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Communication tip:

Phonological ambiguities or Give peas a chance!

One of my favourite ways to have fun with communication are phonological ambiguities.
Phonological ambiguities are two or more words which sound the same and have different meanings.

Language can contain ambiguities - and more than one way to compose a set of sounds into words.

So listen to yourself: It is always good to notice a spoken sentence often contains many words which are (sometimes not) intended to be heard.

English examples:

  • there – their
  • here - hear
  • plane – plain
  • Hamburger (Citizens of Hamburg) – hamburger (burger, food)
  • sea - see
  • Friday - fry day
  • weekend - weak end
  • ice cream - I scream.
  • new direction - nude erection
  • new day - nude, eh?
  • I don’t know! - I don’t - no!
  • but – butt
  • Wait - Weight
  • psychotherapist - psycho the rapist
  • You're unconscious now... - Your unconscious now...
  • Your students… - You’re students…
  • Two - too - to

German examples:

  • Du hast Gewehre. (You have got guns.) - Du hasst Gewehre. (You hate guns.)
  • Lehrer (teacher) – leerer (emptier)


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