Iceland Euro 2016 squad

Here is a guide to the native pronunciation of Iceland’s Euro 2016 roster, followed by suggested approximations in English in parentheses. The names are given in the Icelandic spelling; in the international media, the names may be respelled with ð becoming dþ becoming th, and accents being dropped, e.g. Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson may appear as Gylfi Thor Sigurdsson.

Icelandic pronunciation features a number of surprises even for those familiar with other North Germanic languages such as Norwegian. Unexpected vowel pronunciations include á [au̯] (similar to English MOUTH) and au [œi̯] (similar to French feuille). Most instances of ll and nn are pronounced [tl] and [tn] respectively, which are devoiced to [tl̥] and [tn̥] in certain positions. But in some cases such as in names, they are simply pronounced as long l and n sounds respectively.

In the English respelling, dh represents /ð/, the voiced th sound in ‘this’; uu represents /ʊ/, the short vowel of FOOT; ow always represents the vowel in now, not that of show. The sound written ö is similar to the vowel [œ] in French neuf and German können, [ø] in French feu, or [øː] in German schön. Some English speakers who can produce these sounds may use them, and others have a number of options—the non-rhotic (typically British) er sound  [ɜː] (the NURSE vowel), the STRUT vowel [ʌ], the DRESS vowel [ɛ], or the FACE vowel [eɪ̯]. The diphthong written öy below (corresponding to Icelandic au [œi̯]) could be approximated with either the CHOICE vowel [ɔɪ̯] or the FACE vowel [eɪ̯].

  • Co-Managers: Lars Lagerbäck (Sweden) Swedish pronunciation: [ˈlɑːʂ ²lɑː.gər.ˌbɛk] (LARSS LAHG-ər-bek [ˈlɑːɹs ˈlɑːg.əɹ.bɛk]), Heimir Hallgrímsson (Iceland) [ˈhei̯.mɪr̥ ˈhatl̥.krim.sɔn] (HAYM-eer HA(H)T(L)-grim-sonn [ˈheɪ̯m.ɪɹ ˈhɑːt‿l.gɹɪmp.sɒn])
  • Hannes Þór Halldórsson [ˈhan.nɛs ˈθou̯r̥ ˈhatl̥.tou̯r̥.sɔn] (HA(H)N-nəs THOR HA(H)T(L)-dor-sonn [ˈhɑːn.nəs ˈθɔːɹ ˈhɑːt‿l.dɔːɹ.sɒn])
  • Ingvar Jónsson [ˈiŋ.kvar̥ ˈjou̯n̥.sɔn] (ING-gvar YOHN-sonn [ˈɪŋ.gvɑːɹ ˈjoʊ̯n.sɒn])
  • Ögmundur Kristinsson [ˈœk.mʏn.tʏr̥ ˈkʰr̥ɪ.stɪn̥.sɔn] (ÖG-muund-oor KRIST-in-sonn [ˈɛg.mʊnd.ʊə̯ɹ ˈkɹɪst.ɨn.sɒn])
  • Theódór Elmar Bjarnason [ˈtʰɛ‿ou̯.tou̯r̥ ˈɛl.mar̥ ˈpjart.na.sɔn] (TEH-oh-dor EL-mar BYARD-nə-sonn [ˈteɪ̯.oʊ̯.dɔːɹ ˈɛl.mɑːɹ ˈbjɑːɹd.nə.sɒn])
  • Haukur Heiðar Hauksson [ˈhœi̯.kʰʏr̥ ˈhei̯.ðar̥ ˈhœi̯xsɔn] (HÖY-koor HEY-dhar HÖYK-sonn [ˈhɔɪ̯k.ʊə̯ɹ ˈheɪ̯ð.ɑːɹ ˈhɔɪ̯ks.ɒn])
  • Hjörtur Hermannsson [ˈçœr̥.tʏr̥ ˈhɛr.man.sɔn] (HYÖR-toor HAIR-man-sonn [ˈhjɜːɹt.ʊə̯ɹ ˈhɛə̯ɹ.mən.sɒn])
  • Sverrir Ingi Ingason [ˈsvɛr.rɪr̥ ˈiŋ.kɪ ˈiŋ.ka.sɔn] (SVERR-eer ING-gee ING-gə-sonn [ˈsvɛɹ.ɪə̯ɹ ˈɪŋ.giˈɪŋ.gə.sɒn])
  • Hörður Björgvin Magnússon [ˈhœr.ðʏr̥ ˈpjœrk.vɪn ˈma.knu.sɔn] (HÖR-dhoor BYÖRG-vin MA(H)G-nuu-sonn [ˈhɜːɹð.ʊə̯ɹ ˈbjɜːɹg.vɪn ˈmɑːg.nʊ.sɒn])
  • Birkir Már Sævarsson [ˈpɪr̥.cɪr̥ ˈmau̯r̥ ˈsai̯.var̥.sɔn] (BEER-keer MOW-r SYE-var-son [ˈbɪə̯ɹ.kɪə̯ɹ ˈmaʊ̯‿əɹ ˈsaɪ̯v.ɑːɹ.sɒn])
  • Ragnar Sigurðsson [ˈra.knar̥ ˈsɪ.ɣʏr̥θ.sɔn] (RA(H)G-nar SIG-oordh-sonn [ˈɹɑːg.nɑːɹ ˈsɪg.ʊə̯ɹð.sɒn])
  • Ari Freyr Skúlason [ˈa.rɪ ˈfr̥ei̯r̥ ˈsku.la.sɔn] (AR-ee FREY-r SKOO-lə-sonn [ˈɑːɹ.i ˈfɹeɪ̯‿əɹ ˈskuːl.ə.sɒn])
  • Arnór Ingvi Traustason [ˈat.nou̯r̥ ˈiŋ.kvɪ ˈtʰr̥œi̯.sta.sɔn] (ARD-nor ING-gvee TRÖY-stə-sonn [ˈɑːɹd.nɔːɹ ˈɪŋ.gvi ˈtɹɔɪ̯st.ə.sɒn])
  • Kári Árnason [ˈkʰau̯.rɪ ˈau̯rt.na.sɔn] (COW-ri OWD-na-son [ˈkaʊ̯.ɹi ˈaʊ̯d.nə.sɒn])
  • Birkir Bjarnason [ˈpɪr̥.cɪr̥ ˈpjart.na.sɔn] (BEER-keer BYARD-na-sonn [ˈbɪə̯ɹ.kɪə̯ɹ ˈbjɑːɹd.nə.sɒn])
  • Aron Einar Gunnarsson [ˈa.rɔn ˈei̯.nar̥ ˈkʏn.nar̥.sɔn] (AR-on EY-nar GUUN-nar-sonn [ˈɑːɹ.ɒn ˈeɪ̯n.ɑːɹ bɪə̯ɹ.kɪə̯ɹ ˈgʊn.ɑːɹ.sɒn])
  • Emil Hallfreðsson [ˈɛ.mɪl̥ ˈhatl̥.fr̥ɛθ.sɔn] (EM-il HA(H)T(L)-fredh-sonn [ˈɛm.ɪl ˈhɑːt‿l.fɹɛð.sɒn])
  • Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson [ˈcɪl.vɪ ˈθou̯r̥ ˈsɪ.ɣʏr̥θ.sɔn] (GIL-vee THOR SIG-oordh-sonn [ˈgɪl.vi ˈθɔːɹ ˈsɪg.ʊə̯ɹð.sɒn])
  • Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson [ˈru.nar̥ ˈmau̯r̥ ˈsɪ.ɣʏr.jou̯n.sɔn] (ROO-nar MOW-r SIG-oor-yohn-sonn [ˈɹu:n.ɑːɹ ˈmaʊ̯‿əɹ ˈsɪg.ʊə̯ɹ.ˌjoʊ̯nt.sɒn])
  • Jón Daði Bödvarsson [ˈjou̯n ˈta.ðɪ ˈpœ.tvar̥.sɔn] (YOHN DA(H)DH-ee BÖD-var-sonn [ˈjoʊ̯n ˈdɑːð.i ˈbɛd.vɑːɹ.sɒn])
  • Alfreð Finnbogason [ˈal.fr̥ɛθ ˈfɪn.pɔ.ɣa.sɔn] (A(H)L-fredh FIN-boh-gə-sonn [ˈɑːl.fɹɛð ˈfɪn.boʊ̯g.ə.sɒn])
  • Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen [ˈei̯.ðʏr̥ ˈsmau̯.rɪ ˈkvʏð.jɔn̥.sɛn] (EY-dhoor SMOW-ree GVUUDH-yon-sen [ˈeɪ̯ð.ʊə̯ɹ ˈsmaʊ̯.ɹi ˈgvʊð.jɒnt.sɛn])
  • Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson [ˈjou̯.han ˈpɛr̥k ˈkvʏð.mʏn̥.sɔn] (YOH-ha(h)n BAIRG GVUUDH-muun-sonn [ˈjoʊ̯.hɑːn ˈbɛə̯ɹg ˈgvʊð.mʊnt.sɒn])
  • Kolbeinn Sigþórsson [ˈkʰɔl.pei̯tn̥ ˈsɪx.θou̯r̥.sɔn] (KOL-beyt(n) SIG-thor-sonn [ˈkɒl.bei̯t‿n ˈsɪg.θɔːɹ.sɒn])

