The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0411 Wednesday, 21 February 2001
Date: Tuesday, 20 Feb 2001 08:43:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 12.0406 Re: Pronouncing Faustus
Comment: Re: SHK 12.0406 Re: Pronouncing Faustus
Werner Broennimann wrote,
>Brother Anthony writes: "I have to be careful in
>Korea not to use a
>diphthong in speaking Plato(n)'s name ...
>Please let us know why. I am interested in this
>non-transferrability of names and brands into other
>cultures poses a
I hope Brother Anthony responds, too (although Hardy may ask us to take
this off list!)
The problem in Korean may be similar to the situation in Japanese (I
know Tanya and Graham, at least, will be familiar with this). There are
no dipthongs, and when a dipthong is pronounced, people without training
in the appropriate foreign language tend either not to hear it, or to
automatically break it down into separate syllables. Which can lead to
problems in understanding.
One of my favorite "brand names in Japan" stories relates to the
problems faced by a certain Japanese soft drink. It's called "Calpis."
Of course, there is no "L" sound in Japanese, so when Japanese people
pronounce it, without dipthongs, it comes out sounding something like
"kah-roo-pee-soo." Then when non-Japanese speaking foreigners try to
say the name, based on how Japanese people say it, they unconsciously
add dipthongs, and it comes out something like "cow piss."
Sorry, Hardy. I'll shut up now.