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Pronunciation unit (archive)

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How to say: Machu Picchu

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  • 8 Sep 06, 11:26 AM

A guide to words and names in the news from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, in the news because of controversial helicopter flights. The pronunciation is MATCH-oo PEEK-choo."
Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF)

• From Monday, this guide will become part of the Magazine Monitor, which can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/magazine.

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How to say: Erythropoietin

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  • 7 Sep 06, 05:02 PM

A guide to words and names in the news, from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is the drug for which sprinter Marion Jones has now tested negative - erythropoietin. The pronunciation we recommend, based on various published sources, is err-ith-roh-POY-uh-tin."
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How to say: Omagh

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  • 6 Sep 06, 01:29 PM

A guide to names and words in the news from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's news pronunciation is Omagh, pronounced OH-muh with the stress on the first syllable. The trial of a man charged with carrying out the car-bombing in that town in 1998 had been due to start today."

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How to say: Nokhchiyn

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  • 5 Sep 06, 02:19 PM

A guide to names and words in the news from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is the proposed new name for Chechnya, which we researched by consulting the BBC World Service Central Asian and Caucasus Service. NOKHCHIYN or NOKHCHIIN is pronounced nokh-CHEEN (kh as in loch, ch as in church)."

Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF)

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How to say: Fouad al-Siniora

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  • 1 Sep 06, 01:49 PM

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

"Today's pronunciation is Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora (variously spelt). Our recommendation is based on the advice of the BBC Arabic Service: foo-AD uh-suhn-YOO-ruh (-oo as in boot; -uh as in the). The L in the article 'al' turns into an S before the first letter of the surname which is a so-called sun letter."

Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF)

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How to say: Jarosław Kaczyński

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  • 30 Aug 06, 01:08 PM

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

"Today's pronunciation is Polish Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński. Our recommendation is yarr-OSS-waff katch-IN-ski (-arr as in marry; -tch as in church).

"The barred L in Jarosław is pronounced like a W in English, while the Ń in Kaczyński represents a nasalised vowel in a native Polish pronunciation but this is rendered as a nasal consonant in our anglicised pronunciation. Lech Kaczyński, President of Poland and Jarosław Kaczyński's twin brother is pronounced LEKH (-kh as in Scottish 'loch')."

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How to say: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

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  • 29 Aug 06, 01:01 PM

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

"Today's pronunciation is Iranian President Mahmoud AHMADINEJAD (sometimes also spelt AHMADINEZHAD). Our recommendation is mah-MOOD ah-mad-in-uh-ZHAAD (-h is pronounced in 'Mahmoud' and in 'Ahmadinejad') based on the advice of the BBC Persian Monitoring team."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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How to say: Erkki Tuomioja

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  • 24 Aug 06, 04:32 PM

A daily guide to pronunciation of names and words in the news from Martha Figueroa-Clark of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. Our recommendation is AIR-ki TOO-uh-mi-oy-uh. As with all our advice, this is an anglicised pronunciation and is not intended to represent a native pronunciation. This is so that the pronunciation flows as naturally as possible in an English-language broadcast."

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How to say: Donetsk

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  • 23 Aug 06, 01:25 PM

A daily guide to names and words in the news from Lena Olausson of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's name is the site of the plane crash in Ukraine - Donetsk. The correct Ukrainian pronunciation is don-ETSK, but a russified dun-YETSK is sometimes also heard."

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How to say: Halkidiki

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  • 22 Aug 06, 12:30 PM

A daily guide to words and names in the news from Lena Olausson of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's name is the Halkidiki peninsula in northern Greece, where forest fires forced tourists to spend last night on the beach. The pronunciation is hal-kee-dhi-KEE (-dh as in "this")."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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How to say: Avastin and Erbitux

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  • 21 Aug 06, 12:57 PM

A guide to words and names in the news from Lena Olausson of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.
Lena Olausson"Two pronunciations for today. The cancer drugs that will not be made available on the NHS, Avastin and Erbitux, are pronounced uh-VAST-in (sometimes also ay-VAST-in) and UR-bi-tuks."

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

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How to say: Escondida

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  • 18 Aug 06, 02:34 PM

Catherine SangsterA guide to words and names in the news, from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is for Escondida, the world's largest privately-owned copper mine in Chile, where the workers are currently striking."

"We recommend the pronunciation esk-on-DEE-dhuh (dh represents the voiced th sound in the word "this")."

