If You Don’t Pronounce “Coke” Properly, It Could Mean “Penis”

One of my Korean students went to the United States for a business trip and she went to a bar after work.

She went up to the bar counter. She doesn’t drink alcohol, so she wanted to get a soft drink.

She said, “Coke, please.”

The bartender was shocked to hear what she just said. “Excuse me?”

She said again, “I want coke!”

The bartender shook his head totally confused.

When she said “coke,” it sounded like “cock.”

“Cock” is a slang term for penis.

This happened because my student didn’t distinguish the long vowel from a short vowel.

Pronunciation: Coke vs Cock

“Coke” has a long vowel.

These words have the same long vowel: Coke, poke, woke, yoke, and soak.

“Cock” has a short vowel.

These words have the same short vowel: cock, dock, mock, lock, and knock.

Next time you want to order coke, make sure to pronounce “coke” properly. If they don’t understand you after 2 or 3 tries, say it in a different way. Try “coca-cola,” “pepsi,” or “the carbonated sugar water with the artificial black color.”

If you're not careful, you're going to sound like this poor Korean teacher on youtube…

Pronunciation: Important vs Impotent

Try reading these two sentences out loud.

My friends are very important to me.

My friends are very impotent to me.

I know many Korean students who do not pronounce the word “important” properly. The vowel on the second syllable needs to be long and emphasized. It’s “impórtant.”

I heard some Korean students pronouncing it as “ímpotent.” If you put the emphasis on the first syllable and make the second syllable too short, it becomes another word.

“Impotent” has two meanings. It means (1) powerless, or (2) a man can’t achieve an erection (his penis can’t get hard).

I hope your friends are very important to you.

To avoid embarrassment and misunderstanding, it’s important that you improve your English pronunciation.

If you are a Korean student, you should take my “English pronunciation course for Korean students” right now.

About Josh

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언어와 문화 학습을 좋아하는 일본계 미국인 Josh 입니다. 영어와 일본어를 하고 제3개국어인 한국어는 20대에 배웠습니다. 통번역사, 프로젝트매니저, 마케터로서의 경험을 바탕으로 여러분이 스마트하게 보일 수 있는 영어 스피킹 노하우를 공유하고 있습니다. 비즈니스 영어와 발음과 엑센트에 관한 강좌를 실시하고 있습니다. 분야: 비즈니스 영어, 프레젠테이션, 발음 교정 現: 유튜브채널 SplashEnglish 운영前: 서울교육대학교, 김미경 영어 스피치 트레이너. 협동: EBSe, JEI 재능, 메가스터디, 제주항공, 캠블리, 코어소리영어, AranTV. 다룰 줄 아는 악기: 탬버린.좋아하는 음식은 타코스.

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