Posted tagged ‘Languages’

Spanish Pronunciation in the Media

3 April 2008

“Spanish is an easy language to learn – badly.” (?Anthony Gooch)

Are you fed up with hearing mispronunciations of Spanish names and terms from the worlds of sports, music, films and politics on the radio and TV? Probably not.

OK. Please do not waste your time on me today but please return soon.

For the five of you who are still here, deeply concerned about this neglected problem, I am happy to share my own heartache and tribulations and the causes thereof.

How do you pronounce the following?

Ángel, Enrique, Felipe, Juan, Javier, Vicente (the tricky one for Italian lovers, or even lovers of Italian), Martínez, Sastre (the Tour de France resumes in a couple of months; check how that common Hispanic surname and others come over in the expensive media commentaries), Aranjuez (as in ‘Concierto de -’), Plácido Domingo, Almodóvar, and so on.

You can pick up your free guide, if you still want to. It’s all here, in black and white:

(http://www.briansteel.net/articsylibros/spanishpron.htm)

P. S. Worth preserving from the Internet’s Maw:
http://www.economist.com/daily/diary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10943973

French Words in English

2 April 2008

A significant amount of the English lexicon is – or was – French. In addition to all the words which were fully absorbed in the first centuries following the radical change of government in 1066, many other words and phrases have been absorbed or borrowed down the ages. They still keep arriving. Some of the more recent have kept their French spelling (sometimes written accents as well) and an approximate French pronunciation. We come across such terms in our reading and listening or we use them in our speech and, more often, our writing.

After that début, faute de mieux, if you would like a concise desktop aide-mémoire for many of these terms (with a novel system of pronunciation glosses), I invite you to download and enjoy the collection of 600 terms which I made available some time ago.

Perhaps you would be kind enough to supplement my list by sending in suggestions, and corrections, to “ompukalani@hotmail.com“.

Here is a brief sample for your dégustation.

Merci bien and à bientôt.

Bonne chance.

Sample: abba-twa(r), ah la cart, ah-pray-voo, aid duh com,

boo-fong, cash, ca-shay, coo duh grass, crow-Kay, day-tont, dee-stang-gay, dew zhoor, etc.

(A Cheat Sheet is provided)

The full lists are available at: http://briansteel.net/writings/frenchwordsinenglish2005.pdf