Eupedia Forums
Site NavigationEupedia Top > Eupedia Forum & Japan Forum
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 76

Thread: When American celebrities can't pronounce their own name properly

  1. #1
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.

    Post When American celebrities can't pronounce their own name properly



    I have just read this BBC article: Celebrity names you're probably saying wrong. The celebrities in question are often Americans with non-English surnames (German, Dutch, French, Italian, etc.) and they claim that many people pronounce their name wrong. That may be true as most Americans have no idea how to pronounce foreign names, and even when they do few can pronounce it properly like in the original language anyway. Now Americans have a very different attitude to language than Europeans. The USA was built as a melting pot of immigrants, and rules about pronunciation of foreign words had to be relaxed and often Americanised, so that people could easily pronounce them. But this sloppy and ignorant attitude to language learning does not make it right. It's not but claiming that a German name should be pronounce like in English that Germans will suddenly start pronouncing it differently. You can't overrule people's native language when you know nothing (or little) about that language. It may have worked until the early 20th century when the vast majority of Americans had little direct contact with Europeans. But we now live in a global village with online media (including videos) that are shared instantly across the planet. What's more, it's never been easier to learn a foreign language, or at least the phonology of other main languages (including the patrilineal ancestors that gave your surname). There is no more excuse for not knowing how natives of a language prononce a name in their language.

    Among the names listed are:

    Amanda Seyfried => She claims that her name is pronounced Sigh-fred and not Sigh-freed (as does her Wikipedia page), but there si no way this is right in German. Names in -fried are all pronounced something akin to -freed (with a German 'r' of course).

    Martin Scorsese => Most Americans say Scor-say-zee and he claims it's Scor-sess-see. I don't know how anybody could get the pronunciation of a straightfoward Italian name like that wrong, but both are wrong. It's Scor-say-zay (with a rolled r please). Please do not give it that -zee sound at the end. It's so wrong to hear a long -ee in Italian that it gives me chills down my spine.

    Barbra Streisand => Most Amercians say Strei-zand, and she claims it is Strei-sand, rhyming with sand. She is doubly wrong. Her name is German and therefore must be pronounced Shtrry-zaahnd. Nothing else is correct.

    Shia LaBeouf => As the article says, his name is Shy-a La-Buf, not Shee-ya La Boof. The pronunciation of the French LaBeouf is right. However, that name does not exist in French, and indeed cannot exist as it is grammatically incorrect. Bœuf is a masculine name (meaning ox, so it obviously cannot be feminine), and therefore it should be LeBœuf!

    Matt Groening => He says his name should be pronounced Gray-ning, but it's wrong. In Dutch, 'oe' always resembles an English 'oo'. Many Americans pronounce it Groa-ning, which is also wrong. It's Groo-ning, and it's not negotiable.


    Another thing that gets on my nerves is when Americans pronounce German Jewish names in -stein as if it were -steen instead of a proper German -shtayn (ʃtaɪn] in phonetic writing). Oddly enough, many Amercians seem to know that the 'ei' in Einstein is not pronounced 'ee' but [aɪ] (rhyming with sigh), yet they pronounce all other names in -stein like -steen. Imagine if people kept saying Eensteen. Annoying, right?


    I have also heard my (pen) name butchered. It's pronounced as if it were an Italian name: Ma-cha-mo (not Mack-iamo, May-siay-mo, or any other nonsense).
    My book selection---Follow me on Facebook and Twitter --- My profile on Academia.edu and on ResearchGate ----Check Wa-pedia's Japan Guide
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?", Winston Churchill.

  2. #2
    Elite member Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree FriendsVeteran25000 Experience Points
    Fire Haired14's Avatar
    Join Date
    20-04-14
    Posts
    2,194
    Points
    28,146
    Level
    51
    Points: 28,146, Level: 51
    Level completed: 55%, Points required for next Level: 504
    Overall activity: 31.0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R1b DF27*
    MtDNA haplogroup
    U5b2a2b1

    Country: USA - Illinois



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    You can't overrule people's native language when you know nothing (or little) about that language.
    Most American can't detect what is an English language surname and what is a non English language surname by the way it sounds. So most have no idea they're pronouncing a non English surname with an English accent.

    I realized just this year that we Americans tear apart German names. But it doesn't really matter. My roommate mentioned like 10 times his surname is German but never once chose to pronounce it the correct way.

    The native language of just about all Americans is English so no one's native language is being overruled. The only people who have their native language overruled are immigrants. But after just 2 generations that immigrant's descendants will only be familiar with English.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maco View Post
    It may have worked until the early 20th century when the vast majority of Americans had little direct contact with Europeans.
    It's the opposite though. America was flooded with Europeans in the early 20th century. European immigrants could be found everywhere. Today it's very difficult to find European immigrants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maco View Post
    But we now live in a global village with online media (including videos) that are shared instantly across the planet. What's more, it's never been easier to learn a foreign language, or at least the phonology of other main languages (including the patrilineal ancestors that gave your surname). There is no more excuse for not knowing how natives of a language prononce a name in their language.
    That's true but lucky for Americans we don't have a practical reason to new language because people around the world are learning English.

  3. #3
    Elite member Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree FriendsVeteran25000 Experience Points
    Fire Haired14's Avatar
    Join Date
    20-04-14
    Posts
    2,194
    Points
    28,146
    Level
    51
    Points: 28,146, Level: 51
    Level completed: 55%, Points required for next Level: 504
    Overall activity: 31.0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R1b DF27*
    MtDNA haplogroup
    U5b2a2b1

    Country: USA - Illinois



    Maciamo I can understand your frustration. But unless learning a new language becomes practical we're not going to do it. Living in a lingual-uniform continent is pretty awesome.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsVeteran

    Join Date
    18-04-14
    Posts
    697
    Points
    2,968
    Level
    15
    Points: 2,968, Level: 15
    Level completed: 73%, Points required for next Level: 82
    Overall activity: 6.0%


    Country: Poland



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    But this sloppy and ignorant attitude to language learning does not make it right. It's not but claiming that a German name should be pronounce like in English that Germans will suddenly start pronouncing it differently. You can't overrule people's native language when you know nothing (or little) about that language. It may have worked until the early 20th century when the vast majority of Americans had little direct contact with Europeans. But we now live in a global village with online media (including videos) that are shared instantly across the planet. What's more, it's never been easier to learn a foreign language, or at least the phonology of other main languages (including the patrilineal ancestors that gave your surname). There is no more excuse for not knowing how natives of a language prononce a name in their language.
    As to bearers of names you are right - they should know, how to pronounce them.

