Pronunciation of Foreign People’s Names

Kategorie: Angličtina (celkem: 879 referátů a seminárek)

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  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 05. července 2007
  • Zobrazeno: 3456×

Příbuzná témata

Pronunciation of Foreign People’s Names

The significance of the correct pronunciation of foreign people’s names is being generally underestimated. Most of the time people do not pay sufficient attention to the propriety of utterance of these names; moreover, they tend to utter them according to the phonological rules of their own languages, whereas they disregard the general principles of pronunciation belonging to the language that the discussed person uses. Since people are not aware of the consequences that a mispronounced name could entail their way of pronunciation is habitual. However, their unawareness might result in a creation of unwelcome consequences. Firstly, an incorrect pronunciation of a person’s name might entail an undesirable impact that could even insult its owner. Furthermore, a mispronunciation of these names might lead to misunderstandings in the communication process. Finally, by focusing on the pronunciation of names of foreign origin, the diversity of pronounced forms in all languages might be reduced to a minimum. Resulting from this, people should try to pronounce the names of foreign people in the most similar way possible to their originals.
In terms of tactfulness, a correct pronunciation of foreign people’s names could be eminently essential since its inappropriate interpretation may bring about unfavourable consequences. A person’s name is a characteristic that he carries all his life. Beside its distinguishing effect, it also serves as an individual feature of a person’s identity. Since it is carried for life people feel strongly connected to it; moreover, they tend to develop personal associations towards it. Resulting from this, it becomes gradually an inseparable element of its owner’s personality. However, due to the vast diversity of the phonological

rules between languages, an incorrectly pronounced name could result into a converted form that could be offensive, or even humiliating to its owner. For instance, the correct utterance of the Slovak surname Šatan distinguishably varies from the way of pronunciation that is generally accepted in English. Pronouncing this name according to the phonological principles used in English language, a direct association with Satan, the spirit of evil, might arise.

Despite the fact that these words are not spelled alike, the use of English language might disregard the “ ˇ “ -sign placed on the letter S, because this sign does not occur in his own language, so the pronunciation of this name would be identical with the English one. However, this is not the correct pronunciation of this name. The function of the “ ˇ “ -sign is highly significant since it makes the pronunciation of the S consonant soft. An inappropriate utterance could be offensive to its owner since it denotes an unfitting association.
Furthermore, correctly uttered names of foreign origin could prevent misunderstandings that might possible arise by their mispronunciations. The reason for this is the difference between the rules that are individually applied to each language. In a larger context, the diversity of these rules is evident, however, in more narrowed relation, their functions might be left unnoticeable. To explain, a combination of speech sounds, which can consist of only two compounds, could be pronounced differently in one language than in the
other one. For instance, a relatively common English surname Cook, which contains two vowels of the same type, has a completely different interpretation in Dutch language. In the language of the Netherlands, a double occurrence of the phoneme o in the same word obliges the speaker to pronounce them in the way that both phonemes become audible in the pronunciation. In English pronunciation however, the same combination of speech sounds causes an insertion of the sound u, which is the phonetic realisation of the same combination of the phoneme o in a word. Resulting from this, a name, such as Cook or Pool, could be

easily mispronounced. Furthermore, such a mispronunciation might lead to misunderstandings that could consequently result into confused situations. Nowadays, almost seven thousand languages are being spoken in the world. (Ethnologue). Although many languages are related to each other in the capacity of their origin, the diversity of their basic principles contributes to the expansion of the variability of forms of pronounced names. As a result, the same foreign name could be pronounced in various different forms. For example, the correct way of pronouncing the Dutch name Gert is with the ch sound at its beginning. However, that can obtain a different form in other languages. For instance, an Englishman utters the same name according to the established rules of his own language, so the pronunciation of the same initial speech sounds needs to be altered. Hence it becomes identical with the sound that could be heard at the beginning of the word gin.

Furthermore, in Slovak, which belongs to the Slavic group of languages, the utterance of the same speech sound involves the sound identical to the one found in the word goal. People should therefore try to focus on the correct pronunciation of these names, so that the largeness of incorrectly pronounced names could be reduced to a minimum. To conclude, the significance of the correct pronunciation of foreign people’s name is certainly remarkable. By focusing on the correct pronunciation of these names, the vast variety between the various forms of pronunciation of the same name could be increased. Furthermore, it also secures a smooth flow of communication. Concerning the consequences that a mispronounced name might entail, the necessity of this issue is highly justified as well. People should therefore realise that the properly pronounced name of foreign origin is just as important as the pronunciation of any other word in a foreign language.

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