Re: YAEPT: How you pronunce foreign place names
|From:||T. A. McLeay <relay@...>|
|Date:||Friday, January 26, 2007, 1:43|
On 1/26/07, Kinetic <kinetic_wab@...> wrote:
> 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.
Wilfully ignorant? I don't think so. Particularly in a language like
English which has been borrowing by diverse dialects over a long time,
the nearest English phonemes in one dialect won't always correspond to
those in another, and English speakers are much more likely to learn
of a place from other English speakers than people who come from a
place. I'd say this was much more the cause than anything; personal
names are much more likely to have anglicisations quite close to the
original phonemes than places or famous people's names, at least IME
> 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).
I thought Iraq in Arabic had a long vowel? At least, the
transliteration of the Arabic on Wikipedia is _'al-'Irāq_ (asciified:
'al-`Ira:q), and the Arabic writing has an aleph in the right place,
which I think is used for a long a.
> But examples of things I do say are: Boulogne /b@'lonj/
> rather than the very common yet inexplicable /b@'loin/;
Although I don't think I've ever heard the name pronounced, I think
the common anglicisation you give is not so inexplicable. /lonj/ is
simply an impossible syllable in English /j/ must always preceed a
vowel. And assuming 'gne' actually represents a /J/, the nearest
English adaptation in that context frequently actually is /-in/. I
think how /J/ sounds to people without palatal phonemes has actually
be discussed on this list before.