Iloveboeing
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The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:27 am

I studied Mandarin for 2 years: one in Xianggang (Hong Kong) and one in the United States.

Although I am nowhere near fluent in Mandarin, I can pronounce the pinyin (romanization) very well and can get quite irritated when people mispronounce Chinese words.

One example is the Chinese capital, Beijing. People love to pronounce it with the French j and, although I studied French for four years and think it's a beautiful language, it doesn't exist in Mandarin and people have no business pronouncing it that way. It is clearly "BAY-JING" with two separate syllables and tones.

I cringed on the UA flights to Beijing when the flight attendants repeatedly mispronounced the city. I wonder what the many Chinese people on-board thought of that. It sure bothered me and I am a white American.

Another one is Shanghai. So many people say "Shayng-hai" with an almost Southern twang when it should be "SHAHNG-HAI" with a long a. The ayng sound doesn't exist in Mandarin.

Mandarin is an absolutely beautiful language and foreigners have no business making fools out of themselves by butchering the language. It also shows disrespect for the Chinese.
 
wingman
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:39 am

Easy there my little wonton. When the Chinese learn how to pronounce Roger Federer's name properly we'll give a shit. And in the meantime they keep munching elephants and rhino into extinction...so a lot of us super duper don't give a shit. I love Boeings too but in the pantheon of causes you really picked a low ranker chief.
 
YVRLTN
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:06 am

Please let us know how you pronounce the British towns of Leicester, Gloucester, Bicester and Wymondham.
Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
 
chimborazo
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:16 am

"People" will have learned the pronunciation of these Mandarin words from other non-Mandarin speakers, the news etc so it's hardly fair to blame them.

I try and make an effort to pronounce words in other languages correctly- particularly folk's names as that's important to me. But Mandarin for an English speaker is hard- it's a very subtle language. Spent 6 months in Wuhan, had a Chinese girlfriend but still only picked up about twenty words. Not a natural linguist...

Appreciate it's your personal bug-bear, but more concerning is the language "ability" of some of the Chinese pilots we hear on ATC-it's awful. One can excuse that English is not their first language and "they don't have this sound or that sound" but it's laughable sometimes how poor their pronunciation is. Standard phraseology is used to,maximise flight safety but fact is when it goes to rat-shit you can revert to plain English. It's going to cause a problem one day when a non-native English speaker can't be understood.

Something that interests me about non- native English speakers... 99.9% of the time you can tell. There always seems to be a carryover from the person's original language, whether it be Germans and V sound for W or Asians that can't properly form English words. And yet I know many English people fluent in other languages and a local cannot tell (for example my brother lived in Hannover for a year and became fluent in his already high standard of German and German people think he's German when he talks). Interesting
 
vikkyvik
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:19 am

Iloveboeing wrote:
Mandarin is an absolutely beautiful language and foreigners have no business making fools out of themselves by butchering the language. It also shows disrespect for the Chinese.


Yeah, you know, I get really pissed off when people mispronounce Indian words and names. I mean, people mispronounce my name several times a week. God, it's so frustrating and disrespectful!

Oh wait, no it isn't. I understand that not everyone in the world has had the opportunity, time, or inclination to learn how to pronounce my name, let alone any other Indian names and words.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
chimborazo
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:21 am

Ha ha. And Edinburgh, Peterborough, Cowbit.

And Llandudno....
 
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Braybuddy
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:47 am

A couple of years ago I was in Hong Kong with three friends. We had two horel rooms opposite each other, and on our last day requested a late check-out on one of them as our flight wasn't till 11pm and we wanted somewhere to keep our bags and use as a base till we left for the airport. So two of my friends moved their belongings into our room at 11am. When we were leaving that evening I handed the keys to the receptionist. He checked his computer and looked at me and said "Houskeepahcannafinemeemopah". I looked at him, blinked, and said "What?", whereupon he repeated "Houskeepahcannafinemeemopah". I blinked again and said WHAT? (in capitals). He picked up a memo pad and waved it, repeating himself. We still get a laugh out of it to this day. . . :-)
 
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BobPatterson
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:17 am

A couple of months ago we had to replace the system of wireless phones in our home. The central station of the old set just died of age.

Big surprise after I got the new set installed. After the phone rings twice an automated voice chimes in to tell you who is calling. Does is again after the 4th ring.

Now, it would be fantastic if it was the same voice that talks to me when I use the Garmen GPS in the car.....but.....you might have guessed.....

It's a Chinese voice (female, and I'm sure a very nice lady) who manages to pronounce perhaps one out of 10-20 names correctly.

I wonder why they didn't hire an English-speaking voice for units to be sold in the USA? I'd have been happy with a Mexican-English or Cuban-English voice too.

So forgive me if I say BayZhing when I really mean PayKing. A little learning.................
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
coolian2
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:51 am

Iloveboeing wrote:
I studied Mandarin for 2 years: one in Xianggang (Hong Kong) and one in the United States.

Although I am nowhere near fluent in Mandarin, I can pronounce the pinyin (romanization) very well and can get quite irritated when people mispronounce Chinese words.

One example is the Chinese capital, Beijing. People love to pronounce it with the French j and, although I studied French for four years and think it's a beautiful language, it doesn't exist in Mandarin and people have no business pronouncing it that way. It is clearly "BAY-JING" with two separate syllables and tones.

I cringed on the UA flights to Beijing when the flight attendants repeatedly mispronounced the city. I wonder what the many Chinese people on-board thought of that. It sure bothered me and I am a white American.

Another one is Shanghai. So many people say "Shayng-hai" with an almost Southern twang when it should be "SHAHNG-HAI" with a long a. The ayng sound doesn't exist in Mandarin.

Mandarin is an absolutely beautiful language and foreigners have no business making fools out of themselves by butchering the language. It also shows disrespect for the Chinese.

I don't get wildly upset when Chinese tourists and students pronounce English words wrong, nor do I get upset that Americans (well, most of the world) can't get Te Reo right.

Maybe, just maybe, settle down. Have a cup of tea and a lie down.
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tommy1808
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:15 am

YVRLTN wrote:
Please let us know how you pronounce the British towns of Leicester, Gloucester, Bicester and Wymondham.


Iloveboeing wrote:
I cringed on the UA flights to Beijing when the flight attendants repeatedly mispronounced the city. I wonder what the many Chinese people on-board thought of that. It sure bothered me and I am a white American. .


Great...... so, as a German, i should freak out the whole time....

Aix-la-Chapelle? Well, that place is called Aachen....
Argovia? Well, try Argau
Austria? We call it Österreich.
Carinthia? Kärnten!
Embden? Emden!
Hamelin? Hameln!
Hanover? Hannover!
Hamburgh? Hamburg!
Munich? München!
Cologne? Köln!

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
Flighty
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:34 am

Iloveboeing wrote:
I studied Mandarin for 2 years: one in Xianggang (Hong Kong) and one in the United States.

Although I am nowhere near fluent in Mandarin, I can pronounce the pinyin (romanization) very well and can get quite irritated when people mispronounce Chinese words.

One example is the Chinese capital, Beijing. People love to pronounce it with the French j and, although I studied French for four years and think it's a beautiful language, it doesn't exist in Mandarin and people have no business pronouncing it that way. It is clearly "BAY-JING" with two separate syllables and tones.

I cringed on the UA flights to Beijing when the flight attendants repeatedly mispronounced the city. I wonder what the many Chinese people on-board thought of that. It sure bothered me and I am a white American.

Another one is Shanghai. So many people say "Shayng-hai" with an almost Southern twang when it should be "SHAHNG-HAI" with a long a. The ayng sound doesn't exist in Mandarin.

Mandarin is an absolutely beautiful language and foreigners have no business making fools out of themselves by butchering the language. It also shows disrespect for the Chinese.


