View Full Version : Pronownciation

15th Apr 2014, 22:49
When I was at school...eons ago, Dvorak was pronounced "Vorshak". Now it is [on Classic FM] at least pronounced D-Vorshak

15th Apr 2014, 22:51
I no spik-a da language, but if my expert native pal isn't teasing, it's more like "D-vorzhak".

15th Apr 2014, 22:54
Duh-vor-Jacque (like the French might pronowciate it)...;)

Janine Jansen performs Tchaikovsky's violin concerto live in 2013 - YouTube

How beautiful is that...?

But how do you pronounce his name?

Chai or char - (like tea or a hard working woman) plus a kovsky...???


15th Apr 2014, 23:00
When I was last over there, the locals pronounced it like wot Keef said.

15th Apr 2014, 23:08
I think Tchaikovsky (or however you prefer to transcribe it) is pronounced however the local dialect has it where you happen to be. My old teacher, now long dead, was a stickler for "Odessa pronunciation".

That's a glorious recording of the violin concerto - must add that to the collection!

tony draper
15th Apr 2014, 23:11
I know, we urchins in the back lanes of Gateshead always pronounced Nietzsche as Nitch when discussing the philosophers.

15th Apr 2014, 23:18
Geordies discussing philosophers??

I didn't realise Dog & Shearer were philosophers ;)

..and apart from being full of young ladies wearing very short white garments, the Bigg Market doesn't bear much resemblance to the Agora in Athens.

tony draper
15th Apr 2014, 23:22
Not so,:= I can remember when one occasionally went to the Lord Chancellors in the Big Market in the afternoon for a game of chess.
I kid you not
Twere upstairs in the Blackie Boy they were more into philosophy.

15th Apr 2014, 23:33
I'll take your word for it - blend in, I was told, so
"I was very, very drunk at the time" and can't rightly recall much...hic :ok:

oops..spot the Sunderland supporter

15th Apr 2014, 23:36
Ah yes: the "Philosophie der Gleichgültigkeit", wasn't it? Or was that the other side of the Tyne?

tony draper
15th Apr 2014, 23:41
Well the Bigg Market I knew was a tad different from what it is now, I wandered its cobbles in the sixties and thinking hard last time I had a drink there was 1984.
The only other human being I have ever heard use that Gleichthingy word was Stephan Fry Mr Keef,top marks.:rolleyes:

15th Apr 2014, 23:47

Sunderland Indifference??

Sunderland in defence possibly, though you'd have to be a stoic to support them, and their defence has got even more holes than Zeno's logic (though Sunderland's progress seems to follow that logic ;) )
54 at last count.

p.s. oddly enough, 1984 was the last time I was there on a big bender, though I've popped back occasionally since.

tony draper
15th Apr 2014, 23:50
I think its a shame,but tiz their fault for being dirty bloody parlimentarian in the Civil War.

15th Apr 2014, 23:55
"Oooh...you wouldn't let it lie!"

tony draper
16th Apr 2014, 00:04
Think I've said before Old Uncle Hugh supported both the Toon and Sunderland,mind you, he had not seen daylight for fifty years until Care in the Community came out.

16th Apr 2014, 00:28
I am getting sick and tired of the "politically correct" pronunciations.

Bombay, Peking, Kiev, Koran, Moscow, Turin, Rome, Belgrade, Athens, Munich etc. FFS.

16th Apr 2014, 00:38
Tchaikovsky = Touchakaioffski I believe (illogical I know but there you are . . . )

Oh, and Dvorak = WorJack . . .

That violin music is nice.

16th Apr 2014, 01:49
I am getting sick and tired of the "politically correct" pronunciations.

and Calcutta, Madras, Southern Rhodesia ( Northern too, if you want to be fussy )

Oh, yes, it's Speke Airport, as well.

I did accept Kennedy v.v. Idlewild - but only because I'd have run out of fuel waiting for landing clearance if not !!

WTF do they have to keep "changing" things ?

Some fool now wants to change the New Zealand flag, and name - can't pronounce Aotearoa, never mind spell it right every time.

