Studying Pronunciation

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Studying Pronunciation

Post by TheDoctor » Sat Oct 09, 2010 5:40 pm

This is cross-linked to a thread under New Collegiate Teams (viewtopic.php?f=45&t=10665).

Can anyone think of any words that are commonly mispronounced by moderators?
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:42 am

TheDoctor wrote:This is cross-linked to a thread under New Collegiate Teams (viewtopic.php?f=45&t=10665).

Can anyone think of any words that are commonly mispronounced by moderators?
Carbocation.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Auroni » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:48 am

Secretary of Bobcats wrote:
TheDoctor wrote:This is cross-linked to a thread under New Collegiate Teams (viewtopic.php?f=45&t=10665).

Can anyone think of any words that are commonly mispronounced by moderators?
Carbocation.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by warobison » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:53 am

Can anyone think of any words that are commonly mispronounced by moderators?
I am convinced that the most commonly mispronounced word by moderators (and commentators of all sorts) is "pronunciation." I cringe whenever I hear the NOUN in that one. However, let me add, that since almost all the moderators we used during the years that I was involved in QB were unpaid volunteers, I NEVER complained about any mispronunciation!

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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by TheDoctor » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:31 pm

Do people actually say it like that?
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:36 pm

Yeah, but that's a totally different situation because it has nothing to do with people not being familiar with a word, but rather people having an unusual way of saying a common word, so there's not a real easy way to convince them to stop saying it that way. Also, I can't actually imagine that the word pronunciation comes up very often in questions, other than for things like clues about the Parsley massacre.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:10 pm

I've heard Camus pronounced incorrectly before. Also people need to work on Goethe: It's not "Goath" and it's not "Gurr-tah".
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Edward Elric » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:14 pm

I'm not sure about this one because I've heard it pronounced two ways but how would you pronounce Sartre? I have heard people say Sart and then others say Sart-tra.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Kouign Amann » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:21 pm

Edward Elric wrote:I'm not sure about this one because I've heard it pronounced two ways but how would you pronounce Sartre? I have heard people say Sart and then others say Sart-tra.
In French, that last little "re" part is almost silent, but not totally silent.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:22 pm

Edward Elric wrote:I'm not sure about this one because I've heard it pronounced two ways but how would you pronounce Sartre? I have heard people say Sart and then others say Sart-tra.
I usually say "Sartr" as in "Sart" with a little R sound at the end. I'm under the impression it's "Sart", so I say that and cover myself with the r just in case I have a reader that knows/thinks it's "Sart-ra"

(So basically, according to Aidan, I think I actually say it right)
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Charbroil » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:23 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:Also people need to work on Goethe: ...it's not "Gurr-tah".
What is it, then? That's the way I've always heard it pronounced by people "in the know," including German majors.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:27 pm

That was misleadingly phrased, as my old coach (who is fluent in German and taught it) would pronounce an "r" in Goethe. However, I think the point being made is that the r is not really emphasized, and that instead of making it sound like "GURR-tuh" it should be much less pronounced, and not use the "ur" sound but rather whatever it is that umlauted "o"s sound like in German (which I am having a hard time figuring out how to transliterate right now).
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:33 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:That was misleadingly phrased, as my old coach (who is fluent in German and taught it) would pronounce an "r" in Goethe. However, I think the point being made is that the r is not really emphasized, and that instead of making it sound like "GURR-tuh" it should be much less pronounced, and not use the "ur" sound but rather whatever it is that umlauted "o"s sound like in German (which I am having a hard time figuring out how to transliterate right now).
I was taught that it was more like gehhhhhhrhhh-tuh, like "geh" but with an R sound buried in there, not as strong as "GURR-tuh"
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:03 pm

RIght, that's how my coach said it.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by TheDoctor » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:05 pm

The way my German teacher taught umlauts was to shape your mouth as if you were saying "o," and then say a schwa through it. The result sounds very much like "ur" in English, so I've always just explained it that way; getting people to say "Gurr-tah" is close enough, imo.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:38 pm

TheDoctor wrote:The way my German teacher taught umlauts was to shape your mouth as if you were saying "o," and then say a schwa through it. The result sounds very much like "ur" in English, so I've always just explained it that way; getting people to say "Gurr-tah" is close enough, imo.
If a reader says "gurr-tah" I'll understand what they mean, unlike a bunch of other things, none of which are coming to mind at the moment.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:40 pm

The way I learned it, in my German classes, was to shape your mouth like you're going to say an "e" and say the "o" or the "u" through that (a-umlauts are a really flat "ay", though).
Wurzel-Flummery wrote:I was taught that it was more like gehhhhhhrhhh-tuh, like "geh" but with an R sound buried in there, not as strong as "GURR-tuh"
This works too.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by quizbowllee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:52 am

I think it's like "Gur-tuh" with a thick Boston accent, thereby virtually eliminating the "r' sound.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by quizbowllee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:54 am

Also... how is "Nietzche" actually pronounced?

I always heard (and said) "Neetchy". But, I'm coming to terms with the fact that that may be wrong. I also have the same issue with Sartre. I always heard it as "Sart-truh." Damned existentialist names.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:11 am

I'm 99% sure that almost all (all?) German words that end with an "e" following a consonant have you say the e like "uh." In the case of Nietzche, I was specifically taught by my coach that it is pronounced "Neetch-uh," not "Neetchy."
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Auroni » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:18 am

Sartre is pronounced "Sart" [rhymes with "heart"]
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Pilgrim » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:20 am

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:Sartre is pronounced "Sart" [rhymes with "heart"]
This is not true.

Edit: To elaborate, Aidan was correct upthread when he said that the "re" at the end is partially vocalized. But if you're going to go with one of the easier pronunciations, SAR-truh is probably more correct than SART.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:23 am

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:I'm 99% sure that almost all (all?) German words that end with an "e" following a consonant have you say the e like "uh." In the case of Nietzche, I was specifically taught by my coach that it is pronounced "Neetch-uh," not "Neetchy."
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Kyle » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:04 am

The best moderator of all time was a guy at Brown who said "Goath." He also said "Namibian lion," "Austrian aborigines," and "the bass line," where bass sounds like the fish rather than a low musical range. All of these gems occurred in the same game, which my team very nearly lost because we were drawing pictures of large cats stalking Windhoek, etc.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Coelacanth » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:50 am

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:I've heard Camus pronounced incorrectly
Back when I was playing 100 years ago, apparently someone on an opposing team had mispronounced Camus at a practice or something and was duly chastised. We were then subjected to a tossup whose first words were "His name rhymes with Shmoo..."

Ah, the good old days.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:22 pm

Kyle wrote:which my team very nearly lost because we were drawing pictures of large cats stalking Windhoek, etc.
I think I see a correlation between "games in which Kyle's team does not play well" and "games in which Kyle's team is distracted by cats."

To add something of substance to this thread, there are a number of scientific terms (e.g. cyclopropane, Australopithecus) that sound exactly or almost exactly like they are spelled, but moderators inevitably see "BIG SCIENCE WORD" and spend forever trying to figure out how to say it rather than sounding it out one syllable at a time and being right.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Dresden_The_BIG_JERK » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:46 pm

I will freely admit that I couldn't say "Debussy" correctly to save my life.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:48 pm

DAY-b(y)oo-SAY is what I am pretty sure it is (with the parenthetical y only sort of being pronounced).
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:53 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:DAY-b(y)oo-SAY is what I am pretty sure it is (with the parenthetical y only sort of being pronounced).
I believe the last syllable is more "see" than "say".
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:13 pm

It's actually not, I took a lot of French, and while most of it bleeded out I am pretty much positive you pronounce it "say."
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by David Riley » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:15 pm

My favorite from the Illinois archives:

We once playede a tournament that used virtually all volunteer moderators. In one match, we had this moderator who didn't know factorials, and thought that the exclamation mark meant to say the numbers "with feeling". Both teams howled and she got very defensive. I called a time out, went to my team and said that, yes, it was funny but they needed to understand that she was a volunteer who probably hadn't been trained or whatever. They agreed and the match resumed. Several questions later, another math question came up and she pronounced "matrices" as "mattresses". That did it, both teams howled again and she stormed out of the room. We got a new moderator almost immediately, who knew what he was doing.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:23 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:It's actually not, I took a lot of French, and while most of it bleeded out I am pretty much positive you pronounce it "say."
Fair enough. The basis for my statement was the pronounce function on Google Translate.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:29 pm

David Riley wrote:My favorite from the Illinois archives:

We once playede a tournament that used virtually all volunteer moderators. In one match, we had this moderator who didn't know factorials, and thought that the exclamation mark meant to say the numbers "with feeling". Both teams howled and she got very defensive. I called a time out, went to my team and said that, yes, it was funny but they needed to understand that she was a volunteer who probably hadn't been trained or whatever. They agreed and the match resumed. Several questions later, another math question came up and she pronounced "matrices" as "mattresses". That did it, both teams howled again and she stormed out of the room. We got a new moderator almost immediately, who knew what he was doing.