I agree, Beijing with a French j is infuriating. That's not how you pronounce it in English OR Chinese. People just make shit up because other literate, cool people do it -- even though they are MORE ignorant than people who know how pronounce J, like any school child. "J" like in the word "Joe" or "Japan" or "Jet." BeiJing. Exactly the same. How people endeavor to screw this up amazes me.

Fully support this thread. I think "The Ukraine" is another similar example, people trying to be cool, but actually it's just unstoppable human fail. And we're all not perfect.
 
tommy1808
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:39 am

Flighty wrote:
I think "The Ukraine" is another similar example, people trying to be cool, but actually it's just unstoppable human fail. And we're all not perfect.


Or Erdogan, where most people pronounce the G.....
But wth... i haven´t even met an englisch native speaker that can say "Thomas" right.... and met many Chinese native speakers that have a hard time telling the German, Englisch and Spanish pronunciation apart.

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
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Braybuddy
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:11 am

There's no point in getting worked up about foreigners' pronunciation of placeames. Every language has its own spelling or pronunciation, which can often make it easier to roll off the tongue. Who, in English, refers to the capital of France as "Paree", except when pairing it with "gay"? I have no problem with Spanish visitors talking about "Irlanda" as I know exactly what they mean, and they know that I know, and it's easier for them. Likewise with Italians and "Dublino". It's actually quite nice (and educational) to hear familiar places prounounced differently. Some people are sticklers when it comes to native pronunciation, which I find quite pretentious. One former RTE newsreader was notorious for this, and used to tie himself in knots to say "Barthelona" or "Santiago de Cooba". I wonder how many foreign newsreaders would get Dun Laoghaire, Ballina or Athenry right, and who would expect them to, apart from a handful of pedants?
 
Olddog
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:06 am

I very much prefer to say Pékin instead of Beijing and I totally don't care what your feelings are :)
 
tommy1808
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:43 am

Olddog wrote:
I very much prefer to say Pékin instead of Beijing and I totally don't care what your feelings are :)


Exactly!

Bejing is the romanization invented by the same people that destroyed traditional mandarin. Saying Bejing is saying "i love communist dictatorships that give a fuck about culture".

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
WIederling
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:01 am

chimborazo wrote:
And yet I know many English people fluent in other languages and a local cannot tell (for example my brother lived in Hannover for a year and became fluent in his already high standard of German and German people think he's German when he talks). Interesting


Ever thought about non native English speakers with perfect English language skills ( obvious you would not notice those :-)?

Then there are those around that think that their back alley/redneck local accent could sub in
for an acceptable pronunciation accessible to foreigners or other non locals.

For every (foreign) language capability you will find people spanning in range
from those that never manage to drop their accent or native language grammar elements
to those that show "better than average native" mastery of a language.

IMU your observation is based on the faulty premise of comparing underperformers from group A to overachievers from your peer group B.
Murphy is an optimist
 
Redd
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:16 am

Szymankowszczyzna, Szczebrzeszyn. The day any foreigner can pronounce these towns properly, I'll learn their language :P
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:18 am

Newsflash: This isn't a problem unique for just Chinese.
Completely pointless thread.
 
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seahawk
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:51 am

chimborazo wrote:
Something that interests me about non- native English speakers... 99.9% of the time you can tell. There always seems to be a carryover from the person's original language, whether it be Germans and V sound for W or Asians that can't properly form English words. And yet I know many English people fluent in other languages and a local cannot tell (for example my brother lived in Hannover for a year and became fluent in his already high standard of German and German people think he's German when he talks). Interesting


I dare say, people were just making a compliment to his language skills. As a native speaker you always here it when a person is not a native speaker, even if they speak the language perfectly. But what is the point in pointing it out, because there is no standard English and no standard German.
 
BlueberryWheats
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:01 pm

I get complaints on my pronunciation of town names in North West England, some seem to be waayyy off. I only moved here from South East England! So it's a problem everywhere, but usually it's a cause for humour, not freaking out like the OP.
 
tommy1808
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:08 pm

BlueberryWheats wrote:
but usually it's a cause for humour, not freaking out like the OP.