16th Apr 2014, 03:14
I know that this is thread drift, but I have just been to a council meeting (our county 'recently' became a unitary authority, abolishing the regional district councils). The county comprises urban, suburban, coastal, rural and extremely rural settlements that are all now administered from a central County Hall populated by career criminals - sorry, politicians. the majority from metropolitan boroughs.

One of tonight's topics was the rationalisation of management and administration of the leisure facilities (previously created according to local demand) under a blanket organisation managed by the current manager of one of the regional (mining community) management Quangos (one of four widely dissimilar management organisations - some private and others corporate branches of regional (out of county) conglomerates.

The objective is to provide universal leisure facilities with a common membership card (so that people can utilise any facility without additional (local) fees and to reduce the current (council) subsidy to zero within two years whilst raising the standards of the 'poorer' facilities to match those currently being provided by the 'best'.

All this without prior consultation with the elected councillors (a fait accompli decided by the political management) - which has recently changed from Liberal to Labour).

The manager tasked with accomplishing this 'standardisation' admitted that he hasn't been able to begin discussions with the current 'providers', and he presented his ideals devoid of any negotiated plan.

Several elected councillors (many with years of experience of creating the current facilities) expressed their concerns as to the viability of amalgamating rural (and extreme rural) leisure facilities (many of which depend on schools for both users - such as swimming lessons - and in some cases use of locally-funded facilities which are proposed to become universally available across the county to customers from 'deprived' (ex-mining) regions where facilities are lacking - and all for a common charge 'membership card'.

Krystal n chips
16th Apr 2014, 05:26
The BBC ( Central London and Islington ) has to be mentioned here regarding their version of location names......and the rest of the UK.

Cheshire.....BBC version " Chesh ear" or "Chesh shear"

St Asaph....BBC version "Saint A Saph" or "Saint A Sarf "

I am still trying to find "Cumbria shire" on the map.

16th Apr 2014, 06:14
I no spik-a da language, but if my expert native pal isn't teasing, it's more like "D-vorzhak".

Thats wot the pronunciation feature on Google Translate says.

16th Apr 2014, 07:15
I am getting sick and tired of the "politically correct" pronunciationsIt's Jan Smuts, D F Malan, J B Vorster, H F Verwoerd, etc.

barry lloyd
16th Apr 2014, 09:29
The BBC used to have a pronunciation department, but I assume this has now closed, since most of their staff are be able to pronounce Sochi correctly, but don't care anyway.

Russian/English translation has always been a minefield; try asking for a ticket to Mermansk (Murmansk) and you'll get some very strange looks. The Russians pronounce it Moormansk and will brook no alternatives. Much of this is because the Cyrllic script is so alien to the west and the fact that most of those who live in English-speaking countries do not speak a second language and are thus unfamiliar with other letters or signs.

16th Apr 2014, 09:41
A few irritants - people with otherwise perfectly standard RP accents pronouncing bath with a short "a", likewise "Newcassel" etc, in some misguided attempt to imitate the funny locals oop North.

The joy of Russian to the learner is that with a few minor exceptions, words are pronounced as written, so one you've cracked the Cyrillic alpahabet you can have a good stab at pronouncing any word (once you know where to put the stress).

Tchaikovsky = Touchakaioffski I believe (illogical I know but there you are . . . )

Never heard that one, G-CPTN, and neither, I suspect, have many Russians ;)

Oh and the thread title - I recently listened to an item on pronunciation on Radio 4, during which that pompous prat Eddie Mayer pronounced it as pronownciation throughout. The academic he was interviewing kept saying the word correctly, but he wouldn't take the hint.

16th Apr 2014, 10:35
I once heard an Icelander pronounce Eyjafjallajokull - you know, that volcano thingy
It had two syllables.
Something like Eh-uh

Good God, I can still spell it without looking it up

16th Apr 2014, 10:44
When I was in Iceland last year I got a couple of lessons in pronouncing it. Something like :

Ey ya fiat la yerk utch.

