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Narrating audiobooks is challenging with all the worldwide spelling, pronunciation, and accent variations. Interestingly, we’ve decided to find some words that are often mispronounced in audiobooks and showcase them below for your pleasure. Let’s see if you can pronounce these words correctly!

1. Eschew

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Some pronounce it as ‘eskew’ when the proper pronunciation should be “es-choo.” Eschew means to abstain from something, while “eskew” is more commonly used as a person’s surname. You don’t want to call out random people’s names for no reason, so use “es-choo” instead.

2. Library

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Perhaps it is the tongue roll of too many “r” sounds in the word, but the word library can be difficult for some people to pronounce. The common mispronunciation is “lib-ary,” which takes out the first “r” in the word.

3. Mirror

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Similar to the word library’s mispronunciation, some people forgo the word’s various letters “r” at the beginning and pronounce it as “meer” instead. Sure, it is quicker to pronounce it, but it is entirely wrong. In fact, “meer” in German means sea, so rather than the shiny reflecting object, you would be talking about the ocean in a different language.

4. Gut

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Depending on the accent and language, “gut” can have different meanings and pronunciations. The German version means “good” and is pronounced “goot.” But “gut” in English means the stomach or belly and is pronounced how it is spelled: quick and easy. Some narrators mispronounce the German word as it is easily mistaken for English.

5. Height

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Some narrators mispronounce height by adding an extra “h” at the end, like “height-h,” which is not even a word in today’s vocabulary. It is easy to see where they can be mistaken as such since we have other terms for measurement that end similarly, like length, breadth, and width.

6. Across

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Similar to the height pronunciation issue, some narrators pronounce across with a “t” at the end, like “across-t.” This version’s pronunciation of the word is correct, particularly in old English dialects. It also means the same thing but is a variation that not many people use in modern times.

7. Tears

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There are two meanings and pronunciations of “tears,” depending on what you want it to mean. Tears, pronounced as “t-ear-s,” refer to the liquid released from your eyes when you cry. The second version is pronounced as “t-airs,” which refers to pulling something apart until it rips.

8. Sysop

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Often mistakenly pronounced as “cy-sop,” the correct pronunciation of this word is “sis-op.” This is a reasonably common word in sci-fi works, and those unfamiliar with it would butcher it. The term refers to a system operator.

9. Feral

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This word is commonly mispronounced to the point where it depends on where you’re from. The correct and standard way of pronouncing it would be “feh-ruhl,” but there are many instances where people emphasize the first part and say “fee-ruhl” instead. Both mean the same thing, which is undomesticated, but you might get weird looks for mispronouncing it, depending on where you are.

10. Gimbal

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Gimbal has a clear “g” in the front, but most people often mispronounce it with a “j” or soft “g” instead. A gimbal is a stabilizing device often used in an aircraft or videography. Some pronounce and spell the same thing as “gimble,” depending on your location and how the people around you pronounce it, but they are two separate things. A “gimble” means to make a face similar to grimacing.

11. Grimace

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We have narrators that pronounce grimace as “grim-ace,” which emphasizes the latter part of the word rather than softening it. The correct way would be to pronounce it as “gri-muhs,” which softens the end. This refers to a facial expression that typically expresses disgust or pain.

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Actor Russell Crowe
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