Monday, March 09, 2009

Pronouncing names

from w
The tourist is telling someone on the Air Pacific plane that they are going to Nuddy.
‘No it’s Noddy,’ says someone.
‘No, it’s Nahndee.’
‘Can’t be as there’s no ‘n’ in it!’ says the first speaker.
Well, it is so. Nadi airport and town is pronounced NAHndee.
It gets complicated in Fiji because the letters ‘d’ has an ‘n’ in front of it, and ‘b’ have an added ‘m’ in front of it, ‘c’ is pronounced ‘th’, ‘g’
is pronounced as ‘ng’ and ‘q’ as ‘ngg’ and so on.
So what is Ba town? Mbbah? And Lautoka? This is usually shortened to La-TOH-ka (by me, anyway). Rakiraki is not Rocky-rocky but RA-kee-RA-kee. And Labasa? Lah-MBAH-sah with the emphasis on the second syllable.
In Australia we have our difficulties also. Tallangatta is not pronounced like Wangaratta or Coolangatta but as TaLLANGatta not WANGaratta. A cartoon by George Haddon shows the arguments about naming country towns in Victoria, Australia. Of course Geelong, where we live is pronounced as Jill-LONG and Corio Bay not as Cor-i-oh but as Cor-AY-oh. Melbourne is not Mel-burn or Mel-borne, but as MEL-bun. So have a good time when you are in Fee-chee or in Os-TRAY-lee-yah.

Now how about singing that song 'I've been everywhere man' and use these names, mainly from Vanua Levu.


meg said...

yes and my fave breakfast spread is now known in our family as Veng geh mee tay...

Rakiraki is the maori word for duck, so GB calls it "duckduck" and I call it duck town... One of the girls friends' name is Lice, which is SUCH a pretty name once you say it right (lee-they?)...

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Meg,
That is a funny way to say Vegemite! I really admire the way people in Fiji tackle three languages or more, and often do this very well. English is especially silly with pronunciation too.