There was a lovely story about a TV reporter somewhere in Bongo Bongo land who took many weeks learning to pronounce the name of the President, Angadageugbonitswara Tchetechenogbokouram. Very little happened in Bongo Bongo land and he had no cause to read out the President's name, until one day the fellow was assassinated. That was the first and last time the hapless reporter had to say his name!

16th Apr 2014, 10:55
I've had some amusing moments in restaurants abroad listening to British Citizens trying to pronounce the local language, with total puzzlement on the faces of the staff. Sometimes the dish then delivered wasn't quite what the orderer was hoping for.

Russian is easy to pronounce, being virtually phonetic apart from the "missing" sounds - Heil Hitler is Geil Gitler in Cyrillic. Not inappropriate.

One that does wind me up is Jeremy Paxman's (presumably deliberate) murdering of German pronunciation. It's not difficult, really.

Oi livs out in Suffick now, and has got useter the local argot.

Oh yes, Mr D: "Philosophie der Gleichgültigkeit" is a bad concept in my book. Although Stephen Fry jokes about it (and much else), I think he actually does care quite a lot.

16th Apr 2014, 11:01
pronouncing bath with a short "a"

Being from oop North, and the first Mrs. ExS being from down South, we heard our 3 and 5 year old sons talking one morning, and the 3 yr. old say " Daddy says Bath and Mummy says Barth" "What are we supposed to say" ?

16th Apr 2014, 11:06
yeah - but as even spellings are tricky, wot would one hope of prounounsin' the stuff? :sad: (like: Beijing, sometimes romanized as Peking... etc)

16th Apr 2014, 11:08
My Dad was from 'up north' but my snobby Dorking born mother managed to eradicate most of his accent over the many years of their marriage. One of the few words that gave away his northern roots was 'buffet', which he always pronounced as 'boo fay', probably to annoy my snobbish Mum!

A lot of people in South Africa deny that they are of Afrikaans origin (snobbery) but there a couple of words that are a real give-away by their pronounciation :
Create = cree hate
Hyaena = ha heena
Badminton = badmington

16th Apr 2014, 11:08
I'm puzzled at the way Mrs SSK's satnav pronounces Bergen (the Flemish name for Mons) correctly but can't manage Grimbergen which comes out as Grimberjen.

tony draper
16th Apr 2014, 11:51
Peter Brough,now there was a great ventriloquist,he only worked on Radio so the not moving the lips thing was matter of complete indifference to him.

barry lloyd
16th Apr 2014, 18:07
Heil Hitler is Geil Gitler in Cyrillic

and Lufthansa is frequently pronounced Luftgansa by Russians.

16th Apr 2014, 20:34
I believe that VW/AUDI got around all pronounciation difficulties when it came to their "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan back in the '80s. They always made clear and understood that it simply translated to "Advancement through (superior GERMAN car-manufacturing) technology". :ok:

Whilst us Brits obviously wasted all our efforts back then (and continue to do so to this day apparently) on how to properly pronounce "anything and everything" as if we all worked for the BBC World Service and could expect to retire on fat pensions. In fact, the Germans took over the Mini and Bentley car brands. And our former colonial servants the Indians today, own Land Rover and Jaguar. How do you pronounce BP or BAE these days (hint: not British...)?! :p:{

16th Apr 2014, 22:18
Could never get USA ATC to understand that we were passing Norrich VOR en route to New York - do you mean Norr Witch they would ask ?

Grrrrr !

barry lloyd
16th Apr 2014, 22:45
Could never get USA ATC to understand that we were passing Norrich VOR en route to New York - do you mean Norr Witch they would ask ?

Grrrrr !

True, but didn't we get our own back with Strumble and St Abbs - which the cousins frequently pronounced as St Rumble and Stabbs respectively?

16th Apr 2014, 23:02
When did decade become decayed?
Living in Surrey I've had to learn that a shar is what you step into after getting up in the morning. Batter is what is put on toast down here but in Nottinghamshire where I originate from it's what fish gets fried in.

17th Apr 2014, 04:00
Just don't put the "ak-SENT' on wrong "sil-LA-bul" :p

17th Apr 2014, 06:23
There are no women in New Zealand.

