Word Play

August 24, 2007

Pronunciation Woes

Filed under: google tips for translators — Hagit @ 8:13 pm

LanguageHat links to a Wikipedia list of names with non-intuitive pronunciation.

Having embarassed myself in the past with transliterating Ree-ding for the city of Reading, and Edin-boorg for Edinburgh, I learned my lesson.

My trick (well, once I’ve identified that there’s some sort of “danger” with the name, because Reading, for example, seems very innocent) is to google the pronunciation. I assume that if a name has a non-intuitive pronunciation, it would appear with its pronunciation in parenthesis. So for Reading, I would search: “reading pronounced” (with the quotes, which lock the two words together), and get: Reading (pronounced Red-ding).

Try it, it’ll save you from mistakes with Reading and Edinburgh, which, interestingly enough, don’t appear on the Wiki list. I wonder, are they perhaps non-intuitive to me, as a Hebrew speaker, but more intuitive to native English speakers? or is it because these cities are very well-known, that they are not listed?


1 Comment »

  1. You have “with the parentheses” when you mean “with the quotes”.

    The pronunciations of Reading and Edinburgh are not intuitive as far as I’m concerned, as a native US English speaker. I certainly pronounced “Reading” like “reading” when I first encountered it as a child (in the name of the Reading Railroad in the game Monopoly).

    Comment by KCinDC — August 24, 2007 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: