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Pronunciation Guide

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jbc217, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    i understand where you're coming from, but your chinese name is probably a lot more difficult to say than varvatos, kiton, hermes, or versace.

    when people mispronounce these, it is out of laziness.

    also, what's the deal with asians having their so called 'american' names. i know a korean guy who doesn't even speak english but calls himself brian. all the asians i know have what they call their american name. i tell them the only real american names are geronimo, pocahontas, and so on...

    if you're name is li chan then call yourself li chan. are they afraid they won't get a job if their name is not david or ben?
     


  2. ViroBono

    ViroBono Senior member

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    Well, it amuses us when tourists ask for directions..... [​IMG] Gloucester - Gloster Towcester - Toaster Appletreewick - Aptwick Anwick - Annick and so on....
     


  3. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    (matadorpoeta @ 06 Dec. 2004, 4:22) we can. but our accent is different than yours. sometime after the pilgrims arrived someone changed the 'a' and everyone else went along with him/her. why do the english say "lesta" if it's spelled "leicester?"
    Well, it amuses us when tourists ask for directions..... [​IMG] Gloucester - Gloster Towcester - Toaster Appletreewick - Aptwick Anwick - Annick and so on....
    Well, it amuses tourists that you give your cities weird names. [​IMG] Jon.
     


  4. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    (imageWIS @ 06 Dec. 2004, 10:26) You misunderstand: Accent can effectively change pronunciation, but what is meant by proper pronunciation is to say words as they are spelled, thus my jab at Dubya for his use of pronouncing "˜Nuclear' as Nucular. Jon.
    Eh?
    Ok, what part don't you comprehend? Jon.
     


  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    A lot of Chinese come by an English name for one or more perfectly good reasons.

    1) If non-Chinese can't pronounce the name, an English name was as good as a (very) imperfect anglicization. The English name is easier to remember, and ironically, easier for the Chinese person to recognize. Cantonese names are a little easier to transliterate, but I've heard some really mangled attempts to pronounce the anglicized version of Madarin names.

    2) Hong Kong used to be British Colony, and many Hong Kong Chinese were taught by Caucasians, and therefore adopting an English name for school was a common practice that somehow lives on. My cousin, for example, will either use his real Cantonese name, or "Paul".

    That being said, I use my Chinese name, or at least a diminuitive of it. As a visible minority, we don't really face the same issues as say, the Polish or Greeks immigrants did. There is no way that calling myself "Bruce" is going to make me seem less Chinese to anyone (except maybe on the internet,) nor would I wish it so.

    Sometimes I'll use my Christian name "Thomas" in restaurants reservations, just for kicks. I then I always forget I've done this when they call my table. Very embarassing.
     


  6. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    also, what's the deal with asians having their so called 'american' names. i know a korean guy who doesn't even speak english but calls himself brian. all the asians i know have what they call their american name. i tell them the only real american names are geronimo, pocahontas, and so on... if you're name is li chan then call yourself li chan. are they afraid they won't get a job if their name is not david or ben?
    A lot of Chinese come by an English name for one or more perfectly good reasons. 1) If non-Chinese can't pronounce the name, an English name was as good as a (very) imperfect anglicization. The English name is easier to remember, and ironically, easier for the Chinese person to recognize. Cantonese names are a little easier to transliterate, but I've heard some really mangled attempts to pronounce the anglicized version of Madarin names. 2) Hong Kong used to be British Colony, and many Hong Kong Chinese were taught by Caucasians, and therefore adopting an English name for school was a common practice that somehow lives on. My cousin, for example, will either use his real Cantonese name, or "Paul". That being said, I use my Chinese name, or at least a diminuitive of it. As a visible minority, we don't really face the same issues as say, the Polish or Greeks immigrants did. There is no way that calling myself "Bruce" is going to make me seem less Chinese to anyone (except maybe on the internet,) nor would I wish it so. Sometimes I'll use my Christian name "Thomas" in restaurants reservations, just for kicks. I then I always forget I've done this when they call my table. Very embarassing.
    I agree with LA Guy's comments, and there are a couple other reasons as well, first of all, at least Mandarin names are usually three characters, so it's a bit out of place to include someone's middle name in the US during a normal form of address, "So how are you doing, Robert Thomas Hansen?" Secondly, the form of address among Chinese is last name first, then first names. So, if someone just used their Chinese names, people would call them by their last name as their first name, which is not only confusing for them, but also as some Chinese last names are quite common (Chang, Huang, Chen) it would cause serious issues with confusing people's names. I think almost every Asian girl here in Orange County is named Jenny Huang. Finally, many Chinese pick a first name that is somewhat similar to their Chinese names (or their parents do for them) My first name is very similar to my analogous first names in Mandarin, and much easier for Caucasians to pronounce. Beyond that, I've simply switched the order (to respect Caucasian tendencies) and my "anglicized" name is more or less the same thing as my Chinese one. Some people will pick different first names altogether, perhaps because they like the way it sounds.
     


