Monday, August 27, 2007

Talking Smart: Foreign Names

Caen (Fr.)
An "ae" combination in French language is pronounced as [a]. So, [kan].

Crewe Alexandra (Eng.)
The first word in the name of this club from Liverpool suburbs should sound as [kru].

Crvena Zvezda (Serb.)
First, the letter "c" in such Slav languages as Polish, Czech or Croatian, if its clean of various additional signs above it, should be pronounced as [ts] (as German "z"). So, it's [tsrvena zvezda]. So many consonants one after another (very typical for Western Slavs) is a clear headache for the rest of the world. Actually, there is a vowel there. It's a kind of hidden: [ts(e)rvena]. It is not actually pronounced clearly, rather swallowed, but anyway it forms a syllable.

Deportivo Cúcuta (Col.)
In Colombia there are many toponyms of Indian origin with funny stresses. Thus, Cúcuta (quite a large city) has stress over its first syllable.

Cheltenham Town (Eng.)
Even many foreigners would pronounce it correctly intuitively, but anyway, here it is: [cheltnem].

Czech (Pol.)
Very funny thing to observe: few know that this word, denoting a nation and a language, came to English language not from Czech country, but from Poland! The Czechs themselves spell it this way: "Čech" (exactly like the surname of Chelsea's keeper).

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