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MODEEN GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES.
NOTES ON THE SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION.
Foreign geographical names are spelled in English books either in the same manner as they are spelled in the language of the country to which they belong, or phonetically in accordance with the prevailing sounds of the letters of the English alphabet. The first method can, of course, be adopted only for names belonging to countries in which the Roman alphabet is used with or without diacritic marks. In the following notes on the pronunciation of foreign names the sounds indicated as those corresponding to the letters of foreign alphabets are explained, where necessary, by the key-line at the foot of the page.
In that key-line it will be seen that six signs are used to represent un-English sounds. These must be learned by the ear from those who are able to render them accurately, but it may be mentioned that the French sound heard long in vde and short in but is like the sound of u in the Scotch word abune; that that heard long in bltk and short in neitf has some resemblance to the sound of e in her; that the sound represented by n (as in the French on) is produced by emitting voice through the mouth and nose at the same time, and is accordingly not a pure nasal (like the English ng in sing) but a seminasal; and that the ch in the German nacht is a strongly aspirated guttural like ch in the Scotch word loch. Strictly speaking two sounds are represented in German by ch, or by g, which is sometimes its equivalent. After the vowels a, o, u it is a guttural as in the Scotch loch, but after the other vowels and after consonants it is produced by the emission of breath between the point of the tongue and the fore-part of the palate.
Even with these signs for un-English sounds it must be remembered that the Bound indicated for the letters of foreign alphabets is very often only an approximation to the true pronunciation, as foreign languages have a great many shades of sound which can be acquired only by those who have familiarized themselves with these languages as they are actually spoken by the people, and which, besides, no Englishman would ever think of trying to reproduce in pronouncing foreign names while reading or speaking English. It will be observed that, as the key shows, y is always used with its consonantal or semi-vowel sound as in yet. Thus when it is stated that the Hungarian gy has the sound of dy, it is to be understood that at the end of a word that combination does not form a separate syllable, but goes to form one syllable with the preceding letters. The Hungarian prefix Nagy, for example, is pronounced in one syllable Nody, the d being followed by the consonant y with an effect closely resembling that of a very soft zh.
A. Some rules for the pronunciation of languages using the Soman alphabet.
Vowels And Vowel Digraphs.
a is usually sounded a, but sometimes long sometimes short. In Hungarian it is sometimes like o in not.
a in Swedish is sounded 0.
a or ae is usually sounded like a or e, in Flemish (and old Dutch) like a.
a in Polish is sounded like the French on.
aa in Danish is sounded as o, in Dutch as a.
ai and ay usually have each of the vowels sounded, the sound of a being rapidly followed by that of e. In
German they are sounded like i in pine, in French mostly like a.
ao in Portuguese is sounded as oun.
au is usually pronounced either with the sounds of the vowels separately, or as a diphthong like ou. In French it is pronounced like o in note.
e is usually sounded like a or e in met. In Spanish it always has the latter sound. Very often it has an obscure sound as in the English golden. In French it is often mute.
e in Polish is sounded like the French ain (an).
e in Bohemian and Servian is sounded as ye or ya.
eau in French has the sound of o in note.
ei and ey, like ai and ay, usually have each of the vowels sounded separately, the sound of a being rapidly followed by that of S. In Dutch and German they have the sound of i. In French they are pronounced like a or e.
eu is sounded in Dutch as in French, in German like oi, in other languages with the sounds of the vowels separately.
i is usually sounded like e, or, when short, often like i.
ie in Dutch, German, and French is sounded like 5 except where the letters belong to two syllables.
ij in Dutch has a sound like that of i in pint, but more open, that is, with less of the e-sound at the close.
o is usually sounded like 5 or o, in Danish and Norwegian sometimes like o.
6 or oe is sounded in German, Danish, and Swedish like eu in French.
0 in Danish has a sound similar to 6, but somewhat closer.