Note that most of these use patronyms, as is the custom in Iceland. Gylfi Sigurðsson is so called because he is the son of Sigurður; his children would in turn be called Gylfason in the case of a son and Gylfadóttir in the case of a daughter. Icelanders usually refer to each other by their given names.

One exception to this above is Guðjohnsen, which is a surname. Eiður Guðjohnsen’s father is also a former footballer and is called Arnór Guðjohnsen—Guðjohnsen actually is a family name.

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Hungary Euro 2016 squad

The Hungarian names below are given in the usual Western order of the given name followed by the surname, but the Hungarian order would be the reverse. For instance, the player referred to as Gábor Király in the Western media would be called Király Gábor in Hungarian. The Hungarian pronunciations for the players’ names and the German pronunciation for the manager’s name are given. Suggested approximations in English are given in parentheses.

  • Manager: Bernd Storck (Germany) German pronunciation: [ˈbɛʁnt ˈʃtɔʁk] (BAIRNT SHTORK [ˈbɛə̯ɹntˈʃtɔːɹk])
  • Dénes Dibusz [ˈdeː.nɛʃ ˈdi.bus] (DEH-nesh DIB-oos [ˈdeɪ̯n.ɛʃ ˈdɪb.ʊs])
  • Péter Gulácsi [ˈpeː.tɛr ˈɡu.laː.ʧi] (PEH-er GOO-lah-chee [ˈpeɪ̯t.əɹ ˈɡuːl.ɑːʧ.i])
  • Gábor Király [ˈɡaː.bor ˈki.raːj] (GAH-bor KI-rye [ˈɡɑːb.ɔːɹ ˈkɪəɹ.aɪ̯])
  • Barnabás Bese [ˈbɒr.nɒ.baʃ ˈbɛ.ʃɛ] (BARN-a-bahsh BESH-eh [ˈbɑːɹn.ə.bɑːʃ ˈbɛʃ.eɪ̯])
  • Attila Fiola [ˈɒt.ti.lɒ ˈfi.o.lɒ] (OT-i-la FI-o-la [ˈɑt.ɪl.ə ˈfiː‿oʊ̯l.ə])
  • Richárd Guzmics [ˈri.haːrd ˈɡuz.miʧ] (RIH-hard GOOZ-mitch [ˈɹɪ.hɑːɹd ˈɡʊz.mɪʧ])
  • Roland Juhász [ˈro.lɒnd ˈju.haːs] (RO-land YOO-hahss [ˈɹoʊ̯l.ənd ˈjuː.hɑːs])
  • Tamás Kádár [ˈtɒ.maːʃ ˈkaː.daːr] (TOM-ahsh KAH-dahr [ˈtɒm.aːʃ ˈkɑːd.ɑːɹ])
  • Mihály Korhut [ˈmi.haːj ˈkor.hut] (MIH-high KOR-hoot [ˈmɪ.haɪ̯ ˈkɔːɹ.hʊt])
  • Ádám Lang [ˈaː.daːm ˈlɒŋɡ] (AH-dahm LONG [ˈɑːd.ɑːm ˈlɒŋ])
  • Ádám Pintér [ˈaː.daːm ˈpin.teːr] (AH-dahm PIN-tair [ˈɑːd.ɑːm ˈpɪn.tɛə̯ɹ])
  • Ákos Elek [ˈaː.koʃ ˈɛ.lɛk] (AH-kosh EL-ek [ˈɑːk.oʊ̯ʃ ˈɛl.ɛk])
  • László Kleinheisler [ˈlaː.sloː ˈklɛjn.hɛjʃ.lɛr] (LAHSS-loh KLAYN-haysh-ler [ˈlɑːs.loʊ̯ ˈkleɪ̯n.heɪ̯ʃ.ləɹ])
  • Gergő Lovrencsics [ˈɡɛr.ɡøː ˈlov.rɛn.ʧiʧ] (GAIR-gö LOHV-rench-itch [ˈɡɛə̯ɹ.ɡoʊ̯ ˈloʊ̯v.rɛnʧ.ɪʧ])
  • Ádám Nagy [ˈaː.daːm ˈnɒɟ] (AH-dahm NODGE [ˈɑːd.ɑːm ˈnɒʤ])
  • Zoltán Stieber [ˈzol.taːn ˈʃtiː.bɛr] (ZOHL-tahn SHTEE-ber [ˈzoʊ̯l.tɑːn ˈʃtiːb.əɹ])
  • Dániel Böde [ˈdaː.ni.ɛl ˈbø.dɛ] (DAH-ni-el BÖD-deh [ˈdɑːn.i‿ɛl ˈbɜːd.eɪ̯])
  • Balázs Dzsudzsák [ˈbɒ.laːʒ ˈʤu.ʤaːk] (BOL-ahzh JOO-jahk [ˈbɒl.ɑːʒ ˈʤuː.ʤɑːk])
  • Zoltán Gera [ˈzol.taːn ˈɡɛ.rɒ] (ZOHL-tahn GAIR-a [ˈzoʊ̯l.tɑːn ˈɡɛɹ.ə])
  • Krisztián Németh [ˈkris.ti.aːn ˈneː.mɛt] (KRIS-tee-ahn NEH-met [ˈkɹɪst.i‿ɑːn ˈneɪ̯m.ɛt])
  • Nemanja Nikolić [ˈnɛ.ma.ɲa ˈni.ko.liʧ] (NEM-an-yah NICK-o-litch [ˈnɛm.ən.jɑː ˈnɪk.oʊ̯.lɪʧ])
  • Tamás Priskin [ˈtɒ.maːʃ ˈpriʃ.kin] (TOM-ahs PRISH-kin [ˈtɒm.ɑːʃ ˈpɹɪʃ.kɪn])
  • Ádám Szalai [ˈaː.daːm ˈsɒ.lɒj] (AH-dahm SOL-lie [ˈɑːd.ɑːm ˈsɒl.aɪ̯])

Kleinheisler and Stieber are names from German. Stieber, which is pronounced [ˈʃtiː.bɐ] in German (SHTEE-ber), therefore departs from the usual Hungarian pronunciation rules and is pronounced as if written Stíber in Hungarian. Many Hungarians similarly pronounce [ˈklɛjn.hɛjz.lɛr] (KLAYN-hayz-ler) for Kleinheisler, which is closer to the German [ˈklaɪ̯n.haɪ̯s.lɐ]. However, it seems that the player’s own preferred pronunciation is actually [ˈklɛjn.hɛjʃ.lɛr] (KLAYN-haysh-ler), where the letter s gets its usual value in Hungarian of [ʃ], the sh sound in English.

Nemanja Nikolić was born in Serbia but chose to represent Hungary. His full name is Serbian and is written Немања Николић in Serbian Cyrillic (Serbian can be written in either of the Cyrillic or Latin alphabets, but Cyrillic is more usual). In Serbian, the name is pronounced [ˈně.ma.ɲa ˈnǐ.ko.liʨ], and the Hungarian pronunciation given above is a close approximation of that using the sounds in Hungarian, including the marginal sound [a], the shortened version of á [aː]. The usual Hungarian short a [ɒ] is pronounced like the British English short o and not really like a short counterpart to á.