My Gymnasium (German type of highschool) dean was fighting against windmills pointing out that the near by village Twist is correctly pronounced Twist, like the dance, according to high German pronunciation rules. However, in the local area that is pronounced with a long i, as if you spelled it Twiest. Just like my place of work, spelled Laer, should be pronounced Lär, but is pronounced Laar....

And we are talking about regions mere two hours driving away from Hanover, where the most clean high German is spoken.

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
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Aesma
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:49 pm

I'm unable to read Chinese characters, and I'm equally unable to read phonetic symbols, so I'm left with hearing other people pronounce things before I can try it.

I must say I don't understand why Chinese (and Indian, and probably other) cities suddenly changed names one day.

For me, Beijing is Pékin, Guangzhou is Canton, Mumbai is Bombay, etc., just like London is Londres and English speakers say "Parisssss" when the s is in fact silent in French.

Yesterday I was at a Tove Lo concert and learned that it isn't said like I thought at all...
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
tommy1808
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:02 pm

Aesma wrote:
For me, Beijing is Pékin, ..


it is the same thing. No name has changed. They just use a different system to transpose Chinese Characters into roman ones.

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
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WingsFan
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:20 pm

Iloveboeing wrote:
I studied Mandarin for 2 years: one in Xianggang (Hong Kong) and one in the United States.

Although I am nowhere near fluent in Mandarin, I can pronounce the pinyin (romanization) very well and can get quite irritated when people mispronounce Chinese words.

One example is the Chinese capital, Beijing. People love to pronounce it with the French j and, although I studied French for four years and think it's a beautiful language, it doesn't exist in Mandarin and people have no business pronouncing it that way. It is clearly "BAY-JING" with two separate syllables and tones.

I cringed on the UA flights to Beijing when the flight attendants repeatedly mispronounced the city. I wonder what the many Chinese people on-board thought of that. It sure bothered me and I am a white American.

Another one is Shanghai. So many people say "Shayng-hai" with an almost Southern twang when it should be "SHAHNG-HAI" with a long a. The ayng sound doesn't exist in Mandarin.

Mandarin is an absolutely beautiful language and foreigners have no business making fools out of themselves by butchering the language. It also shows disrespect for the Chinese.


Every non native speaker of a language completely butchers names, sounds and pronunciations of any other language. Why does it bother you so much? Its quiet natural and expected.
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:29 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
Aix-la-Chapelle? Well, that place is called Aachen....

We call it Cáchy... :stirthepot:
But that's something different than the transliteration of Chinese, or other foreign places, isn't it? Given the long history, historical significance for neighbours or "change in ownership" over the centuries, some names of cities have been "domesticated". Classic example is
WRO aka Vratislav, Breslau or Wroclaw
VIE aka Wien, Vídeň, Viedeň or Bécs
BTS aka Bratislava or Poszony
 
tommy1808
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:34 pm

L410Turbolet wrote:
But that's something different than the transliteration of Chinese, or other foreign places, isn't it? Given the long history, historical significance for neighbours or "change in ownership" over the centuries, some names of cities have been "domesticated".


True... but Roman names? lol.... that is in deed a long time ago.

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
WIederling
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:58 pm

L410Turbolet wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Aix-la-Chapelle? Well, that place is called Aachen....

We call it Cáchy... :stirthepot:
........................
BTS aka Bratislava or Poszony


What I found very interesting are the anglicized names of places in Ireland.

Quite often they seem to have taken the spoken sounds and replicated them with english words. Bastardizing.
Murphy is an optimist
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:49 pm

WIederling wrote:
Quite often they seem to have taken the spoken sounds and replicated them with english words. Bastardizing.


