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I actually only learned to properly pronounce the Czech city Olomouc like last month. :D It really shouldn't have taken me so long considering its history as a bit of a holy city in the history of gymnastics (an incredibly special and rare competition took place there).
Hahaha, I totally understand this as a HUGE Olga Mostepanova fan, I only found out how to pronounce Olomouc correctly about two years ago and probably cannot do it correctly anymore.
 

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I actually only learned to properly pronounce the Czech city Olomouc like last month. :D It really shouldn't have taken me so long considering its history as a bit of a holy city in the history of gymnastics (an incredibly special and rare competition took place there).
Is the 'c' in Olomouc similar to the 'c' in Strycova?
 

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Also, I'm curious with the Poles, having grown up in Chicago with a significant Polish immigrant population if Polish sports commentators would pronounce third generation Polish-North American names, like Gabriela Dabrowski or Tara Lipinski in the traditional Polish manner when their first names are so clearly NOT Polish.
 

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I still think the added vowels in names like Kuh-Vitova and Kuh-Senia are the worst. Not sure if that's just an American problem or if Brit commentators also do this.
 

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Hahaha, I totally understand this as a HUGE Olga Mostepanova fan, I only found out how to pronounce Olomouc correctly about two years ago and probably cannot do it correctly anymore.
OMG haha SAME! On my YouTube channel, I do reactions to old classic routines (mostly Soviets cause they're my EVERYTHING) and Mostepanova is actually the last one I've done.. in addition to a DEEP DIVE I did about the entire Soviet Team @ 1983 Worlds. So yes, I ended up saying Olomouc quite a bit... as well as Mostepanova, which I didn't always pronounce correctly and have noticed that lots of people still don't!

That revolutionary, incredible gymnast who invented the round-off entry vault named Natalia Yurchenko?? Well, it was only about 3 or 4 weeks ago that I learned that the O at the end of her name isn't pronounced like an O! I was SHOCKED lol. Same as Soviet and Ukrainian great from the 90s Tatiana Lysenko. Yurchenko is pronounced like YUR chen ka and Lisenko is pronounced like LEE syen ka. TMYK!!!!

And I imagine the day will never come where the Yurchenko vault starts being pronounced correctlandy on TV LMAO. But wouldn't that be something??

These are more of the transliteration issues I was wondering about. I'm unsure why when these names are transliterated into English, they aren't just spelled with an A at the end instead of keeping the O. I guess since there are only 5 or 6 letters that are the same in Russian as in English, they just automatically move it over if we have it in English. It's plain silly and defies logic!

OHH and shout out to Google Translate cause it's such a Godsend. Not as a translating tool, but as a pronunciation one. You can look @ Wikipedia articles to see how someone's name is written in Russian Cyrillic and then put it in Google Translate to hear how it should be pronounced. I love it!

One last thing (lol!), a Russian Israeli girl from Twitter who translates Russian gymnastics articles showed me the correct way to write my name in Russian. I'd been doing it wrong for years LOL. I was actually doing the German version of my name I guess.. Who knew? There's no w sound in Russian and that's forever made things confusing as my name starts with a W. I'd been using V as the substitution as they would in German, but I should have been using the letter that sounds more like U I guess... Again, THE MORE YOU KNOW!
 
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Also, I'm curious with the Poles, having grown up in Chicago with a significant Polish immigrant population if Polish sports commentators would pronounce third generation Polish-North American names, like Gabriela Dabrowski or Tara Lipinski in the traditional Polish manner when their first names are so clearly NOT Polish.
Nope, but I do recall 20 years back they pronounced Lipinski's name with the "ń" like it's done in Polish. I haven't seen Dabrowski's match with Polish commentary in my life so I can't tell about her.

PS. Gabriela is very much a name present in Polish too, though rather old-fashioned by modern standards.

PS2. Aleksandra Wozniak was pronounced as "Woźniak" in the Polish manner though.
 

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There is no such pronunciation in English as "lyoo". It doesn't exist, it reduces to "loo"... if you spell it "lyoo", it will be mispronounced as the double-syllable "lee-yoo" by 99.9% of native English speakers.

Alyona Bondarenko removed the "y" from her name and became "Alona" for exactly this reason... an "l" followed by a "y" followed by a vowel is unpronounceable in English. She got tired of Americans & Brits calling her "Allee-YONA".
It's not.

Al[l you]... whatever. Lyoo.
 