I might be able to one up this: When I was high school, I went to a middle school match my brother was playing in. I was the first one to walk into the room and I was promptly asked if one of my children was playing in the match. After that display of asininity, I wasn't incredibly shocked when, on a computational math question, she was confused by "an x with a little two by it." Apparently, she didn't know what exponents were. Everyone, including the sixth graders on the team were just agape.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:It's actually not, I took a lot of French, and while most of it bleeded out I am pretty much positive you pronounce it "say."
Fair enough. The basis for my statement was the pronounce function on Google Translate.
Google Translate is correct, it is pronounced more like "see." I still speak French, and Wikipedia agrees with me.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:31 pm

Some North Kansas City lore involves one of our old teams going to a tournament in Arkansas, hearing a question about Hanukkah, giving the correct answer, and being counted wrong because the answer was "chuh-NOO-kuh."
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Broad-tailed Grassbird » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:40 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:
David Riley wrote:My favorite from the Illinois archives:

We once playede a tournament that used virtually all volunteer moderators. In one match, we had this moderator who didn't know factorials, and thought that the exclamation mark meant to say the numbers "with feeling". Both teams howled and she got very defensive. I called a time out, went to my team and said that, yes, it was funny but they needed to understand that she was a volunteer who probably hadn't been trained or whatever. They agreed and the match resumed. Several questions later, another math question came up and she pronounced "matrices" as "mattresses". That did it, both teams howled again and she stormed out of the room. We got a new moderator almost immediately, who knew what he was doing.

I might be able to one up this: When I was high school, I went to a middle school match my brother was playing in. I was the first one to walk into the room and I was promptly asked if one of my children was playing in the match. After that display of asininity, I wasn't incredibly shocked when, on a computational math question, she was confused by "an x with a little two by it." Apparently, she didn't know what exponents were. Everyone, including the sixth graders on the team were just agape.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Kouign Amann » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:46 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:It's actually not, I took a lot of French, and while most of it bleeded out I am pretty much positive you pronounce it "say."
I'm going to disagree here. The vowel form of y in French is almost always pronounced similar to "ee," except when nasalized in words like "sympa." S doesn't nasalize things, so there's no reason it shouldn't be "də-b(y)oo-see." Also keep in mind that the letters "de" in "Debussy" aren't prounced "day," but "də" because there's no sort of accent. It's not Débussy; it's Debussy. Unaccented E's tend to get swallowed up in French most of the time, so it's almost something like "D'bussy." French words also generally don't have a set stress pattern but have stress based on where in a phrase or sentence they fall. It would be technically inaccurate to stress the first, middle, or last syllable when just saying "Debussy" all by itself, as when giving an answer. It's just sorta "d'byoosee," said very quickly.

Edit: basically, ninja'd by Will.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by alkrav112 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:28 pm

I'm going to argue that, because of the way quiz bowl is played, "Sartre" is one of the few instances in which I would encourage mispronunciation. The "re" in "Sartre" should be a guttural r, which even when pronounced by a competent moderator can be effectively inaudible if the reader is going at a fast clip. The result sounds something like "Sarr" which is not comprehensible to me. One potential argument might be that I should be able to figure it out from context clues, but it is my belief that I should not have to.

My recommendation is that Sartre be pronounced "sar-truh" -- even though it offends my linguistic sensibilities -- because it clearly and unambiguously refers to the guy that wrote Nausea.

EDIT: I see that above people have said similar things; I apologize for the repeat.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:08 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:
David Riley wrote:My favorite from the Illinois archives:

We once playede a tournament that used virtually all volunteer moderators. In one match, we had this moderator who didn't know factorials, and thought that the exclamation mark meant to say the numbers "with feeling". Both teams howled and she got very defensive. I called a time out, went to my team and said that, yes, it was funny but they needed to understand that she was a volunteer who probably hadn't been trained or whatever. They agreed and the match resumed. Several questions later, another math question came up and she pronounced "matrices" as "mattresses". That did it, both teams howled again and she stormed out of the room. We got a new moderator almost immediately, who knew what he was doing.

I might be able to one up this: When I was high school, I went to a middle school match my brother was playing in. I was the first one to walk into the room and I was promptly asked if one of my children was playing in the match. After that display of asininity, I wasn't incredibly shocked when, on a computational math question, she was confused by "an x with a little two by it." Apparently, she didn't know what exponents were. Everyone, including the sixth graders on the team were just agape.
When playing in a local format tournament once when I was a freshman, my entire team was very confused throughout a series of questions on "Bar-COO" art. Finally, before the last question on it, one of my teammates asked exactly how it was that this hitherto unknown artistic movement, that apparently produced a number of notable people, and was told that it was spelled "Baroque."
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by jonah » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:44 pm

Joe N wrote:When playing in a local format tournament once when I was a freshman, my entire team was very confused throughout a series of questions on "Bar-COO" art. Finally, before the last question on it, one of my teammates asked exactly how it was that this hitherto unknown artistic movement, that apparently produced a number of notable people, and was told that it was spelled "Baroque."
Deep in the lore of Illinois—Riley can probably identify where and when this happened—is the story of a player who answered a tossup by saying "rococo" and was informed that "I guess I can accept that, but around here, we pronounce it 'baroque'."

