Balance correct pronunciation and being understood

Mr Ng Hee Chun is correct to call for better pronunciation of English words ("English words: Time to say them right"; Feb 4), but getting the message across may require mispronunciation at times.

Just think of instances when you ordered "salmon" for a meal but were not understood until you said "sell-mon".

Conscious learning for most people here often does not go beyond the goal of functionality.

The learning of English, including its usage and nuances, should be a lifelong endeavour and should not be limited to a speaking awareness campaign.

Adelene Soh Li Theng (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 09, 2017, with the headline 'Balance correct pronunciation and being understood'. Print Edition | Subscribe