    But in the rest you are wrong - you cannot expect from users of one
    languge to be able to guess system writing one from 100 of others.
    The MODERN english and from there - paneuropean - problem is,
    that people are ignorantly unable to translate names and surnames,
    what is normal european tradition since ever.

    Until 1970s the rule was, that names are translated, and surnames are
    adaptable (at least the old ones). You do not say Yakov but James, not
    Moshe but Moses, not Jehoshua but Jesus (this name originaly has two,
    three forms, so which to pick?) aso. Surnames are adaptable at least the
    older one. I cannot imagine, that I would have to be saying some Dżordż
    Uoshin'ton - it means and resembles absolutly nothing, neither logically,
    neither orthographically, neither semantically. Every sane person would say
    and write Jerzy Waszyngton - because Jerzy is a polish form of paneuropean
    name George, and Waszyngton is oldpolish transliteration of english surname,
    the closest as it can be.

    If you are so eager then you should be able correctly pronounce
    Zbigniew Brzeziński or Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz. Good lock!

    (with a German 'r' of course).
    Even Germans do not always say "german r"

    Please say Źdźbło - with correctly pronounced Ź, dź and ł. No palliatives.

    Say about your problems to your asian neghbours, who not only cant say
    normal r, but also are totally messing every possible name and surnames
    usually until unrecognizable froms, often even totaly replacing the foreign
    names with their own, national.

    Another thing that gets on my nerves is when Americans pronounce German Jewish names in -stein as if it were -steen instead of a proper German -shtayn (ʃtaɪn] in phonetic writing). Oddly enough, many Amercians seem to know that the 'ei' in Einstein is not pronounced 'ee' but [aɪ] (rhyming with sigh), yet they pronounce all other names in -stein like -steen. Imagine if people kept saying Eensteen. Annoying, right?
    No, is not. If this is the normal reading rule - but the problem is, that english
    has not spealling rules, so they can't even pronounced their own native words...

    I have also heard my (pen) name butchered. It's pronounced as if it were an Italian name: Ma-cha-mo (not Mack-iamo, May-siay-mo, or any other nonsense)
    If you have problem with that, then use international phonetic alphabet.
    Noone has obligation to guess what on earth your nick is, and how he
    should be pornounced.

    Much worse is, when name or surname is buchered by pretending to write
    it correctly - as mine was, when in russain visa they transcribed them, insted
    of using traditional normal russian variants of it. Massacre.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Achievements:
    3 months registered1000 Experience Points
    Diomedes's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-04-17
    Posts
    240
    Points
    1,575
    Level
    11
    Points: 1,575, Level: 11
    Level completed: 9%, Points required for next Level: 275
    Overall activity: 0%


    Ethnic group
    Greek
    Country: Greece



    I like Americans a lot as I have lived with them for a considerable amount of time, but sometimes when they refuse to accept realities it gets on my nerves. Another thing, although of topic, is their commitment to this hideous imperial system (non SI) in measuring things.

    At the end of the day, let's be honest, the ruler makes the rules. If they want to pronounce things in a way, that's it. It's not going to change.

  6. #6
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    Most American can't detect what is an English language surname and what is a non English language surname by the way it sounds.
    Maybe not by the way it sounds if they all pronounce them with an English accent. But there is no way 'most Americans' can't tell that names like Scorsese, Giuliani or Fibonacci are Italian, that names like Seyfried, Einstein or Bach are German, or that names like Trudeau, Theroux or Bourdain are French.


    I realized just this year that we Americans tear apart German names. But it doesn't really matter. My roommate mentioned like 10 times his surname is German but never once chose to pronounce it the correct way.
    Perhaps your roommate is ceding to peer pressure because other people keep mispronouncing his surname since his childhood and he decided (maybe on a subconscious level) that it would just be easier to say it the way others did. But that's just weakness or lack of care about his heritage on his side. It's just like religion. It not because everybody around you believe in it that it makes it right.

    The native language of just about all Americans is English so no one's native language is being overruled. The only people who have their native language overruled are immigrants. But after just 2 generations that immigrant's descendants will only be familiar with English.
    It doesn't matter what is your native language when it comes to pronouncing surnames. People know where their ancestors came from. Either they accept their heritage and live up to it, or they can just decide that they don't care and adopt a real English surname, as so many immigrants to the US have done to make their lives easier. I especially don't understand why Jewish Americans don't adopt more often English surnames (except for actors or singers like Woody Allen, Bob Dylan, Kirk/Michael Douglas, Natalie Portman, etc. who were all born with German surnames).

    It's the opposite though. America was flooded with Europeans in the early 20th century. European immigrants could be found everywhere. Today it's very difficult to find European immigrants.
    In the early 20th century, most Europeans immigrants to the US were South Italian or Jewish. That's only a tiny portion of the linguistic or surname diversity in Europe and the USA. Most Americans of Spanish, French, Dutch or German descent have ancestors that migrated to America from the 1600's to the early 1800's, while (non-Jewish) Poles came mostly in the first half of the 19th century, and the Irish and Scandinavians in the second half of the 19th century. There were many waves, often to specific parts of the US, and separated by several generations. Unless they were living in New York at the time, most Americans had little contact with first generation immigrants from Europe.

    That's true but lucky for Americans we don't have a practical reason to new language because people around the world are learning English.
    Agreed, but one doesn't need to learn a language to know how to pronounce foreign names. It takes only 5 or 10 minutes to remember the phonology of a language. In Europe when you travel to another country and don't want to sound like a total moron when you pronounce a local place name or person's name, you first learn the basic rules of pronunciation in that language. There is nothing worse than a French person reading German or English names as if the spelling conventions were the same as in French. Most sounds in German exist in French, but it's important to know that in German eu is pronounced "oi" and not "ö" like in French, or that a German z is a "ts" and not a "z" like in English or French. People coming to a French speaking country should know that a French oi is pronounced "wa" and that eau is just "o" (without the w sound at the end in English). Likewise people should know that in romanised Chinese a x is like a "sh" and not a "ks". Just a few basic rules of pronunciations that are quickly learned and can go a long way. It always sounds so stupid when people don't know those basic rules.

    I can accept that not everybody can easily learn to pronounce sounds that aren't found in their native language. But even if English speakers can't pronounce vowels like in other languages (odd, since it seems like almost everybody else can change their own pronunciation when learning English), they should know that a German person called Neumann is "Noi-man" and not "Newman". That's not a matter of ability to pronounce. It's just remembering a basic spelling rule (German eu is "oi"). It's sheer laziness not to remember these rules, at least for major languages, and even more if your ancestors spoke that language.

  7. #7
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by Rethel View Post
    As to bearers of names you are right - they should know, how to pronounce them.

    But in the rest you are wrong - you cannot expect from users of one
    languge to be able to guess system writing one from 100 of others.
    The MODERN english and from there - paneuropean - problem is,
    that people are ignorantly unable to translate names and surnames,
    what is normal european tradition since ever.

    Until 1970s the rule was, that names are translated, and surnames are
    adaptable (at least the old ones). You do not say Yakov but James, not
    Moshe but Moses, not Jehoshua but Jesus (this name originaly has two,
    three forms, so which to pick?) aso. Surnames are adaptable at least the
    older one. I cannot imagine, that I would have to be saying some Dżordż
    Uoshin'ton - it means and resembles absolutly nothing, neither logically,
    neither orthographically, neither semantically. Every sane person would say
    and write Jerzy Waszyngton - because Jerzy is a polish form of paneuropean
    name George, and Waszyngton is oldpolish transliteration of english surname,
    the closest as it can be.

    You are talking about a completely different thing, which is the translation of given names across European languages. This is standard practice. I always naturally change my own given name when I switch language. But it only works with European languages! You can translate John or George in Chinese, Japanese or Hindi.


    If you are so eager then you should be able correctly pronounce
    Zbigniew Brzeziński or Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz. Good lock!
    Many languages have tongue twisters. I didn't say that everybody should be able to pronounce everything in all other languages. But it is useful to know that in Polish a sz resembles an English "sh", ć is a ch, a c is a "dz" and a cz is a "ts". The problem is that there are many consonants in Polish that don't exist in English (or any Germanic or Romance language for that matter) like the ź, ś, ć and especially the ł, but the nearest approximation is acceptable.


    Even Germans do not always say "german r"
    There are several acceptable German r depending on the region: the uvular trill (ʀ as in French), the voiced uvular trill (ʁ), the voiced apical coronal trill is (more common in Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland), etc.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 03-07-17 at 08:59.

  8. #8
    Elite member Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree FriendsVeteran25000 Experience Points
    Fire Haired14's Avatar
    Join Date
    20-04-14
    Posts
    2,194
    Points
    28,146
    Level
    51
    Points: 28,146, Level: 51
    Level completed: 55%, Points required for next Level: 504
    Overall activity: 31.0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R1b DF27*
    MtDNA haplogroup
    U5b2a2b1

    Country: USA - Illinois



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Maybe not by the way it sounds if they all pronounce them with an English accent. But there is no way 'most Americans' can't tell that names like Scorsese, Giuliani or Fibonacci are Italian, that names like Seyfried, Einstein or Bach are German, or that names like Trudeau, Theroux or Bourdain are French.
    Italian names are easy to detect. But most non English surnames are hard to detect. I guess I can only speak for myself though. Now I'm able to detect what's a German name, what's a French name, and even what towns and cities have Native American names. But that's just because I'm interested in social studies. Before literally this year I couldn't tell the difference between a normal British surname and a German surname for the life of me.




    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Perhaps your roommate is ceding to peer pressure because other people keep mispronouncing his surname since his childhood and he decided (maybe on a subconscious level) that it would just be easier to say it the way others did.
    He's proud of his German ancestry. He has mentioned it like 10 times. He nor any of his family members pronounce his name the German way. It's because they only speak English.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It doesn't matter what is your native language when it comes to pronouncing surnames. People know where their ancestors came from. Either they accept their heritage and live up to it, or
    I understand respecting a language. But there's really no practical reasons for Americans to learn how to pronounce surnames. People who carry the surnames don't get offended.


    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Agreed, but one doesn't need to learn a language to know how to pronounce foreign names. It takes only 5 or 10 minutes to remember the phonology of a language.
    German names like Stein(Stine) and Weiser(Visa) are easy to pronounce. But I could never pronounce some names like for example the name of Cubs player Kyle Schwarber. I think you can guess how we pronounce it; "swore-ber."


    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    In Europe when you travel to another country and don't want to sound like a total moron when you pronounce a local place name or person's name, you first learn the basic rules of pronunciation in that language.
    When we travel to a different country we do the same. But when even the people who carry the surname pronounce it the English way there's no point in learning the correct pronunciation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I can accept that not everybody can easily learn to pronounce sounds that aren't found in their native language. But even if English speakers can't pronounce vowels like in other languages (odd, since it seems like almost everybody else can change their own pronunciation when learning English), they should know that a German person called Neumann is "Noi-man" and not "Newman".That's not a matter of ability to pronounce. It's just remembering a basic spelling rule (German eu is "oi"). It's sheer laziness not to remember these rules, at least for major languages, and even more if your ancestors spoke that language.
    Ok yeah we can learn how to do that. I've learned how to pronounce some sounds common in last names. But if it requires nation-wide education forget it.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1 year registered5000 Experience Points
    I1a3_Young's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-05-17
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    517
    Points
    7,830
    Level
    26
    Points: 7,830, Level: 26
    Level completed: 47%, Points required for next Level: 320
    Overall activity: 0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    I1 Z63*
    MtDNA haplogroup
    H5b1

    Ethnic group
    Basically British
    Country: USA - Arkansas



    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Most Americans are not aware that they should be saying things a different way. Most Americans don't care about their heritage other than "white" or "black."

    Most Americans can't identify the base language of a name, and perhaps even their own.

    Americans don't even have uniform pronunciations within our own country. Most of us pronounce Bosie, Idaho as "Boy Z" and they insist on "Boy C." Similar situation with Nevada.

    Don't expect somebody from a slave background and the last name Johnson raised in a bad place in the southern U.S. to understand the nuances of German or French dialect.

    Now if you want to isolate "white" Americans then maybe the criticism is more apt. However, many Americans can't even tell you the full name of their great-grandparents or their birth state.

    The Americans that are prideful of their heritage, in my experience, are those that immigrated more recently, such as the Irish and Italians circa 1900.

    The English culture here is identified as a lack of culture. There's no "British" parades or pride or anything due to the hostilities upon which the nation was founded. We wanted to distance ourselves from the British and have done so.

