hibs.net Messageboard

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 32
  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Aggravated mayhem
    Posts
    25,515

    Pronunciation of foreign words in the English language.

    Why do we pronounce the word genre, "zjon-ruh"?

    Logically, in English it should be pronounced "gen - er" like "centre", no?

    We don't pronounce Paris, "Paree", so why do we pick and choose?

    Strange thing to dream about, I grant you, but it struck me that there aren't any other words we pronounce with the Zjon sound at the start.

    Are there?

    As I type this, I remember "Dijon" has that sound in the middle.

    Still...
    Buy nothing online unless you click here first. I'm already £566.25 better off!

  2. Log in to remove the advert

  3. #2
    @hibs.net private member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,186
    There was a convention, in the past, of adapting some (presumably well known or more frequently visited) foreign place names to English pronunciations, and sometimes spellings, such as Lyons and Bombay, and I think the same thing happened elsewhere - French has alternative spellings for a lot of foreign places, such as Edimbourg and Londres. Here, they seem to have generally fallen out of use, or have been deliberately ditched for their original counterparts. I think, as far as imported words other than place names go, the answer - in terms of which ones (and there are quite a lot) retained original pronunciation, and which ones were adapted locally over time - is probably a long-winded and not very definitive one to do with when they came over, and who they were used by, and how much status, caché or power they had.

    If you're at all interested in the origins and development of language, Guy Deutcher's books are interesting. I really enjoyed 'The Unfolding of Language', which attempts to uncover how languages develop and change over time.

  4. #3
    @hibs.net private member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,186
    .....I once heard somebody talking about the words deputy (English) and depute (same thing, but only used in Scotland). Both derive from the Latin deputare, but were adapted differently north and south of the border.

  5. #4
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    8,273
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Why do we pronounce the word genre, "zjon-ruh"?

    Logically, in English it should be pronounced "gen - er" like "centre", no?

    We don't pronounce Paris, "Paree", so why do we pick and choose?

    Strange thing to dream about, I grant you, but it struck me that there aren't any other words we pronounce with the Zjon sound at the start.

    Are there?

    As I type this, I remember "Dijon" has that sound in the middle.

    Still...
    Gilet, which is I suppose in relatively common usage.

    Gendarmerie, gendarmes etc but that's almost specifically used in a foreign context.

    To answer your main point though, I don't know! Guess it's what makes language, linguistics and discourse analysis fascinating - the rules or norms that exist and evolve.

    Maybe the pronunciation of 'genre' will change - if enough people pronounce it the way you describe above then it maybe just shifts to that.

    I posted recently on the MB about how everyone misuses the word 'turgid'. If it keeps up like that, then the intention will eventually supercede the definition and it will mean what people think or want it to mean, and why shouldn't it?

    Slippery stuff, language
    There's only one thing better than a Hibs calendar and that's two Hibs calendars

  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    5,962
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote

    Gilet, which is I suppose in relatively common usage.

    Gendarmerie, gendarmes etc but that's almost specifically used in a foreign context.

    To answer your main point though, I don't know! Guess it's what makes language, linguistics and discourse analysis fascinating - the rules or norms that exist and evolve.

    Maybe the pronunciation of 'genre' will change - if enough people pronounce it the way you describe above then it maybe just shifts to that.

    I posted recently on the MB about how everyone misuses the word 'turgid'. If it keeps up like that, then the intention will eventually supercede the definition and it will mean what people think or want it to mean, and why shouldn't it?

    Slippery stuff, language
    Must admit I've used the word turgid exactly the way it was used in the MB for years.

    Was at something recently and afterwards started to describe it as turgid...I quickly corrected myself tho and described it as torpid so maybe the turgid/torpid tide has started to turn..and all because of your hard work defending the English language ;-)

  7. #6
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Aggravated mayhem
    Posts
    25,515
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Gilet, which is I suppose in relatively common usage.

    Gendarmerie, gendarmes etc but that's almost specifically used in a foreign context.

