1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Different pronunciations in t…

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis

Different pronunciations in the US

I thought this was cool :) https://imgur.com/a/28S4v

August 22, 2014

80 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach1337

Q. "What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?"

"The devil is beating his wife."

Uhhh... interesting option lol. I didn't even know that was an expression. There is no word or expression for such a thing where I am from.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ptoro

I've heard it called "God's promise to never flood the Earth again."

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnesimusUnbound

It's the rainbow.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenTheGeek

Yeah, that's what I said, until I looked at the options.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaveatEmptor

The rainbow itself was the promise, according to the story, not the entire event of raining during sunshine.

August 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TanagerMoonmist

There's all sorts of weird names for it, Wikipedia has a whole list of them. In Croatia it's said that Gypsies are getting married. No idea why.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

This is the only word I've ever used.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenTheGeek

I haven't really called anything, except a rainbow.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krow10

A rainbow is different than a sunshower (the term I use.) A rainbow is the visual result of the sunlight passing through water in the atmosphere. You can see it when it is not currently raining at your location. A sunshower is when it is raining at your location and there is no cloud between you and the sun, so it's also sunny. There is usually a rainbow at the same time, but not always. My grandmother, who lived in Texas and was first generation Czech, said "the devil is beating his wife" of this phenominon, but I don't know from where she got this phrase.

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ijoni

That's what we say in Albanian too. It has to do with the sense of good luck.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/espi731

I didn't know he was married....then again he had lots of children. So.....

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tagishkestrel

hahahaha

December 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nitram.

It is sometimes used in Hungary too: "Veri az ördög a feleségét." (means literally the same as "The devil is beating his wife.") Although it is not really common...

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FresnoVegas

I actually heard that as a rumor. I heard the phrase when a friend of mine from Europe asked me if I was familiar with it. I had never even heard of it. Then, when I looked it up and saw that it was used in Hungary as well, I was flabbergasted.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itastudent

Maybe that expression is probably common in some areas of the US due to some migration flows from Europe to the States.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FresnoVegas

that's a sound theory. Does anyone know if there is strong Hungarian presence in the South?

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nitram.

"Distribution of Hungarian Americans according to the 2006 census." - as stated on Wikipedia.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/baddums

My aunt once told me it's "a monkey's wedding." It stuck and that's the only thing I've ever called it. People think I'm nuts heh...

Okay, that wiki points out it's a translation used by South Africans. My mom's family spent some time there as missionaries, so now I have the reason behind the remark!

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeniusJack

I've heard it called "The fox's wedding".

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tagishkestrel

I'm told it's called a monkey's wedding in South Africa

December 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oisinc

Be interesting to see a similar graph for other anglophone areas, Canada, UK & Ireland, Australia & NZ, etc

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

You beat me to it.

It would be very difficult to do so in a simple survey, since you'd need a dozen possible answers, but it would be extremely interesting.

I'm not exactly sure what the first one is asking, but I've heard of a "crayfish", and not the other words; "crayon ~ cray-en" ("cray" rhymes with "pray"); No; ye (I hear "yous(e)" often); "pajamas = pa-ja-mas" ; "pecan ~ pee-can" ("can" pronounced the same as a can of coke, say); fizzy drink; roundabout; baguette; water fountain; runners; I have no term or expression for this, I think I'd just call it a shower; what the hell is a drive through off-licence!?! I have never heard of such a thing in my life!

So if I wanted to move to the US and have the most people understand me it looks like I'd end up in New England or the Great Lakes.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

:) Interesting! Something related to this, the NY times also has a test to find which accent you are closest to

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/20/sunday-review/dialect-quiz-map.html?_r=0

PS: I am NY dialect.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThatOneKidJosh

Cool link!

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

I tried this test, and it pinpointed the city that I live practically on the border of. Very accurate. :)

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

Strangely, Pittsburgh came out as least similar... and I lived in Pittsburgh for quite sometime :(

P.S. Took the test again and this time, it said I am the most different from Little Rock.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcampbell

Pittburgh has a VERY unique set of slang terms. Things like "gum bands" are known as such almost nowhere else.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jolynnedougherty

The test put me squarely in Pittsburgh and I didn't even take the yinz option :) Got out of the habit of yinz when I went to college and now it seems to affected to start saying it again. My husband is from Maryland and took the test with me. I still can't manage to say cot and caught differently. Oh well.

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doosier

Oh, okay, after all I barely use slang.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcampbell

Also pronunciation differences very unique to the area - but you have to have been born or spent something like your first 12 or so years there. More here than you probably care to know, but an interesting read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_English

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mcampbell

That one guessed to within 50 miles of my birth (and where I spent my first 16 years).

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanette525

It got mine right on. :)

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mitchell_MT

Apparently people say drinking fountain where I'm from, but I rarely hear that. Mostly everyone says water fountain.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jolynnedougherty

Y'all?!?!?!?! Come on! It's Yinz :)

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jack.Elliot

merci

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jolynnedougherty

Here in Pittsburgh, we also say "redd up" to mean to clean up the house. I ran across that term in Wuthering Heights and was surprised to see it and assumed that it must have come over from Scotland. Did we steal Yinz, too?

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddyis7

Humm! Wuthering Heights is set in The Yorkshire Dales, Westmorland, Cumbria Northumberland parts of England!!! - Northern Moorland - Nothing to do with Scotland at all!

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jolynnedougherty

Sorry about that. Truly. I am bad about geography. That thought crossed my mind as I was writing it, but I thought it was cold and there were moors in the book. I thought all the moors were in Scotland. I assumed and we all know what that does :). Thanks for straightening me out.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddyis7

I've already replied on your stream. I don't blame you for such an obvious oversight, because, indeed a lot of Scotland IS like this.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ptoro

More variations for course contributors to take into account!

