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Pronunciation of Russian names

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  • #46
    Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

    I'll assume I was waaay off on Valery Bort-soff?

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    • #47
      Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

      Originally posted by Marlow
      I'll assume I was waaay off on Valery Bort-soff?
      Bort-soff sounds more like the "z" in Italian than the "z" in Russian. But what do I know?

      Comment


      • #48
        Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

        Originally posted by Grazerism
        I can't understand colleagues who over years never insist on having their names pronounced correctly.
        well, shtefan, now you know how immigrants in america feel, having their names mangled from the get go.

        alan, you should never assume, or i should say, you should not always assume... here in brooklyn, NY, my subway line is not only filled with russians, but also some kazakhs, kyrgyz, tajik, but mostly the central asians are uzbeks. i've often encountered "asians" speaking in russian -- whether they were from the central asian republics, or kalmyks or buryats from the russian federation, i wasn't sure. i've also seen an asian man speaking to his caucasian wife in portuguese! it turns out they were brazilians. so, yeah, you can never assume... confusing things further for those new yorkers that think all asians in NY are chinese, japanese or korean, there's lots of tibetans and sherpas taking the B and Q trains these days. and btw, as i mentioned, it's the officially russian federation, comprised of several republics.

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        • #49
          Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

          Originally posted by uakari
          now you know how immigrants in america feel, having their names mangled from the get go.
          I had a Chinese boy come to my class whose name was Xian Zhang and the INS people changed it to John Chang. What the EFF is that all about??!! :evil: :evil: :evil: Very uncool!!

          I tried to persuade him to make them correct it, but he said he didn't want to seem ungrateful for the chance to study in the USA, so that was that.

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          • #50
            Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

            Respectfully disagree, TOE.
            I don't know how Chinese characters distinguish between English alphabet letters but if his name, Xian Zhang, is pronounced John Chang, it make sense to me. I posit that Xian Zhang written in Chinese characters is undecipherable to all but the most cosmopolitan of Jacksonvillians.
            At least they did non spell in Jon or Jahn or Sean.
            Just mho.

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            • #51
              Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

              When I worked at a US investment bank (in London) a few years ago, quite a few Chinese people worked there (at the firm, not necessarily in London, I think most were in New York; I'm sure that's still the case) and many of them took English names to use at work, it isn't unusual.

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              • #52
                Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                There is a sizeable concentrated Viet Namese community in OKC. I have a Viet Namese tenant who uses her birth name in her flower shop business name but an Anglized version on checks and in business dealings.

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                • #53
                  Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                  Originally posted by Marlow
                  Originally posted by uakari
                  now you know how immigrants in america feel, having their names mangled from the get go.
                  I had a Chinese boy come to my class whose name was Xian Zhang and the INS people changed it to John Chang. What the EFF is that all about??!! :evil: :evil: :evil: Very uncool!!

                  I tried to persuade him to make them correct it, but he said he didn't want to seem ungrateful for the chance to study in the USA, so that was that.
                  I'll be very surprised if he doesn't actually pronounce it Sheean Jong, that being my understanding of how the Pinyin system would do it.

                  (if this weren't a serious subject, I'd introduce the classic Sam Ting story)

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                    Originally posted by Flumpy
                    Originally posted by uakari
                    everybody knows THE authority on pronouncing russian and foreign names is carol lewis.
                    I'm pretty certain John Regis would give her a run for her money. He was a master of pronounciation, especially with the British team.
                    i haven't seen this fella on the telly, so i hope you know i was being facetious...

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                      Originally posted by uakari
                      Originally posted by Flumpy
                      Originally posted by uakari
                      everybody knows THE authority on pronouncing russian and foreign names is carol lewis.
                      I'm pretty certain John Regis would give her a run for her money. He was a master of pronounciation, especially with the British team.
                      i haven't seen this fella on the telly, so i hope you know i was being facetious...
                      I think he knew ... fortunately, being an ex-elite athlete doesn't disqualify you from being a good commentator. Take a bow Dwight, Ato, MJ & Crammy.

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                      • #56
                        Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                        Originally posted by lonewolf
                        Respectfully disagree, TOE.
                        I don't know how Chinese characters distinguish between English alphabet letters but if his name, Xian Zhang, is pronounced John Chang, it make sense to me. I posit that Xian Zhang written in Chinese characters is undecipherable to all but the most cosmopolitan of Jacksonvillians.
                        At least they did non spell in Jon or Jahn or Sean.
                        Just mho.
                        Here's my analogy. You go to some exotic land and they change your name to from Lone Wolf to Loony Vulva because they're to lazy to learn your name and Loony Vulva is easier for them to say. :shock:

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                        • #57
                          Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                          Lazy is harsh. I just can't get my tongue around some sounds. I guess some find pronunciation easier than others.

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                          • #58
                            Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                            Originally posted by Daisy
                            Lazy is harsh. I just can't get my tongue around some sounds. I guess some find pronunciation easier than others.
                            Is that not your problem? (not meant in a criticizing way, just the way it is)

                            When I lived in Germany as an undergrad I made great pains to pronounce the names exactly as I heard them. The umlauted u and the ch sound are especially troublesome, so a name like
                            "B├╝cher"
                            is a bee-yotch, but I did it. I can't even give you an anglicized guide to how that's pronounced. It's like bew-ch-(as in loch)-air, but even that is a gross approximation.

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                            • #59
                              Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                              Originally posted by Marlow
                              Originally posted by Daisy
                              Lazy is harsh. I just can't get my tongue around some sounds. I guess some find pronunciation easier than others.
                              Is that not your problem? (not meant in a criticizing way, just the way it is)
                              Definitely my problem, but it's not just lazyness. For some, me , these pronunciations are really difficult. The Z in pinyin is a good example of one I find very hard to get just right.

                              Similarly Japanese have a big problem with the L sound. I've heard that if you're not exposed to the full range of sounds as a young child then it's much harder as an adult make those sounds. I'm not sure I understand the basis for this though.

                              One blind spot I have notice for Americans is the pronunciation of 'Edinburgh'. I used to try and correct people but I now realise that most people can't even hear the difference between the British pronunciation and the American version. I suspect there is more to it than just getting it wrong.

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                              • #60
                                Re: Pronunciation of Russian names

                                Originally posted by Daisy
                                Originally posted by Marlow
                                Originally posted by Daisy
                                Lazy is harsh. I just can't get my tongue around some sounds. I guess some find pronunciation easier than others.
                                One blind spot I have notice for Americans is the pronunciation of 'Edinburgh'. I used to try and correct people but I now realise that most people can't even hear the difference between the British pronunciation and the American version. I suspect there is more to it than just getting it wrong.
                                Here ya go!

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN9E3WsaHWw

                                soft r, then schwa.

                                Comment

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