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Saturday, March 3, 2018

How to pronounce Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril rum uh poser (using respelling)
siril ramaphoosa (using key)
सिरिल रमअफोसा (using Devanagari)

Friday, March 2, 2018

How to pronounce Shravanabelagola

shruh one uh bell a goal (short vowel sound) uh (using respelling)
shravaNabeLagoLa (using key)
श्रवणअ बेळअ गोळअ (छोटा ए और छोटा ओ) (using Devanagari)
ಶ್ರವಣಬೆಳಗೊಳ (using Kannada Script) 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

How to pronounce Strandja or Strandzha

strarn (like barn) jar (using respelling)
straanjaa (using key)
स्त्रान्जा (using Devanagari)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to pronounce Saweety Boora

sweety boorer (using respelling)
sviiTii buuraa (using key)
स्वीटी बूरा (using Devanagari)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

How to pronounce M H Nalapad

Mohammad Haris Nalapad has been in the news.

mow hum mud hah riss gnarl uh pard (using respelling)
mohammad haaris naalappaaD (using key)
मोहम्मद हारिस नालप्पाड (using Devanagari) 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Commonly mispronounced words 67 - Prakash Jarwal

There was a character in Anurag Kashyap called JaDwaal, played by the wonderful actor Deepak Dobriyal. I guess most anchors loved that film too much, so when this MLAs name cropped up in the news, they chose to use the same pronunciation. However the correct pronunciation is 

jar - vaal (using respelling)
jaar vaal (using key)
जारवाल (using Devanagari)

Monday, January 15, 2018

How to pronounce nidahas

The nidahas cup uses the Sinhala word for independence - nidahas.

nither harse (using respelling)
nidahaas (using key)
निदअहास (using Devanagari) The 'a' is being shown to indicate the lack of halant after the 'da'. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

How to pronounce Om Prakash Mitharval

ohm pruck ahsh mitt her vaal (using respelling)
oom prakaash miTharvaal (using key)
ओम प्रकाश मिठरवाल (using Devanagari)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Commonly mispronounced words 66 - Vavuniya

This town in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka is often mispronounced as vaavuuniyaa (using pronunciation key) or war woo near (Using respelling). The correct pronunciation however is 

vuh (rhymes with duh) voon (vowel sound like in book) ear
vavuniyaa (Using pronunciation key)
ववुनिया  (Using Devanaagarii)

Friday, October 20, 2017

How to pronounce INS Kiltan

The anti submarine warship INS Kiltan that recently joined Indian Navy is pronounced as

kill tarn (Using respelling)
kilTaan (Using pronunciation key)
किल्टान (Using Devanaagarii)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

How to pronounce Odense

The Danish town of Odense is pronounced as

Oh - denser (the d is soft like the sound of th in this and the e is closer to schwa) (Using respelling)
oodansa (Using Pronunciation key)
ओदंसअ (Using Devanaagarii)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How to pronounce Putharikandam

BJP's Janaraksha Yatra in Kerala has been news and the rally in Thiruvananthapuram had this name thrown at us. It is pronounced as follows 

put hurry cun dumb (Using respelling) {t in put is soft, drop the h in hurry, cun rhymes with gun}
puttarikkanDam (Using pronunciation key)
पुत्तरिक्कंडम् (Using Devanaagarii)

If you can read Malayalam, it is  പുത്തരിക്കണ്ടം 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Commonly mispronounced words 65 - Nirmala Sitharaman

I don't understand why the North Indian media has picked up the bad habit of pronouncing this name with rum in it. The name is a reference to the Lord Ram and not to the lord rum! I think this is North India's revenge for South Indian's pronouncing Modi as mow Dee instead of mow thee. 

The correct pronunciation is 

near mull uh seat (soft t) ah Ram (rhymes with farm) un (rhymes with bun) (Using respelling)
nirmalaa siitaaraaman (Using pronunciation key)
निर्मला सीतारामन (Using Devanaagarii)

If you can read Tamizh, you obviously won't need this. But still.

