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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

WC 072220


Character names in books I can't pronounce.
First year teaching 7th grade literature and the book has a short story entitled: Popocatepetl and Iztacc√≠huatl. In the story they were shortened to Popo and Istla. They are the names of two volcanos that surround Mexico City.

Try Russian history. I once had to give a report on the Prime Minister under Alexander II, Constantine Pobedonostsev. For the life of me I couldn't get it right. I had some Laotian students that were doozies too.
The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn had some really difficult names. It was just glance and go on. Same for his Cancer Ward, and Ninth Circle.
Berthold Gambrel in his science fiction stories thinks up some unpronounceable ones.
Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison, in fact almost all Sci-fi writers start off with characters with more consonants than vowels.
Try reading all the begats in Genesis.  

21 comments:

Aymee said...

Oh heavens, I bet Russian historical figures were rough! Anything from that eastern end of Europe, honestly!

P M Prescott said...

Polish is a nightmare, Aymee. Thanks for coming by.

Mary Morgan said...

Yet as much as we groan over the various languages, I find it all fascinating. My husband's response was, "You haven't endured 5 years of Latin."

P M Prescott said...

Tell your husband I only suffered through one, Mary.

Fiona McGier said...

Gaelic frequently has more consonants than vowels.Some of the town names, or the street names, are so many letters they don't fit on normal signs--with no pronunciation key provided!My late faither was from Glesga, and he could pronounce them easily--but not me. For instance, how do you say "Worcestershire sauce?" Dad pronounced it "WOOS-ter-sheer" sauce.

And Polish? Mom could speak Polish, but she never taught it to me. The family-style restaurant we always went to after funerals was conveniently right across the street from where many of my relatives are buried. It used to be called, "Przybywas" --I'm not even sure of how to spell it, but I know I got the first few letters correct. We used to ask Mom, "How can it be pronounced Chi-BI-was, when it started with P-R-Z-Y"? She'd smile and say as half Polacks, we should know.

Lydia said...

Yes, those are some tough names!

Berthold Gambrel said...

What, "1NG4," "Vespasian" and "Teufelvelt" don't just trip off the tongue? :D (Thanks for the mention!)

Wendi Zwaduk and Megan Slayer said...

This is a great prompt. Nice post!

Michael Mock said...

Russian is another one of those that I suspect is pretty consistent once you understand the rules, it's just that I don't understand the rules!

...Although, with a nod to Berthold Gambrel, after meeting CL4P-TP ("Claptrap") in the Borderlands game, there was absolutely no chance that 1NG4 was ever going to be anything except "Inga".

Thanks for dropping by!

P M Prescott said...

Michael glad you appreciate Berthold too.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Some of the biblical names were beyond me.

P M Prescott said...

Fiona, I read Micheners Poland, and it has a page on Polish pronunciation. Thanks for coming by.

P M Prescott said...
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P M Prescott said...

Lydia, thanks for coming by.

P M Prescott said...

Always glad to give you a boost, Berthold.

P M Prescott said...

Yogi, they are.

P M Prescott said...

Thanks for coming by, Megan.

Cathryn Hein said...

Ooh, they're some good ones, Patrick!

Echo Ishii said...

I remember struggling with the Aztec and Inca names.

P M Prescott said...

Thanks Cathryn.

P M Prescott said...

Thanks, Echo, it was an excellent story for the students. It just took me a bit with the pronunciation key to get the title down.