In Hungarian-language media, the name Nikolić is often given the Hungarian spelling Nikolics. More established Hungarian surnames of Slavic origin are written in Hungarian-style spellings, such as Guzmics and Lovrencsics which would be written Guzmić and Lovrenčić respectively in Serbian-style spelling.

 

Portugal Euro 2016 squad

The Portuguese pronunciation given here is that of typical European Portuguese. English approximations of these are given in parentheses for illustrative purposes—in reality, Portuguese names are most often pronounced in English in accordance with the usual English spelling-to-sound rules, and it would probably not be advisable to imitate the Portuguese pronunciation too closely when saying these names within an English-speaking audience.

Contemporary European Portuguese pronunciation tends to elide unstressed vowels much more than is indicated below. For example, Ricardo [ʁi.ˈkaɾ.ðu] comes out more like [ʁi.ˈkaɾðʷ] in current everyday pronunciation, as if it were ‘Ricard’; Soares [ˈswa.ɾɨʃ] becomes [ˈswaɾʃ], as if it were ‘Soars’. Since final unstressed -e [ɨ] is usually dropped, it is treated as such in the English approximations below.

  • Manager: Fernando Santos (Portugal) [fɨɾ.ˈnɐ̃n.du ˈsɐ̃n.tuʃ] (fər-NAHN-doo SAHN-tuush [fəɹ.ˈnɑːnd.u ˈsɑːnt.ʊʃ])
  • Eduardo [e.ˈðwaɾ.ðu] (ed-WAHR-doo [ɛ.ˈdwɑːɹd.u])
  • Anthony Lopes [ɐ̃n.ˈtɔ.ni ˈɫɔ.pɨʃ] (ahn-TOH-nee LOHP-(i)sh [ɑːn.ˈtoʊ̯n.i ˈloʊ̯p.ᵻʃ])
  • Rui Patrício [ˈʁui̯ pɐ.ˈtɾi.sju] (ROOEE pə-TRISS-eeoo [ˈɹuː‿i pə.ˈtɹɪs.i‿u])
  • Bruno Alves [ˈbɾu.nu‿ˈaɫ.vɨʃ] (BROO-noo AHLV-(i)sh [ˈbɹuːn.u ˈɑːlv.ᵻʃ])
  • Cédric Soares [ˈsɛ.ðɾik ˈswa.ɾɨʃ] (SED-rik SWAHR-(i)sh [ˈsɛdɹ.ɪk ˈswɑːɹ‿ʃ])
  • Eliseu [e.ɫi.ˈzeu̯] (el-i-ZEH-oo [ˌɛl.i.ˈzeɪ̯.u])
  • José Fonte [ʒu.ˈzɛ ˈfõn.tɨ] (zhuu-ZEH FONT [ʒʊ.ˈzeɪ̯ ˈfɒnt])
  • Pepe [ˈpɛ.pɨ] (PEP [ˈpɛp])
  • Raphaël Guerreiro [ʁɐ.fɐ.ˈɛɫ ɡɨ.ˈʁɐi̯.ɾu] (rahf-ə-EL gə-RAIR-oo [ˌɹɑːf.ə.ˈɛl ɡə.ˈɹɛə̯ɹ.u])
  • Ricardo Carvalho [ʁi.ˈkaɾ.ðu kɐɾ.ˈva.ʎu] (ri-KAR-doo kər-VAHL-yoo [ɹɪ.ˈkɑːɹd.u kəɹ.ˈvɑːl.ju])
  • Adrien Silva [ˈa.ðɾi.ẽ ˈsiɫ.vɐ] (AH-dree-en SIL-və [ˈɑːdɹ.i‿ɛn ˈsɪl.və])
  • André Gomes [ɐ̃n.ˈdɾɛ ˈɡo.mɨʃ] (ahn-DREH GOHM-(i)sh [ɑːn.ˈdɹeɪ̯ ˈɡoʊ̯m.ᵻʃ])
  • Danilo Pereira [dɐ.ˈni.ɫu pɨ.ˈɾɐi̯.ɾɐ] (də-NIL-oo pə-RAIR-ə [də.ˈnɪl.u pə.ˈɹɛə̯ɹ.ə])
  • João Mário [ˈʒwɐ̃ũ̯ ˈma.ɾju] (ZHWOW(n) MAR-eeoo [ʒu‿ˈaʊ̯n ˈmɑːɹ.i‿u])
  • João Moutinho [ˈʒwɐ̃ũ̯ mo.ˈti.ɲu] (ZHWOW(n) moh-TIN-yoo [ʒu‿ˈaʊ̯n moʊ̯.ˈtɪn.ju])
  • Rafa Silva [ˈʁa.fɐ ˈsiɫ.vɐ] (RAHF-ə SIL-və [ˈɹɑːf.ə ˈsɪl.və])
  • Renato Sanches [ʁɨ.ˈna.tu ˈsɐ̃.ʃɨʃ] (ri-NAHT-oo SAHNSH-ish [ɹᵻ.ˈnɑːt.u ˈsɑːnʃ.ᵻʃ])
  • Vieirinha [vjɐi̯.ˈɾi.ɲɐ] (vee-ay-RIN-yə [ˌviː‿eɪ̯.ˈɹin.jə])
  • William Carvalho [ˈwi.ljɐm kɐɾ.ˈva.ʎu] (WILL-yəm kər-VAHL-yoo [ˈwɪl.jəm kəɹ.ˈvɑːl.ju)
  • Éder [ˈɛ.ðɛɾ] (ED-air [ˈɛd.ɛə̯ɹ])
  • Nani [na.ˈni] (nah-NEE [nɑː.ˈniː])
  • Ricardo Quaresma [ʁi.ˈkaɾ.ðu kwɐ.ˈɾɛʒ.mɐ] (ri-KAR-doo kwə-REZH-mə [ɹɪ.ˈkɑːɹd.u kwə.ˈɹɛʒ.mə])
  • Cristiano Ronaldo [kɾɨʃ.tiˈɐ.nu ʁu.ˈnaɫ.du] (krisht-ee-AHN-oo ruu-NAHL-doo [ˌkɹɪʃt.i‿ˈɑːn.u ɹʊ.ˈnɑːld.u])

Raphaël Guerreiro, Anthony Lopes and Adrien Silva were born in France and have French given names, pronounced in French [ʁa.fa.ɛl][ɑ̃.tɔ.ni] and [a.dʁi.ɛ̃] respectively. Pepe was born in Brazil, and in Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation is called [ˈpɛ.pi] (English approximation PEP-ee [ˈpɛp.i]). As he is a Brazilian-born member of the Portuguese national team, one could justifiably pronounce his name in English either as ‘peppy’ following the Brazilian pronunciation or as ‘pep’ following the European Portuguese pronunciation.

Poland Euro 2016 squad

Polish names tend to pose particular difficulty to non-Poles. Polish spelling is quite regular in that once one knows the rules of which letters correspond to which sound, it is easy to see how it is pronounced. But these conventions are very different from most other languages that use the Latin alphabet and are often baffling for speakers of other languages.

Polish has two series of sounds that correspond to the sh /ʃ/, zh /ʒ/ (as in ‘vision’), ch /ʧ/, and j /ʤ/ (as in ‘judge’) sounds of English—the retroflex series sz /ʂ/rz or ż /ʐ/, cz /ʦ̢/, and  /ʣ̢/, and the alveolo-palatal series ś /ɕ/, ź /ʑ/, ć /ʨ/, and  /ʥ/. The latter series also occur when the letters s, z, c, and dz are followed by the letter i (which is not pronounced separately if another vowel follows).

The letters that have a little ‘tail’ or ogonekę and ą—are usually pronounced as if they were e and o respectively with nasalization, or with a nasal consonant (like /n/ or /m/) at the end if followed by certain consonants.