  7. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    okay, you guys know what's best for you. when i was in elementary school i had a vietnamese friend named "haw". i don't recall the spelling but that's how we pronounced it.

    perhaps we were mispronouncing his name but considering his thick accent, i'm glad i didn't have to call him 'greg'.

    (he's probably calling himself greg these days...)
     


  8. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    Umm, I think the designation Asian-American in the United States also encompasses a pretty heterogenous mix of immigrants. Among close company, I've been known to joke that "I'm whiter than most white folks," since my family has been in the states significantly longer than most immigrant groups (c. 1890s). Not that I identify as a white person, but I'm definitely an American with little or no connection to Japan; aside from those wierd JA quirks like cutting the plants in your yard like poodles, having a family mon stuffed away in a jewelry box, and speaking absolutely NO Japanese. Ironically, I can carry on a basic conversation with my dad in Spanish.

    In a less jovial light, three years of internship works wonders for assimilating a group of people.
     


  9. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    All interesting posts here.

    What bothers the hell out of me, and it has nothing to do with pronunciation, is the American(?) habit of mentioning a foreign city and then mentioning the country to which it belongs:

    e.g.

    London, England.

    Rome, Italy.

    Paris, France.

    As in, I was thinking of going to Paris, France this summer. [The wag will reply that one might confuse place-names in France with those in say Texas, i.e. Paris, Texas, etc.

    Etc. etc. etc.

    I was watching a film yesterday, and the opening shot was of Athens.

    The caption read, "Athens, Greece". Well no shit, I see the Acropolis right there and REM is nowhere about, so I reckon it can't be Georgia.
     


  10. ViroBono

    ViroBono Senior member

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    I suppose that mentioning the country immediately after the city stems from the US convention of giving the state after the city, e.g. Dallas, Texas, necessary in such a large country. The habit early settlers had of unimaginatively giving places the same names as places in their country of origin may shoulder some blame as well. It is peculiarly irritating for some reason, especially when the context means that the country in which the city is located is obvious.

    Another thing which annoys me intensely is when the Royal Air Force is referred to as the 'British Royal Air Force'. Since there is only one RAF the prefix is redundant.
     


  11. Taliesin

    Taliesin Member

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    I think there are other Royal Air Forces. Â Oman, for example, has its own "RAF".
     


  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Well, Canada has an, ahem, CRAF. But I agree. The original gets the RAF designation.
     


  13. Millerp

    Millerp Senior member

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    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Well, Canada has an, ahem, CRAF.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Actually it's RCAF
    Royal Canadian Air Force

    Since the amalgamation of the Canadian army, navy
    and air force, the Canadiam military is usually
    just referred to as Canadian Forces
     


  14. ViroBono

    ViroBono Senior member

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    The Omani air force's official title is the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO), which distinguishes it from the RAF. It may be true that the air forces of some countries may be called 'Royal Air Force' in their own language, such as that of the Netherlands' Koningklijke Luchtmacht, but these are invariably referred to with a country designation in English - e.g. Royal Netherlands (or Dutch) Air Force. When I was on an exchange programme with the Germans, they always referred to me as being with the Royal Air Force, whilst they called themselves both Luftwaffe and German Air Force. I thought the Canadians had resurrected the RCAF after comprehensively proving to the world that amalgamating the forces and making everyone wear green bus-driver uniforms doesn't work. It may be that they have just brought back the distinctive uniforms. Mind you, their government seems to have even less respect for the armed forces that ours, and that's saying something.
     


  15. Millerp

    Millerp Senior member

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    Initially upon unification, the air elements of the Royal Canadian Air Force were divided up within the operational commands of the Canadian Armed Forces and there was no longer a separate air force component. After several years, this was found to be unworkable and and Air Command was created to embody all air elements of the Canadian Forces. With the return of the Air Force blue uniforms in 1982 Canada could now claim, more or less, to have an independent air force.

    But it's not called the Royal Canadian Air Force
     


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