I had a meeting last week with 3 Finns. While their English is excellent, it’s funny to hear the different emphasis they put on certain syllables.
Categories – ka-TAG-ories
Development – dee-vell-OP-mint
Now, I can’t speak any Finnish, of course, but I imagine many Swedes get a kick out of the way I put the accent on the wrong syllables in Swedish. And in Swedish, this can totally change the meaning of the word.
Classic example – tomten
Tomten can either mean “the garden” or “the Santa” depending on where you emphasize the word. Here’s a great example from https://albrechtskom.se
My kids and their friends are always confused when I tell them that if they’re nice, the garden will give them presents, while if you water Santa well, he will grow.