Saxon invaders from Germany), which I believe is the root of most grammar and syntax, but a lot of Gallic and Latin words were kept. For many words in English, there is both a German-root word and Latin-root word: Torture (German) and Rendition (Latin), Freedom (German) and Liberty (Latin) are some examples.
When the Normans conquered it, a bunch of French was included in the language, mostly to do with administration and military (army, march, marquis). Then, because of the later English empire, a bunch of other words and phrases became included, many from India.
The problem with all of this is that effectively 4 different language groups (Gallic, Latin, French and German) have all influenced English in one way or another. That is why there are no rules that make any sense, and pronunciation is so difficult.