6 in Polish is sounded like o in move.
oi is usually pronounced with the sounds of the separate vowels, in French it is like wa in war.
ou in French has the sound of 6, in Dutch and Norwegian that of ou.
u is usually sounded as o or u; in French, as already mentioned, the sound is peculiar. In Danish, when short, it is sounded like e; in Dutch, when short and followed by a consonant in the same syllable, like u; when long, like A; in Welsh, without an accent mark, like i.
U or ue in German is sounded like u or fi.
u in Welsh is sounded like e.
ui in Dutch is pronounced like oi in oil.
y is usually sounded like e; in Danish, Swedish, and Polish like the French u. In old Dutch it is used where the digraph ij is used in modern orthography. In Welsh, without an accent mark, it has the sound of u, except at the end of a word when it Bounds like i.
y in Welsh has the sound of e in me (like the Welsh u).
Consonants And Consonantal Digraphs.
Most of the consonants have the same sound in the languages of the European continent using the Roman alphabet as they have in English, but the following peculiarities are to be noted:—
b at the end of a word is often sounded in German like p. In Spanish it is pronounced with very feeble contact of the lips so as to be softened almost to a v-sound.
c before another consonant and before the vowels a, o, u is usually sounded like k; in French, Danish, Swedish, and Portuguese it is sounded in other situations like s, in Italian like ch in chain, in Spanish like th in t/i in,
PRONUNCIATION" OF MODERN GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES.
in German like ts. In Italian where another vowel follows ci (as well as gi or sci) the i is not sounded. In Spanish America c is usually pronounced as 3 in those cases in which in Spain it is pronounced th. In Bohemian and Polish it is always sounded like ts, and in Welsh always like k.
9 is used in French and Portuguese to indicate the s-sound of c before the vowels a, o, and u.
ch in Dutch, Polish, and Bohemian, as well as in German, has the sound of ch; in Italian it has the sound of k; in French (except in some words derived from the Greek, in which it is sounded like k) that of sh.
cs in Hungarian has the sound of ch in chain.
ez in Polish has the sound of ch in iluiiii, in Hungarian that of ts.
d at the end of a word in German and Dutch is often sounded like t. In Spanish and Danish between two vowels, and after a vowel at the end of a word, it is softened to the sound of Th, and in the latter language the same Bound is given to it even when doubled. Strictly speaking the Spanish d is a dental d, being sounded by placing the tip of the tongue close to the lower edge of the upper front teeth. At the beginning of a sentence and when the d is preceded by another consonant, whether in the same word or another, the tongue is more firmly pressed against the teeth and a sound like that of the English d is produced, but in other cases the contact is so slight as to produce a sound almost exactly like that of Th. At the end of words even this sound is almost inaudible. When d comes after 1, n, r in Danish it is not sounded at all, and it is still more frequently silent in the Norwegian pronunciation of the language.
dd in Welsh has the sound of Th.
dz in Polish is sounded like dzy.
g before a consonant and before the vowels a, o, and u mostly has the sound of g in go; and it has the same sound before other vowels also in German and Danish, and in all situations in Polish and Welsh. After a vowel it frequently has in German and Danish a guttural sound, and in the Norwegian pronunciation of the latter language it is often silent in that situation. In Dutch it is always a deep guttural, except in the combinations gh and ng, the former of which is pronounced like g in go, the latter like ng in ting. In French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish it has the sound of the j of the same languages in all situations in which it has not the sound of g in go, and in Italian it is then sounded like our j. (See above under c.)
gh in Italian and Dutch has the sound of g in go.
gl in Italian has the sound of ly.
gn in French and Italian has the sound of ny.
gu in French always, and in Portuguese and Spanish before e and i, has the sound of g in go.
gy in Hungarian has the sound of dy or dzh.
h in French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese is silent or scarcely audible. In Spanish it is heard as a slight aspiration before the combination ue. In Danish it is not sounded before j and v.
j in most languages has the sound of y, in French and Portuguese that of zh, in Spanish that of ch. In Danish the sound of the Danish j (that is, the sound of the consonant y) is always interpolated after the consonants k and g before the vowels te, 6, a\ y, and i. In Hungarian at the end of a syllable j has the sound of e in me.
k in Norwegian before e, i, j, y, and the modifications of a and o, is sounded like ty.
i represents in Polish a sound peculiar to that language and Russian. It is produced by attempting to sound an 1 with the point of the tongue directed further back in the palate than for the ordinary 1, and with very slight contact between the tongue and palate.
lh in Portuguese has the sound of ly (Ital. gl).
