Hints on Pronunciation for Foreigners

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I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead: itís said like bed, not beadó
For goodnessí sake, donít call it "deed"!
Watch out for meat and great and threat,
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.)
A moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear.
And then thereís dose and rose and loseó
Just look them upóand goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward.
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go and thwart and cartó
Come, come, Iíve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
Iíd mastered it when I was five.

via The Joyful Noiseletter,
February 2006