Author Topic: Correcting Others  (Read 2805 times)

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Promise

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 01:40:27 PM »
You pronounce it the way it should be but don't go out of your way to correct them. If they want it to pronounce it the native speaker way, they'll pay attention or ask.

jaxsue

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2013, 01:42:21 PM »
I don't mind if a friend corrects me directly but politely.

Case in point: when I moved to the NYC region 6 yrs ago one of the first things my friends told me was how to pronounce Houston Street in NYC. It's not at all like the city in Texas. I was appreciative. Now, if we can just get locals to agree on how to say Van Wyck Expressway!  :)

WillyNilly

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2013, 02:33:24 PM »
I think your way is fine... so long as people know what you are talking about. If the correct pronunciation is radically different then the visitors mis-pronounciation there could be a total disconnect.

Take the name Jesus. (This really happened to me once).  I helped my part-time job hire a friend to work an off site event. I texted my friend that once she got to the job site to find Jesus, as he's the one in charge. A little while later I spoke with her on the phone and mentioned the name, saying it Hey-Zues. She was confused, she asked "so I'm not looking for Jee-Sus like you told me earlier?" She didn't realize my correct pronunciation was at all related to her incorrect one, to her it was a totally different name, not a different way to say the same name.

So if someone is looking for a street and mentions it incorrectly, subtly saying if differently might not clue them in at all, but rather might confuse them and think you are now giving totally new directions/landmarks, and that they should scrap the directions they are working from.

snowdragon

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2013, 02:41:25 PM »
Why does it matter if  someone you speak to once and never see again pronounces something correctly or not?  As long as I understand someone I don't bother correcting them, unless it's a close friend where I know they live in the area and are mispronouncing it.

 

Lynn2000

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2013, 03:12:40 PM »
Why does it matter if  someone you speak to once and never see again pronounces something correctly or not?  As long as I understand someone I don't bother correcting them, unless it's a close friend where I know they live in the area and are mispronouncing it.

I think the OP said she was talking about guests of hers who were staying with her while in this country...? Unless I completely made that up. But yeah, for a total stranger asking directions on the street, if I understood them easily enough even though they were technically wrong, I might not bother correcting them. I wouldn't pronounce it incorrectly myself, but I wouldn't deliberately say the name when I didn't need to.
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menley

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2013, 10:13:22 AM »
Why does it matter if  someone you speak to once and never see again pronounces something correctly or not?  As long as I understand someone I don't bother correcting them, unless it's a close friend where I know they live in the area and are mispronouncing it.

I think the OP said she was talking about guests of hers who were staying with her while in this country...? Unless I completely made that up. But yeah, for a total stranger asking directions on the street, if I understood them easily enough even though they were technically wrong, I might not bother correcting them. I wouldn't pronounce it incorrectly myself, but I wouldn't deliberately say the name when I didn't need to.

Yes, Snowdragon, Lynn is correct.  If you look at the original post, I mention people coming to visit us, and the specific example is my husband's parents. I certainly hope to see them again :)

Winterlight

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2013, 01:31:51 PM »
I grew up in Alaska, near the town of Valdez- pronounced with a long E. I never heard the actual Spanish pronunciation until I was an adult. I'd rather you tell me how it's said than do it wrong when I'm Outside.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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AmethystAnne

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2013, 01:46:38 PM »
I don't mind if a friend corrects me directly but politely.

Case in point: when I moved to the NYC region 6 yrs ago one of the first things my friends told me was how to pronounce Houston Street in NYC. It's not at all like the city in Texas. I was appreciative. Now, if we can just get locals to agree on how to say Van Wyck Expressway!  :)

Van Wyck = the "y" is pronounced like a long "i" ?

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2013, 02:17:46 PM »
I think your way is fine... so long as people know what you are talking about. If the correct pronunciation is radically different then the visitors mis-pronounciation there could be a total disconnect.

Take the name Jesus. (This really happened to me once).  I helped my part-time job hire a friend to work an off site event. I texted my friend that once she got to the job site to find Jesus, as he's the one in charge. A little while later I spoke with her on the phone and mentioned the name, saying it Hey-Zues. She was confused, she asked "so I'm not looking for Jee-Sus like you told me earlier?" She didn't realize my correct pronunciation was at all related to her incorrect one, to her it was a totally different name, not a different way to say the same name.

So if someone is looking for a street and mentions it incorrectly, subtly saying if differently might not clue them in at all, but rather might confuse them and think you are now giving totally new directions/landmarks, and that they should scrap the directions they are working from.