    To answer your main point though, I don't know! Guess it's what makes language, linguistics and discourse analysis fascinating - the rules or norms that exist and evolve.

    Maybe the pronunciation of 'genre' will change - if enough people pronounce it the way you describe above then it maybe just shifts to that.

    I posted recently on the MB about how everyone misuses the word 'turgid'. If it keeps up like that, then the intention will eventually supercede the definition and it will mean what people think or want it to mean, and why shouldn't it?

    Slippery stuff, language
    The misuse of the word "literally" has always grated with me, but as of last month, it officially doesn't just mean "literally" anymore.

    It also means "figuratively speaking" or "virtually". Disgusting, but true.

    My head literally exploded when I found out.

    PS I didn't read the thread about "turgid" although I understand the conflict.

    Was it recent?
    Buy nothing online unless you click here first. I'm already £566.25 better off!

  8. #7
    Testimonial Due Treadstone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Gorgie (Sorry)
    Posts
    2,233
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: TreadsoneScot
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    The misuse of the word "literally" has always grated with me, but as of last month, it officially doesn't just mean "literally" anymore.

    It also means "figuratively speaking" or "virtually". Disgusting, but true.

    My head literally exploded when I found out.

    PS I didn't read the thread about "turgid" although I understand the conflict.

    Was it recent?
    Top-Top will be delighted. Literally.

    http://www.parryphernalia.com/?page_id=1019

  9. #8
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    8,273
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    The misuse of the word "literally" has always grated with me, but as of last month, it officially doesn't just mean "literally" anymore.

    It also means "figuratively speaking" or "virtually". Disgusting, but true.

    My head literally exploded when I found out.

    PS I didn't read the thread about "turgid" although I understand the conflict.

    Was it recent?
    It was on the 'Calderclown' thread, here. More of a tangent within the thread TBH.

    "Literally" is a good (or rather not good - powerful maybe ) example of misuse becoming formalised.

    We live in times when so many things seem to be pushed to the extremes more and more - it's maybe no surprise that metaphor on its own isn't enough and has to be intensified by the addition of "literally"
    There's only one thing better than a Hibs calendar and that's two Hibs calendars

  10. #9
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Aggravated mayhem
    Posts
    25,515
    Quote Originally Posted by Treadstone View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Top-Top will be delighted. Literally.

    http://www.parryphernalia.com/?page_id=1019
    Nice one, thanks.

    Here's a post I put on my Facebook about the subject earlier. You might recognise one or two lines!


    The misuse of the word "literally" has always grated with me. You know the sort of thing.

    Football commentators saying that Barcelona literally wiped the floor with Espanol or that the Scotland rugby players literally ran their socks off.

    I watched the entire season of X-factor last year because someone told me that Simon Cowell literally gets away with murder on it. Imagine adding crushing disappointment to the usual feelings of anger and frustration you get when watching that drivel!

    I once emailed Radio Forth to ask for photographic evidence after I heard a weepy caller on a phone-in saying that her and her pals literally cried their eyes out watching the film Titanic.

    Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! Please stop it!

    But, as of last month, it officially doesn't just mean "literally" anymore.

    It also means "figuratively speaking" or "virtually".

    It's a disgusting development, but it's true. I genuinely feel betrayed.

    My head literally exploded when I found out
    .
    Buy nothing online unless you click here first. I'm already £566.25 better off!

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member wpj's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    london
    Age
    49
    Posts
    1,631
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Nice one, thanks.

    Here's a post I put on my Facebook about the subject earlier. You might recognise one or two lines!


    The misuse of the word "literally" has always grated with me. You know the sort of thing.

    Football commentators saying that Barcelona literally wiped the floor with Espanol or that the Scotland rugby players literally ran their socks off.

    I watched the entire season of X-factor last year because someone told me that Simon Cowell literally gets away with murder on it. Imagine adding crushing disappointment to the usual feelings of anger and frustration you get when watching that drivel!

    I once emailed Radio Forth to ask for photographic evidence after I heard a weepy caller on a phone-in saying that her and her pals literally cried their eyes out watching the film Titanic.

    Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! Please stop it!

    But, as of last month, it officially doesn't just mean "literally" anymore.

    It also means "figuratively speaking" or "virtually".

    It's a disgusting development, but it's true. I genuinely feel betrayed.

    My head literally exploded when I found out
    .

    Here in London "literally" is the most overused word around, it is taking over in the workplace from "absolutely" and "in terms of" one of my colleagues starts a sentence with it nearly every conversation. Does me nut in

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I posted recently on the MB about how everyone misuses the word 'turgid'. If it keeps up like that, then the intention will eventually supercede the definition and it will mean what people think or want it to mean, and why shouldn't it?
    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
    "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."

  13. #12
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    8,273
    Quote Originally Posted by lapsedhibee View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
    "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
    "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."


    I haven't seen that quote in a long time. Got a mental image of an egg-shaped Alistair Campbell channelling Foucault now.
    There's only one thing better than a Hibs calendar and that's two Hibs calendars

  14. #13
    @hibs.net private member deano88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Age
    26
    Posts
    5,353
    Quote Originally Posted by SiMar View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Must admit I've used the word turgid exactly the way it was used in the MB for years.

    Was at something recently and afterwards started to describe it as turgid...I quickly corrected myself tho and described it as torpid so maybe the turgid/torpid tide has started to turn..and all because of your hard work defending the English language ;-)
    I have no idea what turgid means (or doesn't mean).

  15. #14
    @hibs.net private member Peevemor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Saint-Malo, Brittany
    Age
    47
    Posts
    13,505
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Why do we pronounce the word genre, "zjon-ruh"?

    Logically, in English it should be pronounced "gen - er" like "centre", no?

    We don't pronounce Paris, "Paree", so why do we pick and choose?

    Strange thing to dream about, I grant you, but it struck me that there aren't any other words we pronounce with the Zjon sound at the start.

    Are there?

    As I type this, I remember "Dijon" has that sound in the middle.

    Still...
    I'll tell you what's really annoying, is living in France and having to pronounce English words and names with a French accent in order to be understood. For example - Ondee Mur-ray who won Wimblydon this year supports my team - Eeb-ern-nee-ann.

    I kid you not!

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Why do we pronounce the word genre, "zjon-ruh"?

    Logically, in English it should be pronounced "gen - er" like "centre", no?

    We don't pronounce Paris, "Paree", so why do we pick and choose?

    Strange thing to dream about, I grant you, but it struck me that there aren't any other words we pronounce with the Zjon sound at the start.

    Are there?

    As I type this, I remember "Dijon" has that sound in the middle.

    Still...
    What are you calling the polis in Franceland? If you just called them French Polis it would risk confusion with furniture restoring, so don't you have to say Zjon etc?
    Last edited by lapsedhibee; 16-09-2013 at 10:37 AM.

  17. #16
    Private Members Prediction League Winner Hiberlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Berlin
    Age
    48
    Posts
    6,309
    Isn't the English language just a jumble of words borrowed from several other languages anyway. It's a nightmare for foreigners to learn because there are no real hard rules as to how words are pronounced, instead it mainly depends on the source of the word as to how it's pronounced.

  18. #17
    @hibs.net private member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,186
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiberlin View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Isn't the English language just a jumble of words borrowed from several other languages anyway. It's a nightmare for foreigners to learn because there are no real hard rules as to how words are pronounced, instead it mainly depends on the source of the word as to how it's pronounced.
    Pronunciation might be hasslesome in English, but we don't have to contend with gender, case or complex verb conjugation. I'm assuming you speak German, and you have to contend with three noun genders and four cases in every language construction you make - English has none of that. So if foreign folks are moaning about the way we say stuff, get them tellt!