    This created "Americanism" and being a new country, the people somewhat adapted the same mentality. We are proud of our country, pledge allegiance to the flag, and play the national anthem often (even if it's a direct ripoff of the British song).

    So if a name was anglicized and said incorrectly for 5 generations, why is that not correct? The old has been shrugged off and the new created. I understand how annoying it is to Europeans though :)

    And Americans will say "I'm Irish" and totally annoy the people of Ireland today. It's how we might identify in our country.

    I'm hopeful that the new "fad" of Ancestry tests makes Americans more interested in history and aware of the long road behind them to create them. I know some of my friends have gotten excited about it and Ancestry.com is selling kits like hot cakes. The numbers of new matches for my family are skyrocketing. However, very few people take the time to upload and research a family tree.

    If it were not for the unique religious beliefs of the Mormons, most of our records would have been lost anyways and we'd all struggle to break through generations of log cabin inhabitants who couldn't read or write.

  10. #10
    Advisor Achievements:
    Three FriendsVeteranTagger First Class50000 Experience PointsRecommendation First Class
    Awards:
    Discussion Ender
    LeBrok's Avatar
    Join Date
    18-11-09
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    10,329
    Points
    110,111
    Level
    100
    Points: 110,111, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R1b Z2109
    MtDNA haplogroup
    H1c

    Ethnic group
    Citizen of the world
    Country: Canada-Alberta



    Quote Originally Posted by I1a3_Young View Post
    Most Americans are not aware that they should be saying things a different way. Most Americans don't care about their heritage other than "white" or "black."

    Most Americans can't identify the base language of a name, and perhaps even their own.

    Americans don't even have uniform pronunciations within our own country. Most of us pronounce Bosie, Idaho as "Boy Z" and they insist on "Boy C." Similar situation with Nevada.

    Don't expect somebody from a slave background and the last name Johnson raised in a bad place in the southern U.S. to understand the nuances of German or French dialect.

    Now if you want to isolate "white" Americans then maybe the criticism is more apt. However, many Americans can't even tell you the full name of their great-grandparents or their birth state.

    The Americans that are prideful of their heritage, in my experience, are those that immigrated more recently, such as the Irish and Italians circa 1900.

    The English culture here is identified as a lack of culture. There's no "British" parades or pride or anything due to the hostilities upon which the nation was founded. We wanted to distance ourselves from the British and have done so.

    This created "Americanism" and being a new country, the people somewhat adapted the same mentality. We are proud of our country, pledge allegiance to the flag, and play the national anthem often (even if it's a direct ripoff of the British song).

    So if a name was anglicized and said incorrectly for 5 generations, why is that not correct? The old has been shrugged off and the new created. I understand how annoying it is to Europeans though :)

    And Americans will say "I'm Irish" and totally annoy the people of Ireland today. It's how we might identify in our country.

    I'm hopeful that the new "fad" of Ancestry tests makes Americans more interested in history and aware of the long road behind them to create them. I know some of my friends have gotten excited about it and Ancestry.com is selling kits like hot cakes. The numbers of new matches for my family are skyrocketing. However, very few people take the time to upload and research a family tree.

    If it were not for the unique religious beliefs of the Mormons, most of our records would have been lost anyways and we'd all struggle to break through generations of log cabin inhabitants who couldn't read or write.
    Nice point of view on this problem and well put. However, technically we can't exclude american blacks from looking into their European heritage, if all of them carry around white europeans genome, sometimes in small and sometimes in overwhelming degree.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

  11. #11
    Advisor Achievements:
    VeteranThree Friends50000 Experience PointsRecommendation Second Class
    Awards:
    Posting Award
    Angela's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-01-11
    Posts
    14,827
    Points
    249,674
    Level
    100
    Points: 249,674, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 99.6%


    Ethnic group
    Italian
    Country: USA - New York



    ^^Very true, all of it.

    I'd just emphasize that Americans don't necessarily speak the language of the ancestors who bequeathed them their surname. Someone with a German surname, for example, most likely doesn't speak German and may very well not know how it's supposed to be pronounced. After all, German immigration is very old in the U.S. with the last big flow in the mid 1800s, I think. That German surname may also only represent one stream of ancestry. I don't know very many 100% Germans. Often, they're mixed with something else.

    The same even goes for Italians, who arrived more recently. The percentage of the population with 100% Italian ancestry is declining rapidly. Even those who are still not admixed usually don't speak the language and don't know how it should be pronounced. How could they? Even their parents don't know. I had to tell my in-laws they were pronouncing the name incorrectly; they had no idea. It was the great-grandparents who immigrated here. That doesn't mean they aren't proud of their heritage, because they are.

    I'm in a different situation because I'm still straddling two continents. I insist on pronouncing my husband's last name correctly, patiently spell it for people, etc. but it's not a terribly difficult one. His relatives pronounce it according to English phonetic rules. I have to admit though that I gave up with my maiden name. It's long and has a diphthong, and Americans just out and out could not and cannot even pronounce it, much less spell it from the pronunciation. It just became too much, and I eventually let people pronounce it by English phonetic rules. The nuns even mangled my first name, splitting it into two parts because they couldn't pronounce it. There I had no choice, of course. Only my family calls me by my real name.

    Btw, this is not a uniquely American practice. The French, for example, insist on putting the accent on the last syllable. It's odd, seeing as the two countries are right next door to each other, and they must have heard it pronounced correctly, but there you have it. People are lazy and fall into their own linguistic habits. Germans also routinely mangle Italian names. It's just what people do. I don't take offense.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

  12. #12
    Regular Member Achievements:
    3 months registered1000 Experience Points

    Join Date
    19-02-17
    Posts
    106
    Points
    1,122
    Level
    8
    Points: 1,122, Level: 8
    Level completed: 86%, Points required for next Level: 28
    Overall activity: 2.0%


    Country: Turkey



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Ja geneau, but this is the way that it is when people have lived in one country for a long time. I had a guy who was from German decent in my class his name was Wachs and he would not pronounce it Vachs. He said you pronounce it with a w sound not a v. This is not just a celebrity thing, but it goes far beyond that I even know Turks in Germany who cannot pronounce Turkish last name correctly granted most of them are 4-5th generation. So most of them don't speak Turkish.