I agree.  Your correction may fly entirely over someone's head, especially if the pronunciations are very different.

snowdragon

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2013, 05:39:09 PM »
Why does it matter if  someone you speak to once and never see again pronounces something correctly or not?  As long as I understand someone I don't bother correcting them, unless it's a close friend where I know they live in the area and are mispronouncing it.

I think the OP said she was talking about guests of hers who were staying with her while in this country...? Unless I completely made that up. But yeah, for a total stranger asking directions on the street, if I understood them easily enough even though they were technically wrong, I might not bother correcting them. I wouldn't pronounce it incorrectly myself, but I wouldn't deliberately say the name when I didn't need to.

Yes, Snowdragon, Lynn is correct.  If you look at the original post, I mention people coming to visit us, and the specific example is my husband's parents. I certainly hope to see them again :)

I's still not correct them - they are here for a short time and will be gone.  If I had someone correcting me every time I asked something, I'd simply stop asking.   

WillyNilly

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2013, 06:11:37 PM »
I don't mind if a friend corrects me directly but politely.

Case in point: when I moved to the NYC region 6 yrs ago one of the first things my friends told me was how to pronounce Houston Street in NYC. It's not at all like the city in Texas. I was appreciative. Now, if we can just get locals to agree on how to say Van Wyck Expressway!  :)

Van Wyck = the "y" is pronounced like a long "i" ?

Well thats the debate  ;D
I say it "van wick" rhymes with hick, or stick (which is the right way of course ;) ) but some people say it "van why-k" ("y" pronounced like a long "i" ) rhymes with hike or bike.

Seiryuu

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2013, 07:41:31 PM »
I personally find phrasing the correction as a question would be gentle and direct enough.

"I'm looking for [incorrectly pronounced noun]."
"Oh, [correctly pronounced noun]?"

kglory

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2013, 03:58:25 AM »
If it were just an accent issue, either region of the country or language based, I would probably not correct tourists.  So, something like Mathieu vs. Matthew, or "PAR-ISS" vs. "PA-REE" would not be worth correcting.  The tourists would still be understood saying it in their own accent.

But to me, this is different:

I currently live in a country where the language is very unfamiliar to visitors. Letters that look like English letters are pronounced in very different ways than they would be pronounced in English, so often when we have guests, they will pronounce street names, restaurants, etc. in ways that are incorrect.

From this description, I'm picturing something like Russian, where B makes the "v" sound, P makes the "r" sound, H makes the "n" sound, the backwards N makes the "ee" sound, etc. -- and that the tourists are using American phonetics to read the words from the signs.  In that case, yes, I would correct the people, because what they would pronounce would be totally unrecognizable from the real name of the landmarks, and I wouldn't want them to embarrass themselves, or have a difficult time being understood.

jaxsue

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2013, 01:52:42 PM »
I don't mind if a friend corrects me directly but politely.

Case in point: when I moved to the NYC region 6 yrs ago one of the first things my friends told me was how to pronounce Houston Street in NYC. It's not at all like the city in Texas. I was appreciative. Now, if we can just get locals to agree on how to say Van Wyck Expressway!  :)

Van Wyck = the "y" is pronounced like a long "i" ?

It's something people argue about here. I say it with a short "i," rhyming with lick.

KenveeB

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Re: Correcting Others
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2013, 03:58:05 PM »
If it were just an accent issue, either region of the country or language based, I would probably not correct tourists.  So, something like Mathieu vs. Matthew, or "PAR-ISS" vs. "PA-REE" would not be worth correcting.  The tourists would still be understood saying it in their own accent.

But to me, this is different:

I currently live in a country where the language is very unfamiliar to visitors. Letters that look like English letters are pronounced in very different ways than they would be pronounced in English, so often when we have guests, they will pronounce street names, restaurants, etc. in ways that are incorrect.

From this description, I'm picturing something like Russian, where B makes the "v" sound, P makes the "r" sound, H makes the "n" sound, the backwards N makes the "ee" sound, etc. -- and that the tourists are using American phonetics to read the words from the signs.  In that case, yes, I would correct the people, because what they would pronounce would be totally unrecognizable from the real name of the landmarks, and I wouldn't want them to embarrass themselves, or have a difficult time being understood.

I agree, and I think that makes it easier to explain without offense too. Do it in a light-hearted way, with a smile and "Oh, Language is tricky sometimes. The B is pronounced like a V, so it's actually pronounced vathtuv."  I think people are more open to learning interesting bits about a new language than "you're pronouncing that wrong."