Hope for our society!

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
David Sedgwick
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:40 pm

Nick Ivell wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:10 pm
In my view, the natural way for us to pronounce Alekhine is with stress on the first syllable. After all, we don't even try to pronounce Sharapova properly (stress on the second syllable, I believe).
I remember being taught to say "Il-yum-ZHI-nov".

To this day I know very few others who do. Most chicken out by saying "KIR-san".

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John Clarke
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by John Clarke » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:30 pm

A pretty comprehensive list of potential traps for the unwary can be found here, courtesy of Bill Wall. Looks as though, more often than not, it's a question of where the stress(es) should fall, rather than actual pronunciation.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Reg Clucas
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Reg Clucas » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:47 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:22 am

Al-yekk-in, which I believe is the Russian pronunciation?
My erstwhile Ukrainian club mate told me it is pronounced Al-yokk-in.

Jacques Parry
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Jacques Parry » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:26 am

Nick Ivell wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:10 pm
In my view, the natural way for us to pronounce Alekhine is with stress on the first syllable. After all, we don't even try to pronounce Sharapova properly (stress on the second syllable, I believe).
In the case of living people it seems a bit disrespectful to make no effort to get it right. I once heard a Bulgarian friend telling someone that her surname was "NikolOVa". She admitted to me that it is actually NikOLLova, but she had got so used to British people getting it wrong that she gave in and pronounced it wrong herself. I found this rather embarrassing.

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John Clarke
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by John Clarke » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:20 am

Jacques Parry wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:26 am
In the case of living people it seems a bit disrespectful to make no effort to get it right.
Those Slavic names do seem to be harder than most, often having what seems to Westerners a counter-intuitive stress pattern. But as Jacques says, you've got to make the effort. I've been taking extra trouble lately to get Maori names and words right. (Here in NZ, there's an increasing groundswell of opinion - rightly so - that this is long overdue. Again. not easy. The letters used to spell them, as is the case in many other languages, can only at best be approximations to the actual sounds.) And I try to do the same in other languages too (though not to the point of calling Paris "Paree") even if it can sound a bit pretentious at times.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:11 pm

"And I try to do the same in other languages too (though not to the point of calling Paris "Paree") even if it can sound a bit pretentious at times."

That makes sense (and the rest of your post). There's no need to say "Paree" in an English-speaking country, or Schwarzwald instead of Black Forest unless it's more appropriate to your audience.

I had a German boss who had spent a year or so working in Australia and we had an interesting conversation shortly after he arrived.

Me - "Any news on that IT problem?"
Him - "I have a meeting about it this arvo."

For the uninitiated, "arvo" is Australian slang for "afternoon".

My favourite name thing was hearing an American chap called "Roentgen" talk and he pronounced it "Rent-genn". Apparently, he thought the "oe" was the Greek diphthong as in Oedipus and oestrogen (the old non-scientific spelling of estrogen), rather than the Germanic "o-umlaut", pronounded "err".

Ian Thompson
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:39 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:11 pm
My favourite name thing was hearing an American chap called "Roentgen" talk and he pronounced it "Rent-genn".
My favourite is an Indian (probably) lecturer referring to "I-terra-tors" while explaining how loop constructs work in programming languages.

Nick Ivell
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Nick Ivell » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:52 pm

I make no claim for consistency here.

I'm relaxed about Alekhine being pronounced with incorrect stress.

But Medici with stress on the penultimate syllable? That gets me pulling my hair out.

Yes, I know I should have more important things to worry about...

David Williams
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by David Williams » Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:33 pm

Jacques Parry wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:26 am
I once heard a Bulgarian friend telling someone that her surname was "NikolOVa". She admitted to me that it is actually NikOLLova, but she had got so used to British people getting it wrong that she gave in and pronounced it wrong herself. I found this rather embarrassing.
I once had a Scottish friend whose surname was Lamont. I'm sure we all know the correct pronunciation (let's be honest, I didn't). He told me that after living in England for a short while he just gave up and started pronouncing it wrongly (as if it was French) himself.

Simon Rogers
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Simon Rogers » Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:35 pm

I remember how one of our Latvian players, Oleg, at our club tried to pronounce Torquay when he looked at an entry form for the British Chess Championships.
He pronounced it the same way it is spelt, so I explained to him that you pronounce it as Tor-key.
When Oleg also saw an entry form on display for a Castle Chess Congress at Potters Bar, he thought Potters Bar was a pub and questioned which town the tournament was being played in.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:10 pm

I recently drove through a village called Stoughton and have no idea how it's pronounced. Storton? Stuffton? Stowton? Stooton? Stoaton? I must find out...

John Upham
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by John Upham » Fri Dec 04, 2020 8:03 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:10 pm
I recently drove through a village called Stoughton and have no idea how it's pronounced. Storton? Stuffton? Stowton? Stooton? Stoaton? I must find out...
More on Stoughton
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

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John Clarke
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by John Clarke » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:12 pm

As far as I can tell, it should be "STOH-tun". I've fairly clear memories of the publishers Hodder and Stoughton being referred to by that pronunciation (Mrs C used to be in the book trade).
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:31 pm

My Stoughton is in Somerset!

Mike Gunn
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Re: Hope for our society!

Post by Mike Gunn » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:11 am

Stoughton is an area of Guildford (which I lived in years ago) and we pronounced it to rhyme with the bough of a tree or stout (as in fat).

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