This is fun, but probably not exactly what Kristin had in mind...moderators, might we be able to split off a separate thread for pronunciation horror stories that aren't likely mistakes to be made by decently educated people?
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:37 pm

Gee, my first thread derailment (it really wasn't me intent to do so). Anyway, I may just be ignorant, but doesn't the pronunciation of French words and names depend on what particular region of France you're from? I seem to remember in some thread somewhere a bit of a minor kerfuffle over whether "Sara" was pronounced "Sair-ra" or "Sahra." As long as what's said can be interpreted correctly, I don't see the problem in giving "Sart-tra" for "Sart." I mean, in terms of what the moderator reads and what answer the player gives, pronunciation should be lax as long as it is clear what's intended. I think the idea of this thread was to find flagrant examples of words that are all too often butchered beyond recognition, not just to quibble over the nuances of French and the like.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by centralhs » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:09 pm

I have heard the Jewish holiday of Sukkot pronounced more than once by readers/players as "suck-it". One of my pet peeves is readers who pronounce non-French words as if they were French. There are other examples that I can't think of right this second, but one that comes to mind that irritates me is pronouncing Schubert "shoo-bair".
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by quizbowllee » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:20 pm

I was ALWAYS taught that "Schubert" was "Shoe-Bear."

Also, I have no idea how to say "Sukkot." I always say "Soo-cot."

This thread makes me feel ignorant. I think a lot of this has to do with our geographical regions. People say things differently in different places. Also, as made apparent in this thread, even some VERY intelligent people are unsure of how to say some very common quiz bowl material.

It seems that I have participated in similar threads in the past.... But, there are still a ton of names, terms, etc. that I'm not 100% sure how to say correctly.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Kyle » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:48 pm

The mispronunciation that always bothers me most when watching the news is ka-LEED Sheikh Mohammed instead of KHA-lid. Even if you're not into unvoiced velar fricatives (which aren't that hard if you know German or Greek or whatever), at least you can say KA-lid or HA-lid, right? Why do people on the news keep saying ka-LEED?

It is true, however, that Arabic words as transliterated into English are often ambiguous. The three-letter roots (C-C-C) often become adjectives of the form CaCiiC or active participles (which can be used as adjectives) of the form CaaCiC. The problem is that both get transliterated into English the same way. So sometimes you end up with names like "Hamid," which could be pronounced either HAA-mid, meaning "he who praises (God)," or ha-MEED, meaning "praiseworthy." Similarly, ra-SHEED is the name "Rashid," but the Rightly-Guided Caliphs (al-khulafa al-rashidun) are al-RA-shidun. You can't tell from looking at a transliteration which it is going to be unless that transliteration includes diacritics.

Which is why, for names of those forms that come up a lot, it's probably useful (not just for quizbowl but for real life) to try to memorize properly the ones that don't vary, like KHA-lid.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by David Riley » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:15 pm

Nolan, I consider myself one-upped. :grin:

I can't veryify this at the moment, but speaking of Arkansas (maybe a native Razxorback can, or not), I was once told by a pretty reliable source that there was a town in Arkansas that has once had a covered bridge, or "chemin couvert". Over time, that got corrupted to "smackover".
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by David Riley » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:15 pm

Of course, we Kentuckians never mispronounce anything. :grin: :grin:
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by jonah » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:34 pm

quizbowllee wrote:Also, I have no idea how to say "Sukkot.".
soo-KOHT.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Bonito » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:28 pm

IHSA volunteer moderators will sometimes mispronounce Greek names like Aristophanes.
operas, especially Italian: Cosi fan tutte, Aida.
Dumas. Jean valjean.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:20 am

jonah wrote:
quizbowllee wrote:Also, I have no idea how to say "Sukkot.".
soo-KOHT.
So cute.
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Re: Studying Pronunciation

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:36 am

quizbowllee wrote:I was ALWAYS taught that "Schubert" was "Shoe-Bear."
He's Austrian; there's no question it's "Shoe-burt". "Shoe-bairt", if you want to really be correct.
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