  19. #18
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Aggravated mayhem
    Posts
    25,515
    Quote Originally Posted by lapsedhibee View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    What are you calling the polis in Franceland? If you just called them French Polis it would risk confusion with furniture restoring, so don't you have to say Zjon etc?
    Les filth?
    Buy nothing online unless you click here first. I'm already £566.25 better off!

  20. #19
    Doddie the Sneaky Proddie Doddie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Caldera de la Cruz
    Age
    64
    Posts
    23,413
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Eh? PSN ID: No comprendo, senor. Wii Code: What's a Wii?
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiberlin View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Isn't the English language just a jumble of words borrowed from several other languages anyway? It's a nightmare for foreigners to learn because there are no real hard rules as to how words are pronounced; instead it mainly depends on the source of the word as to how it's pronounced.



    I really don't see why we should consider the feelings of foreigners, Hiberlin. It's their duty to learn to speak English, after all. The real problem with the EC is that English wasn't adopted as the official language right from the start. If we all spoke English life would be so much simpler. Johnny Foreigner would know his place.

    Besides, most British people don't speak or write English properly. Look at the appalling spelling, punctuation and grammar displayed in most comments posted on this forum.

    (BTW - I've corrected your punctuation for you - please don't let it happen again. )


    "Once one accepts that one has bear-hugged full-blown barking there is great comfort in the bright lights and noises of the wibble-wibble show ..."

  21. #20
    Doddie the Sneaky Proddie Doddie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Caldera de la Cruz
    Age
    64
    Posts
    23,413
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Eh? PSN ID: No comprendo, senor. Wii Code: What's a Wii?
    Case in point -



    "Once one accepts that one has bear-hugged full-blown barking there is great comfort in the bright lights and noises of the wibble-wibble show ..."

  22. #21
    Private Members Prediction League Winner Hiberlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Berlin
    Age
    48
    Posts
    6,309
    Quote Originally Posted by Doddie View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote


    I really don't see why we should consider the feelings of foreigners, Hiberlin. It's their duty to learn to speak English, after all. The real problem with the EC is that English wasn't adopted as the official language right from the start. If we all spoke English life would be so much simpler. Johnny Foreigner would know his place.

    Besides, most British people don't speak or write English properly. Look at the appalling spelling, punctuation and grammar displayed in most comments posted on this forum.

    (BTW - I've corrected your punctuation for you - please don't let it happen again. )



    Tsk tsk tsk, dear oh dear Doddie! Hijacking a thread about pronunciation to score cheap points regarding grammar. A poor grammar school drop out like myself has no alternative but to cower in the corner when faced with your bumptious grammatical superiority.



    For this reason I couldn't possibly promise not to repeat my mistakes, however for the same reason I'm also willing to forgive your superfluous addition of a comma prior to using "after all" in it's idiomatic sense at the end of a sentence.





    P.S. I reserve the right to correct any mistakes in this post due to having a pesky 4 year old crawling all over my head at the time of drafting it.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiberlin View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    For this reason I couldn't possibly promise not to repeat my mistakes, however for the same reason I'm also willing to forgive your superfluous addition of a comma prior to using "after all" in it's idiomatic sense at the end of a sentence.

  24. #23
    Coaching Staff Fergus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Jardin Ilan Halimi z''l
    Posts
    6,801
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Why do we pronounce the word genre, "zjon-ruh"?

    Logically, in English it should be pronounced "gen - er" like "centre", no?

    We don't pronounce Paris, "Paree", so why do we pick and choose?

    Strange thing to dream about, I grant you, but it struck me that there aren't any other words we pronounce with the Zjon sound at the start.

    Are there?

    As I type this, I remember "Dijon" has that sound in the middle.

