Because the Internet was invented in the USA, the vast majority of tech (tek) related words are in English, and later found their way into other languages. The problem with this is that many second language English speakers aren’t aware of the ‘original’  pronunciation  of common ‘digital age’ terms. As a result, this often leads to misunderstandings when communicating with native speakers.

For example, an English speaker who says WI-Fi  (‘waifai’) might not understand  ‘weefee’, and vice-versa.

 

11 Commonly Mispronounced Tech Words

 

1. TERMINATOR

The stress is on the first syllable, so the pronunciation is TERMinator. Also, did you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger tried changing the line «I’ll be back» because he had difficulty pronouncing ‘I’ll’

2. SKYNET

In ‘The Terminator’, Skynet is an artificial intelligence defense network. As with most compound nouns in English, the stress is on the first part SKYnet.

3. INTERNET

The stress is on the first part INTERnet. In American English you often won’t hear the ‘T’ as in Inernet

4. VIRUS

As with most 2-syllable nouns in English, the stress is on the first syllable. The second syllable is unstressed and is weakened with ‘Schwa’  = VIRəs

5. AWS

Amazon Web Services. As is generally the case with the pronunciation of acronyms in English, you need to place extra stress on the last letter AWS

6. AI (ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE)

Another example of the last letter of  acronyms being stressed in English. Pronunciation is therefore EI ‘AI

7. WIFI

While some say that this is an abbreviation for wireless fidelity, others maintain that Wi-Fi is simply a trademark name. In any case, in English it’s pronounced  ‘WAIFAI and not ‘WEEFEE

 

8. MACHINE LEARNING

The stress on the word machine  is on the second syllable:  məSHEEN. As with most other compound nouns in English, the first noun is highlighted

 

9. ALGORITHM

The stress on is on the first syllable ALgorithm. Algorithm derives from the name of the 9th century Persian scholar Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi.

 

10.CACHE

A cache is a hardware or software component that stores data, and is pronounced KASH as in ‘cash.

 

11. CYBER

The first syllable is stressed, while the second syllable is weakened with schwa.  SAIbə. Cyber can be used alone as one word, or as a compound noun as in Cyber Attack,  Cyber space, or Cyber warfare

 

 

Whether you’re looking for a technology related job or simply want to improve your pronunciation skills, these examples of commonly mispronounced Tech words will help you sound more natural in English and also help you better understand native speakers. For more mispronounced Tech words, download our app on IOS or Android, and feel free to share with your friends!

Hasta la vista, Babylisners!