Author Topic: Episode #655  (Read 6144 times)

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2018, 06:26:04 AM »
I am struggling with the way Cara pronounced "Attenborough" as in Sir David Attenborough.

She was not correct.
Atten-burrow?

Americans tend not to do schwas.

They are going to have to  learn then and should at least pronounce it correctly - Atten-brer - like Edinburgh, like anything but Atten-burrow!


Here in America we say Ed'n'burrow. People pronounce words according to their own concept of how the letters sound. People who have not grown up speaking a language cannot pronounce words of that language the way native-speakers do. There's no way I'm going to produce a Scottish brogue when I say the name of a city in Scotland. Sorry about that. Pigs will never fly and I will never be able to pronounce Edinburgh correctly.
It's not that hard, and you're not physically incapable. There's no excuse other than laziness.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2018, 12:21:00 PM »
I am struggling with the way Cara pronounced "Attenborough" as in Sir David Attenborough.

She was not correct.
Atten-burrow?

Americans tend not to do schwas.

They are going to have to  learn then and should at least pronounce it correctly - Atten-brer - like Edinburgh, like anything but Atten-burrow!


Here in America we say Ed'n'burrow. People pronounce words according to their own concept of how the letters sound. People who have not grown up speaking a language cannot pronounce words of that language the way native-speakers do. There's no way I'm going to produce a Scottish brogue when I say the name of a city in Scotland. Sorry about that. Pigs will never fly and I will never be able to pronounce Edinburgh correctly.
It's not that hard, and you're not physically incapable. There's no excuse other than laziness.

I don't need an excuse to pronounce foreign place names in a manner that will be understood by the people I'm speaking to. When speaking to an English speaker about the city I lived in when I was in Spain, I make it rhyme with Bill. And if writing, I spell it Seville. When speaking to a Spanish speaker I pronounce it Se-veea and spell it Sevilla. If I gave it the correct Spanish pronunciation when speaking to an English speaker, he would not understand what place I was talking about.

When speaking of North Dakota while in Mexico, I could insist that the Mexicans should pronounce it as we do here, but it makes more sense to say it as they do: Dakota del Norte.

Different regions have different pronunciations, and it's arrogant to insist that others must pronounce our place names exactly as we do. Heck, Mexicans pronounce my name (Daniel) in their own distinctive way. When in Mexico I adopt their pronunciation of my name.
Daniel
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Offline MTBox

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2018, 01:50:17 PM »
"People who have not grown up speaking a language cannot pronounce words of that language the way native-speakers do"

"It's not that hard, and you're not physically incapable. There's no excuse other than laziness."

Why is this digressing into such pettiness? Even "native speakers" cannot say things "right."

Bush stated "nucyuler" all the time. I taught adult literacy classes; one student from the Southern US stated "shar" every time we showed a picture of a chair. A watermelon was a "Walla melon" because here in the Pacific Northwest, he learned that they are grown in Walla Walla, Washington.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2018, 02:16:42 PM »
One more on the side of sometimes its near impossible to say things the "correct" way or as the natives might.  As noted, not all native speakers even pronounce all words the same.  I suppose Asian speakers are just lazy when they can't Rs and Ls right?

Edit, as for Attenborough, I had know idea it wasn't pronounced like its spelled until now, though I'm not surprised.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 02:19:19 PM by Ah.hell »

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2018, 02:46:31 PM »
...People who have not grown up speaking a language cannot pronounce words of that language the way native-speakers do. There's no way I'm going to produce a Scottish brogue when I say the name of a city in Scotland. Sorry about that. Pigs will never fly and I will never be able to pronounce Edinburgh correctly.
It would take a lot of work to draw nearer to that Scottish brogue. But there are outliers. The British actor who played House, M.D. never sounded other than American to me. His accent was very good. Stuart Jay Raj is said by Thai natives to speak Thai very close to natively. And so forth. I think you are correct for the most part. But I am intrigued by the exceptions to the rule.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 08:53:35 AM by DevoutCatalyst »

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2018, 02:49:30 PM »
I suppose Asian speakers are just lazy when they can't Rs and Ls right?
I've seen Japanese students of English practising their Rs and Ls diligently. I'd never call them lazy.

Offline werecow

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2018, 02:52:13 PM »
Mooohn!

Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2018, 02:57:06 PM »
"nucyuler"



Especially so when an expert is testifying before congress and mispronounces it.

Have they never been told of the mistake? Or they just don’t care? Or is an intentionally folksy pronunciation?

Online Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2018, 03:12:13 PM »
"nucyuler"



Especially so when an expert is testifying before congress and mispronounces it.

Have they never been told of the mistake? Or they just don’t care? Or is an intentionally folksy pronunciation?

I've heard that is it the common way of pronunciation in military/defense circles.  Jimmy Carter also had a funky way of saying it, kind
of like "nuke-eel-er"
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2018, 03:47:46 PM »
(click to show/hide)

I've heard that is it the common way of pronunciation in military/defense circles.  Jimmy Carter also had a funky way of saying it, kind
of like "nuke-eel-er"
He was a Navy Nuke officer who passed Rickover's standards.  I'll defer to Jimmy on that pronunciation. 

I suppose Asian speakers are just lazy when they can't Rs and Ls right?
I've seen Japanese students of English practising their Rs and Ls diligently. I'd never call them lazy.
That was sarcasm meant to ridicule the notion that inability to pronounce words in a foreign language is just laziness.

Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2018, 03:54:46 PM »
I suppose Asian speakers are just lazy when they can't Rs and Ls right?
I've seen Japanese students of English practising their Rs and Ls diligently. I'd never call them lazy.
That was sarcasm meant to ridicule the notion that inability to pronounce words in a foreign language is just laziness.
I know, it was a good comment.

Online Friendly Angel

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2018, 03:58:45 PM »


I love accents and regional dialects... I love trying to learn them myself and I try hard... including when I'm speaking foreign language phrases to say them as well as possible.

When other people don't make the effort, I secretly think they're lazy and uninteresting.

Amend and resubmit.

Online brilligtove

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2018, 07:44:45 PM »
I am struggling with the way Cara pronounced "Attenborough" as in Sir David Attenborough.

She was not correct.
Atten-burrow?

Americans tend not to do schwas.

They are going to have to  learn then and should at least pronounce it correctly - Atten-brer - like Edinburgh, like anything but Atten-burrow!


Here in America we say Ed'n'burrow. People pronounce words according to their own concept of how the letters sound. People who have not grown up speaking a language cannot pronounce words of that language the way native-speakers do. There's no way I'm going to produce a Scottish brogue when I say the name of a city in Scotland. Sorry about that. Pigs will never fly and I will never be able to pronounce Edinburgh correctly.

When I lived in the UK in 15 or 20 years ago I spent a lot of time in Glasgow and surrounds. My fiancee was at school in a town called Milnegavie.

Pronounced 'Mul-Guy'.

Edinburgh was more 'Ednbruh' though with ephemeral 'u's between the dn and nb.
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Online brilligtove

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2018, 07:48:44 PM »


I love accents and regional dialects... I love trying to learn them myself and I try hard... including when I'm speaking foreign language phrases to say them as well as possible.

When other people don't make the effort, I secretly think they're lazy and uninteresting.
Too bad our brains prune out sounds we are not exposed to as kids, making it almost impossible to really get the accents and pronunciations correct.
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Offline werecow

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Re: Episode #655
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2018, 08:01:19 PM »
When other people don't make the effort, I secretly think they're lazy and uninteresting.

Admittedly I only did a tiny bit of research when I worked at the phonetics department at the UvA, but I think laziness is not really the issue.

Your brain is wired to learn different parts of language at different ages. Phonetics comes early on. From research into phonetics, it appears that very young infants can distinguish all sorts of vowel sounds, but they lose that ability rapidly as they age in accordance with the language they grow up with. In very early childhood, your brain learns to cluster different sounds together as a single sound, and you lose the ability to distinguish those sounds as different letters. This is obviously great for understanding your native language, but it takes a lot of effort to learn to distinguish new sounds, if you can do so at all, and that gets you nowhere close to being able to produce them. Even at one year of age, an infant may have lost the ability to distinguish many vowels or consonants from each other. Different languages have different sounds and even different numbers of sounds. For example, in the work I did we modelled second language vowel acquisition of native Spanish and Portuguese speakers who were trying to learn Dutch. Spanish has five main monophthong vowel sounds whereas Dutch has twelve. Since all Spanish vowel sounds are roughly included in the twelve Dutch vowel sounds, it is much easier for a Dutch person to learn Spanish vowels than vice versa.

I remember one of the linguistics profs I worked with who told a story about a time that some Japanese colleagues of his visited his lab. One of them asked him whether the word "drama" was pronounced "durama" or "dorama". When he told him it was simply "drama", the response was "ah, so it's durama, thank you!". His colleague literally could not perceive the difference in sounds because, growing up Japanese (which is a language that tends to alternate vowels and consonants pretty consistently), his brain had never been trained to recognize "dr" as a valid sequence of sounds. IOW, his brain literally filled in the missing vowel for him. Skeptics talk a lot about the extent to which our perception is manufactured by our brains. I think this is actually a really good example of that particular concept.

Another anecdote: Right now, a Guatemalan friend of mine is trying to learn Dutch. The Dutch vowel "ui" is really difficult for her (and most other Dutch learners) to pronounce. The other day she told me "I want to practice onion". Onion is ui in Dutch, but it took me a while to figure out what she meant, because she kept saying "ow" (au or ou in Dutch). She says she can hear the difference between ui and ou, but right now she does not have the verbal motor skills to make the pronunciation fit, and her "ui" sounds like an "ou" to me. Here is the difference:



They sound completely different to me, but some people at the "Dutch Conversation Night" I go to every Wednesday assure me they are the same sound. "ui" and "eu" are probably even more similar. I think since she can hear the difference, she at least has a chance at getting there, but in some cases even that is a struggle. Some people are clearly better at this than others, but it is a well known fact among phoneticists that even learning to distinguish different vowel sounds can be very difficult after a certain, very young age. And actually forming them is much more difficult still. My uncle, who has lived in the Netherlands for at least 40 years, still has a British accent, even though he has spoken nothing but Dutch in decades other than the occasional trip back to the motherland. His Dutch is very good, but he is noticeably not from here. I don't think that should be put down to mere laziness.

One more anecdote: I myself have an Indian friend who is named "Sayan". The last vowel in his name is some form of Bengali "o", and for the life of me I cannot pronounce it no matter how hard I try. Luckily I am not alone in this. Apparently I am overpronouncing it, but I really do not hear the difference between what I'm doing and what he's doing. When I listen to youtube pronunciation guides it just seems like a length issue to me, but shortening it apparently does not do the trick. I kind of want to plot that vowel in the vowel space and compare it to what I'm doing to see if I'm at least getting the sound right in terms of the F1 and F2 formants, but perhaps that would be overdoing it.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 08:04:58 PM by werecow »
Mooohn!