I don't think this is necessarily "bastardization" but a standard etymologic development of words, which often works both ways. I will again use the CZ-DE example:

Dresden - Drážďany
Regensburg - Řezno*
Česká Lípa - Böhmisch Leipa**
Pardubice - Pardubitz


*Řezno means nothing in Czech, but since Bohemia belonged under the archbishopric of Regensburg, before there was archbishopric​ in Prag(ue)/Praha established, I suppose a common Czech name came eventually into existence.
** What does "Leipa" mean in German? Nothing. OTOH "lípa" means "linden tree" (der Linde) in German What you call bastardization was simply using the phonetic similarity, not necessarily the meaning. Otherwise it would be Böhmisch Linde, not B. Leipa.
There are not many German cities with Czech bastardized version. The reason is either significance or geographic proximity. Aachen is Cáchy, Mainz is Mohuč, Köln is Kolín nad Rýnem, etc. Wiesbaden is Wiesbaden and Düsseldorf is Düsseldorf.
 
WIederling
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:37 pm

L410Turbolet wrote:
Regensburg - Řezno*


In Roman times the name was "Castra Regina". .. in the province Raetia / Rhätia.
Maybe that morphed to "Řezno" ? ( no idea about the proper pronunciation.)
Murphy is an optimist
 
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lugie
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:49 pm

L410Turbolet wrote:
WIederling wrote:
Quite often they seem to have taken the spoken sounds and replicated them with english words. Bastardizing.


I don't think this is necessarily "bastardization" but a standard etymologic development of words, which often works both ways. I will again use the CZ-DE example:

Dresden - Drážďany
Regensburg - Řezno*
Česká Lípa - Böhmisch Leipa**
Pardubice - Pardubitz



Many German cities developed their names that way from the ancient Roman names:

Augusta Vindelicorum -> Augsburg
Augusta Treverorum -> Trier
Mogontiacum -> Mainz
Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium -> Cologne (Köln)
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FRA STR HAM TXL ACE BRU BLL DUB MAD OPO LIS FNC AMS PHL RDU LGA CLT
 
PhilBy
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:08 pm

YVRLTN wrote:
Please let us know how you pronounce the British towns of Leicester, Gloucester, Bicester and Wymondham.


And dont forget "Lmypne"

As an expat I accept any recognisable pronunciation of my name! ( Actually that was the same before I became an expat!)
 
chimborazo
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:34 pm

Well my brother lived with two English teachers so maybe they were just being kind! But of course... Like most things it was just based on my experience. But I do still wonder why the V sound for W gets carried over from German into English. I can say F instead of V when trying my very poor German :-)
 
c933103
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:30 am

Still remember the PV showing someone pronounce Huawei as 'who are we'...
 
B777LRF
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:30 am

chimborazo wrote:
And yet I know many English people fluent in other languages and a local cannot tell


Two things.

1) You know native English speakers who are fluent in other languages? Congratulations, in my half century on this planet I've come to learn they are exceedingly few and far between. My old boss, having lived in ze Vaterland for 10 odd years, claimed to be speaking German. Well, yes, he could order a meal at a restaurant, but the sounds coming out of his mouth were cringe worthy, even to someone who only speak German as a second or third language
2) Of those native English speakers I've come across who do brave a foreign tongue, they beat the language into a pulp and hilarious results ensue. Ever heard an Englishman having a go at Spanish, German, French or Italian? It's orders of magnitude worse than my old mom dishing out her school English, which is really bad!

PS
English is my 2nd or 3rd language, depending on who you ask.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
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Aviaphile
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:57 am

Why is the word Mercedes, as in the vehicles, pronounced Mersaydees? Why is that second e given an ay as in hay pronunciation? Why is it not, as indeed I have heard German speakers say, Merseedees? I frequently heard it pronounced as in the latter by a German speaker in the programme Megafactories.
UK English speakers tend to turn an e sound into ay when confronted with foreign words - i.e. the former Spanish currency the Peseta is pronounced Persaytah by English people. Too many other examples to list here but think about it.
A300 310 319 320 321 332 343 346 380 ATR42 Bae146 707 720 721 722 732 733 734 735 738 741 742 743 744 74D SP 752 762 763 772 1-11400 500 Concorde DC3 DC910 30 50 DC10-30 MD11 Trident 1 2 3 Dash 7 DH6 Do228 328 F27 28 HS 748 LX45 L1011200 Viscount 700 800
 