Here is a guide to the Polish pronunciation of Poland’s Euro 2016 roster, followed by suggested approximations in English in parentheses.

  • Manager: Adam Nawałka (Poland) [ˈa.dam na.ˈvau̯.ka] (AH-dahm na-VOW-ka [ˈɑːd.ɑːm nə.ˈvaʊ̯k.ə])
  • Artur Boruc [ˈar.tur ˈbɔ.ruʦ] (AR-toor BOR-oots [ˈɑːɹt.ʊɹ ˈbɔːɹ.ʊts])
  • Łukasz Fabiański [ˈwu.kaʂ fa.ˈbjaɲ.skʲi] (WOO-kahsh fahb-YAHN-ski [ˈwuːk.ɑːʃ ˌfɑːb.i‿ˈɑːn.ski])
  • Wojciech Szczęsny [ˈvɔi̯.ʨɛx ˈʂʦ̢ɛ̃.snɨ] (VOY-chekh SHCHE(N)S-nee [ˈvɔɪ̯.ʧɛx ˈʃʧɛns.ni] or VOY-check [ˈvɔɪ̯.ʧɛk])
  • Kamil Glik [ˈka.mil ˈɡlik] (KAHM-il GLICK [ˈkɑːm.ɪl ˈɡlɪk])
  • Artur Jędrzejczyk [ˈar.tur jɛn.ˈdʐɛi̯.ʦ̢ɨk] (AR-toor yend-ZHEY-chick [ˈɑːɹt.ʊɹ jɛnd.ˈʒeɪ̯ʧ.ɪk])
  • Michał Pazdan [ˈmi.xau̯ ˈpaz.dan] (MEE-khow PAHZ-dahn [ˈmiː.xaʊ̯ ˈpɑːz.dɑːn] or MEE-how [ˈmiː.haʊ̯])
  • Łukasz Piszczek [ˈwu.kaʂ ˈpi.ʂʦ̢ɛk] (WOO-kahsh PISH-check [ˈwuːk.ɑːʃ ˈpɪʃ.ʧɛk])
  • Bartosz Salamon [ˈbar.tɔʂ sa.ˈla.mɔn] (BAR-tosh sa-LAHM-on [ˈbɑːɹt.ɒʃ sə.ˈlɑːm.ɒn])
  • Thiago Cionek [ˈtja.ɡɔ ˈʨɔ.nɛk] (tee-AH-go CHO-neck [ti.ˈɑːɡoʊ̯ ˈʧoʊ̯n.ɛk])
  • Jakub Wawrzyniak [ˈja.kup va.ˈvʐɨ.ɲak] (YAHK-oop vahv-ZHIN-eeack [ˈjɑːk.ʊp vɑːv.ˈʒɪn.i‿æk])
  • Jakub Błaszczykowski [ˈja.kup bwa.ʂʦ̢ɨ.ˈkɔf.skʲi → ˈja.kub.bwa.ʂʦ̢ɨ.ˈkɔf.skʲi] (YAHK-oop bwahsh-chi-KOF-ski [ˈjɑːk.ʊp ˌbwɑːʃ.ʧɪ.ˈkɔf.ski])
  • Kamil Grosicki [ˈka.mil ɡrɔ.ˈɕiʦ.kʲi] (KAHM-il gro-SHIT-ski [ˈkɑːm.ɪl ɡɹoʊ̯.ˈʃɪt.ski])
  • Tomasz Jodłowiec [ˈtɔ.maʂ jɔ.ˈdwɔ.vjɛʦ] (TOM-ahsh yo-DWO-viets [ˈtɒm.ɑːʃ joʊ̯.ˈdwoʊ̯v.i‿ɛts])
  • Bartosz Kapustka [ˈbar.tɔʂ ka.ˈpust.ka] (BAR-tosh ka-PUST-ka [ˈbɑːɹt.ɒʃ kə.ˈpʊst.kə]PUST has the same vowel as ‘put’)
  • Grzegorz Krychowiak [ˈɡʐɛ.ɡɔʂ krɨ.ˈxɔ.vjak] (GZHEG-osh kri-KHO-veeack [ˈɡʒɛɡ.ɒʃ kɹɪ.ˈxoʊ̯v.i‿æk] or kri-HO-veeack [kɹɪ.ˈhoʊ̯v.i‿æk])
  • Karol Linetty [ˈka.rɔl li.ˈnɛ.tɨ] (KAR-ol li-NET-ee [ˈkɑːɹ.ɒl lɪ.ˈnɛt.i]) or [ˈli.nɛ.tɨ] (LIN-ett-ee [ˈlɪn.ɛt.i])
  • Krzysztof Mączyński [ˈkʂɨ.ʂtɔf mɔnˈʦ̢ɨɲskʲi] (KSHISH-toff mon-CHIN-ski [ˈkʃɪʃ.tɒf mɒn.ˈʧɪn.ski])
  • Sławomir Peszko [swa.ˈvɔ.mir ˈpɛ.ʂkɔ] (swah-VO-meer PESH-ko [swɑː.ˈvoʊ̯m.ɪə̯ɹ ˈpɛʃ.koʊ̯])
  • Filip Starzyński [ˈfi.lip sta.ˈʐɨɲ.skʲi] (FIL-ip stah-ZHIN-ski [ˈfɪl.ɪp stɑː.ˈʒɪn.ski])
  • Piotr Zieliński [ˈpjɔtr̥ ʑɛ.ˈliɲ.skʲi] (PYOTR zheh-LIN-ski [ˈpjotɹ ʒɛ.ˈlɪn.ski])
  • Robert Lewandowski [ˈrɔ.bɛrt lɛ.van.ˈdɔf.skʲi] (ROB-ert lev-an-DOFF-ski [ˈɹɒb.əɹt ˌlɛv.ən.ˈdɒf.ski])
  • Arkadiusz Milik [ar.ˈka.djuʂ ˈmi.lik] (ar-KAHD-eeoosh MIL-ik [ɑːɹ.ˈkɑːd.i‿ʊʃ ˈmɪl.ɪk])
  • Mariusz Stępiński [ˈma.rjuʂ stɛm.ˈpiɲ.skʲi] (MAR-eeoosh stem-PIN-ski [ˈmɑːɹ.i‿ʊʃ stɛm.ˈpɪn.ski])

As is the case for most languages, there is no universally agreed-upon method for approximating Polish pronunciation in English. Variations on the above may be equally acceptable, for example where similar vowels are used (e.g. PEESH-check [ˈpiːʃ.ʧɛk] instead of PISH-check [ˈpɪʃ.ʧɛk] for Piszczek) or vowel reductions are applied (e.g. AR-ter [ˈɑːɹt.əɹ] instead of AR-toor [ˈɑːɹt.ʊɹ] for Artur).

Polish obstruents are devoiced finally, which is why the b in Jakub becomes [p]. However, one may just as well keep the b sound in English, saying YAHK-oob [ˈjɑːk.ʊb] for Jakub instead of YAHK-oop [ˈjɑːk.ʊp].

Polish ł represents /w/ in standard pronunciation, though historically it represented a velarized lateral approximant [ɫ], similar to the English ‘dark l’. This pronunciation is preserved in some Eastern dialects. So one may just as well map this to the English l sound, especially word-finally or before a consonant, saying na-VAHL-ka [nə.ˈvɑːlk.ə] for Nawałka instead of na-VOW-ka [nə.ˈvaʊ̯k.ə].

For the Polish consonant clusters with rz /ʐ/ which are difficult to imitate in English, it may be fine to map them to corresponding English clusters with r for ease of pronunciation, saying  GREG-osh [ˈɡɹɛɡ.ɒʃ] for Grzegorz instead of GZHEG-osh [ˈɡʒɛɡ.ɒʃ]. Historically, Polish rz was a palatalized trill /rʲ/ and thus closer to the r sounds of other languages before developing into the zh-like sound /ʐ/ of Modern Polish.

I have mapped the Polish vowel a /a/ consistently to English /ɑː/, the vowel in PALM., except for the ending -ak which I have mapped to English /æk/ to rhyme with ‘back’. For some speakers, this latter vowel /æ/ as in TRAP might be a better match for the Polish sound in general. Also, for Adam, one may just as well use the usual English pronunciation, [ˈæd.əm].

