Friday, May 29, 2009

It's Pronounced "PA-kih-stan"

I'm listening to an interview with General Petraeus, and his soft 'a' pronunciation of the word Pakistan ("Pock-i-stahn") is setting my teeth on edge. Americans should pronounce it this way, please.

This whole deal in which people pretend that a foreign word mispronounced in English is being correctly pronounced in whichever foreign language is pretentious and annoying.

6 comments:

Evan said...

It's even beyond pretentious and annoying, it's disrespectful both to the listener and the person whose country's name you're mangling. I imagine you're with me and Mark Krikorian and John Derbyshire on this one. A straightforward Anglicization shows far greater respect than choking and gargling to impress the rubes.

TSB said...

Absolutely. Words spoken in English should be pronounced in an Anglicized way. Derbyshire ("Dhar-be-sure") is a good example. I believe he commended the British announcer at the Kentucky Derby for using the favored American pronunciation of the word Derby rather than the British one.

Anonymous said...

I have heard the President use that pronunciation too. My name is not an English name but has a "Anglicized" pronunciation that I always use. My boss always tries to pronounce it the native way, and it never comes out right =/

The Hegemonist said...

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, in English, we pronounce stressed vowels, and unstressed vowels revert to the schwa (of course, I'm from the south, where this is even more true).

TSB said...

The schwa sound, yes. I teach ESL classes at night and the native Spanish-speaking students, who typically make up 90% of each class, are always confused by hearing English-speakers leave some vowels unstressed.

reading said...

Over all we are speak the English easily, but many time we use just some words those are changes the seances of our views...
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