    Still...
    Apart from proper names, such as Gilles Villeneuve, this sound appears in lots of words we have appropriated from French, e.g.:

    montage
    dressage
    sabotage
    decoupage
    décolletage
    triage
    agent provocateur
    regime
    bourgeois
    lingerie
    chargé d'affaire
    ingénue
    plus ça change
    mange tout
    négligé
    protégé
    ménage à trois
    noblesse oblige
    cortège

    Same/similar sound with j instead of g:
    joie de vivre
    déjà vu
    jus
    lèse majesté
    mot juste
    force majeure
    objet d'art

    Probably loads more than that. Nicking words from other languages makes it easier for us to learn those languages... which is probably why we are such polyglots in this country...

  25. #24
    Doddie the Sneaky Proddie Doddie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Caldera de la Cruz
    Age
    64
    Posts
    23,413
    Gamer IDs

    Gamertag: Eh? PSN ID: No comprendo, senor. Wii Code: What's a Wii?
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiberlin View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote


    Tsk tsk tsk, dear oh dear Doddie! Hijacking a thread about pronunciation to score cheap points regarding grammar. A poor grammar school drop out like myself has no alternative but to cower in the corner when faced with your bumptious grammatical superiority.



    For this reason I couldn't possibly promise not to repeat my mistakes, however for the same reason I'm also willing to forgive your superfluous addition of a comma prior to using "after all" in it's idiomatic sense at the end of a sentence.





    P.S. I reserve the right to correct any mistakes in this post due to having a pesky 4 year old crawling all over my head at the time of drafting it.

    No, no - the comma you refer to is quite in order. One may use a comma in that place or not - as one pleases.

    I'm sorry that my post induced you to cower behind the couch. I was only trying to be helpful.

    Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.


    "Once one accepts that one has bear-hugged full-blown barking there is great comfort in the bright lights and noises of the wibble-wibble show ..."

  26. #25
    Coaching Staff heretoday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Corstorphine
    Posts
    6,655
    The thing is - it's ok to pronounce a foreign word as it sounds in English.

    You can do it when you are in Britain.

    That comes from the Wykehamist book of what's right and what's not.

    OK?
    Last edited by heretoday; 21-09-2013 at 03:02 AM.

  27. #26
    @hibs.net private member Hibbyradge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Aggravated mayhem
    Posts
    25,515
    Quote Originally Posted by heretoday View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    The thing is - it's ok to pronounce a foreign word as it sounds in English.

    You can do it when you are in Britain.

    That comes from the Wykehamist book of what's right and what's not.

    OK?
    It does my head in when folk pronounce Buffet, buff - it.
    Buy nothing online unless you click here first. I'm already £566.25 better off!

  28. #27
    @hibs.net private member Peevemor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Saint-Malo, Brittany
    Age
    47
    Posts
    13,505
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    It does my head in when folk pronounce Buffet, buff - it.
    Especially when there's horse's doovers .

  29. #28
    Testimonial Due HibeeEmma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    London
    Age
    26
    Posts
    1,506
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    It does my head in when folk pronounce Buffet, buff - it.
    Likewise.

    Similarly, why is Edinburgh called Edinbourg to Europeans (and possibly others?)

    Agree with the mis-use of literally, along with actually and the over use of the word like, which seems to be every 3rd word used by many people.
    Last edited by HibeeEmma; 21-09-2013 at 08:51 PM.

  30. #29
    @hibs.net private member Peevemor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Saint-Malo, Brittany
    Age
    47
    Posts
    13,505
    Quote Originally Posted by HibeeEmma View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Likewise.

    Similarly, why is Edinburgh called Edinbourg to Europeans (and possibly others?)


    Agree with the mis-use of literally, along with actually and the over use of the word like, which seems to be every 3rd word used by many people.
    Because the burgh part, as well as being unpronounceable to many foreigners, has a direct translation in French and German which is very close to the English.

    Similarly, why and when did we chose to rename the likes of Kôln, Bruxelles/Brussel, Roma, etc. ?

  31. #30
    Coaching Staff snooky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Down East
    Posts
    5,623
    Chill guys. Just vive la difference

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
hibs.net ©2012 All Rights Reserved