Category Archives: pronunciation tips

Pronunciation tip: Celebes

I was wondering what to do my next pronunciation tip on, so I went and got a coffee. And the answer was right in front of me.

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Pronunciation tip: The One Ring inscription

Everyone knows the inscription inside the One Ring from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, of course, but most of us can’t get the pronunciation quite right. Discover the secret to saying it so Sauron will seek you out, and get a little bit of linguistic insight while you’re at it:

Oh, and happy April 1.

Pronunciation tip: more Irish

For St. Patrick’s Day I covered just a couple of phrases and their related bits of Irish phonology. I thought it would be good to let you in on a bit more of it. Irish can seem like Scrabble, in that you start with a bunch of letters but you’re very lucky if you can put them all in play. In truth, there’s always a reason for it. Here’s part of why. (I also sing a song. A short one.)

Pronunciation tip: Sláinte, Céad míle fáilte

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us, and that has inspired me to do a quick pronunciation tip video for the two things in Irish you’re most likely to encounter on St. Paddy’s. You will see that I had fun making this video. How much fun? Well, why don’t you watch it – it’s not that long.

Pronunciation tip: Nguyen

I’m not going to tell you that Vietnamese pronunciation is easy to master. But there’s one Vietnamese name we encounter often that many of us are severely daunted by that is actually quite within easy reach for English speakers. It’s all about that NG…

I woke up in the middle of the night to talk to the BBC about pronunciation

A producer from BBC Radio Solent (in southern England) asked me if I could be interviewed for their morning show. I said sure, when? How about 8:45 am? Hmm… England time or Toronto time? Oh, uh…

Well, anyway, I got up in the middle of the night to take a 3:45 am phone call and talk to Sasha Twining about how to say PyeongChang and a few other things. Here’s the link to the show: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05vswzq My segment starts at about the 17:10 mark and goes for about 5 minutes.

Sorry about the audio quality. We had arranged to use Skype with the phone as a backup but they couldn’t get the Skype to hook up so you’re hearing me on my phone headset.

Oh, also: the link to the show is only valid for 29 days. So listen to it by March 23, 2018, or you’ll be too late!

I tell San Francisco how to say Pyeongchang

The local ABC news in the San Francisco Bay Area asked me if they could use my video on how to say the 2018 Olympic venue names in one of their news clips. I said yes, of course – I mean, if I don’t want people to see these videos, why do them? (Of course I know most people don’t really care about how to say non-English names accurately. I don’t mind; the videos are just for people who want to know.) You can see the clip here:

How do you pronounce Winter Olympics location ‘Pyeongchang?’