Linetty looks like a surname of Hungarian origin, which would explain the first-syllable stress that is sometimes heard. The typical Polish rule is to stress the penultimate syllable.

Thiago Cionek was born in Brazil, where Thiago is a common name. In Brazilian Portuguese, it is usually pronounced [ˈʧja.ɡu] (chee-AH-goo) because of the typically Brazilian palatalization of t into something like the English ch sound [ʧ] and the reduction of final unstressed o into [u] in most varieties of Portuguese, though regionally you may hear variants like [ˈtja.ɡu] (tee-AH-goo) and [ˈʧja.ɡo] (chee-AH-go). In English, it is usual to ignore the palatalization of t or the reduction of final o in Portuguese names, so tee-AH-go [ti.ˈɑːɡoʊ̯] is advisable for Thiago.

Thiago Cionek is also known as Thiago Rangel; the second Portuguese name is pronounced [ʁɐ̃.ˈʒɛu̯] in Brazilian Portuguese. Unlike European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese usually features l-vocalization, where l develops into a w-like sound at the end of words and before consonants. This is similar to the development of Polish ł, except that in Polish this became a w-like sound even before vowels. The sequence [ɛu̯] is difficult to imitate in English, though, and l-vocalization is usually ignored when Portuguese names are pronounced in English. So the Portuguese pronunciation of Rangel may best be approximated as rahn-ZHEL [ɹɑːn.ˈʒɛl] in English.

Xhaka vs Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri

Unusually, the UEFA Euro 2016 group stage match between Albania and Switzerland pitted two brothers against each other—Taulant Xhaka representing Albania and Granit Xhaka representing Switzerland. The brothers were born in Basel, Switzerland to ethnic Albanian parents who had just moved from Kosovo. While both played for Switzerland at various youth levels, the older Taulant chose to represent Albania at the senior level.

An article called “How to pronounce EURO players’ names correctly” on the UEFA website interestingly gives Taulant Xhaka as “Taoo-lant Dza-ka” while Granit Xhaka is given as “Cha-ka”. The short answer as to why they give different pronunciations for the same surname is that the former is based on Albanian and the latter on German, but neither pronunciation guide is satisfactory.

In Albanian, the digraph xh represents the sound /ʤ/ as in English jack [ˈʤæk], so Xhaka is pronounced [ʤa.ka] (due to conflicting accounts about which syllables are stressed in Albanian, I have made no attempt to mark stress in the transcriptions of Albanian pronunciation here). JAHK-a [ˈʤɑːk.ə] would be a better approximation of the Albanian pronunciation than “Dza-ka”, which would be spelled xaka in Albanian, where the letter x represents [ʣ].

Why then “Cha-ka” for the younger Xhaka? The phoneme /ʤ/ is not native to German, and only occurs in loanwords such as Dschungel [ˈʤʊŋl̩] from English jungle. But while the Standard German pronunciation as indicated by Duden’s pronunciation dictionary retains the original sound for this foreign phoneme, many speakers in Switzerland, Austria, and Southern Germany replace it with its voiceless counterpart /ʧ/ (the ch sound in English). So [ˈʧa.ka] is indeed a reasonable realization of Xhaka in German, and probably the most appropriate one for Switzerland. However, for German speakers who distinguish /ʤ/ from /ʧ/, it is advisable to say [ˈʤa.ka]. And as English does have the phoneme /ʤ/, it is recommendable for English speakers to say JAHK-a [ˈʤɑːk.ə] for Granit as well, using the same pronunciation for both brothers.

Taulant and Granit are [ta.u.lant] and [ɡɾa.nit] and respectively in Albanian. In German, [ˈtaʊ̯.lant] and [ˈɡʁa.nɪt] would be reasonable approximations, although shifting the stress to the last syllable may be closer to the Albanian pronunciations. Reasonable English approximations could be TAO-lahnt [ˈtaʊ̯.lɑːnt] and GRAHN-it [ˈɡɹɑːn.ɪt].

Granit’s international teammate Xherdan Shaqiri, who was born in Kosovo before emigrating to Switzerland shortly afterwards, also poses a problem. The UEFA article mentioned above gives the pronunciation of his name as “Cher-dan Scha-ki-ri”, again following the German pronunciation.

In Albanian, the name is pronounced [ʤɛɾ.dan.ʃa.ci.ɾi]. In “Cher-dan” [ˈʧɛʁ.dan], we again see the /ʧ/ standing in for Albanian /ʤ/ in the German pronunciation typical of Switzerland. Again, for German speakers who distinguish /ʤ/ and /ʧ/[ˈʤɛʁ.dan] would be advisable. JER-dahn [ˈʤɜːɹ.dɑːn] or JAIR-dahn [ˈʤɛə̯ɹ.dɑːn] would also be better for English speakers.

The usual German pronunciation of Shaqiri is indeed “Scha-ki-ri” [ʃa.ˈkiː.ʁi], with the q having the /k/ sound as expected in German spelling. But Albanian q represents either the voiceless palatal stop [c] or the voiceless palatal affricate [c͡ç], sounds that are not present in German or English. Furthermore, in some dialects of Albanian, it might become an alveolo-palatal affricate [ʨ] or postalveolar affricate [ʧ], in the latter case merging with the sound /ʧ/ written ç in Albanian. The latter pronunciations are widespread in Kosovo, for example. So a closer approximation of the Albanian pronunciation in German would have been “Scha-tschi-ri” [ʃa.ˈʧiː.ʁi]. But it seems that the pronunciation more intuitive to German speakers stuck.

English speakers similarly expect the q in Shaqiri to represent a /k/ sound, so most commentators say sha-KEER-ee [ʃə.ˈkɪəɹ.i], which approximates the German pronunciation, whereas sha-CHEER-ee [ʃə.ˈʧɪəɹ.i] would be closer to the Albanian. Given the overwhelming popularity of the former pronunciation in English, it would feel needlessly pedantic to insist on the more Albanian-like pronunciation.

Kingsley Coman

In French broadcasts of the ongoing UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, the name of the French forward Kingsley Coman is almost universally pronounced as [kiŋs.lɛ.kɔ.man] by commentators, with the final n realized as a consonant. This is in contrast to what many learners of French would guess, based on the fact that a final n in French in combination with the preceding vowel usually produces a nasalized vowel. Specifically, a final -an is usually [ɑ̃], as in Jean [ʒɑ̃], Alban [al.bɑ̃], Florian [flɔ.ʁjɑ̃], and Lacan [la.kɑ̃].

In fact, according to Kingsley Coman himself, the original pronunciation of Coman in the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe, where his parents hail from, is [kɔ.mɑ̃] with a nasalized vowel. However, this makes it an exact homophone of the French word comment, “how”, which led to a lot of teasing growing up for the young Kingsley who was born in Paris. So he came into the habit of saying [kɔ.man]; he also thought it sounded better. But both [kɔ.man] and [kɔ.mɑ̃] are fine, he now says.

In English, therefore, it would be perfectly fine to use the pronunciation with the [n] instead of imitating the nasalized vowel. KOH-ma(h)n [ˈkoʊ̯.mɑːn] is a reasonable approximation. In American English, where French names are often given final syllable stress to imitate the phrase-final emphasis in French prosody, it could also be koh-MA(H)N [koʊ̯.ˈmɑːn].

French final n following a vowel is commonly realized as a consonant in names of foreign origin, such as Kevin [ke.vin] from English, Erwan [ɛ.ʁwan] from Breton, and Bergson [bɛʁk.sɔn] from Yiddish. The Arabic element Ben is [bɛn]. The element van which is common in Dutch names can be either [van] or [vɑ̃].

Final -en following a consonant is more likely to be [ɛn] in general—this occurs in words of learned Latin origin such as abdomen [ab.dɔ.mɛn] and lichen [li.kɛn]; however, examen is [ɛɡ.za.mɛ̃] with a nasalized vowel. So names ending in -en following a consonant are almost exclusively pronounced with [ɛn], not just in names of more obviously foreign origin such as Le Pen [lə.pɛn] and Le Guen [lə.ɡwɛn] from Breton but also in cases such as Suffren [sy.fʁɛn] and Lenglen [lɑ̃.ɡlɛn]. Belgian footballer Eden Hazard, also currently competing in UEFA Euro 2016, is likewise pronounced [e.dɛn|a.zaːʁ → e.dɛ.na.zaːʁ].

Similarly, Citroën is pronounced [si.tʁɔ.ɛn] in French, although in many other languages it is pronounced as if it had the nasalized vowel based on a mistaken assumption about the French pronunciation. Citroën Korea uses the form 시트로엥 Siteuroeng [ɕʰi.tʰɯ.ɾo.eŋ] instead of 시트로엔 Siteuroen [ɕʰi.tʰɯ.ɾo.en], for example (Korean approximates French nasalized vowels with the velar nasal [ŋ]). The name comes from a spelling-based French alteration of Dutch citroen [si.ˈtrun], where the oe digraph represents [u].

When the French final n is doubled as -nn, it is a guarantee that it is pronounced as a consonant, as in Yann [ʽjan] from Breton and the ubiquitous -mann ending from German as in Hausmann [ʽos.man] (in the transcription of French used here, the symbol [ʽ] indicates that the following vowel or glide does not undergo the normal processes of contraction and liaison). This can also be seen in the surname of Kingsley Coman’s international teammate Antoine Griezmann [ɑ̃.twanə.ɡʁi.ɛz.man]. The non-native spelling -hn is another giveaway, as in Kahn [kan] from German.

Dimitri Payet

With the French midfielder Dimitri Payet [di.mi.tʁri.pa.jɛt] achieving national hero status for the host nation with his exploits in the ongoing UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, a newspaper from his home island territory of Reunion published an article exclaiming in its headline, “Maintenant, ils savent que ça se prononce ‘paillettes’ [Now, they know that it’s pronounced ‘pie-ette’]”.

Payet is a common surname in this overseas department of France in the Indian Ocean, where it is pronounced [pa.jɛt], identical to the French word paillettes. In English, this could be approximated as PY-et [ˈpaɪ̯.ɛt] or py-ET [paɪ̯.ˈɛt] (different dialects of English have different preferences when it comes to stressing French names). However, it is fair to say that until now the continental French were mostly not familiar with this pronunciation. The article noted that even the comedian Manu Payet had to resign to being called Paillé, with a silent t.

It was only those in the know who were pronouncing the t, but crucially, these included the French football commentators. The millions of French viewers who tuned into the matches to witness Dimitri Payet exploding onto the scene were thus made aware of the unusual pronunciation of Payet. It is a small detail perhaps, but the author of the article certainly derived satisfaction from this.

Apart from in recent loans such as Najat [na.ʒat] from Arabic, word-final t following a vowel is nearly always silent in French names. You see this in Fermat [fɛʁ.ma], Mahaut [ma.o], Monet [mɔ.nɛ], Petit [pə.ti], and Peugeot [pø.ʒo], for example. It is no wonder that most French speakers not familiar with the name would pronounce Payet with a silent t.

But there are exceptions. Some are short, one-syllable names like Lot [lɔt], the name of a river in the southwest of France and the department named after it, and the surname Cot [kɔt]. Final t is also usually pronounced in more obscure Hebrew or Latin names, like the biblical name Josaphat [ʒo.za.fat] or Expédit [ɛks.pe.dit], the name of a Roman Catholic saint.

The name Moët [mɔ.ɛt, mwɛt], famous for the champagne, also is properly pronounced with the final t, as is the surname Abauzit [a.bo.zit]. The Canadian French surname Ouellet [wɛ.lɛt] is yet another example, and now the Reunionese surname Payet can be added to this list.

Most instances of word-final t in Old French ceased to be pronounced as it developed into Middle French and then Modern French. There were variations in which words kept the t sound, which is why even today there are cases such as août [u(t)] and but [by(t)] where the final t may be either silent or pronounced. In Canadian French, final t tends to be pronounced more frequently than in European Standard French, e.g. juillet is [ʒɥi.jɛt] instead of [ʒɥi.jɛ]; this is why the t is pronounced in the Canadian surname Ouellet [wɛ.lɛt]. In fact, Canadian French also extends this tendency to other surnames such as Brunet, pronouncing it [bʁy.nɛt] whereas European Standard French has [bʁy.nɛ] with a silent t. However, Ouellet is almost exclusively Canadian, which is why the pronunciation with the final t is recommendable even in Standard French. As Payet is almost exclusively Reunionese, it seems similarly reasonable to follow the local pronunciation with the final t even in Standard French, as is currently happening.

While most surnames ending in -et or -ot ended up with silent t in Standard French, it seems that a select few such as the Reunionese Payet and Canadian Ouellet ended up with the t pronounced because the more peripheral varieties of French spoken in the areas where they were used were more likely to retain the final t sound.

An alternative phonemic transcription of Korean

There is never only one way to analyze the phonological structure of a language. The beauty of phonemic transcriptions is that one is allowed to be quite abstract in this analysis. For Korean, I’ve sketched out my idea for the phonemic transcription in the page IPA transcription of Korean, but it is possible to simplify this further by reducing the number of basic sounds in the inventory. Here I consider a more abstract, even minimalistic phonemic transcription of Korean.

Vowels and glides

In the phonemic transcription used elsewhere in this site, the following symbols are used for the vowels and glides of Korean: vowels: a ɛ ʌ e o ø u y ɯ i glides: j w ɰ The correspondence with hangul (Korean alphabet) orthography is as follows: ㅏ a / ㅐ ɛ / ㅑ ja / ㅒ / ㅓ ʌ / ㅔ e / ㅕ / ㅖ je / ㅗ o / ㅘ wa / ㅙ / ㅚ ø / ㅛ jo / ㅜ u / ㅝ / ㅞ we / ㅟ y / ㅠ ju / ㅡ ɯ / ㅢ ɰi / ㅣ i One way to reduce the number of basic symbols is to look at the design logic of the hangul symbols. For instance, ㅐ ae /ɛ/ was originally a combination of ㅏ a /a/ and ㅣ i /i/, and originally represented a falling diphthong. We can treat such historical diphthongs as sequences of vowels plus the glide /j/, which gives the following: vowels: a ʌ o u ɯ i glides: j wa / ㅐ aj / ㅑ ja / ㅒ jaj / ㅓ ʌ / ㅔ ʌj / ㅕ / ㅖ jʌj / ㅗ o / ㅘ wa / ㅙ waj / ㅚ oj / ㅛ jo / ㅜ u / ㅝ / ㅞ wʌj / ㅟ uj / ㅠ ju / ㅡ ɯ / ㅢ ɯj / ㅣ i This reduces the number of vowel phonemes from ten to six, and the number of glide phonemes from three to two. We eliminate the need for the glide /ɰ/ by treating ㅢ ui as a vowel followed by a glide, /ɯj/, though today it is indeed pronounced as a glide followed by a vowel, /ɰi/. Similarly, ㅚ oe and ㅟ wi are written as /oj/ and  /uj/ respectively, though today they are overwhelmingly pronounced as glide-vowel sequences /we/ and /wi/ [ɥi] (though normative grammar still favours the conservative monophthongal pronunciations / and /y/ as the basic pronunciations, treating /we/ and /wi/ as optional variants). This minimalistic approach is good for giving a more systematic view of the vowel system of the normative conservative pronunciation of Korean. Instead of requiring the glide /ɰ/ that only ever appears in the combination /ɰi/, we can explain this combination along with various monophthongs or glide-vowel combinations as the results of an underlying vowel and the glide /j/, which can be attached to any of the vowels except for /i/. However, because this phonological analysis is based on historical pronunciation and is very different from the pronunciation of today’s Korean, it would be very confusing for anyone who is not already familiar with the sounds of today’s Korean and has some awareness of the historical sound changes of Korean. Furthermore, today’s Korean is going through some changes such as the merger of ㅐ ae /ɛ/ and ㅔ e /e/ (or /aj/ and /ʌj/ in the minimalistic analysis we are discussing), the systematic nature of this analysis will continue to be eroded.