All radio and TV announcers only ever talk of 'woman' e.g. "This will benefit all woman."

I go ballistic shouting "it's wimmin you moron" at the TV or radio -does me no good as a subside crying on to the floor.

I guess it's all Neil Armstrongs fault, "One small step for Man........ etc.

17th Apr 2014, 06:46
On the subject of philosophy:

Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl - Philospher's Song - YouTube

Union Jack
17th Apr 2014, 16:18
The academic he was interviewing kept saying the word correctly, but he wouldn't take the hint.

Neither has one of our august South African contributors......:D


Super VC-10
17th Apr 2014, 18:58
WTF is "deb-bree"? The word is débris. Note the correct spelling with the accent on the letter "e". It is pronounced "day-bree". To pronounce it the other way would need a letter "b" with an umlaut ( ¨ ), which does not eist in any language. :ugh:

18th Apr 2014, 05:39
It is pronounced "bay-bree".

you sure about that?

wings folded
18th Apr 2014, 08:17
Got me doubts.

Super VC-10
18th Apr 2014, 10:50
OK, OK, it was a typo, no need to go on about it.:=

18th Apr 2014, 12:38
Did you mean a "b with an umlaut"? Not possible.
An "e with an umlaut" is - ë

You could have a variety of consonants with bars, or even a thorn þ or an ithy thing ð

Krystal n chips
18th Apr 2014, 12:56
Many years ago, some of Mr Boeings chaps came to work with us....and they were actually very, very good :ok: ( in contrast to say a well known UK manufacturer ) so we were more than happy to help them in return.

We suggested avoiding the faux pretentions of Weemahslow...and look further afield in the County of Chess-shear.....which they did....and starting asking about a place called.....Maysellfield .....it took us a while to work out that they were having a few problems with...... Macclesfield.

We did feel though, that Cholmondeley was going to be a step too far...;)

Super VC-10
18th Apr 2014, 22:05
Keef - yes, I did.

The umlaut indicates that the letter is doubled, as in Citroën (Citroe-en) etc.

19th Apr 2014, 00:44
I believe that when what appears to be an umlaut is placed above an 'e' in French words such as Citroën, it is more correctly called a dieresis in English (tréma in French), not an umlaut. Its function differs from the umlaut in that it does not modify the vowel sound, but rather, as Super VC10 has said, indicates that the vowel should be separated from the preceding one and given full value (see also the name Chloë, to indicate that it is pronounced Clo-ee, not Clo).

19th Apr 2014, 01:21
That's Nuthin'

Try being brought up in Skye, two Amazon countries and New Yoahk by a Hebridean father and a mother from Arkansas, going through school in all those places and then getting anything "right". It was only around age 35 I stopped caring, coincidentally about the same time we began to realise the human implications of "globalisation" in terms of the ethnicity or accents of our bosses, subordinates, colleagues, suppliers or clients.

It's been a good laugh!

19th Apr 2014, 07:12
On the subject of accents, the ~ (tilde) above the 'n/ñ' in Spanish is fairly important is it can change a year (año) to an arsehole (ano) and a cone (cono) to a c*** (coño). They are two different letters of the alphabet.

21st Apr 2014, 22:07
so how do you pronounce "ghoti"?

spInY nORmAn
21st Apr 2014, 22:14

"gh" as in "rough"
"o" as in "women"
"ti" as in "ignition"

Funny old language, innit?

tony draper
21st Apr 2014, 22:17
I've been able to speak it since childhood,ere well a version of it called Geordie.

21st Apr 2014, 22:18
.....I Know - a Mr GBS told me it was "Fish". Do I get a gold star?

The Ancient Mariner

22nd Apr 2014, 12:33
Anyone fancy a yogh (Ȝ). Creates lots of confusion about, for example, the name Menzies (pronounced Mingis). By way of example:

A lively young damsel named Menzies
Inquired: "Do you know what this thenzies?"
Her aunt, with a gasp,
Replied: "It's a wasp,
And you're holding the end where the stenzies

22nd Apr 2014, 23:15
Never mind, my babber ;)

23rd Apr 2014, 22:54
Dolgellau is of course "Dalgethly and
Altrincham is Altringham.....

