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Thread: What annoys you (about the news on TV) ?

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    What annoys you (about the news on TV) ?



    There are many things annoying in life, yet many annoying situations could easily be avoided if people were more careful or educated.

    Recently I have got annoyed by the terrible pronuciation of foreign names in TV news channels, in about any language. Be it on international channels like France24, Euronews, or national French or Belgian TV, I am appalled at the pronuciation of most French-speaking news commentators. Talking about the floods in Britain at the moment, on one channel they will say "Oxfordshire" making -shire rhyme with "tyre", while on another channel they say "sheer". How comes such news channels do not teach their staff a few basic rules of English pronuciation or recruit people who have notions of English. It's not difficult for a French speaker to say it properly; just tell them to read it like if it was spelt "cheur" in French, with a nearly silent "r".

    When talking about Turkey, the same newscasters just won't learn that the name of the Prime Minster, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pronounced "Rejep Tayip Erdoan" ("c" is "j" in Turkish, and "ğ" is a silent letter). It's 4 years he has been PM, and he makes the news many times a year, but not a single newscaster manage to learn to say his name properly. What qualification do they need to be engaged as newscaster if not being able to pronounce foreign names properly ?

    On French TV, some people will pronounce German names properly because they have learnt German, but many won't. They always get Dutch names completely mistaken (what irrites me most if when they pronounce the "Van" in family names like the French word "vent" when it actually sounds like "vanne"). When saying the name of the Belgian PM, Guy Verhofstadt", it always end up in some completely incomprehensible stuff like "Verschofstrat" or something like that. At least Francophone Belgian TV always get Dutch names right. Euronews also makes an effort. French channels are so pathetic in this regard.

    But English channels often do not do a much better job at pronouncing foreign names. France24 in English has newscaster that can speak French, so they usually get French words perfectly right. But even the multilingual Euronews tends to mistake often.

    Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong century and people are just so primitive and old-fashioned. Things are slowly getting better, but I still feel like I am a few decades too early over the world I live in for it to be as comfortable as it is for most other people in developed countries.
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    Here we go again. The France 24 economic commentator (supposedly a specialist of stock markets and international companies) pronounced "Siemens" like "sigh mens" instead of "zeemens".

    On Euronews, the French commentator thinks that the English town of Reading is pronounced "reeding" instead of "redding" and that Windsor is pronounced "wind sore" instead of "windze-".

    So tiring to listen to that every time I turn on the TV... I feel like I am in an English conversation class but cannot correct the students when they are making mistakes.

    EDIT : The LCI reporter pronounced "Reading" properly, which proves that it is just a matter of education. However, another LCI reporter as well as the newscaster both had to revise their Chinese skills, as they read Xiang with a "ks" sound for the "x" instead of a "sh" sound ! Amazing ! That even beats the illeteracy of those who read Deutsche Bank with a "eu" like in French (Dötsche Bank ).
    Last edited by Maciamo; 26-07-07 at 00:04.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Talking about the floods in Britain at the moment, on one channel they will say "Oxfordshire" making -shire rhyme with "tyre", while on another channel they say "sheer". How comes such news channels do not teach their staff a few basic rules of English pronuciation or recruit people who have notions of English. It's not difficult for a French speaker to say it properly; just tell them to read it like if it was spelt "cheur" in French, with a nearly silent "r".
    The pronunciation of Shire is regional. My home county is Warwickshire and I say "shire" as "Shee a" as in "a Sheer cliff", although when it is a single word, as in "a Shire horse" I will say Shire as rhymes with tyre. Both pronunciations are acceptable at the end of county names.
    I dislike the way Americans say Missile, Hostile and Buoy, but that is correct for American pronunciation and is acceptable. It is what we are used to. Obvious mis-pronunciation is annoying, but that either shows a lack of understanding by a non-speaker to the language, and should be corrected, or just plain ignornace on the person involved, unless used as either a comic effect or to annoy you on purpose. I am sure there are different ways French is said in Belgium, France and Quebec that annoys you, but that is the nature of language when spread over several countries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius View Post
    The pronunciation of Shire is regional. My home county is Warwickshire and I say "shire" as "Shee a" as in "a Sheer cliff", although when it is a single word, as in "a Shire horse" I will say Shire as rhymes with tyre. Both pronunciations are acceptable at the end of county names.
    Yes, I knew that "shire" rhymed with tyre when it wass a single word, but only Americans use this pronunciation for the final syllable of Warwickshire. And I wouldn't say that American pronuciation is acceptable in this case, as they do not have shires in the States, so it's just ignorance.