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ptoro

It'd be nice to be able to use "you guys" for plural you since that's what seems most natural for me (and apparently most of the U.S.). It's interesting that the only Duolingo-accepted variations, "you" and "you all", are only spoken in a part of Kentucky. Maybe the course contributors are from Kentucky?

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

It's most likely because "you guys" is informal. I would say "you all" at a business meeting, but there is no way that "you guys" will escape my lips. :) No Kentucky bias, as far as I can see.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ptoro

I wouldn't say it's that informal. And even if it were, most of what I've seen of Duolingo is informal.

That's one of the reasons I like Duolingo so much as compared to other language-learning platforms. Other platforms make you learn how to sound like a stuffy foreigner that learned the language from a 100-year-old textbook while Duolingo teaches you the actual language as spoken by those in the region(s). Course contributors are encouraged to translate as they would speak.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Really? Duolingo leans to the formal side for me, if not that, then neutral.

I do agree that Duolingo teaches us how to speak naturally (for the most part. I've encountered better ways to say things in the sentence discussions), but I believe contributors write the course with a formal (or neutral) tone in mind.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David197543

Just an interesting side thought "you all" is widespread in the Southern United States. If you study french it conveys the same meaning as the plural for you which is vous. Normally in English you can be either singular or plural and the context gives you clues about which way to interpret it.

September 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mommarigo

That's funny, only in KY? I hear y'all from most of the southern states, and definitely from Texas. And I'm from Kansas, where we don't use it, and picked it up from reading, because it's useful!

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeroGoi

There are also many different ways to say the night before Halloween: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mischief_Night#Naming_variations

I personally call it Cabbage Night.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach1337

Interesting. I don't call it anything. It's just another day where I am from (Northern Ohio).

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Me either. Never anything but October 30th.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeroGoi

Where I'm from, it's the official day of "throw eggs and toilet paper and shaving cream at houses".

Kids actually get arrested for this stuff.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ACastle_10

Haha really? I have never heard that phrase in my life.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweilan1

In my part of the US, the night before Halloween is Beggars' Night - the night when all the Trick or Treaters go out for candy. It's weird, I know.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rgrannan36

I am like Zach1337. I grew up in Indiana, near the Kentucky line, and have been living in California for many years, but I have never run across a term for the night before Halloween.

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dessamator

I think this link should be shown to people whenever they claim that Duolingo's TTS pronounce things incorrectly. Statistically speaking, humans do it a lot more, as the evidence seems to show.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

Because Buzzfeed is -such- a great source on linguistics... If a group of people (heck, even one person) says something in an odd way consistently, it's prolly dialectal (or idiolectal).

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

The author, one Joshua Katz, is "a PhD student in the Department of Statistics at NC State University" (taken from his university website).

Us mathematicans and researchers have standards to follow, so unless he's risking destroying his career before he's even gotten started, I'm sure he has the numbers to back his plots up.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxyrocker

So I'm going to trust a mathematician to tell me something about linguistics? Sorry, that's not flying. Also, if a group of people says something a certain way, it's correct for their dialect (and if one person says it consistently, it's correct for their idiolect).

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Have always said water fountain, soda, pee-KAHN, and crayfish. Thanks for posting, Luis!

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rava-ananaso

There's another one I saw awhile ago that showed how people pronounced the word bag. The whole US pronounces it the "correct" way while I was in the tiny dot that pronounces it differently. xD It just showed me that the maps are actually kind of accurate.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewjeo
  • 1631

What other way is there to pronounce bag? Bog? Bayg?

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Some pronounce it rhyming with "vague". :)

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jolynnedougherty

Crick or creek where you are? In Western PA, we say crick generally.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Always and forever creek. ;)

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rava-ananaso

Totally the right way. ;) My online friends from other states always make fun of me though. sigh :P

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Audrey5775

Wow cool! Thank you for creating this website, see my discussion "Creator of DuoLingo"

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwildor

This reminds me of this site: http://www.popvssoda.com

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rava-ananaso

I switched to saying soda awhile ago but since I live in a pop area people think I'm weird. xD

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inkybaba

In southern California most people say "Crawdad"

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenTheGeek

I live in San Diego, California, so most of these ones are the ones that are said in the west(usually the red option) such as, I call a sweetened carbonated beverage "soda", I call the shoes that you wear in gym class "tennis shoes", and I call Physical Education "P.E."(that one wasn't on there, but just thought I would add it.).

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddyis7

In England we simply call the shoes Trainers!

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenTheGeek

That sounds a lot like Pokemon...YES!

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helmad

You might like Labov's work.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Labov

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anonyduck

All that red! Now I know which states to blame for giving us 'You guys' instead of 'You (plural)' in the grammatical notes. Maintain the rage, little remnant pockets in the North East!

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddyis7

'Maintain the rage' - what a wonderful expression! :) I might have to rip it off for my latest novel.lol. In fact I've just written it down and I can write a full chapter around that one expression. Ta :)

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anonyduck

Ah! I confess, it is not my own, but has a very illustrious origin, being the phrase used by former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam when he was sacked by Governor General, Sir John Kerr. (The situation came about because the opposition political party was able to block supply/funds in the Senate leaving the government moribund, and hence, the Queen's representative dissolved the parliament. The rage being that a duly elected government could be ousted in this manner)

August 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Taya08

thats is quite neat

August 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SorrisoMW

For those, who are advanced in German, here is a similiar site for German word usage (with as of today nine survey results online and the tenth running): http://www.atlas-alltagssprache.de/liste-aller-varianten/

August 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DinoGov

referred to as 'a monkey's wedding'

September 9, 2019
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.