  13. #13
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    Italian names are easy to detect. But most non English surnames are hard to detect. I guess I can only speak for myself though. Now I'm able to detect what's a German name, what's a French name, and even what towns and cities have Native American names. But that's just because I'm interested in social studies. Before literally this year I couldn't tell the difference between a normal British surname and a German surname for the life of me.
    That's just unbelievable to me. Typical French and German names look almost as different as English and Russian ones. How can't you tell that names likes Fontaine, Dupont, Legrand, Blanchard, Lacroix, Arnaud, Bouvier, Guichard, Maréchal, Rousseau, etc. are French, and that names like Schmidt, Steinmeyer, Zimmerman, Becker, Dietrich, Schulz, Köhler, Müller, or Schäfer and German? If you see an 'Sch' or umlauts (ü, ä, ö) it is German (or possibly Swedish for ö). If it ends in -meyer, -bauer, -man(n), -ich, if it starts or ends with a z, it is all German. If it has a 'ck' in it, it's probably German too. French names/words often have ai, oi, ou, ui, au, eau, and often end in -d, -t, -x or -ne.

    Of course some French people have German surnames (especially in Alsace), but then those names are German, regardless of who is carrying them.

    He's proud of his German ancestry. He has mentioned it like 10 times. He nor any of his family members pronounce his name the German way. It's because they only speak English.
    What does it matter what language they can speak? You don't need to learn thousands of words of vocabulary and the intricacies of German conjugation, syntax and declensions to be able to say 'shtine' instead of 'steen' (if the name ends in -stein). Any English speaker can say it. If they refuse to pronounce it properly like in German, it's a personal choice, not an inherent inability to pronounce difficult sounds, nor a lack of language skills, as neither is required. There is no sound in German that is difficult to pronounce for English speakers, except the 'ch' (guttural sound like in the Scottish word loch), very rare in surnames, and the Germanic vowels ö and ü, found in all Germanic languages (including Old English) and French, but not in modern English. However ö sounds close enough to a schwa as in the i of bird.

    French can be trickier for English speakers to pronounce, but at least the spelling rules are similar as modern English got part of its spelling and grammar from French (hence the 'oo' sound in you or route spelt like in in French).


    I understand respecting a language. But there's really no practical reasons for Americans to learn how to pronounce surnames. People who carry the surnames don't get offended.
    In Europe people might get as offended if you mispronounce their names as if you misspell them, especially if it happens after they have told you how to pronounce it. It's just very disrespectful not to try to pronounce someones name's properly. There is no need to know the language of the speaker to be able to read his/her name properly. As I said, it only takes a few minutes to remember to the spelling conventions in each language, and once you know them you can't forget them. I don't speak Chinese, Turkish or any Slavic language, but I know how to pronounce names (and other words) in those languages because I found that it was an essential part of one's general knowledge, just like knowing one's geography, knowing that the Earth goes round the Sun and that our solar system is part of the Milky Way, or that humans descend from bacteria through 4 billion years of evolution. All these constitute an extremely basic form of general knowledge that everyone should know in order to function in society, just like knowing social manners. Of course, I understand that for many Americans even those basic facts of life may not be understood or accepted, because of the prevalent religious brainwashing and disinformation, such as creationism.


    German names like Stein(Stine) and Weiser(Visa) are easy to pronounce. But I could never pronounce some names like for example the name of Cubs player Kyle Schwarber. I think you can guess how we pronounce it; "swore-ber."
    That's because you are too lazy to do a quick Google search to check German spelling rules. That's very easy.

    - St is always pronounced Sht (as in Stuart)
    - Sch is always like a sh in English
    - Ch is pronounced like in Scottish ch before an o, u or a, or closer to a sh in front of i or e (or exactly like a sh in Rhenish dialects near Belgium).
    - W is always pronounced v
    - V is always pronounced f
    - Eu is always oy (as in boy)- Ei is always y (as in sky or try)

    The rest is basically like in English. So Schwarber is pronounced Shvarber.

    German is a 100% phonetic language, like Spanish and Italian. Actually only English, French, Danish, Welsh and Gaelic are really difficult to read because they are so irregular, with no clear pronunciation rules. Most other languages, including romanised Chinese, Japanese and other Asian languages, are extremely regular and very easy to read once you know a handful of spelling conventions like the ones described above for German.


    When we travel to a different country we do the same. But when even the people who carry the surname pronounce it the English way there's no point in learning the correct pronunciation.
    Have you ever travelled outside the US? Who in their right mind would pronounce their surname as if it were an English name to please American tourists?

    Ok yeah we can learn how to do that. I've learned how to pronounce some sounds common in last names. But if it requires nation-wide education forget it.
    Are you kidding? This is what they should be teaching at schools! Here everyone is supposed to be able to name and show on the map any country and capital in the world by the time they finish junior high school. That's a basic requirement, just like being able to read, write and spell in your mother tongue, or know basic mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics. In addition, everybody learn at least two foreign languages, but if you included Latin and ancient Greek, most people learn three or four by the time they finish compulsory education at 18. All university students in the EU are required to study abroad (in another EU country, through the Erasmus programme) for at least one semester, but two or three countries are encouraged, so that people learn other languages properly, but also interact with people from other cultures and mindsets and broaden their horizons. Not knowing how to pronounce names in other main EU languages is not an option for anybody who calls themselves educated. Even if you can't pronounce them, you should at least know how it's supposed to be pronounced.

    There is one exception among Europeans though: the French. They are the only ones that, like the Americans, don't make any effort to pronounce names as they should in other languages, and just read them using French spelling conventions. I greatly delight myself to mocking them for that every chance I can, as they sound so ridiculous when they come to Belgium and pronounce Dutch surnames and place names as if they were French words, even though they know perfectly well that they aren't French words. That's the difference with Americans. If Americans can't even tell to what language belongs a name, well that is pretty much desperate... But the French (a majority, not all) will intentionally butcher any foreign names, even English ones. I think it is because they resent the fact that French isn't Europe's lingua franca any more, and they are trying in a convoluted way to reassert their cultural dominance by showing people that they don't need to take the trouble to learn to pronounce words in other (read 'barbarian') languages. That's one of the reasons why so many people dislike the French (one way of expressing their general arrogance and rudeness). But in that regard they are very similar to the Americans. Both are extremely egocentric and arrogant nations that believe that everybody should do like them and that they shouldn't bother learn the ways of other (inferior) people.