    Regional pronuciation often have old-fashioned pronuciations (in French too). "shire" as "Shee a" sounds so Middle English to me.

    I dislike the way Americans say Missile, Hostile and Buoy, but that is correct for American pronunciation and is acceptable.
    I understand that. It also irritates me when they pronounce "Irak" and "Iran" like "I rack" and "I ran".


    It is what we are used to. Obvious mis-pronunciation is annoying, but that either shows a lack of understanding by a non-speaker to the language, and should be corrected, or just plain ignornace on the person involved, unless used as either a comic effect or to annoy you on purpose. I am sure there are different ways French is said in Belgium, France and Quebec that annoys you, but that is the nature of language when spread over several countries.
    But I am talking about French-speaking journalists whose job it is to talk about events around the world (and especially in France's neighbouring countries), and can never get place names right in English, Dutch or German, and even manage to misread Japanese (e.g. "Hitashi" instead of "Hitachi"). This is not local pronuciation, it is wrong in French too. Which makes me wonder "How do they recruit their newscasters ?". Isn't knowledge of the pronuciation of foreign words (in the most common languages, such as English, German, Japanese, Chinese) an absolute must know for such people ? France24 is seen all over the world. People will laugh at them when they hear they city name mispronounced so badly. It's alright for the "man in the street" to say "Dötsche Bank" instead of "Deutsche Bank", but not for a business news reporter.

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    I obviously have a proper Lesta accent as I pronounce Leicestershire 'Lestashu'. (I'm not sure how you'd describe my pronunciation of 'shire'; something between 'shu', 'sha' and 'she' - with the last bit cut off very short. I think it's an East Midlands thing... )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao View Post
    I obviously have a proper Lesta accent as I pronounce Leicestershire 'Lestashu'. (I'm not sure how you'd describe my pronunciation of 'shire'; something between 'shu', 'sha' and 'she' - with the last bit cut off very short. I think it's an East Midlands thing... )
    Well, as long as it's not "Lay sester shy er" as I sometimes hear in the news...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    But I am talking about French-speaking journalists whose job it is to talk about events around the world (and especially in France's neighbouring countries), and can never get place names right in English, Dutch or German, and even manage to misread Japanese (e.g. "Hitashi" instead of "Hitachi"). This is not local pronuciation, it is wrong in French too. Which makes me wonder "How do they recruit their newscasters ?". Isn't knowledge of the pronuciation of foreign words (in the most common languages, such as English, German, Japanese, Chinese) an absolute must know for such people ? France24 is seen all over the world. People will laugh at them when they hear they city name mispronounced so badly. It's alright for the "man in the street" to say "Dötsche Bank" instead of "Deutsche Bank", but not for a business news reporter.
    Not something you really hear on the BBC, as there is a pronunciation department to tell newsreaders on how to say various foreign names and places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius View Post
    Not something you really hear on the BBC, as there is a pronunciation department to tell newsreaders on how to say various foreign names and places.
    Indeed, I didn't really notice such mistakes on the BBC. It's time the other channels (e.g. in France) learn their jobs as well.

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    Seems this thread is about how some journalists can't pronounce certain words correctly.


    Fox News or Fox Noise, that's what annoys me. I cannot stand that network, it really angers me when they claim they're "fair and balanced" because they're not, they're a right wing propaganda machine. Rupert Murdoch pretty much said so himself.

    Another thing I noticed about Fox Noise is they claim to have journalists, but they don't. It seems they have only commentators, who comment on things no one cares about. I also hate how they interrupt guests who come on their shows, Bill O'Reilly is bad about this. To him, it doesn't matter if you're right. Another thing that gets me, is that people who watch Fox are the least informed about world events. A study was done to show that people who watch Fox also held the most misconceptions about the War in Iraq and believed Iraq was involved in 9/11. Than those who get their news from NPR and PBS. Canft say that I am surprised by the results.
    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pi...t=102&lb=brusc

    Not to mention the racial hatred they sometimes spew, but I wonft go into that.
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    Out of about 10 (exclusively) news channels we get here, there are 2 American ones (CNN and CNBC), but the level is so low that I never watch them. My favourite remains Euronews because they go straight to the point and have special reports about high-tech, nature, culture, economy, European society, etc. I like that fact that they have frequent markets data and weather foreceast (every 30 min). What's more it's in 7 languages so when you are bored hearing a commentator's voice, you can switch.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 02-08-07 at 17:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    There are many things annoying in life, yet many annoying situations could easily be avoided if people were more careful or educated.
    Recently I have got annoyed by the terrible pronuciation of foreign names in TV news channels, in about any language. Be it on international channels like France24, Euronews, or national French or Belgian TV, I am appalled at the pronuciation of most French-speaking news commentators. Talking about the floods in Britain at the moment, on one channel they will say "Oxfordshire" making -shire rhyme with "tyre", while on another channel they say "sheer". How comes such news channels do not teach their staff a few basic rules of English pronuciation or recruit people who have notions of English. It's not difficult for a French speaker to say it properly; just tell them to read it like if it was spelt "cheur" in French, with a nearly silent "r".
    I have noticed Americans /Australians or British reporters who have pronounced French or Chinese words wrong.

    Take Nicolas Sarkozy for example some anchors do take effort to try to say it the way French pronounce it while others just say it in English pronunciations, but consider he is French, his name should be pronounced in French pronunciations.

    Another example is the Chinese premierfs name. His name is 溫(traditional) (simplified) wēn jiā (traditional) (simplified) bǎo , but the reporters in American, British or Australian channels call him 溫(traditional) (simplified) wēn jiāo \ ba`o

    Do you know what that mean? jiāo means burnt; scorched; worried; anxious sudden; while \ ba`o means violent; cruel; to show or expose; to injure .

    His first name is supposed to mean jiā= house, home, residence; family and = bǎo jewel or gem; a treasure; precious.

    [quote]When talking about Turkey, the same newscasters just won't learn that the name of the Prime Minster, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pronounced "Rejep Tayip Erdoan" ("c" is "j" in Turkish, and "ğ" is a silent letter). It's 4 years he has been PM, and he makes the news many times a year, but not a single newscaster manage to learn to say his name properly. What qualification do they need to be engaged as newscaster if not being able to pronounce foreign names properly ?
    On French TV, some people will pronounce German names properly because they have learnt German, but many won't. They always get Dutch names completely mistaken (what irrites me most if when they pronounce the "Van" in family names like the French word "vent" when it actually sounds like "vanne"). When saying the name of the Belgian PM, Guy Verhofstadt", it always end up in some completely incomprehensible stuff like "Verschofstrat" or something like that. At least Francophone Belgian TV always get Dutch names right. Euronews also makes an effort. French channels are so pathetic in this regard.

    Did it ever occur to you that Belgium is a country that speaks dual languages so it is not surprising the French side of Belgium learn Dutch, hence knowing how to pronounce the Dutch language? But seriously the Dutch language in France is not at all a popular language to learn, German is by far more popular, even English is much more popular to learn, but most French do not speak English much, they forgot what they learnt in schools or something.

    Other popular languages to learn for the French are Spanish, Italian and landing at number 5 is actually Mandarin according to a news report.

    But English channels often do not do a much better job at pronouncing foreign names. France24 in English has newscaster that can speak French, so they usually get French words perfectly right. But even the multilingual Euronews tends to mistake often.
    Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong century and people are just so primitive and old-fashioned. Things are slowly getting better, but I still feel like I am a few decades too early over the world I live in for it to be as comfortable as it is for most other people in developed countries.
    You have no idea how many people outside of France cannot pronounce my husband's surname.

    In Malaysia they couldn't pronounce his first name so they decided to call him something else, which is not his name. And for his surname which has been mine as well since I married him, even after we corrected them, they refused to correct themselves and just gone along pronouncing it the way they please!!!!! At least in Australia when corrected they apologised and corrected themselves.

    In the big brother show, that racist Jade goody person didn't even bother to try to pronounce the Indian actress name Shilpa Shetty properly. Luckily Shetty was crowned the winner of the British Celebrity Big Brother, after the controversy.

    I guess for people who have never studied foreign languages of the particular countries, they often cannot get the pronunciations right, reporters or not.

    The last time I checked learning foreign languages was not a compulsory part of the curriculum in Bachelor of Journalism, in Australia.
    Last edited by Minty; 03-08-07 at 01:42.