23rd Apr 2014, 23:53
It be part of the fine panoply of English as she is spoke, innit.





24th Apr 2014, 00:19

Anyone care to attempt to explain the correct pronounciation of this?

24th Apr 2014, 00:25
I can tell you what it is (Fanshaw), but not how it got to be that. Unless, of course, Cynthia Fanshaw didn't like the hoi polloi spelling of her surname and did her own thing...

red wren
24th Apr 2014, 00:43
Gressenhall norfolk, locals say Greznal

24th Apr 2014, 13:42
Oh the harbour of Fowey
Is a beautiful spot
And it's there I enjowey
To sail in a yot;
Or to race in a yacht
Round a mark or a buoy -
Such a beautiful spacht
Is the harbour of Fuoy!

Arthur Quiller-Couch

wings folded
24th Apr 2014, 20:13
You could spend an idle lifetime trying to understand how Norfolk people choose to pronounce place names.

"Hautbois" (dear to musicians and near to the late lamented Colt base) is called Hobbis by those who know.

I had a work colleague who said he was going to do a trip to "Bum". Norfolk eyebrows were raised interrogatorily, until he explained that his trip was to Birmingham, but he had adapted to the local ways of saying things.

Lead and balloon spring to mind..

Not noted for sense of humour, your typical man of Norfolk.

spInY nORmAn
24th Apr 2014, 21:05
I shouldn't even bring up Kirkcudbright in Scotland then :}

Flying Lawyer
25th Apr 2014, 08:04
Horatio Bottomley, the Edwardian MP (and notorious swindler), had a famously quick wit.

He once arrived at the home of Lord Cholmondeley:
"Please tell Lord Cholmondeley that Mr Bottomley wishes to see him," he instructed the butler, pronouncing the name as it’s spelt.
"Lord Chumley, sir," replied the butler. “The correct pronunciation is Chumley.”
"Oh, all right," said Bottomley, "Tell him that Mr. Bumley would like to see him."

However, he came second in an exchange with the famous barrister ‘F.E.’ Smith:
When news broke that F.E. was to be appointed Lord Chancellor, he was approached by the disreputable Bottomley in the smoking-room of the House of Commons and congratulated upon his achievement.
Bottomley added “I wouldn't have been surprised to hear you had been made Archbishop of Canterbury.”
“If I had,” replied F.E., “I should have invited you to come to my installation.”
“That's damned decent of you,” said Bottomley.
“Not at all," said F.E., "I should have needed a crook.”


25th Apr 2014, 18:00
Notwithstanding Chesha, wot abowt
Cirencester pronounced "Sisister" - by the posh in vogue (or is it a-la mode or is it modee as in Moddy and L`Oreilles Grand? - I digress, is that Welsh to digress?):bored:

Get a load of Costessy. Pronounce that as is writ and they`ll know yer a furrener.

English Language Level 6 as is spoke and red. As in bicycle.

A belated Happy Easa to you all.

25th Apr 2014, 18:33
A couple of Cambridge colleges doggedly insist on maintaining rather odd pronunciations of their names:

Magdalene College - pronounced Maudlyn

Gonville and Caius - pronounced Gonville and Keys

Enough to ruffle the feathers of the more obsessive language students perhaps, but the ancient joke that an assiduous linguist saw newspaper placards declaring "My Fair Lady pronounced a success", so went off to shoot himself, was probably a bit apocryphal ... ;)

29th Apr 2014, 23:48
Then there is.... Coxswain and Boatswain, plus Gunwales and other nautical stuff

30th Apr 2014, 01:09
...the ~ (tilde) above the 'n/ñ' in Spanish is fairly important is it can change a year (año) to an arsehole (ano) and a cone (cono) to a c*** (coño).

Reminds me of an incident several Christmases ago; my partner sent a text message to a Spanish friend in Lanzarote, wishing him "A very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Ar$ehole..."
How we (I) laughed... :ok: