Recently on PBS there was a promo where a guy was saying why he liked PBS. He pronounced "public" like pubic with a "L". That got me to thinking (and yes it did hurt) about the two words. They both start with the same three letters (pub), but those letters are pronounced differently depending on what follows the first three letters. The thing that makes English a funny language (not funny ha-ha, but funny as in weird) is there are a bunch of words where how the letters sound depend on the rest of the letters in the word. That can make it hard to read because you go back and forth on some words (especially those $4 dollar words). You think it is going to be one way and after you see the whole word, you realize it's different.
I don't know if there are any other languages where the sound of the letters change depending on what word they are in.