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    Jade Goody is an obnoxious woman and a waste of skin. She only made a name for herself by being stupid and ignorant and she is proud of that fact!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    Did it ever occur to you that Belgium is a country that speaks dual languages so it is not surprising the French side of Belgium learn Dutch, hence knowing how to pronounce the Dutch language? But seriously the Dutch language in France is not at all a popular language to learn, German is by far more popular, even English is much more popular to learn, but most French do not speak English much, they forgot what they learnt in schools or something.
    Yet Dutch language is spoken in France (in the departement du Nord), and used to be the main language of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region until it was conquered by Louis XIV in the late 17th century (so very recently, by historical standards). If they can't even pronounce names of their own "traditional minority languages" (as opposed to "immigrants' minority languages"), how can they be expected to pronounce foreign languages properly ?
    In Malaysia they couldn't pronounce his first name so they decided to call him something else, which is not his name. And for his surname which has been mine as well since I married him, even after we corrected them, they refused to correct themselves and just gone along pronouncing it the way they please!!!!! At least in Australia when corrected they apologised and corrected themselves.
    I noticed that this happens in France as well. No later than yesterday I was watching a travel documentary about Taiwan; the one-the-spot reporter said "we are now going to the island of Lü Tao". A Taiwanese guy on the boat behind him rectified his pronunciation, but the reporter hardly cared and almost made fun of the guy. I hate this kind of people who are impervious to learning and make fun of people trying to teach them. Why don't they take people with a genuine interest in Chinese culture (and therefore also language) to make documentary about China/Taiwan ?
    Last edited by Maciamo; 09-08-07 at 12:33.

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    The content
    lately the news seems to contain more gossip then actual news.
    Also the fact they'll always close the news with a happier or lighter fact if something bad happened annoys me.

    Same goes for the papers, the fact some use youtube and myspace as actual scources, makes me sick.
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    I don't like how the news is over-dramatised sometimes... by the music and the way it's presented. Makes it sound like some kind of fictional programme instead of factual news. Kind of at one remove from real life, when it is real life for someone.

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    Another thing that annoys me on French TV (but not on Belgian or British TV) is when they say "In France, contrarily to others countries, we have ...". It is not just praises, but also problems about the country. What bothers me is that in 99% of the cases, it is not a phenomenon/situation unique to France, but which is the same in Belgium or in many EU countries.

    One example I heard today on a debate about credit card security : "In France, contrarily to foreign countries, we have pin codes on credit cards, which makes the transactions safer. It is true that credit cards in most countries worldwide do not have chips with pin codes yet, but most European countries do ! In fact, I know for sure that it is compulsory for all Belgian Visa and MasterCard to have chips and pin codes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Yet Dutch language is spoken in France (in the departement du Nord), and used to be the main language of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region until it was conquered by Louis XIV in the late 17th century (so very recently, by historical standards). If they can't even pronounce names of their own "traditional minority languages" (as opposed to "immigrants' minority languages"), how can they be expected to pronounce foreign languages properly ?
    Ok, I have come to realise you have a very different standards than what I am used to. Hmmm... about Dutch language being a dialect of France. Let me try to explain my point of view and compare it with other cultures that have more than one languages/dialects.

    Take Chinese people for example, many Cantonese speakers cannot speak Mandarin but many can speak English due to 150 years of British colonization of HK.

    Many Cantonese people actually think they are the sole Southern Hans, and I am very shocked at this ignorance. I expect Chinese to know at least the basic knowledge of their own ethnic but I guess I am wrong. They actually think that every other Hans besides themselves are ALL Northerners and all only speak Mandarin. That is so wrong, they are not the only Chinese, Han people with dialects of their own and they are not the only southern Hans.

    Not only that many of them cannot speak Mandarin well, they practically donft speak any of the other Han dialects at all. This is because it is not compulsory to learn the others. Similarly many other Hans from other provinces usually can only speak their own dialects plus the official language of the Chinese which is Mandarin.

    I don't think there is any Chinese who knows ALL the Chinese dialects out there which is a lot.

    I doubt the Indians can speak ALL their dialects neither.

    You know I live in Strasbourg, over here many people speak Alsatian dialect or German but all natives here can speak the national French language. Sometimes my husband has colleges from other provinces, who cannot speak or understand Alsatian dialects at all. They just communicate through the official French language.

    And seriously Dutch is really not a popular language to learn whether it is a dialect of the French or not. Take my husband for example he speaks French, English and Italian, but only French is perfect, but he is not a reporter but a CEO and it is acceptable. I mean it is not as if though much British or other nationals ( not counting other French speaking countries or areas outside of France)speak perfect French, except people like John Gavin Malkovich but he has lived in France for 15 years and my husband never lived in English speaking countries before and I doubt many French have neither.

    You see, besides the official language of the French, the rest of the languages they learn in school are all by choice, so if the language is not popular not many people speak it.