Consonants

The phonemic transcription used elsewhere in the site recognizes nineteen consonant phonemes: consonants: m b p pʰ n d t tʰ l z̥ʰ s ʣʲ ʦʲ ʦʲʰ ŋ ɡ k kʰ hɡ / ㄲ k / ㄴ n / ㄷ d / ㄸ t / ㄹ l / ㅁ m / ㅂ b / ㅃ p / ㅅ z̥ʰ / ㅆ s / ㅇ ŋ / ㅈ ʣʲ / ㅉ ʦʲ / ㅊ ʦʲʰ / ㅋ / ㅌ / ㅍ / ㅎ h We can be much more economical, treating the fortis series of stops and affricates as geminates of the plain series and the aspirated series as clusters of the plain series and /h/. Then we can reduce the number of consonant phonemes from nineteen to just ten, slashing it nearly in half: consonants: m p n t l s ʦ ŋ k hk / ㄲ kk / ㄴ n / ㄷ t / ㄸ tt / ㄹ l / ㅁ m / ㅂ p / ㅃ pp / ㅅ s / ㅆ ss / ㅇ ŋ / ㅈ ʦ / ㅉ ʦʦ / ㅊ ʦh / ㅋ kh / ㅌ th / ㅍ ph / ㅎ h I first though of using the voiced symbols /b, d, z, ʣ, ɡ/ for the stops and affricates, but decided not to make it too alien and settled on the voiceless symbols /p, t, s, ʦ, k/ instead. And since we’ve already stepped too far into the realm of phonemic abstraction, I’ve stripped away the various diacritics for phonetic details from the phonemic symbols, writing /s, ʦ/ instead of /z̥ʰ, ʣʲ/. To put it bluntly, these phonemic transcriptions are not meant to give information directly about the pronunciation at all, just the underlying structure of the sound system of the language that may give rise to the pronunciation.

Examples

Let’s see this alternative phonemic transcription in action, and for fun, let’s give both the morphophonemic representation that is closer to the spelling and a form that is closer to the surface pronunciation. We can write /ʔ/ for fortition that is not reflected in the spelling. Here we give the alternative phonemic transcription between bold slashes (/ /), followed by the more conventional phonemic (/ /) and phonetic ([ ]) transcriptions used elsewhere on the site.

  • 꺾쇠[꺽쐬/꺽쒜] kkeoksoe /kkʌkksoj → kkʌksoj/ /kʌɡ.sø/ [kʌk.sø, -swe]
  • 먹히다[머키-] meokida /mʌkhita/ /mʌ.kʰi.da/ [mʌ.kʰi.da]
  • 사과 sagwa /sakwa/ /z̥ʰa.ɡwa/ [z̥ʰa.ɡwa]
  • 아빠 appa /appa/ /a.pa/ [ap.pa]
  • 채찍 chaejjik /ʦhajʦʦik/ /ʦʰɛ.ʦiɡ/ [ʦʰɛʦ.ʦik]
  • 폈다[펻ː따] pyeotda /phjʌːss-ta → phjʌːt-ta/ /pʰjʌːd.ta/ [pʰjəːt.ta]
  • 필승[-씅] pilseung  /philʔsɯŋ → philssɯŋ/ /pʰil.sɯŋ/ [pʰil.sɯŋ]

One advantage is that it is somewhat easier to see some of the logic behind contractions and regular sound rules:

  • 아니하고 anihago /anihako/ /a.ni.ha.ɡo/ [a.ni.ɦa.ɡo]
  • 않고[안코] anko /anhko → ankho/ /an.kʰo/ [an.kʰo]
  • 하였다[-엳따] hayeotda  /hajʌss-ta → hajʌt-ta/ /ha.jʌd.ta/ [ha.jʌt.ta]
  • 했다[핻ː따] haetda  /haːjss-ta → haːjt-ta/ /hɛd.ta/ [hɛt.ta]

For example, it is easier to see why /anihako/ contracts to /anhko/, or why the latter turns into /ankho/ through simple metathesis. This can be slightly more obscure if we just say that  /a.ni.ha.ɡo/ contracts into /an.kʰo/. Granted, this isn’t much of a difference, but it could be helpful in thinking about the phonology of Korean. In fact, if you are acquainted with the Yale romanization of Korean, then this alternative scheme of phonemic transcription should be familiar. The logic of the Yale romanization, which is used extensively in linguistics, is similar to this analysis. For example, the examples given above would be written in Yale romanization as follows: 꺾쇠 kkekksoy, 먹히다 mekhita, 사과 sakwa, 아빠 appa, 채찍 chayccik, 폈다 phyessta, 필승 philqsung, 아니하고 anihako, 않고 anhko, 하였다 hayessta, 했다 hayssta. The Yale romanization goes even further in the simplification of the vowel inventory, by treating the back rounded vowels ㅗ /o/ wo and ㅜ /u/ wu not as basic vowels but as combinations of the glide /w/ and the basic vowels ㆍ /ɒ/ o and ㅡ /ɯ/ u. The vowel phoneme ㆍ /ɒ/ is no longer used in Standard Korean and does not figure into the phonemic analysis above. This means that the implicit system of the Yale romanization is as follows, at least if we replace our /o, u/ above with /wɒ, wɯ/: vowels: a ʌ ɒ ɯ i glides: j wa / ㅐ aj / ㅑ ja / ㅒ jaj / ㅓ ʌ / ㅔ ʌj / ㅕ / ㅖ jʌj / ㅗ / ㅘ wa / ㅙ waj / ㅚ wɒj / ㅛ jwɒ / ㅜ  / ㅝ / ㅞ wʌj / ㅟ wɯj / ㅠ jwɯ / ㅡ ɯ / ㅢ ɯj / ㅣ i But the Yale romanization actually writes ㅛ as yo instead of ywo, ㅠ as yu instead of ywu, and ㅟ as wi instead of wuy (this last bit would imply that ㅟ should be analyzed as /wi/ instead of /uj/—this raises an interesting question of which is more historically correct, to which I don’t have the full answer). The priority seems to have been to use as few letters as possible without creating ambiguities rather than strict internal consistency (indeed, for modern Korean where ㆍ /ɒ/ isn’t used, the Yale romanization simply writes ㅗ as o instead of wo). The Yale romanization’s analysis with five basic vowels was probably forced by the restriction of having only five basic vowel letters in the Roman alphabet, with y being chosen to represent a glide, rather than by the nature of the Korean sound system itself. The alternative phonemic analysis discussed in this post is much too abstract and quite removed from the surface pronunciation of Korean, so it won’t be of much use when the goal is simply to describe how something is pronounced in Korean. The phonemic transcriptions on this site are aimed at straying not too far from the phonetic transcriptions. But it is possible that the exact level of phonemic analysis may be reviewed in the future, and we may incorporate some of the ideas here, though not all.

The pronunciation of Ban Ki-moon in Korean

In this post, we will illustrate the IPA transcription system for Korean used in this site with the example of the name of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Ban Ki-moon is written 반기문 in hangul, the Korean alphabet, and 潘基文 in hanja, the Chinese characters used in Korean with nativized Korean pronunciations. The vast majority of Korean given names are traditionally chosen so that they can be written in hanja, but there are exceptions such as 하늘 Haneul /ha.nɯl/ from the native Korean word for “sky”. In this case, the phonetic transcription is also [ha.nɯl], and we henceforth omit the phonetic transcription in square brackets ([ ]) if it is identical to the phonemic transcription in slashes (/ /).

On their own, the surname 반 潘 Ban is pronounced /ban/ [b̥an] and the given name 기문 基文 Ki-moon is pronounced /ɡi.mun/ [ɡ̊i.mun]. Both the surname and given name are pronounced as they are written in Korean, and ㅂ, ㅏ, and ㄴ correspond to /b/, /a/, and /n/ respectively while ㄱ, ㅣ, ㅁ, ㅜ, and ㄴ correspond to /ɡ/, /i/, /m/, /u/, and /n/ respectively. Not all Korean names or words are pronounced as written because of morphophonemic spelling and sandhi effects—for example, 꽃 kkot |koʦʲʰ| is pronounced as if written [꼳] /kod/ [kot] and 종로 Jongno |ʣʲoŋ.lo| is pronounced as if written [종노] /ʣʲoŋ.no/ [ʣ̥ʲoŋ.no]. Korean dictionaries generally include these pronunciations where they differ from spelling. Here I have included the more abstract morphophonemic transcriptions that are closer to the spelling in pipes (| |).