B777LRF
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:25 am

No to mention the Jaguar, commonly referred to in the colonies as 'Jag-wahh'.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
BestWestern
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:31 pm

Having lived in HK for 4 years, the bastardised english they speak is still far better than my Cantonese - which is one hell of a language to learn, even arriving with moderate to poor Mandarin.

Singapore in comparison is fantastic in English.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
Calder
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:17 pm

I'm sure the same could be said about every other language.

English is my first, but I had to take 4 years of Spanish to graduate highschool (Spanish and French were the only languages offered).

I took a few years of modern standard Arabic in college, but trying to grasp a separate alphabet was ridiculous. Verbally I was semi-competent, but my reading/writing was terrible. I probably know enough Arabic to go to a middle eastern country and (hopefully) not get my ass kicked.
C. T.
 
Derico
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:35 pm

I don't like the unrestrained and benighted arrogance of English language media when they proclaim some song or book by an English speaking author or singer as the "best in the world", based on sales. Also, music and book lists from those countries are totally dominated by English language works.

That to me is far more pernicious than mispronouncing foreign names, since as it has been said before, many if not most people do not have the time to properly pronounce or speak a foreign language. But one can perfectly reflect and correctly assess the above is arrant conceit, ill-founded and ignorant. You do NOT need to learn a foreign language to understand that just because ENGLISH speakers do not listen to foreign music or read foreign authors (and please, no need for posters here to try to prove me wrong by listing all the books or songs that are foreign that you personally listen to... you are rare exceptions and being involved in aviation probably opens your field of vision, that is the reality), it does not imply the quality of non-English music or literature is inferior or non-existent, it merely highlights the general provincialism and narrow scope of the average Anglophone.
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WIederling
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:50 pm

B777LRF wrote:
English is my 2nd or 3rd language, depending on who you ask.


The trick with "like native" mastery is that you don't notice them. They blend in. Even knowing the name
might not be conducive. ( and quite often those grew up bilingual. a bit of a special case. )
Murphy is an optimist
 
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Aesma
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:27 pm

I'd say you have to grow up bilingual to be fluent in two languages. After childhood, it's impossible to learn a new language and speak it without an accent. The accent might be slight, and you might speak the language better than natives with low education (or even the average native), but it is noticeable.

There are quite a few famous UK natives living in France, for example Jane Birkin. She has been here almost 50 years, much longer than in the UK, she knows French perfectly, has played in many French movies, lived with French men and made French children, sings in French, but she has an unmistakably British accent.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Flighty
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:28 pm

Aesma wrote:
I'd say you have to grow up bilingual to be fluent in two languages. After childhood, it's impossible to learn a new language and speak it without an accent. The accent might be slight, and you might speak the language better than natives with low education (or even the average native), but it is noticeable.

There are quite a few famous UK natives living in France, for example Jane Birkin. She has been here almost 50 years, much longer than in the UK, she knows French perfectly, has played in many French movies, lived with French men and made French children, sings in French, but she has an unmistakably British accent.


People vary. Learning language is an aptitude thing that can vary throughout life. Some people are very good at learning languages. It's one of the things that varies the most, among people. Being fluent does not have to mean that you lack any trace of a foreign accent. Like, is Elon Musk fluent, other than the fact that he stutters, I would say he is pretty fluent. Ah wait, he might be a native speaker. Well, how about Satya, the CEO of Microsoft. My guess is he is very, very fluent.