    Similarly speaking, some Han dialects are not so popular so besides people from their own provinces others cannot understand or speak those Han, Chinese dialects at all.

    As for the non Hans I am told they can speak Mandarin plus their own languages or dialects. My husband and I plan to visit Western China next year; to experience ourselves the non Han peoplefs lives, if you are interested I could write our experiences in here.

    I noticed that this happens in France as well. No later than yesterday I was watching a travel documentary about Taiwan; the one-the-spot reporter said "we are now going to the island of Lü Tao". A Taiwanese guy on the boat behind him rectified his pronunciation, but the reporter hardly cared and almost made fun of the guy. I hate this kind of people who are impervious to learning and make fun of people trying to teach them. Why don't they take people with a genuine interest in Chinese culture (and therefore also language) to make documentary about China/Taiwan ?
    Hmmm, well...I suppose in this case the guy should be more polite and open minded about other people's cultures and languages, well there are bad apples in every tree.

    Too lazy to find that other thread about Belgiumfs future prime minister, when I cut and paste his name I accidentally left out the future. Sorry about that I was in a hurry that night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    Take Chinese people for example, many Cantonese speakers cannot speak Mandarin but many can speak English due to 150 years of British colonization of HK.
    ...
    I don't think there is any Chinese who knows ALL the Chinese dialects out there which is a lot.
    I doubt the Indians can speak ALL their dialects neither.
    That is not my point. I do not expect French people to be able to speak all (or any) or their dialects or minority languages before speaking English or other foreign languages. What I meant is that I expect newscasters to have the basics about pronuciation in the major minority languages of their country, especially if one of those minority languages is the neighbouring country's official language (as is the case with Dutch).
    This is not expecting too much, I think. Out of the many languages I have learnt, it generally takes me less than 1 hour to remember the sound equivalent to each letter or group of letters. I do not speak Turkish at all, but I know how to read Turkish without mistaking in the pronuciation. Learnt it in the plane on my way to Turkey so as not to sound stupid when I asked for a place name. I do that for every country that I visit (and even others), so I can read properly in over 20 languages, and if I do not speak a word of most of them.
    Newscaster are supposed to be fairly well-educated, have a good memory for words and a good pronuciation. I don't see why they couldn't learn the baics in, say the world's 20 most common languages in their country's news, in a few days' crash course before their start working. I could and I am not a newscaster.
    Many Cantonese people actually think they are the sole Southern Hans, and I am very shocked at this ignorance. I expect Chinese to know at least the basic knowledge of their own ethnic but I guess I am wrong. They actually think that every other Hans besides themselves are ALL Northerners and all only speak Mandarin. That is so wrong, they are not the only Chinese, Han people with dialects of their own and they are not the only southern Hans.
    That's pretty amazing as I have known for a long time (maybe since I was 15 or so) that most Chinese people belong to the Han ethnicity (only minorities like the Mongols, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Miao-Miao, etc. don't). I think that most Europeans who have an interest in East Asia know that.

    On the other hand, it is ironic that some French-speaking Belgians would believe that their ancestors were (predominantly) Celts or Gallo-Romans ! The truth is that Belgian people (and French people in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Ardennes, Lorraine and Alsace) are of Germanic descent. The Romans massacred most of the Celts in present-day Belgium, and they were replaced by a wave a Germanic immigrants from the 3rd century (the Franks).

    This misconception of some Belgians is mostly due to the cultural influence from France. They might have read French history textbooks or heard so many times on French TV about "our ancestors the Gauls" (who were Celts). Or they read too much Asterix ! 90% of the (non-immigrant) Belgian people I know look distinctly Germanic. So if there is some Gallo-Roman remnant, it is only a small minority (most likely later import from the 200-year Spanish occupation period).

