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How you pronunce foreign place names

From:Eugene Oh <un.doing@...>
Date:Sunday, January 21, 2007, 2:56
In writing the reply to Leon's questions about Pinyin, I used the word
"Beijing", which made me curious as to how people habitually pronounce
the names of foreign places when speaking in a certain language.

E.g. "Beijing" in English -- upon encountering this word, do you

1. Attempt to pronounce it as close to the native as possible
2. Use English rules of pronunciation to read it [beIdZIN]
3. Pronounce it Englishly, butwith some exoticisation [beIZIN]
4. Pronounce it otherwise?

Ditto for "Paris", "Seoul", "Kagoshima", "Iraq", "Madrid", "Havana",
"São Paulo" etc.

Using Beijing as an example, I find that for me, rule 1 kicks in when
speaking to other people who know Chinese; rule 2 when reading a
passage, or when speaking in a decidedly English-only environment
(such as with people of a multitude of races in the conversation); and
rule 3 never.

The curious thing is, the above pattern does not happen to, e.g.
"Paris", which I always pronounce as per the French, "Madrid", which
is always missing the final -d for me, Japanese place names, always as
the Japanese would, or any other "prestige" languages/places like
Arabic or German; whereas the pattern applies to Seoul, to Havana, to
many Eastern European place names and so on.

Subconscious cultural uppity-ness?



Deinx Nxtxr <dana.nutter@...>How you render foreign place names in your conlangs (<: How you pronunce foreign place names)
Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Tim May <butsuri@...>