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Re: YAEPT: How you pronunce foreign place names

Date:Sunday, January 28, 2007, 0:47
li [Kinetic] mi tulis la

> I'm personally of the opinion that, wherever possible, place > place names should get as close as possible to the original > pronunciation _using only the phonemes available in the lang > you're speaking_. Including sounds alien to your language > seems pretentious - but equally, over-mangling a name when > there's an anglicisation (or whatever-isation) which is closer > to the original just seems wilfully ignorant to me. I do let > some unstressed vowels get schwa-ified, though.
This is a very well balanced approach. It wouldn't make sense to expect speakers use, or try to use, "foreign" phonemes, but it does make sense to get as close as a your language allows.
> I also appear to dislike destroying the timing of words more > than I dislike destroying the sounds. If a short vowel in a > foreign word can only exist in English as a long one, I > prefer to alter the vowel than lengthen it. An example that > springs to mind is "clique" (/klIk/ rather than /kli:k/). > From Eugene's list: I say /I'r\ak/ rather than /I'r\A:k/ (the > latter appears to be common on the news here in the UK).
A lot of newscasters have reduced this to /@rAk/ or /@r{k/ in the US. It's almost as annoying as /aIr{k/
> (2) when I don't know enough about the language in question > to make a decent stab at it (e.g. "Seoul").
This is one problem with English. Many romanizations poorly represent the true pronunciations, and languages that use Roman script are not respelled when used in English, so it requires some knowledge of the other language that can't generally be expected. Another test. How do you pronounce "Bach" (the composer)? Some English speakers say /bAx/ (often with the /x/ strongly emphasized) where the normal Anglicized pronunciation is /bAk/.


Kinetic <kinetic_wab@...>