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zompist bboard • View topic - Odd pronunciation of a Chinese name

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:54 pm 
Avisaru
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One of my coworkers has a name spelled Weijun. Now, the standard Mandarin pronunciation of this name is obvious, as are a number of approximations or guesses that English speakers might use, but for some reason everyone who works here pronounces his name [waI.ju:n]. I have no idea how they would have arrived at this. Any ideas?

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[ʈʂʰɤŋtɕjɑŋ], or whatever you can comfortably pronounce that's close to that

Formerly known as Primordial Soup

Supporter of use of [ȶ ȡ ȵ ȴ] in transcription

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:50 pm 
Smeric
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German?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:57 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Mandarin pronunciation is a minefield, so it's ironic that this particular name is quite easy— they could approximate it quite well as "way-June". (Since we're all pedants here, you probably want to know the Mandarin: [wei tɕyɪn].)

People seem to think that Mandarin spellings must be made even more exotic, and I expect that's kicking in here. "Oh, a j— that can't possibly be our j, it must be something else!"


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:58 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:47 pm 
Boardlord
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You're right. I looked this up when writing the post, and looked in the wrong column. :P


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:09 pm 
Smeric
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Different Mandarin speakers will pronounce it in slightly different ways, but either "[weɪ tɕyə̯n]" (like zompist) or "[weɪ tɕyn]" (like Vijay) are good.

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Last edited by Ser on Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:51 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:31 pm 
Avisaru
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I'd have approximated it as /weɪ.ˈd͡ʒʊn/ at first glance. Normally it's the counterintuitive <c q x> and the orthographic vowel simplification rules that I get tripped up on when trying to approximate Mandarin.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:04 pm 
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Dibotahamdn duthma jallni agaynni ra hgitn lakrhmi.
Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:57 pm 
Avisaru
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[ʈʂʰɤŋtɕjɑŋ], or whatever you can comfortably pronounce that's close to that

Formerly known as Primordial Soup

Supporter of use of [ȶ ȡ ȵ ȴ] in transcription

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a 青.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:05 pm 
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Sunàqʷa the Sea Lamprey says:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:50 pm 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:52 pm 
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I'd be laughing because I couldn't help thinking of this guy...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:53 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:32 pm 
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I just witnessed the cringiest thing this morning. I was watching the morning news show, and they had this cooking segment on it. One of the two hosts said that they were going to have something really yummy-sounding: [ˈɡojs]. The two hosts were talking about this word, and then they asked the chef about the pronunciation. She said "I would pronounce it ['ɡojsa]".

You're never gonna guess what dish they were making! The answer is below.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:31 pm 
Avisaru
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An update:

I got an opportunity to talk to Weijun alone. His name is pronounced in the standard Mandarin way. He just isn’t interested in correcting anybody, which is understandable. There is also one other employee who uses more or less one of the mildly Anglicized “logical” pronunciations posted.

At this point, my best guess about the origin of this pronunciation is the for some of the (several) L1 Spanish speakers working here an overheard [dZ] got interpreted as a /j\/ at some point and other people heard the name from them first and heard a /j/. The vowel could just be from guessing one of the various sounds <ei> has in English. As far as I know nobody here speaks German.

Also ewww to [gojs].

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[ʈʂʰɤŋtɕjɑŋ], or whatever you can comfortably pronounce that's close to that

Formerly known as Primordial Soup

Supporter of use of [ȶ ȡ ȵ ȴ] in transcription

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a 青.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:14 pm 
Smeric
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i think in the USA, children born in the early 1970s were most likely to have grown up during the time when phonics had fallen out of favor in the US public school system, and are more likely to have trouble with foreign words and even irregular English ones. My sister is a good example of this, but one of my teachers in high school might be a better example. This was when I was at the peak of my conworld historigography, not that i called it that, and she simply couldnt pronounce the name of the military leader the protagonist was supposed to be fighting against: Adabawa. Literally, cant get a simpler name to pronounce than that ... it's baby talk .... but she couldnt do it. Best she could come up with was [adə'dabwə].

Apparently, they were never taught how to sound out words, in the theory that English spelling is so irregular it's best to just skip it and teach words as indivisible wholes. But this apparently led to difficulties in pronouncing words from other languages, even languages with simple spelling rules such as Spanish and (romanized) Japanese, as above. From someone who looks at a word like {gyoza} letter by letter but is uncomfortable with the original pronunctiation, I would expect something like /gi'oza/. From someone who apparently grew up looking at words as unbreakable, atomic units, "goyza" makes perfect sense. Im not sure if the phonics theory explains Sweden, though. (Or was the show in English? Im not sure what Britain's school curriculum was like, anyway.)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:47 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:12 am 
Sumerul
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you know, I've always been confused as to why so many people have trouble with sounding out foreign names, and I should've guessed that the answer was the school system getting worse

(I've never had any trouble with it, but my parents taught me how to read... which got me withdrawn from one of the first schools they put me in, since the teachers there insisted that it was literally impossible for anyone to learn to read outside school)

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Siöö jandeng raiglin zåbei tandiüłåd;
nää džunnfin kukuch vklaivei sivei tåd.
Chei. Chei. Chei. Chei. Chei. Chei. Chei.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:12 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:59 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:22 pm 
Smeric
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Back when I started school, my teacher hated me because I could already read and count (in my head) before I started, while she insisted that children that age had to learn to count by pointing and reciting the numbers aloud.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:41 pm 
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What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?”


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:54 pm 
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