EYE-rock? EE-rock? ...

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Baron Max, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Iraq ....that nation over yonder that the news media seems to focus on.

    How do you prounounce it?


    And while we're on the subject, who the fuck decides how to pronounce some nation's name, etc? Is there some group of English experts who provide such things for us?

    Baron Max
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  3. draqon Banned Banned

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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    According to the way it is spelt in Arabic, it is Ee-Raak.

    Though Americans call it Eye-Rock.
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  7. Kunax Sciforums:Reality not required Registered Senior Member

    i-rak, i-rahk
  8. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

    I say something like ih-RACK. For those who understand IPA, I say [ɪ.ˈræk].

    Where did you get most of those? Who says "I rock"? I only ever hear ih-RACK, ih-ROCK, and eye-RACK.

    There is no official authority on the English language in the same way there is for other languages, as far as I know. A large part of our rules concerning pronunciation, grammar, etc., are descriptions of the natural, living language rather than a set of predetermined laws dictating the language. Basically, whatever happens to catch on.

    As far as I can determine, that would be:


    For people who are interested.

    Note to self: Learn Arabic writing.

    Maybe Bush does.

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  9. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    The pronounciation of geographical location is entirely dependent on the language in question.

    Americans pronounce Iraq differently than Dutch people, unless Dutch people speak English. Well, then it still depends on whether they are trying to speak American-English or English.

    Interestingly you can actually see the pronounciation in online dictionaries, or even hear it if you manage to find the right button to click.

  10. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    You're right, but the proper convention in Arabic is to say "The Iraq"

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  11. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

    Yeah, I guess I should've left that on. I copied it from the title of the Arabic article on Iraq at Wikipedia, but I thought to myself "We're talking about 'Iraq', not 'al-Iraq' ".
  12. The Devil Inside Banned Banned

    in flemish, it is "eee-rock" (phonetically in english).

    i pronounce it "ih-rack"...but i have a great lakes american accent. so there you go.
  13. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Pfft... Americans.
  14. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

    #%$@*&! sumbitches wanted some sort of log-in to hear the pronunciations - or at least that's what I got when I clicked on the button shaped like wee stylized "sound waves" emanating from an equally wee speaker.

    Any time I have heard news reports featuring anyone from Iraq who mentioned the name of the place, they pronounced it ee-rock, with a slight sort of "roll" to the letter "R" sometimes heard in German or Slavic use.
    I'm not sure if this is the be-all end-all way it's supposed to sound, but for some reason I feel quite annoyed when I hear a fellow American pronounce it eye-wrack. It just sounds stupid.
    Speaking of stupid - I notice a lot of US senators & representatives say eye-wrack...

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  15. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

  16. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

  17. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

    Wiktionary gives the following pronunciations:

    1. ɪrɑːk
    2. ɪræk

    Interestingly, it doesn't give the American pronunciations of

    eɪ rɑːk or eɪ ræk
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    So it's al Iraq? The way we say "the Ukraine" and Brits say "the Argentine"?

    Is iraq a word in Arabic with a specific meaning? We're taught that the concept of "nations" with names like Iraq, Jordan and Syria is a fiction perpetrated by British colonial administrators, since the Arabs were a tribal people without nations.

    If you think English naming conventions for countries are chaotic, that's nothing compared to our way of naming their people.

    Argentina - Argentine
    Azerbaijan - Azeri
    China - Chinese
    Cyprus - Cypriot
    Denmark - Danish
    France - French
    Germany - German
    Greece - Greek
    Iraq - Iraqi
    Norway - Norwegian
    Peru - Peruvian
    Poland - Polish
    Spain - Spanish
    Switzerland - Swiss
    Thailand - Thai
    Turkey - Turkish

    And, of course: Holland - Dutch.
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    The name has its roots in history.
  20. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

    The Iraqis in this case, wouldn't you say?

    Whoever gets to be the authority, it certainly won't be the yanks.

    "Congradulations" on being the country least likely to pronounce anything properly.
  21. draqon Banned Banned

    yeah well try naming PeoPle from Rossija <---thats the name of the country (and not Russia).
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The problem with that is that langagues have different phonetic structures. We dutifully spell "Iraq" with a Q because that's how we transliterate that letter in the Arabic alphabet, but we pronounce it as a K. In reality it's a glottal stop, like the T in a Cockney pronunciation of glass of wa'er. Very few languages have that sound. A great many don't have the H in Hollands and Helleniki or the SH in English and Schweiz. Most anglophones don't pronounce the CH in "Czech" correctly (and we even have to spell it in Polish because we don't have the Czech diacritical marks).
    The speech of educated Americans is as proper phonetically as that of educated Britons and these days the differences are minor. I've never heard anyone mangle foreign languages like the Brits: the people who make two syllables out of Juan, with an English affricate J and the accent on the U. And Latin? You've been speaking Latin since the Romans were there to teach it personally and you still can't get the vowels right!
    We say "congrachoolations." You guys can't even hear the phonemes correctly in another dialect of your own language, and you insist that you can do it in a foreign tongue?

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    It's the phonetic impoverishment of a language that makes it difficult for its speakers to render foreign words. A combination of a limited number of phonemes with stifling rules on how they can be put together. The Japanese take the prize for that: every consonant must be followed by a vowel so "McDonalds" comes out as Makudonarudo. Chinese is almost as bad but at least they get the fun of choosing from among the eleven kanji for each syllable and coming up with some amusing phrases for foreign names. America is mei3 guo2, "beautiful country."
    Actually in America we did that during the Cold War. It was pretty common to hear them referred to as Rooskies, which is a fairly faithful rendition of their own name for themselves.

    Don't forget that the O in Rossiya is unaccented so it's not pronounced as an O. It's a [can't get the IPA symbols to display but it's the upside-down V] so the name of the country is ruh-SEE-ya in Russian. We have that sound in English with our unusually rich set of vowels, but most languages don't.
  23. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

    No, almost every american I have ever heard pronounce the word says "congradulations". I have also seen it spelled that way many times by americans. If you are nice I might concede that it's more like "congra-jew-lations".

    You're not even consistent. "Toob" is how you pronounce "tube" "nookleer" is how you pronounce "nuclear", but what about "music" or "amused"? What about "Congratulations" even?

    Other gems include:

    "Sick lick rate"
    "Cha see" (i.e car chassis)

    "nook-yoo-lar missle" is my favourite.

    Also a whole host of misspellings based on the american's tendency to pronounce T as D such as "rice patties", "pedal to the medal", "retarted" and last but not least, "studder".
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007

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