    It seriously pisses me off when I read some guidebooks about Belgium, or some people try to explain that the Flemish are of Germanic descent, while the Walloons are of Gallo-Roman descent. It is utterly wrong. Language has little to do with ethnicity. In fact, if I remember well some stats I saw, fair hair and blue eyes are most common in the eastern part of Belgium (East Wallonia + Limburg), and least common in the north-western part (historical County of Flanders).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    That is not my point. I do not expect French people to be able to speak all (or any) or their dialects or minority languages before speaking English or other foreign languages. What I meant is that I expect newscasters to have the basics about pronuciation in the major minority languages of their country, especially if one of those minority languages is the neighbouring country's official language (as is the case with Dutch).
    This is not expecting too much, I think. Out of the many languages I have learnt, it generally takes me less than 1 hour to remember the sound equivalent to each letter or group of letters. I do not speak Turkish at all, but I know how to read Turkish without mistaking in the pronuciation. Learnt it in the plane on my way to Turkey so as not to sound stupid when I asked for a place name. I do that for every country that I visit (and even others), so I can read properly in over 20 languages, and if I do not speak a word of most of them.
    Newscaster are supposed to be fairly well-educated, have a good memory for words and a good pronuciation. I don't see why they couldn't learn the baics in, say the world's 20 most common languages in their country's news, in a few days' crash course before their start working. I could and I am not a newscaster.
    So are CEOs, plus their skills and talents in the field of commerce and some times the Engineering field as well. I doubt all educated people (reporters or not) can pronounce all the languages and dialects out there whether it is their own or not. Even if they are not reporters many educated people still often speak to audiences, hold seminars.

    However if the non highly educated people have learnt that particular foreign language s/he is more likely to get the pronunciations right.

    To be able to pronounce every languages or dialects correctly I think you need to have learnt the languages before or have learnt languages with very similar pronunciations.

    I think you must have high talent in learning languages and high ability to master pronunciations, but this is not something everybody can do.
    The last time I checked the requirements for journalism in terms of pronunciations (in Australia) was just to be able to say things correctly and clearly in the national language/s of the country or area.

    HK reporters (or other highly educated people from HK) pronounce poorly in Mandarin.

    It doesn't matter whether people are educated or not, it depends on their field of expertise, like say if they graduated from the field of mathematics, as a scientist of mathematics (besides the obvious that they need to be good at maths) they only required speak well in their own languages or the language of the university/ies they graduated from. Actually I have seen foreign lecturers of maths who canft speak English well but very good at maths.

    Say if a maths professor is to hold a conference about maths, if s/he happens to mention a foreign scientist, very often s/he can't say their names correctly. They just pronounce it the way their language pronounces it.

    A lot of the educated Australians, Americans, English professors and so forth have extreme difficulties just to get their foreign students names or places they come fromcetc pronounce correctly, whether this is in the field of journalism or not.

    That's pretty amazing as I have known for a long time (maybe since I was 15 or so) that most Chinese people belong to the Han ethnicity (only minorities like the Mongols, Tibetans, Uyghurs, Miao-Miao, etc. don't). I think that most Europeans who have an interest in East Asia know that.
    I wasn't talking about the Europeans who didn't know that, I was talking about the Cantonese people.

    Especially the ones who live in western countries. I would expect them to know their own ethnic well but I am wrong, very wrong!!! They think the most of the Southern Hans speak Cantonese and the Northern Hans speak MandarincLOL They even think there are more Cantonese speakers than Mandarin. LOOOOL.

    Yes most Europeans or white Americans couldnft tell between Chinese to Japanese to Koreans and so on.

    In Oscar of this year they said the film gThe Departedh was a re-make from a Japanese film but in fact it was a re-make of the HK filmh Infernal Affairs.h
    But then again Asians are also very ignorant when it comes to white people. Comments such as white people only eat McDonalds, the only thing white people can cook is roast are just total jokes.

    On the other hand, it is ironic that some French-speaking Belgians would believe that their ancestors were (predominantly) Celts or Gallo-Romans ! The truth is that Belgian people (and French people in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Ardennes, Lorraine and Alsace) are of Germanic descent. The Romans massacred most of the Celts in present-day Belgium, and they were replaced by a wave a Germanic immigrants from the 3rd century (the Franks).
    This misconception of some Belgians is mostly due to the cultural influence from France. They might have read French history textbooks or heard so many times on French TV about "our ancestors the Gauls" (who were Celts). Or they read too much Asterix ! 90% of the (non-immigrant) Belgian people I know look distinctly Germanic. So if there is some Gallo-Roman remnant, it is only a small minority (most likely later import from the 200-year Spanish occupation period).
    It seriously pisses me off when I read some guidebooks about Belgium, or some people try to explain that the Flemish are of Germanic descent, while the Walloons are of Gallo-Roman descent. It is utterly wrong. Language has little to do with ethnicity. In fact, if I remember well some stats I saw, fair hair and blue eyes are most common in the eastern part of Belgium (East Wallonia + Limburg), and least common in the north-western part (historical County of Flanders).
    That's very interesting; maybe my husband has Germanic blood line in him that he didn't know about. He isn't a historian and he never saw his family tree, but you are right it is a common believe that they think their ancestors were Gauls, but in my husband's case most of his Belgium blood are Flemish and others are of Roman descents from Northern Italy. Wait but then Dutch is an ethnic made up of English and Germans I heard, well this is too complicated. DNA test will solve all the confusion.

