How to pronounce tricky food namesJun 02, 2020
This is not a guide on how to
pronouncevarious potentially challenging
namesor words, but rather the first draft of a manifesto on how each of us can choose between conflicting pronunciations and how we can balance the occasionally competing goals of intelligibility authenticity. and not sounding like a pompous idiot, let's consider each of these goals individually, first an intelligibility, many people would argue that that is the only thing that matters when it comes to any kind of communication. pronunciation of but it's hard to imagine that I could walk into any Viet
namese joint here in the US and not be immediately understood when ordering pho likewise, if I go to a Greek place and order tzatziki or tzatziki, I'll get what I want .
However, if I were to order tea at Zakai, they would probably have no idea what the heck I was talking about and I wouldn't understand anything. What I wanted and therefore could say that the pronunciation is factually incorrect, at least Vasavi intelligibility, which I think we would all agree, is at least the most important correct goal, the most important thing is that we are understood Although there are other considerations, such as authenticity, certainly everything. of these goals are intertwined to some degree you have to achieve a certain level of authenticity to be understood you have to get pretty close to how other people say it if i order bruschetta it's not just a world away from how italians
pronounceit the delicious antipasto which they made up will probably also be unintelligible to any waiter if I ask for bruschetta they will probably understand but I'll be authentic I certainly think most people in Italy would say something closer to bruschetta and since this basic grilled bread with stuff on top recipe comes from Italy, one could argue quite convincingly that bruschetta is therefore the authentic pr pronunciation and therefore should be favored, but other people may claim authenticity in the United States, where I live, it has been the home to a large community of Italian immigrants since the 19th century, up to 4 million southern Italians arrived n the northeastern United States between 1890 and 1920 part of what some scholars identify as the largest voluntary emigration in recorded human history this incredible human wave had many results one of which is me another is Italian American culture a distinct culture by right own descendant from a land across the sea but independently evolved here Italian-Americans cook differently than Italians and say words differently I think they usually say bruschetta or at least some of them certainly it's weird to hear from an Italian-American second or third generation call it bolognese sauce, they say something like bolognese and actually the dish that the pronunciation describes might not be the same as my New York Itali a grandma called bolognese is basically a very meaty tomato sauce whereas that the sauce they make in Bologna is based on milk and meat and has almost no tomato, usually just a splash of tomato paste as per most recipes I've read. who are we going to be authentic to well i think one thing that might help to consider is what version of the dish we are trying to describe is it the version that is like from here where they pronounced it this way or is it the version that is like from here where they pronounced it that way.
I have no idea how people in Hunan would pronounce the name of General Tso's chicken, a dish that scholars trace in some fledgling form to that Chinese province, but this is a one-of-a-kind Chinese-American. restaurant dish apparently quite different from anything widely consumed in Hunan, so I would say the authentic pronunciation is whatever Chinese Americans say, but of course even that is problematic because Chinese Americans they are no more monolithic than the chinese in general the first big wave of chinese immigrants in what became manhattan's chinatown gave us a lot of the classic chinese american dishes and they were mostly cantonese speaking but then they came the nice Fuji speakers and the Mandarin speakers with a million different regional and ethnic subdivisions between them, which particular Chinese or Chinese-American person gets to be the one who decides what the authentic pronunciation is.
However, I don't have a good answer to clear things up a bit when we consider names that actually belong to specific people or groups of people like this brand, how would you pronounce there are no vowels, so it leaves a lot to the imagination, but i know the real people who own and operate this company pronounce it clicker and it just so happens they are the sponsors of this video they are also supporting the phone i am reading these scripts on i wrote here this is a clicker universal stand is a elegant and efficient way for me to prop my phone up without propping it dangerously up against something or holding it all wobbly in my hand what i'm trying to watch something or have a video call with someone it's stylish it's compact it's convertible its wireless charging compatible its drop tested from to two meters I take your word for it and if you use it as a grip it can help you hold these increasingly absurdly large phones now you can of buying the universal Stand and attach it to any phone or case, but I have the clicker combo case and grip here.
