Maniacal [common: muh-NEYE-uh-kul, Carole: MAIN-ee-ah-kul]
adj. Of or pertaining to a maniac.
My Carole is as bilingual as one can be in French and English. It's as if the Leafs and Habs hooked up and had a baby girl. English speakers might be able to detect a slight un-placeable accent, and French speakers can tell that she is from outside Québec -- either Ontario or New Brunswick -- but both languages sound native. This is just one of the benefits of being raised in Timmins, a town that is actually trilingual: English, French, and Shania.
Groin [common: GROYN, Carole: GROW-in]
n. The fold where the thighs join the abdomen.
And yet she is utterly mystified by the pronunciation of certain English words. The problem is usually in deciding which syllable to emphasize. French doesn't stress syllables in the same way as English, and it also has all sorts of little decorative ticks on the letters to aid pronunciation. She's less likely to use French pronunciation rules on English words the way many francophones do, but that does happen.
Horizon [common: ho-REYE-zun, Carole: HORE-ih-zon]
n. The boundary between the earth and sky.
Most unilingual English speakers also have difficulty with these words, a result of the language's near complete disregard for rules when it comes to grammar, spelling, and pronunciation. Even I, the son of a linguist and a librarian, must confess trouble with "eschew", "salve", and "facetious", to name just a few.
Stir [common: STUR, Carole: STEER]
v.t. To move an implement repeatedly through a substance to agitate it.
When Carole stumbles over these, I occasionally try to point out that French is similarly disorganized when it comes to deciding whether to le or la arbitrary nouns, but more often than not I apologize for English's endless exceptions. She almost always comes close enough to be understandable anyway.
Melancholy [common: MEL-un-call-ee, Carole: mul-ANK-oh-lee]
n. A gloomy state of mind.
Oh dear. Now I'm feeling a little mulankohlee.