Now You Hear It, Now You Don’t

The word squirrel is said to be notoriously difficult to pronounce in English – at least for non-native speakers. For many Germans it’s a dead give-away (BTW: I can pronounce squirrel and have never understood the difficulties others have with the word). There is a word in the German language that does exactly the same: it outs people as non-natives even if their spoken German is otherwise flawless: Eichhörnchen. Now guess what it means.

Above you see a squirrel doing a disappearing act. I could also say: Oben sehen Sie ein Eichhörnchen, wie es verschwindet.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt: Shibboleth

5 thoughts on “Now You Hear It, Now You Don’t

    1. With gnomes you could find a cop out with the German “Gnom” (it’s pronounced with a long o as in the second syllable, as in door but without the R at the end). The garden gnome variety is of course, a Gartenzwerg, and synonyms are Zwerg, Wicht, Heinzelmann, Kobold, Wichtelmännchen … which one did you pick?


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