Beizhing or Bei Jing?
August 13, 2012 9:42 AM Subscribe
posted by beisny (301 comments total)
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James Fallows, in a series of interesting blog posts
, questions the typical English pronunciation of China's capital city arguing that "the "jing" in Beijing is pronounced basically like the "jing" in Jingle Bells. It's essentially the normal English j- sound. What it's not like is the Frenchified zh- sound you hear in "azure" or "leisure," or at the end of "sabotage.""
One reader suggests, "My working theory about "Beijing/bay-zhing" is that at some deep, unconscious level, English speakers secretly believe that all foreign languages are French and should be pronounced as such in the absence of instructions to the contrary."
Another reader argues, "Major cities and countries have historically had different names in different languages, and these names serve a good purpose by being easy to pronounce and identify in the languages where they are used. There is really no more reason to say "Beijing" in English than "München" or "Moskva.""
is a"non-standard language form resulting from an unsuccessful attempt to apply the rules of a foreign language to a loan word (for example, the application of the rules of one language to a word borrowed from another) or, occasionally, a word believed to be a loan word. The result reflects "neither the... rules of English nor those of the language from which the word in question comes."
- the final e in fixe
is pronounced in the French
coup de grâce
- the c in grace
is pronounced in French
- apparently known as "queen of the hyperforeignisms", in French the ending is pronounced "ee" as opposed to "ay"
repartie - same as above, became repartee in English
- pronounced as brusketta in Italian
see the wikipedia page for more examples