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How to say: Tarique Ghaffur

Host Host | 13:50 UK time, Monday, 7 August 2006

MarthaA guide to words and names in the news, from Martha Figueroa-Clark of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Our recommendation for Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur is tuh-REEK gaff-OOR. That's based on the advice of the Metropolitan Police Press Office.

(Click here for a guide to phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)


  • 1.
  • At 01:01 PM on 08 Aug 2006,
  • alec sykes wrote:

A triviality, perhaps. A message for sports commentators, particularly Steve and Brendan. The Italian name STEFANO is not pronounced STEFARNO. The accent is on the first sylabble, so it is Steff - anno.
Hope you can help.
Alec Sykes

  • 2.
  • At 09:03 PM on 08 Aug 2006,
  • D. Fear wrote:

Hmmm, looks like an Arabic name to me. I am not a Semiticist, but surely the Gh- part needs to be pronounced as a voiced version of the -ch in Scottish loch? Admittedly, English speakers are generally lazy about pronunciation, and this one is difficult, but it is not impossible.

  • 3.
  • At 03:37 PM on 09 Aug 2006,
  • Badmash wrote:

D. Fear is right about the 'Gh-' part.

'Tarique' should be pronounced TAA-riq, with a soft 't' (as used in Spanish) and the 'q' pronounced somewhat like a 'k', with the tongue held back a bit (definitely not tuh-REEK; the BBC Pronunciation Unit is dead wrong on this one!).

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