Re: Pronunciations of Names
Regarding Dinara Safina:
Up until the AO 2009, I'd always heard announcers pronounce her last name as Sa-FEE-na, and during the AO 2009, she pronounced it that way herself (at the beginning of the ESPN broadcast of the final, they show a video of her talking to the camera saying, "I'm Dinara Sa-FEE-na"). But the ESPN announcers during AO 2009 called her SA-fina, which I guess is more correct since it's the female version of Safin, which is pronounced SA-fin. I think the MC of the trophy ceremony called her Sa-FEE-na.
Regarding Elena Dementieva:
For years Americans called her De-men-tee-AY-va, while British announcers called her De-MEN-tya-va. I suspect the actual Russian pronunciation is closer to the latter. Recently I've heard American announcers adopting the latter pronunciation. But I've occasionally heard British announcers use the former. I thought I once heard Elena herself use the former pronunciation, but that may have been for the benefit of an American audience.
Regarding Maria Sharapova:
Most English speakers call her Shar-a-PO-va, but Bud Collins always calls her Shar-A-pova, which sounds like something from the Cold War days (it reminds me of the Soviet athletes from the 70's and 80's that Americans were trained to fear/hate/whatever). I suspect that neither pronunciation is correct. I think the correct pronunciation in Russian is closer to SHAR-a-pova, since that's closer to the male version of the name SHAR-a-pov. But SHAR-a-pova sounds totally weird to English speakers, so it's not used. I think Maria herself says Shar-a-PO-va like most English speakers.
Last edited by PizzaMan; Mar 9th, 2009 at 10:51 PM.