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English. Czech obviously get it wrong they had to add "ova" to almost every female name, it is horrible
Are there a lot of people who do voice their annoyance over it in Czechia? I mean this is ridiculous for foreign names yet you keep doing it.
 

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As for polish players I heard some commentators totally butchering Igas name.
Surprisingly I heard many English commentators who actually pronounced Iga's last name perfectly or nearly perfectly. Some people simply care and I'm glad they do. That's professional approach that should be widely applauded.

Polish Świątek is far more difficult to pronounce than Russian Павлюченкова.
Many commentators are applying rules of own phonetic system to another language, which is an obvious mistake. Those pros, who care, have two choices:
1. learn everything by heart,
2. learn basic rules of proper phonetic system.

First option is good if you're pronouncing this name often. Second option is obviously better, especially when there are many players of the same nationality. Polish phonetics has great advantage: if you know the rules, you are able to correctly pronounce every word, even one that you see for the first time in your life. How's that possible? Rules of pronunciation in Polish don't change like e.g. in English (tear like beer vs. tear like bear). In Polish W is always pronounced like V in English, Ś - like S in word 'sure', Ą like ON, I like EE. If you know this, you won't butcher names anymore (unless you really want to, lol). Śvyontek. Not swai-tek, svy-tek, svya-tek. French announcer during this tournament surprised me with another version: śon-tek.

Unfortunately major con of solution #2 is wrong spelling i.e. lack of non-standard Latin characters e.g. Ą, Ę, Ż, Ź, Ń, Ś etc. They are skipped for two reasons: non-Polish speakers don't care and/or used font doesn't have character set necessary for Central/Eastern European Latin languages like Polish, Czech, Slovak, Lithuanian etc. I've seen only once (outside Poland) correct spelling on the scoreboard - it was tournament in Prague:


So I guess foreign commentators need to learn pronunciation by heart. However I think they still should learn some phonetic rules to make own life a bit easier, because there's a lot of words in Polish that don't contains non-standard Latin characters. I noticed that all foreigners struggle with last name of Iga's coach: Sierzputowski. They don't know that RZ is actually one sound. Pronunciation isn't hard. if you know that:
  • SI is like ś (s in 'sure')
  • E = eh
  • RZ (digraph) = sh or like -si- in word 'vision'
  • U = ooh
  • O = oh (not ow)
  • W = v
  • I = ee

śesh-poo-TOV-skee.

In Polish usually penultimate syllable is stressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Many commentators are applying rules of own phonetic system to another language, which is an obvious mistake. Those pros, who care, have two choices:
1. learn everything by heart,
2. learn basic rules of proper phonetic system.

au contraire... this is exactly what the commentators SHOULD be doing: pronouncing the foreign names as accurately they can, but within the ENGLISH phonetic rules.

Tennis commentators are not linguists, they are not in the business of learning the phonetic rules of Polish or Hungarian or Dutch or Chinese.

The reason some commentators have learned to pronounce "Swiatek" nearly correctly is because they re-spelled it according to proper English phonetic rules, i.e. Shyontek or something like that.
 

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au contraire... this is exactly what the commentators SHOULD be doing: pronouncing the foreign names as accurately they can, but within the ENGLISH phonetic rules.
So they should pronounce her name swai-tek?

Tennis commentators are not linguists, they are not in the business of learning the phonetic rules of Polish or Hungarian or Dutch or Chinese.
You don't have to be a linguist. You can just write everything down in the notebook.

The reason some commentators have learned to pronounce "Swiatek" nearly correctly is because they re-spelled it according to proper English phonetic rules, i.e. Shyontek or something like that.
Maybe that's the case, I don't care as long as they don't butcher names.
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
You don't have to be a linguist. You can just write everything down in the notebook.

Of course you have to be a linguist to learn all the phonetic rules of difficult foreign languages. The average American or Brit is not able to do this.

Of course, as you say, commentators can simply try to memorize by heart, according English phonetic re-spellings. But in practice this doesn't necessarily work either, as "Justine Enna" demonstrates.
 

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Over a decade of watching Pavs and this is literally the first time I’ve heard you’re not supposed to prounce the y 😂 But really if it’s not a big deal to her, I don’t see why it should be a big deal to others.

It’s Krejcikova’s name I’m struggling with at the minute. It doesn’t help that I’ve only ever seen it written down before and this tournament is the first time I’ve heard people say it out loud. And every commentator seems to say it differently. I keep thinking of Michaella Krajicek and using that as a starting point but that’s probably completely wrong too 😂
CRAY - chee - koh - va:
 
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