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

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How to say: Clydach

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  • 14 Aug 06, 12:28 PM

Catherine SangsterA guide to words and names in the news, from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is the Welsh town Clydach, for which we recommend the pronunciation KLID-uhkh (kh as in Scottish "loch").

"This recommendation, for use in English-language broadcasts, is based on the local Welsh pronunciation and was researched with a number of local sources."

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

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How to say: O. Obasanjo

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  • 11 Aug 06, 11:30 AM

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

"Today's pronunciation is Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

"Our recommendation is ol-OO-sheg-uu(ng) ob-ASS-an-joh (-ol as in 'olive', -g as in 'get', -j as in 'Jack'), following consultation with the BBC Hausa Section."

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

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How to say: J. Kellenberger

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  • 9 Aug 06, 11:11 AM

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

"Today's pronunciation is for the Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Jakob Kellenberger - a Swiss national with a German name.

"It is pronounced YAA-kop KELL-uhn-bair-guhr (-air as in 'hair'; -g as in 'get'). This pronunciation was given to us by the Swiss Embassy."

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

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How to say: Vitaly Churkin

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  • 8 Aug 06, 08:59 AM

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

"Today's pronunciation is Russian UN Envoy Vitaly Churkin, pronounced vi-TAA-lee CHOOR-kin.

"The surname might at first look as though it ought to be pronounced as CHUR-kin (-ch as in 'church' and -ur as in 'fur') but the vowel sound is closer to -oo' (as in 'boot')."

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

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How to say: Tarique Ghaffur

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  • 7 Aug 06, 01:50 PM

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).)

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How to say: Amir Peretz

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  • 4 Aug 06, 12:53 PM

A guide to words and names in the news, from Lena Olausson of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's name is the Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz, pronounced am-EER PERR-ets. Hebrew stress often falls on the last syllable, and sometimes there is a tendency to treat all Israeli names like that. Peretz (and other well-known names such as Peres and Ha'aretz), however, have stress on the second to last syllable."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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How to say: William Patey

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  • 3 Aug 06, 11:09 AM

A guide to words and names in the news, from Lena Olausson of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's name is Britain's outgoing ambassador to Iraq, William Patey. The pronunciation is PAY-ti."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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How to say: Baalbek

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  • 2 Aug 06, 12:05 PM

Lena OlaussonA guide to words and names in the news, from Lena Olausson of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's name is the Lebanese town Baalbek (sometimes spelt Ba'albek).

"The pronunciation, BAAL-bek, is listed in English gazetteers and dictionaries and is an established anglicisation. The Arabic pronunciation has a pharyngeal consonant before the second A."

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

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How to say: Helmand

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  • 1 Aug 06, 11:19 AM

A guide to words and names in the news, from Lena Olausson of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is the Afghan province Helmand, where two British soldiers have been killed. This name is sometimes mispronounced as HEL-mand, when it should be hel-MAND - with stress on the last syllable."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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How to say: Qana

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  • 31 Jul 06, 11:46 AM

A guide to words and names in the news, from Lena Olausson of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

Lena Olausson"Today's name is the Lebanese village Qana, pronounced KAA-nuh. The letter Q is a uvular consonant, a sound which does not exist in English. We always anglicise the Q in names like al-Qaeda, al-Aqsa, Umm Qasr etc. to a K sound."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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How to say: Pardubice

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  • 28 Jul 06, 11:14 AM

A guide to words and names in the news, from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is Pardubice, the Czech town where a British woman has died during a chess tournament. Czech is invariably stressed on the first syllable, and the pronunciation is PAR-doo-bits-uh."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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How to say: Ehud Olmert

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  • 27 Jul 06, 02:31 PM

A guide to words and names in the news, from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, pronounced ay-HOOD OL-mairt.

"We generally research names using written sources and native speakers within the BBC, but we also consult outside agencies. In this case, the pronunciation came from a Hebrew speaker in the press office of the Israeli embassy."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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How to say: Kofi Annan

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  • 26 Jul 06, 12:29 PM

A guide to words and names in the news, from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's news-related pronunciation is an apparently simple name, often mispronounced: UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

The pronunciation is KOH-fi AN-an, with the stress on the first syllable of the surname. We have the best possible source for this pronunciation; it is how he said his name himself during his swearing-in ceremony in 1996."
(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)

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