நிர்மலா சீதாராமன் 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How to pronounce Karamsad

This is the place where Sardar Patel grew up. It is pronounced as 

cur rum south(ern) (Using respelling) (pronounce southern but drop the last syllable)
karamsad (Using Pronunciation key)
करमसद (Using Devanaagarii) 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Commonly mispronounced words 64 - Rohingya

The Rohingya refugee crisis has been often reported in the media. But it is normally referred to as rowing gear. However the correct pronunciation is

row in jar (Using respelling)
roohinjaa (Using pronunciation key)
रोहिंजा (Using Devanaagarii)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Commonly mispronounced words 63 - Sengottaiyan

This makes it two AIADMK politicians in a row on this blog. Not by design. It just so happened that the name of the current education minister of Tamil Nadu was recently being grotesquely mispronounced on radio recently. South Indian names are routinely murdered on radio. Nothing new about that. But this one was quite ridiculous. So I decided to write this post. 
So, his name is K A Sengottaiyan.  It is pronounced as 
sengooTTaiyan (using pronunciation key)
sen-go-tie-un (using respelling)
सेंगोटयन (using Devanagari) {short e}सेंगोट्टइयन (more authentic)
செங்கோட்டையன் (in Tamizh script)

If you were wondering how it was being pronounced on air, that was sen-go-thigh-yarn सेंगोत्तैयाँ (which rhymes with the hindi word saiyyaa.n). Makes it sound extremely droll or grotesque depending on your mood. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Commonly mispronounced words 62 - TTV Dinakaran

Media has for a while now boggled us with their bias towards ruling parties or parties that pay them. What bothers me however is a more mundane aspect of the media! The number of words of names and places they get wrong is shocking. The current name that is hogging headlines is TTV Dinakaran. He is the son of Sasikala's sister Vanithamani and TT Vivekanandan. This should be a very simple name for most people to get. The Hindi speakers should know names like Ramdhari Singh Dinkar and hence the name should not be a problem. Those who know Sanskrit would know that it means the sun and would have no problem pronouncing it. Yet, not a single non-Tamil news channel is getting it right. They are all pronouncing the name as dinaakaran. The sound between the na and the ka being elongated. The correct pronunciation is very simple. 

the (the pronunciation of the article 'the' with emphasis)-nucker (rhymes with sucker)-un (rhymes with run) {using respelling}
dinakaran {using the pronunciation key}
दिनअकरन {using Devanaagari}  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Commonly mispronounced words 61 - Samba crop

The recent row over Cauvery water has brought to fore this word relating to a rice crop in Tamil Nadu. It is a simple word with an easy pronunciation. But because of the iconic character in the film Sholay, it is being mispronounced all over. The media is pronouncing the name as saambaa. Whereas the correct pronunciation is sum-bah. 

sum-bah (using respelling)
sambaa (using pronunciation key)
सम्बा  (using Devanagari)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How to pronounce Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal

Jaikishan was one of the two partners who made up the great music director duo Shankar Jaikishan. He died at a very young age of 42. His full name is Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal. But most people get the pronunciation wrong. It is pronounced as 
jie (rhymes with die)-kish (rhymes with wish) - un (rhymes with bun) Dyer bye punch-ahl (using respelling)
jaikishan Daahyaabhaai panchaal (using Pronunciation key)
जयकिशन डाह्याभाई पंचाल (using Devanagari)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Commonly mispronounced words 60 - Maria Sharapova

A big problem with the Indian media is that it processes Russian or Israeli or Arabic names through the prism of BBC or CNN. Our language is much closer to most languages (even the ones written in Cyrillic script). I fail to understand why we have to process these names using the British or American glasses. Yes Maria Sharapova is making headlines. Yes, for the wrong reasons. But that is no reason to get her name wrong. She is not Maariyaa Shaaraapoova - as most channels pronounce it. She is Mariiyaa Sharaapovaa. That's right. The surname would sound a bit like how a Punjabi would pronounce shraap (श्राप ) :)

The Maria of course sounds exactly like it does in A R Rahman's song from Kaadalar dinam (Dubbed in Hindi as Dil Hi Dil Men). 

marie-yeah shuh-rah-po-aah (using respelling)
mariiyaa sharaapovaa (using my pronunciation key)
मरीया शरापोवा (छोटा ओ - using Devanaagari)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Commonly mispronounced words 59 - Ravindra Jadeja

We have had two major cricketers with this surname, yet this continues to be mispronounced across all news channels. In fact, even I am guilty of mispronouncing it at times. I finally had to use a mnemonic to fix my mispronunciation. There was a famous film song from Kallicharan. The song was "Jaa re jaa oh harjaai". Now I do not get the pronunciation wrong as I use this as an aide memoire :)

The correct pronunciation is

jar-day-jar (Using respelling, non rhotic pronunciation of jar)
jaaDeejaa (Using pronunciation key)
जाडेजा (Devanaagari)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

How to pronounce Chamara Kapugedera

charmer-uh cuh-poo-gay-the-ruh (respelling short sound in gay and poo as in get and pull)
chaamara kapugedara (Using pronunciation key)
चामरअ कपुगेदरअ (छोटा ए) (Devanaagari)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

How to pronounce Kasun Rajitha

Sri Lankan paceman Kasun Rajitha is being mispronounced even by the commentators who are paid crores to do their job. Pathetic!

