American spelling is confusing, not only to foreign speakers, but to native English speakers as well.  American spelling is notorious for interfering with people learning pronunciation.  That is why I love this note that a client sent about the Minute of Speech video for WOMEN:

“As hard as I try to explain to my sister that this is how you say women, she won’t listen.  I used this to convince her that this made sense:

if “gh” makes an “F” sound in “enough”and

“o” makes an “I” sound in “women” and

“ti” makes a “sh” sound in “action”

Then shouldn’t “ghoti” be pronounced the same as “fish?”