Pronunciation (/prəˌnʌnsɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n/)

1. The way in which a word is pronounced.
“spelling does not determine pronunciation”

speech-bubblesThe English language never fails to amuse me with its idiosyncrasies and anomalies whether in speech or text. I wish I could speak another language (I don’t have the patience) but I think it’s amazing when a non-native English speaker learns English. It must be a very difficult language to learn. In France, would you object to the object? In Germany, does a farm produce produce? In Japan, can you be too close to the door to close it?

On the BBC website today there is an article about pronunciation (How do you say Hyundai?) which made me smile. While in the US, I’ve commented on the pronunciation used in the Hyundai advert numerous times. However, I didn’t realise that it sounds different in several countries. Why isn’t it just pronounced as it was intended in Korea? Surely it’s rude to pronounce it a different way because that’s how you read it? That’s like deciding you can’t say someone’s name because it’s too complicated so you’ll just call them Bob instead because it’s easier for you. Rude!

Anyway, the main reason for writing this is because it reminded me of two things – firstly, a random conversation between my brother and his two friends some years ago on how you pronounce “bourbon” as in the biscuit. My brother says “bore-bon”; one friend says “bure-bon” like the liquor; and the third friend (hopefully being funny) says “buh-bon”. Secondly, it reminded me of the 1941 Arthur Askey film The Ghost Train. I couldn’t find the clip on its own but here’s a link to the full version. Just watch from around 0:06:18 – 0:06:41. Classic film!

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