The phonemes /b, ɡ/ are devoiced to [b̥, ɡ̊] initially. The ring diacritic indicates voicelessness in the IPA. Since [b] and [ɡ] are the symbols for the voiced bilabial stop and the voiced velar stop respectively, one might think that [b̥, ɡ̊] mean the same thing as [p, k], the usual IPA symbols for the voiceless bilabial stop and the voiceless velar stop respectively. But this is actually a shorthand way of expressing that there are differences in pronunciation between the pairs, just not one of voice.

Initial ㅂ  /b/ [b̥] and ㄱ /ɡ/ [ɡ̊] are produced with much less force than ㅃ /p/ [p] and ㄲ /k/ [k]. The latter pair are more prominent because they generally make the following vowel louder and higher in pitch, at least in initial position. So /b, ɡ/ and /p, k/ are distinguished in initial position in Korean even though both pairs are voiceless, similarly to how in English /b, ɡ/ and /p, k/ can still (barely) be distinguished when whispering, even though whispering involves devoicing all sounds that are normally voiced. Writing the word-initial allophones of /b, ɡ/ as [b̥, ɡ̊] has the advantage of using the same basic symbols as the underlying phonemes.

Now, Koreans are generally not referred only by their surnames in Korean but by their full name, given the relative paucity of distinctive Korean surnames. 반기문 Ban Ki-moon /ban ɡi.mun/ then becomes [b̥an.ɡi.mun], pronounced as a single unit. The /ɡ/ of 기문 Ki-moon /ɡi.mun/ maintains its voicing as it is surrounded by voiced sounds /n/ and /i/. In less careful speech, we may in fact also hear [b̥aŋ.ɡi.mun], but this sort of place assimilation where /n/ becomes [ŋ] in front of velar stops is considered nonstandard.

If each of the syllables were being pronounced separately for emphasis, then we would have [b̥an|ɡ̊i|mun] with /ɡ/ devoiced to [ɡ̊]. The pipe (|) is used here to mark the prosodic breaks.

Other names may involve even more striking differences depending on whether the surname and given name are pronounced together or separately. Consider 박목월[방-] 朴木月 Park Mokwol /baɡ moɡ.wʌl/ [b̥aŋ.mo.ɡwʌl], where the coda /ɡ/ of the surname 박 (/baɡ/ [b̥ak] on its own) becomes the nasal [ŋ] due to the following /m/ when the full name is pronounced as a single unit, as if it were the surname 방 方/邦/房/龐 Bang /baŋ/ [b̥aŋ].

Furthermore, in romanizing Korean names, each syllable tends to be transcribed based on its pronunciation on its own, hence Mokwol instead of Mogwol for 목월 /moɡ.wʌl/ [mo.ɡwʌl]. Since it is useful to show how each of the syllables of the surnames and given names are pronounced separately as well as together, we will transcribe them as follows when a difference arises:

  • 반기문 /ban ɡi.mun/ [b̥an|ɡ̊i|mun → b̥an.ɡi.mun]
  • 박목월[방-] /baɡ moɡ.wʌl/ [b̥ak|mok|wʌl → b̥aŋ.mo.ɡwʌl]

The name Ban Ki-moon is invariably given in the Korean order, where the surname (family name) Ban comes before the given name Ki-moon. Other Korean names may be conventionally known in the Western order with the given name first, e.g. Syngman Rhee 이승만 李承晩 /iː z̥ʰɯŋ.man/ where Rhee is the surname, which is more commonly written Lee for other bearers of the same surname. Yet other names can be seen in both orders, e.g. Ji-Sung Park or Park Ji-sung 박지성[-찌-] 朴智星 /baɡ ʣʲi.z̥ʰʌŋ/ [b̥ak|ʣ̥ʲi|z̥ʰʌŋ → b̥ak.ʦʲi.z̥ʰʌŋ] where Park is the surname.

Hello, world!

[hə.ˈloʊ̯.ˈwɜrld, ˈhɛl.oʊ̯.ˈwɜrld]

Welcome to the Pronouncer blog, where we will be discussing the pronunciation of various languages and the related issue of how to transcribe them in various forms, especially into the Korean alphabet. Posts will be in English or Korean depending on the subject matter.

We will be dealing with subjects such as phonetics, phonology, orthography, transliteration, and transcription. To represent the pronunciations, we will be relying heavily on the International Phonetic Alphabet, so make sure to gain some familiarity with it.

In the above, [hə.ˈloʊ̯.ˈwɜrld] is a diaphonic phonetic transcription of the English utterance “Hello, world”, which is to say that it is a single phonetic transcription that covers pronunciation in both Received Pronunciation (RP) and General American (GA) pronunciation, the representative accents of British and American English respectively. For a phonetic transcription of RP, we would generally transcribe GB[hə.ˈləʊ̯.ˈwɜːld] instead, to show that the diphthong diaphonically transcribed as [oʊ̯] has a more unrounded, central starting point, hence GB[əʊ̯]; and that underlying [r] is not pronounced unless it is immediately followed by a vowel, which is why we write GB[ɜː] instead of [ɜr]. This is because RP is a non-rhotic accent, unlike GA. For the rhotic GA pronunciation, we follow many pronunciation dictionaries in preferring to show the r-coloured vowel explicitly for the combination [ɜr], writing US[ɝː] instead, i.e. US[hə.ˈloʊ̯.ˈwɝːld].

In general, we give phonetic transcriptions enclosed in square brackets ([ ]). Phonetic transcriptions are simply representations of the speech sounds, and can be broad or narrow based on how much detail we want to go into. A phonemic transcription, which we enclose in slashes (/ /), is a special kind of broad transcription where the symbols we use correspond one-to-one to the phonemes of the language, that is, the atomic unit of the sounds of a language. This requires determining the structure of the pronunciation of the language to determine precisely what the phonemes are, i.e. a phonological analysis. Different analyses may disagree on whether one sound is a phoneme in its own right or simply a variant of another phoneme, and the inventory of phonemes also varies depending on the different varieties of the language. In our case, /hə.ˈloʊ̯.ˈwɜrld/ could be a perfectly serviceable phonemic transcription, but we prefer to give phonetic transcriptions in general for English because we want to capture some details in pronunciation without worrying about whether they are relevant to phonemic differences.

What about [ˈhɛl.oʊ̯.ˈwɜrld]? Well, the first thing to know is that “hello” has an alternative pronunciation, [hɛ.ˈloʊ̯], which is the same as [hə.ˈloʊ̯] except that the first vowel is unreduced. Here I follow Wikipedia in transcribing the vowel of DRESS as [ɛ], but many simply write [e] (e.g. [he.ˈloʊ̯]) since it is just as unambiguous—English doesn’t have two e-type vowels to distinguish—and is the simpler symbol typographically.

Now, [ˈhɛl.oʊ̯] is a variant pronunciation where the stress is on the first syllable, though it is not recognized in many dictionaries. It does appear as an American variant in the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary, 18th ed. But even if stressing “hello” on the first syllable is rare when the word is pronounced on its own, it is a different story when a stressed syllable immediately follows. “Hello” then becomes susceptible to stress shift so that it is pronounced [ˈhɛl.oʊ̯], and this even becomes the usual pronunciation in examples such as Hello Kitty [ˈhɛl.oʊ̯.ˈkɪt̬.i]. That is why I write [ˈhɛl.oʊ̯.ˈwɜrld] as a possibility.

I think I would oscillate between the two pronunciations, tending to say [hə.ˈloʊ̯.ˈwɝːld] if I was actually greeting the world, but tending more to [ˈhɛl.oʊ̯.ˈwɜrld] if it is a set phrase, as in a “Hello, world!” program.