Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How should you say it?

When it comes to pronouncing brand names the correct way, there is somewhat of a snobbishness in it all. Especially in Malaysia, I think.

If you pronounced “Louis Vuitton” with an audible "s" I am sure you will be corrected by a friend. Or "Hermes" with the "s" sound as well.

The other day, I heard on the radio a DJ corrected another when his colleague pronounced “Preve”, “pre” as in “pre-match” and “ve” as in “v”. The DJ said the correct pronunciation is “Pray” and “vay” and not "Pre-ve".

Got me thinking. Did you realize that in Malaysia, there is peer pressure to succumb you to pronounce every western brand names - and it ONLY happens to western brand names, mind you - the way it is done in its original language? You know the often used brand names like “Peugeot”. Say it like “Pew-geot” with a very clear “t” sound and watch how many will jump in to correct you.

This phenomenon stretches to names of sports stars and cities. Why the hell do we try so hard to get names like Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, Victoria Azarenka, but when it is Lin Dan we pronounce it like a foreigner?

If we try to pronounce every brand in its native language then we should try just as hard to say brands like “Haier” and “Mitsubishi” properly too. And correct people just as much when they say “Mit-su-bi-shi” when it should be “Mi-tze-bi-shi”. Or "Suzuki" when it should be "Sze-tze-ki". Or do you really know the correct pronunciation for "Hyundai" or "Daewoo" or "Samsung" or "Baidu"?

If we say Paris with the silent “s”, then Beijing should be “Pei-Jing” and Hong Kong as “Hiong Kong”.

Have a standard and hold to that standard fairly. 

Are you a snob even when it comes to pronunciation?

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