- P M Prescott
- Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Character names in books I can't pronounce.
First year teaching 7th grade literature and the book has a short story entitled: Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl. 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.
Posted by P M Prescott at 1:34 PM
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Oh heavens, I bet Russian historical figures were rough! Anything from that eastern end of Europe, honestly!
Polish is a nightmare, Aymee. Thanks for coming by.
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."
Tell your husband I only suffered through one, Mary.
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.
Yes, those are some tough names!
What, "1NG4," "Vespasian" and "Teufelvelt" don't just trip off the tongue? :D (Thanks for the mention!)
This is a great prompt. Nice post!
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!
Michael glad you appreciate Berthold too.
Some of the biblical names were beyond me.
Fiona, I read Micheners Poland, and it has a page on Polish pronunciation. Thanks for coming by.
Lydia, thanks for coming by.
Always glad to give you a boost, Berthold.
Yogi, they are.
Thanks for coming by, Megan.
Ooh, they're some good ones, Patrick!
I remember struggling with the Aztec and Inca names.
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.
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