    I recently found out I could be a mix of northern and Southern Han, according to the origins of my surname...

    ... this explains my grandfather's sunken eyes and high bridge nose which is more of the features of the northerners...life is full of surprises.
    Last edited by Minty; 19-08-07 at 19:01.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    So are CEOs, plus their skills and talents in the field of commerce and some times the Engineering field as well. I doubt all educated people (reporters or not) can pronounce all the languages and dialects out there whether it is their own or not. Even if they are not reporters many educated people still often speak to audiences, hold seminars.
    I wouldn't regard highly a CEO who is making a speech or seminar about investments of his company in a foreign country and completely mispronounces the name of the city where he is investing.

    To be able to pronounce every languages or dialects correctly I think you need to have learnt the languages before or have learnt languages with very similar pronunciations.
    No, you don't. You just need to have read half a page on the pronuciation rules in that language. Anyway, I was talking about minority languages, which is quite different from "dialects". The main difference is that dialects are not normally written, and are usually partly or mostly understandable to speakers of the standard language. In France, Picard, Champenois, Lorrain or Bourguignon are dialects of French, but Alsatian, Flemish/Dutch, Basque or Breton are minority languages (completely different from French).

    I think you must have high talent in learning languages and high ability to master pronunciations, but this is not something everybody can do.
    Not everybody can become newscaster. That's a very elitist position. Some are more famous than Hollywood celebrities. There only skills needed is to be able to read fast and pronounce well.

    The last time I checked the requirements for journalism in terms of pronunciations (in Australia) was just to be able to say things correctly and clearly in the national language/s of the country or area.
    Australians live in a very isolated part of the world. It's not like they could be in 5 foreign countries in just 1 or 2 hours of car or train, like most continental Europeans. Europeans travel to other European countries all the time for business or holidays. It's normal for a newscaster to be able to pronounce city names like "Leicester" or "Maastricht" properly.

    HK reporters (or other highly educated people from HK) pronounce poorly in Mandarin.
    That's unacceptable. Probably due to the British administration that didn't care, but I can't understand how the Chinese government is letting this happen nowadays. Sometimes I wonder whether Beijing is not too lenient with Hong Kong.

    It doesn't matter whether people are educated or not, it depends on their field of expertise, like say if they graduated from the field of mathematics, as a scientist of mathematics
    Glad to hear you say it. A newscaster's field of expertise is pronuciation, even more so than a language teacher because millions of people listen to them everyday. Do not underestimate the effect of TV on people's pronuciations.

    Yes most Europeans or white Americans couldnft tell between Chinese to Japanese to Koreans and so on.
    Couldn't tell the difference of pronuciation ? I doubt so. I could distinguish Chinese from Japanese as a child, well before I learnt Japanese. The pronuciation is just so different. What's more, Japanese animations, games or products have been so popular in Western countries in the last 20 years that only elderly people wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    Comments such as white people only eat McDonalds, the only thing white people can cook is roast are just total jokes.
    Very ignorant indeed when you know that there are more McDonalds per inhabitant in Japan, Singapore or Hong Kong than in any European country.

    Wait but then Dutch is an ethnic made up of English and Germans I heard,
    Certainly not. Dutch people are of Frisians (north and west), Frankish (south) and Saxon (east) descent. These are all Germanic tribes. The English descent from the Angles (related to the Frisians), the Saxons, the Jutes and Danes, also all Germanic tribes, including two more or less the same. It is not the Dutch than descent from the English, but rather the opposite.

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    One of the things that annoys me most about the French accent in English is the way they pronounce the final "-er" (like in "soeur pronounced just like the English "sir", except the "r"). The sound exist in French, yet they insist on pronouncing it "-air". I heard a French TV commentator pronounce Manchester "Manchestair".

    Another thing is some people's inability not to nasalise some "an" or "en" sounds. In a documentary, a French guy visited Antwerp, and asked how people said "Anvers" ("Antwerp" in French) in Dutch. A local replied "Antwerpen", and the poor French guy was made to repeat it three times to the amusement of the local because he could not say the "An" without nasalising it like in French. Yet, had he been told that it was "Anne Twerpen", he would have pronounced it right.

    So the problem of the average French speakers in deeply rooted in their brain-wiring, and is absolutely not related to their ability to say some sounds (like the Japanese, for instance). They just can't say something that is against the way their were taught to read in French. But once you change the spelling, they magically can pronounce it !!

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    The TV news all reported the killing of 16 Chinese policemen in the province of Xinjiang. I was astounded that none of the newscaster had received a training in Chinese pronunciation just days before the opening of the Olympics in Beijing. I have heard the story on at least 5 channels, and all of them pronounced Xinjiang either as "Ksin jiang" or as "Ksin yiang" instead of "Shin jiang". Some French newscasters even dropped the final "g" and nasalised the "an" like in French ! I know it's trivial, but I find it so irritating ! I don't mind so much spelling mistakes in an article on the Net, because a typing mistake is easily made. But such gross pronunciation mistakes show a lack of education and geopolitical knowledge that sound unprofessional on international news channels.

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    What annoys me the most is lack of crucial information in the news. All media are trying to go through the news as fast as possible. In-depth analisys are very rare, and even than they usually have one-side view.

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    The major news networks, be it Europe or the U.S., are filled with manipulators of reality.

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    [QUOTE=Minty;348785]I have noticed Americans /Australians or British reporters who have pronounced French or Chinese words wrong.
    Take Nicolas Sarkozy for example some anchors do take effort to try to say it the way French pronounce it while others just say it in English pronunciations, but consider he is French, his name should be pronounced in French pronunciations.
    Another example is the Chinese premier�fs name. His name is 溫(traditional) �� (simplified) wēn �� jiā �� (traditional) �� (simplified) bǎo , but the reporters in American, British or Australian channels call him 溫(traditional) �� (simplified) wēn �� jiāo �\ ba`o
    Do you know what that mean? �� jiāo means burnt; scorched; worried; anxious sudden; while �\ ba`o means violent; cruel; to show or expose; to injure .
    His first name is supposed to mean �� jiā= house, home, residence; family and ��= bǎo jewel or gem; a treasure; precious.
    When talking about Turkey, the same newscasters just won't learn that the name of the Prime Minster, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pronounced "Rejep Tayip Erdoan" ("c" is "j" in Turkish, and "ğ" is a silent letter). It's 4 years he has been PM, and he makes the news many times a year, but not a single newscaster manage to learn to say his name properly. What qualification do they need to be engaged as newscaster if not being able to pronounce foreign names properly ?
    On French TV, some people will pronounce German names properly because they have learnt German, but many won't. They always get Dutch names completely mistaken (what irrites me most if when they pronounce the "Van" in family names like the French word "vent" when it actually sounds like "vanne"). When saying the name of the Belgian PM, Guy Verhofstadt", it always end up in some completely incomprehensible stuff like "Verschofstrat" or something like that. At least Francophone Belgian TV always get Dutch names right. Euronews also makes an effort. French channels are so pathetic in this regard.
    Did it ever occur to you that Belgium is a country that speaks dual languages so it is not surprising the French side of Belgium learn Dutch, hence knowing how to pronounce the Dutch language? But seriously the Dutch language in France is not at all a popular language to learn, German is by far more popular, even English is much more popular to learn, but most French do not speak English much, they forgot what they learnt in schools or something.
    Other popular languages to learn for the French are Spanish, Italian and landing at number 5 is actually Mandarin according to a news report.
    You have no idea how many people outside of France cannot pronounce my husband's surname.
    In Malaysia they couldn't pronounce his first name so they decided to call him something else, which is not his name. And for his surname which has been mine as well since I married him, even after we corrected them, they refused to correct themselves and just gone along pronouncing it the way they please!!!!! At least in Australia when corrected they apologised and corrected themselves.
    In the big brother show, that racist Jade goody person didn't even bother to try to pronounce the Indian actress name Shilpa Shetty properly. Luckily Shetty was crowned the winner of the British Celebrity Big Brother, after the controversy.
    I guess for people who have never studied foreign languages of the particular countries, they often cannot get the pronunciations right, reporters or not.
    The last time I checked learning foreign languages was not a compulsory part of the curriculum in Bachelor of Journalism, in Australia.
    Points:
    1) Most reporters have no clue how to pronounce foreign words. DW does the best job in this area.
    2) Italian is hardly a major / popular language...
    3)Globally, the major European business languages are:
    a) English
    b) Spanish
    c) French
    d) Portuguese
    e) German
    4) I believe that every young (or old) student should learn a major foreign language, in addition to English.

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