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How to say: Medici

16:22 UK time, Monday, 30 October 2006

A weekly guide to words and names in the news from Martha Figueroa-Clarke of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"This week, I've chosen the Italian surname Medici, as it is often the subject of pronunciation-related audience complaints. The Italian pronunciation is MED-itch-i, with stress on the first syllable. As with all our pronunciation advice, this is an anglicised pronunciation which does not reflect the exact vowel length in Italian. Another anglicised pronunciation, med-EE-tchi, is also often heard in English but, while it does appear as a possible variant in English pronouncing dictionaries, it does not closely reflect the native Italian pronunciation and is considered less correct. We therefore recommend the former pronunciation, with stress on the first syllable: MED-itch-i. "

(For a guide to our phonetic pronunciations, click here.)

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