Adventures in Mispronunciation: A Reflection on Mispronouncing Words in a Foreign Language

  • Brandon Martin (Toronto Metropolitan University)


Whenever one endeavors to learn a foreign language that person is bound to mispronounce words and make numerous mistakes. The results that occur when a learner mispronounces or makes mistakes when trying to communicate in a foreign language are various. A learner’s reaction to their mispronunciations and mistakes are just as varied. In some instances, the learner can view the mispronunciation or mistake as comical, and take it as a good learning lesson. In other instances, a learner can be humiliated or embarrassed by the mispronunciation or mistake, and want to stop learning that particular foreign language altogether. Due to the fact that mispronunciations and mistakes can elicit nearly any emotion, it becomes imperative that both the learner and their audience exercise a level of patience and understanding in order to foster a positive learning environment. This presentation will examine some of the mispronunciations and mistakes that I made personally, or witnessed in my journey to learn French, Mohawk, and Seneca. In the end, if the goal of a learner is to communicate effectively in their particular foreign language of choice, then they must maintain their resolve to do so despite the results and emotions of their mispronunciations and mistakes.

Keywords: Kanyen'kéha, Kanien'kéha, French, Pronunciation, Language Learning

How to Cite:

Martin, B., (2023) Adventures in mispronunciation: A reflection on mispronouncing words in a foreign language.In R. I. Thomson, T. M. Derwing, J. Levis, & K. Hiebert (Eds.), Proceedings of the 13th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, ­­­­­­­­held June 2022 at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON. doi:

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Published on
23 Jul 2023