The correct pronunciation is

cuss-oon rah-jitter (respelling soft t)
kasun raajita (pronunciation key)
कसुन राजितअ (Devanaagari)

Friday, February 12, 2016

How to pronounce Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad

The Siachen martyr's name is still being mauled across channels. Various versions ranging from thaapa to thappa. The correct pronunciation of his name is 
han-oo-month-upper cope-pud (respelling short o soft d)
hanumantappa koppad (pronunciation key)
हनुमंतप्पअ कोप्पद (छोटा ओ) 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

My common bloopers 15 - Kolkata

I used to pronounce this as Calcutta like everybody did. Then they changed it to Kolkata. For some strange reason (thanks to the media perhaps), I started pronouncing it as Kaul-cutter. Then someone corrected me and I started pronouncing it as coal-carter. Though it is written with a long 'a' sound after the second 'k', the correct pronunciation is coal-cutter. If you can read Devanagari, कोलकता. If you are used to my pronunciation key, koolkataa. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Commonly mispronounced words 58 - K M Mani

The current ruckus in the Kerala Assembly has brought this long mispronounced name back in focus. For years, he has been pronounced as 'money'. The correct pronunciation is 'marnie'. 

K M Mani kay em marnie (respelling)
kee em maaNi (pronunciation key)
के एम् माणि (Devanaagari)

For those of you who love torturing themselves (like me), the full name is 

Karingozhakkal Mani Mani. It is pronounced as 

karingozhakkaL maaNi maaNi (pronunciation key)
करिन्गोय़क्कळ माणि माणि (छोटा ओ) 
കരിങ്ങൊഴക്കൽ മാണി മാണി  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Commonly mispronounced words 57 - Manohar Parrikar

The new Defence Minister of India is Manohar Parrikar. When he became the chief minister of Goa, I had issued a pronunciation advise here 

However, when he has become more newsy, I find most channels are pronouncing his name as par-e-cur. The correct pronunciation is purr-e-car. 

Interestingly, Marathi bulletins pronounce the name as purr-e-cur. However Konkani bulletins have the most authentic pronunciation purr-e-car. 

Another interesting fact that I noticed is that when Mr Parrikar took oath as chief minister of Goa, he took the oath in Konkani and pronounced his surname as purr-e-car. However, when he took oath as cabinet minister, he pronounced his surname as purr-e-cur. 

The right pronunciation is of course, mun (like bun)-oh-her purr-e-car (respelling)
manoohar parriikaar (using pronunciation key)
मनोहर पर्रीकार (using Devanagari)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Commonly mispronounced words 56 - Incheon

The Asian Games have begun in this South Korean city. All the vernacular papers and Indian news channels are mispronouncing this word. The Hindi newspapers are writing the name as इन्चियौन  or इन्चियॉन. The news channels and radio channels are also pronouncing it like that. Given the fact that a Doordarshan newsreader was fired because she mispronounced Xi Jinping, is this a fit case for firing all the news anchors. 

The name is pronounced as inchhan (using Pronunciation Key)
in-chun (rhymes with shun) (using respelling)
इन्छन (using Devanagari)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to pronounce G E Vahanvati

The former Attorney General of India passed away yesterday. His name is Gulam Essaji Vahanvati.

It is pronounced as Gulaam Eessaaji vahaaNvaTii (using the pronunciation key)

गुलाम एस्साजी वहाणवटि  (using Devanaagari)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Commonly mispronounced words 55 Chabad

The Chabad House in Mumbai has reopened. The name is being mauled all over the broad media, especially Hindi news channels. Chabad is a Hasidic movement, and the name is actually an acronym of three Hebrew words which mean wisdom (hoKhmaa), understanding (binaa) and knowledge (da'aat). 

It is pronounced as hub-bard (the h is guttural and the final d is soft like in French). 

But you can pronounce it better if you know Hindi.


(Using the pronunciation key) Khabaad