I want the color to be muted enough that it's not tacky to my eyes, but distinct enough that I can tell my phone from my wife's. a favor and get yourself one using my link and code in description clicker gives you 25% off all products and free shipping on orders over $20 use my coded link in description for 25% off Thanks clicker now here is another brand for us to consider the pronunciation i think most people in italy would pronounce these tomatoes something like pasty no but this is the brand of a company owned by specific real life people it is their name and I think they can authoritatively decide how it is pronounced how do they do it? say it right let's call them thank you for calling the company passing by i was a radio guy for many years this is an old trick of the trade learned how to pronounce a person's name or company name just call and listen to your outgoing message you need to know the name of a place call a local government authority called County Courthouse or City Hall and just listen to voicemail so get it right away anyway they say Pass Dean no surprise they go with an Americanized pronunciation the company started in the North neighborhood End of Boston and now they're in Canton mass is their name so I think they can decide how we say it, at least in general, I think there's a broader theme that's coalescing here, which is that immigrant communities in everywhere has what you might call cultural sovereignty which I think we need to respect, the old country is not the only country and authenticity doesn't necessarily mean just being authentic.
Being authentic to other people also means being authentic to yourself, which brings us to the third and last of these three goals that we're trying to achieve by choosing different pronunciations for
food. Goal number three is not to sound like a pompous jerk. I think you risk sounding like a pompous jerk when you are not authentic yourself when you try too hard to sound like someone else and try too hard to sound like someone else it is disrespectful to all parties involved in my opinion indeed , most Italians wouldn't say bruschetta either, I guess they'd say something like bruschetta, but I sounded like a tool at the time because there are sounds in there that just don't exist in the conventional American English dialect I speak looking at the Roht. ak consonants in particular are sounds we don't have the flap that huh and we don't have the trill or ah those are just sounds that aren't on the menu in this particular set to be authentic to both other people and myself here's the guideline which I usually try to follow let's call it ragout CEA law gets as close to authentic pronunciation as possible by using only the native language sounds bruschetta and bruschetta both only used sounds that are available in mainstream American English but the latter it's closer to the original Italian, so you could argue that it's the right one for me, bruschetta, but again, where there's an established local version of the word in your community or culture, it might be better, even if it's really different from the original as if it were American McDonald's is from the United States but I don't get mad when the French call it mcdu that's what they really say in France mcdu is very different from the original but is a widely adopted established local deviation or evolution of the original, it's not a case of a single person being crazy or making a mistake because they don't know any better, so even though it violates ragu CEA law, it still i wouldn't call it wrong let's look at another example remember my little law is to get as close to the original as possible while only using sounds from your native dialect or plural dialects authentic or at least authentically Greek pronunciation of this food is fine I don't want getting in trouble again, let's refer to Wiktionary Judas Judas, so what's going on here?
Well, in Greek, this meal starts with the Greek letter Gama, which in ancient Greek made a gusting sound, that's probably why it's transliterated to Roman G but in modern Greek. a gamma is apparently a voiced velar fricative or a voiced palatal fricative which is not a sound that exists in my native language so I have two options, I can round it down to a gun or I can round it down to a yes gyro or gyro gah and that's it they're the closest sounds available in my dialect. I've said Giro all my life and I'm certainly not the only American doing it, but if the comments section on this recipe of mine is any indication that more Americans are apparently opting for the euro, I'll which is fine or we could completely ignore Ragout CEA law and just go with the gyro, the Americanized gyro and there are arguments that this is a Greek American developed this way by Greek immigrants to America their sandwich here it is packed with strips of ground or pureed lamb meatloaf cooked on a vertical rotisserie again if my comments section is any indication that this is not e It's a Gyro in Greece in Greece apparently they make it with whole cuts of pork or chicken so maybe if we're talking about this we should call it a gyro because it's a different thing and therefore deserves a different name now my feeling is that the gyroscope has lost popularity in my lifetime but the language is ours unless you're talking about a name that someone literally owns there is no institutional authority that can say what's right and wrong the language is a big continuing act of popular consensus to which we all contribute we are driving this car and we can drive it anywhere we want to what we say is right is right and i am pretty eager to know what you think is right let me know like i said this is just the first draft of this manifesto maybe you and I can come up with a second draft together
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