11 in French in formal speech has the sound of ly, but colloquially is generally sounded like the consonant y without any 1-sound. In Spain it always has the former sound, but in Mexico the latter is often substituted. In Welsh it has a peculiar sound, which is approximately rendered when one attempts to pronounce tl at the beginning of a syllable.
are both sounded like rzh.
are both sounded like sh.
m in French and Portuguese often has the sound of n.
n. See preliminary remarks.
fl in Spanish \
fi in Polish I all have the sound of ny (French
K in Bohemian ( and Italian gn).
nh in Portuguese )
qu in French always, and in Portuguese and Spanish before c and i, is sounded like k.
r is almost always more strongly trilled than in English.
f in Bohemian
rz in Polish
s in German is usually pronounced soft, like English z, at the beginning of a word where a vowel follows; in Hungarian it is sounded as all.
s in Polish has the sound of sy.
sc in Italian before e and i has the sound of sh. (See above under c.)
sch in Gerufan has the sound of sh, but in Dutch and Italian has that of s followed by the respective sounds of ch, in Dutch accordingly it is equivalent to sch, in Italian to sk.
sk before e, i, j, y, and the modifications of a and e is sounded in Norwegian like sh.
stj in Swedish when followed by a vowel has the sound of sh.
sz in Polish
& in Bohemian I
sz in Hungarian is sounded like s.
t in Spanish is dental like the Spanish d.
th in Welsh is sounded like th in thin, in all other European languages using the Roman alphabet like the simple t.
tj in Swedish when followed by a vowel has the sound of ch in chain.
ts in Hungarian is sounded like ch in chain.
w in German and Dutch has a sound closely resembling that of v produced by bringing the lips feebly into contact, not by placing the upper teeth against the lower lip. In Welsh it has the sound of u or 6.
x in Portuguese has the sound of sh; in old Spanish spelling it is used where j is now used to represent the sound of ch.
y is usually a vowel, but in Spanish it has also u consonantal sound like the English y, and the same sound is heard in Hungarian after d, g, 1, n, and t.
z in German and Swedish has the sound of ts, in Italian sometimes that of dz sometimes that of ts, in Spanish that of th in thin. In Spanish America this th-sound usually gives place, like the th-sound of c, to that of s in ting.
i in Polish lias the sound of zy.
z in Polish 1
z in Bohemian and Servian > all have the sound of ih.
zs in Hungarian i
B. JlinU on the pronunciation of geographical nam) bdonijiny to languages not using tJic Roman alphabet.
The general rule regarding the spelling of such names is to spell them in English phonetically in accordance with the prevailing sounds of the letters of the English alphabet. In such phonetic spellings, however, the vowels usually receive their continental sounds (as in /ar, win, jAi[ve, rule). In Indian and some other Asiatic names and in Arabic names a is often used also to represent the sound of the English u in but. The vowel digraph ai usually represents the sound of y in /y, I"" sometimes (as in all Greek names) that of a in fate; ei. most commonly that of a in fate, but sometimes that ft y in 41); au for the most part sounds as ow in noir, hut in some cases as n in fall. In the spelling of Indian names this last digraph is often used where i is now mostly used, the sound intended being that of a in Jar, or perhaps one somewhat broader. The consonants j, w, y, z have as a rule their characteristic English sounds, a-in jet, yet, tceU, zeal; g usually has its hard sound as in get. Ch usually represents the sound which it has in chain; gh sometimes that of a very rough aspirate, sometimes a sound like that of the Northumberland or Berwickshire burr, sometimes, before e or i, merely the