  14. #14
    Princess Achievements:
    Overdrive10000 Experience PointsVeteranThree Friends
    davef's Avatar
    Join Date
    19-06-16
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    2,200
    Points
    10,463
    Level
    30
    Points: 10,463, Level: 30
    Level completed: 86%, Points required for next Level: 87
    Overall activity: 16.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italian,Irish,Jewish
    Country: USA - New York



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    ^^Very true, all of it.

    I'd just emphasize that Americans don't necessarily speak the language of the ancestors who bequeathed them their surname. Someone with a German surname, for example, most likely doesn't speak German and may very well not know how it's supposed to be pronounced. After all, German immigration is very old in the U.S. with the last big flow in the mid 1800s, I think. That German surname may also only represent one stream of ancestry. I don't know very many 100% Germans. Often, they're mixed with something else.

    The same even goes for Italians, who arrived more recently. The percentage of the population with 100% Italian ancestry is declining rapidly. Even those who are still not admixed usually don't speak the language and don't know how it should be pronounced. How could they? Even their parents don't know. I had to tell my in-laws they were pronouncing the name incorrectly; they had no idea. It was the great-grandparents who immigrated here. That doesn't mean they aren't proud of their heritage, because they are.

    I'm in a different situation because I'm still straddling two continents. I insist on pronouncing my husband's last name correctly, patiently spell it for people, etc. but it's not a terribly difficult one. His relatives pronounce it according to English phonetic rules. I have to admit though that I gave up with my maiden name. It's long and has a diphthong, and Americans just out and out could not and cannot even pronounce it, much less spell it from the pronunciation. It just became too much, and I eventually let people pronounce it by English phonetic rules. The nuns even mangled my first name, splitting it into two parts because they couldn't pronounce it. There I had no choice, of course. Only my family calls me by my real name.

    Btw, this is not a uniquely American practice. The French, for example, insist on putting the accent on the last syllable. It's odd, seeing as the two countries are right next door to each other, and they must have heard it pronounced correctly, but there you have it. People are lazy and fall into their own linguistic habits. Germans also routinely mangle Italian names. It's just what people do. I don't take offense.
    I received care bear C's in my grade school italian classes. I remember after taking an oral exam in tenth grade, I asked my teacher (she's off the boat from Italy) how I did and she said "nott-a so goot". Looking back, I'll admit she's a super nice woman....I'm just not cut out when it comes to foreign languages.

  15. #15
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by I1a3_Young View Post
    Most Americans are not aware that they should be saying things a different way. Most Americans don't care about their heritage other than "white" or "black.

    Most Americans can't identify the base language of a name, and perhaps even their own.
    That's amazing. How is that even possible? It's like we live on completely different planets. And I say that having travelled extensively around the world and lived 4 years in Japan in complete cultural immersion. The American still baffle me culturally. If what you say is true, I can't think of any other cultures where people care so little about their heritage or the rest of the world. Yet, ancestry DNA tests are most popular in the US because a section of the US society is also deeply interested in knowing where they come from. Isn't that a complete contradiction of what you just explained? Or are they just trying to make up for their ignorance about their heritage?


    Don't expect somebody from a slave background and the last name Johnson raised in a bad place in the southern U.S. to understand the nuances of German or French dialect.
    That much I expected, because African Americans don't identify with European ancestry (even if they have some). Anyway if their name is Johnson, why would they need to pronounce their name in anything else than English? (as it is an English name, if that needs to be pointed out.) And by the way, French and German aren't dialects, but languages! I have never said that Americans should be familiar with the dozens of dialects of French and of German! Mind you, I suppose that most people in any language aren't familiar with their mother tongue's various dialects.

    Now if you want to isolate "white" Americans then maybe the criticism is more apt. However, many Americans can't even tell you the full name of their great-grandparents or their birth state.
    That's irrelevant. I am talking about being able to pronounce you own surname (the only one you inherited) the way your ancestors always did, and the way people with that surnames still do in their country of origin.

    The Americans that are prideful of their heritage, in my experience, are those that immigrated more recently, such as the Irish and Italians circa 1900.
    It's not a matter of being proud of your grandparents' country's culture, but knowing what's behind your own name. Most Westerners (Americans included) spend an ordinate amount of time choosing their children's name in part based on their meaning. There are plenty of American baby names sites that explain the etymology of each name. Yet, how can such people not be interested in what their surname means, where it comes from, and how it should be pronounced?

    The English culture here is identified as a lack of culture. There's no "British" parades or pride or anything due to the hostilities upon which the nation was founded. We wanted to distance ourselves from the British and have done so.
    Also irrelevant since Americans with an English surname know how to pronounce it.

    So if a name was anglicized and said incorrectly for 5 generations, why is that not correct? The old has been shrugged off and the new created. I understand how annoying it is to Europeans though :)
    You didn't read what I wrote. I said that it would be preferable to change their name and adopt an English (or Anglicised) surname rather than to butcher a foreign name, if, anyway, they don't care about their origins. In fact, it is extremely easy to change name in the US compared to European countries. Only the UK comes close in the ease to change one's name. In most European countries (and most East Asian countries) you can only change your name if you have a very good reason (e.g. your surname is Hitler and you are being bullied or discriminated because of it), and even then it will take years in courts and your plea might be rejected. I think that this difference of system encapsulates well the fundamental difference between Americans and Europeans (or Asians) to people's names. Americans seem to have no particular attachement to their names, and can change them as they would change shirt. In fact some Americans do change names numerous times during their lives, and may start a completely new life in a different state. It's like they have no cultural or emotional attachment and can decide to start a new life from scratch any time they want. That's a completely foreign concept for Europeans. But hey, after all, Americans descend from Europeans who did just that! They left their country, family, culture and everything behind and migrated to the New World to start a new life and forget about the past and where they came from. That's probably why the attitude to surnames is so different on each side of the Atlantic. It seems to me that economic migrants to the USA, be them 19th century Irish, early 20th century South Italians, or recent Asians, are far more attached to their roots, because they didn't migrate to forget about the past, but because they had to (for economic reasons). In the 17th and 18th century, North America welcomed far more Europeans who were persecuted, disillusioned, ruined, or were just misfits where they came from, and wanted to start over afresh, forgetting about the past. But then why not just come up with a new surname too, and adopt one that you always liked? I am sure many people did it, but most didn't, considering the huge number of non-English surnames among Americans.