There ARE even a few people who remove any trace of accent, but that is a "trick" function and I agree most people can never accomplish it. But some people can and do, sometimes because they have special gifts in languages.
 
mham001
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:21 pm

Flighty wrote:
There ARE even a few people who remove any trace of accent, but that is a "trick" function and I agree most people can never accomplish it. But some people can and do, sometimes because they have special gifts in languages.


Not to mention the regional differences. Some of these English actors playing American parts were really throwing me for a loop until I found out where they came from. I was constantly trying to figure out from where came that lead guy on Sons of Anarchy, who was trying to mimic a norcal accent and then Maggie and a couple of others on Walking Dead with southern. Bastardized American English. I suppose some would see that as an oxymoron.

I was often confused as Dutch when I spoke German.
 
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neutrino
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:32 pm

Aesma wrote:
., just like London is Londres and English speakers say "Parisssss" when the s is in fact silent in French.

That brings to mind the Thai alcoholic beverage; Singha Beer. Non natives mispronounced it as "sing ha" but its really "singh" in a rising tone with the "a" silent. And oh, it actually "beer singh" to the Thais.
Also, the deposed former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has the "ra" omitted vocally. I could go on...............
Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
 
jetwet1
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:38 pm

[quote="Iloveboeing"][/quote]

I feel your pain, I am an Englishman, living in the USA, I hear the English language being butchered every day by people who think they speak English......

Of course, I do a good job at murdering the Spanish language so I really shouldn't talk.
 
WIederling
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:53 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
Iloveboeing wrote:


I feel your pain, I am an Englishman, living in the USA, I hear the English language being butchered every day by people who think they speak English......



It is interesting that the American accents are the more archaic ones.
Expat communities tend to preserve their originating culture
and language more than in the "home hive".
Murphy is an optimist
 
mham001
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:14 pm

WIederling wrote:

It is interesting that the American accents are the more archaic ones.
Expat communities tend to preserve their originating culture
and language more than in the "home hive".


You're trying too hard. The insults are weak and pathetic. It shows.
 
WIederling
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:53 pm

mham001 wrote:
WIederling wrote:

It is interesting that the American accents are the more archaic ones.
Expat communities tend to preserve their originating culture
and language more than in the "home hive".


You're trying too hard. The insults are weak and pathetic. It shows.


Always amusing that knowledge from those not in the know is perceived as pathetic and or insulting:
https://www.google.com/search?q=america ... ld+english

you find the same thing in religions. protestant beliefs in the US are much nearer
to their "original separation" than what you find in European churches.
( add the regression of the religious right moving far back into the old testament "eye for an eye".)
Catholics are by way of their top down structure more homogenous on a global scale.
Murphy is an optimist
 
LAH1
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:31 am

B777LRF wrote:
chimborazo wrote:
And yet I know many English people fluent in other languages and a local cannot tell


Two things.

1) You know native English speakers who are fluent in other languages? Congratulations, in my half century on this planet I've come to learn they are exceedingly few and far between. My old boss, having lived in ze Vaterland for 10 odd years, claimed to be speaking German. Well, yes, he could order a meal at a restaurant, but the sounds coming out of his mouth were cringe worthy, even to someone who only speak German as a second or third language
2) Of those native English speakers I've come across who do brave a foreign tongue, they beat the language into a pulp and hilarious results ensue. Ever heard an Englishman having a go at Spanish, German, French or Italian? It's orders of magnitude worse than my old mom dishing out her school English, which is really bad!

PS
English is my 2nd or 3rd language, depending on who you ask.


I have. Son No.1. I was told I once I couldn't be his father as I wasn't French like him, by a Frenchman. So don't generalise too much.
 
tommy1808
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Re: The Butchering Of Chinese Names By Foreigners

Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:58 pm

Aesma wrote:
I'd say you have to grow up bilingual to be fluent in two languages. After childhood, it's impossible to learn a new language and speak it without an accent. The accent might be slight, and you might speak the language better than natives with low education (or even the average native), but it is noticeable.


You can't in a language school. But if you have an Speech-language pathology professional available you can remove accents or even change them.

Best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.

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