  16. #16
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by tahir0010 View Post
    I even know Turks in Germany who cannot pronounce Turkish last name correctly granted most of them are 4-5th generation. So most of them don't speak Turkish.
    That's odd considering that the spelling rules in Turkish were mostly copied from German, and like German it is perfectly phonetic. Turkish even has the same sounds as in German (ö, ü). There are really just a few consonants to know:

    C => like an English j (a sound that doesn't exist in German)
    Ç => like an English ch (ditto)
    Ş => like an English sh
    Ğ => lengthen the preceding vowel (everybody knows it in the name Erdoğan)

    Do you really know Turks in Germany who can't remember how these four letters are pronounced?

  17. #17
    Elite member Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree FriendsVeteran25000 Experience Points
    Fire Haired14's Avatar
    Join Date
    20-04-14
    Posts
    2,194
    Points
    28,146
    Level
    51
    Points: 28,146, Level: 51
    Level completed: 55%, Points required for next Level: 504
    Overall activity: 31.0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R1b DF27*
    MtDNA haplogroup
    U5b2a2b1

    Country: USA - Illinois



    @Maciamo,

    Even though Americans don't care a lot about pronouncing surnames correctly there are plenty of Americans who care about their surnames. Genealogy and DNA research in America centers around surnames.

    And actually Americans do care a bit about pronouncing surnames correctly we just don't put forth the extra effort of learning foreign language's pronunciation and spelling. If we didn't care at all we'd replace all non-English surnames with English surnames.

    Take famous American basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and American football player Rob Gronkowski for example. Americans have a hard time pronouncing their surnames but we do the best we can. Sure we pronounce it with a thick English accent but we get the basic sounds correct.

    And I know someone with a Polish surname whose family created an easy way for people to pronounce their surname correctly; Say "Where's your house key". Without that trick no one could pronounce their name. If that family put no value into their surnames then they wouldn't have created that trick. Then again I also had a teacher who let us just say a shortened version of his surname because it was too difficult to pronounce. He'd be a jerk if he forced us to learn how to pronounce his name.

  18. #18
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I'd just emphasize that Americans don't necessarily speak the language of the ancestors who bequeathed them their surname. Someone with a German surname, for example, most likely doesn't speak German and may very well not know how it's supposed to be pronounced. After all, German immigration is very old in the U.S. with the last big flow in the mid 1800s, I think. That German surname may also only represent one stream of ancestry. I don't know very many 100% Germans. Often, they're mixed with something else.

    The same even goes for Italians, who arrived more recently. The percentage of the population with 100% Italian ancestry is declining rapidly. Even those who are still not admixed usually don't speak the language and don't know how it should be pronounced. How could they? Even their parents don't know. I had to tell my in-laws they were pronouncing the name incorrectly; they had no idea. It was the great-grandparents who immigrated here. That doesn't mean they aren't proud of their heritage, because they are.
    It doesn't matter what your genetic make-up is. You only have one surname and I think it is the least we can do to properly pronounce it. It seems to me that people who can't spell or pronounce their own name have no self-esteem whatsoever.

    Btw, this is not a uniquely American practice. The French, for example, insist on putting the accent on the last syllable. It's odd, seeing as the two countries are right next door to each other, and they must have heard it pronounced correctly, but there you have it. People are lazy and fall into their own linguistic habits. Germans also routinely mangle Italian names. It's just what people do. I don't take offense.
    The problem is that the French language does not stress syllables. If there is any stress at all, it is on the last syllable, but this is normally used with questions or exclamations, as otherwise French words are unstressed. One of the most difficult things for me when I learned English and Italian was to remember which syllable to stress, but after a few months I got the hang of it.

    Pronunciation isn't the same thing as intonation or having an accent. I don't mind too much people having a accent when speaking a foreign language, and I actually love to imitative all kinds of accents, especially in English. But you can pronounce the sounds right and still have an accent or intonation that is not native. That is especially true of the Italian accent, with its strong stresses and elongated sounds for emphasis. Even an Italian who has learned to pronounce all English vowels properly could still have that characteristic intonation conveying their emotions. A German accent would cut syllables apart and render consonants too harshly, so that the d sound almost like t and the t like tt.

    Everybody has an accent, even native speakers. When people say that someone speaks without accent, they mean what they consider to be a standard accent. But what is standard for one person isn't standard for another. A standard New York accent isn't the same as a standard Midwest or Californian accent. And even what passes for a standard American accent isn't standard for native English speakers in Britain or Ireland or Australia or South Africa. It's perfectly fine to have an accent, be it regional or foreign, native or non-native, as long as you respect spelling conventions.

    My point was not that people should be able to pronounce sounds that aren't found in their mother tongue, but at least be able to pronounce correctly their own names using sounds that exist in their language, which is not what those celebrities are doing. It's very easy for any English speaker to say Grooning (for Groening) instead of Groaning or Grayning. There is no new sound. Most Germanic names should be easy enough to pronounce for English speakers, apart from one occasional sound that will be approximative. But even in Italian there is no difficult sound for English speakers. They may distort vowels (especially the o and e, which become ooww and aaay ;) ), but that's it. What everybody should know is that in Italian ch is pronounced k, ci is like an English ch, z is dz, zz is ts, and double consonants should be pronounced as such. Once you know that you're good to go. For most languages there is really just about 5 tiny spelling rules to remember, as I demonstrated in this thread for Polish, German, Turkish and Italian. For any normally functioning human being that really isn't too much to remember, especially for the only language linked to one's surname.

  19. #19
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    Even though Americans don't care a lot about pronouncing surnames correctly there are plenty of Americans who care about their surnames. Genealogy and DNA research in America centers around surnames.

    And actually Americans do care a bit about pronouncing surnames correctly we just don't put forth the extra effort of learning foreign language's pronunciation and spelling. If we didn't care at all we'd replace all non-English surnames with English surnames.
    There is no consistency behind that reasoning. Why would you care enough about your surname to research its origin, decide to keep it instead of adopting an English surname, and yet insist on mispronouncing it? Unless it's a French name with lots of difficult nasalised vowels for English speakers, or a Spanish name with a guttural jota, there aren't many European surnames that English people cannot pronounce. Sure they will say the r and vowels differently, but at least they will say r and not f or m. You claimed that you were incapable of saying Schwarber, but it was just ignorance on your part. There is nothing difficult for any English speaker to pronounce Shvarber. You can say it with an English accent. But if you say Sworeber though, it would be wrong, no matter if you say it with an English or a German accent.


    Take famous American basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and American football player Rob Gronkowski for example. Americans have a hard time pronouncing their surnames but we do the best we can. Sure we pronounce it with a thick English accent but we get the basic sounds correct.
    It's not difficult to pronounce. You are just afraid to mistake because it looks unfamiliar. Basic psychology of the fear of the unknown. That's why Europeans students are required to study abroad to overcome those fears and become more open minded.

    Krzyzewski is pronounced Kr(e)-zi-zev-ski
    Gronkowski is pronounced Gron-kov-ski

    You are only intimidated by the y and w, which, as an English speaker, you can just pronounce as i and v (the Polish y sound doesn't exist in English, but resembles a i as in bit or chip).

  20. #20
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Another reason for pronounce foreign names properly is when you make a voice search with your smartphone. If you want to get the Wikipedia page of the city of Xi'an but pronounce it "K-sigh æn" instead of 'shi aan', you are unlikely to find what you are looking for - unless Google voice recognition takes into account a variety of fancy American mispronunciations of all foreign names. Actually I just tested on my phone, and if I pronounce it properly I immediately get the results for Xi'an. If I read it like an American who doesn't know Chinese romanisation rules, I get 'cyan'. Even trying 'City of Xi'an' the bad pronunciation gives me 'city of science'. That proves my point. How are you guys going to survive in the digital age if you can't communicate with your phone? It's not just for Chinese cities, but any search involving any place, person or other name that is not English.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 03-07-17 at 10:41.

  21. #21
    Advisor Achievements:
    Three FriendsVeteranTagger First Class50000 Experience PointsRecommendation First Class
    Awards:
    Discussion Ender
    LeBrok's Avatar
    Join Date
    18-11-09
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    10,329
    Points
    110,111
    Level
    100
    Points: 110,111, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    R1b Z2109
    MtDNA haplogroup
    H1c

    Ethnic group
    Citizen of the world
    Country: Canada-Alberta



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Another reason for pronounce foreign names properly is when you make a voice search with your smartphone. If you want to get the Wikipedia page of the city of Xi'an but pronounce it "K-sigh æn" instead of 'shi aan', you are unlikely to find what you are looking for - unless Google voice recognition takes into account a variety of fancy American mispronunciations of all foreign names. Actually I just tested on my phone, and if I pronounce it properly I immediately get the results for Xi'an. If I read it like an American who doesn't know Chinese romanisation rules, I get 'cyan'. Even trying 'City of Xi'an' the bad pronunciation gives me 'city of science'. That proves my point. How are you guys going to survive in the digital age if you can't communicate with your phone? It's not just for Chinese cities, but any search involving any place, person or other name that is not English.
    Good point. My english Siri has terrible problem with recognizing polish names when I speak. Also, I would love to see journalists and all news media to make an effort to get names right of people and places. It would rub off on ordinary people with time.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsVeteran

    Join Date
    18-04-14
    Posts
    697
    Points
    2,968
    Level
    15
    Points: 2,968, Level: 15
    Level completed: 73%, Points required for next Level: 82
    Overall activity: 6.0%


    Country: Poland



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Xi'an but pronounce it "K-sigh æn" instead of 'shi aan',
    And you did it just wrong, you will
    not find it, becasue it is pronounced
    śi.an with proper tones in addition.

    Shi ≠ śi.

    It can be compare, when someone is
    saying Mynshien insted of Münch'en,
    Hambursh insted of Hamburch', or
    schlescht insted f schlech't...

  23. #23
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsVeteran

    Join Date
    18-04-14
    Posts
    697
    Points
    2,968
    Level
    15
    Points: 2,968, Level: 15
    Level completed: 73%, Points required for next Level: 82
    Overall activity: 6.0%


    Country: Poland



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    That's irrelevant. I am talking about being able to pronounce you own surname (the only one you inherited) the way your ancestors always did, and the way people with that surnames still do in their country of origin.
    I repeat once again: I agree with you, that bearers of the name should know how to pronouce it, but if they live in another country, where are different rules of reading or surname was adapted, it can, and should be pronouced by others, as such. In Poland lived - as I estimate - at least 10% Germans, but all their surnames are polonized, often of course have oiginal form, but in many cases dont. Should they change it again, if they did adapt it 500 years ago? Should they forced people how to pronouced umlauts, backtoungish r or soft ch in the middle or at the end of the word? Come on!

    Examples:

    Müller/Möller adapted as Muller, Miler, Miller, Moller and similar.
    Schmidt as Szmid, Szmit, and similar
    -stein (which hurt you so much) as stein, szejn, sztyn (all oldpolish adaptations), sztajn, and similar.
    -ie as i, ie...
    -ei as ei, ej, aj, y, e...

    usw, aso, etc.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsVeteran

    Join Date
    18-04-14
    Posts
    697
    Points
    2,968
    Level
    15
    Points: 2,968, Level: 15
    Level completed: 73%, Points required for next Level: 82
    Overall activity: 6.0%


    Country: Poland



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Krzyzewski is pronounced Kr(e)-zi-zev-ski
    Nope.

    Gronkowski is pronounced Gron-kov-ski
    Orthograficly yes, but I wonder, how it would be read... :)

  25. #25
    Satyavrata Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation First ClassVeteran50000 Experience PointsTagger First Class
    Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    8,689
    Points
    682,168
    Level
    100
    Points: 682,168, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 4.0%


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Good point. My english Siri has terrible problem with recognizing polish names when I speak.
    On my side I have noticed considerable progress from Google's voice recognition over the last 3 or 4 years. Before I couldn't dictate any sentence without having to edit every two words. But now, when the Wi-Fi/4g connection is stable at least, it gets most sentences right in English, French and even Japanese. The latter is really a a big step forward as it is so tedious to have to manually choose kanji from a list of sometimes over 20 homophones, let alone changing the encoding between the three Japanese scripts every few words.

    Nevertheless, one of my biggest frustrations with technology at the moments is that the multiple language input doesn't work well at all. It keeps mixing up languages and coming up with ridiculously nonsensical words that no one ever uses. So every time I send a text message, dictate an email or perform a search in different language, I have to first go to the settings and change the voice recognition language. That's about 5 to 10 times a day. Really annoying.

    Also, I would love to see journalists and all news media to make an effort to get names right of people and places. It would rub off on ordinary people with time.
    Totally agree. All too often journalists try to sink to the level of the common people by adopting their linguistic mistakes (presumably to attract a larger audience) rather than set the standards for everyone else. There are exceptions, though, but in the more eye-brow niche markets.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •