Take the trouble to pronounce names properly
Stabroek News
November 27, 2001

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Dear Editor,

It is very jarring to the ear to listen to reporters on radio and TV mispronounce names.

"President Bharrat Jagdeo" is pronounced "President Barrat Jagdeo", and "Mr. Bhagwan" is pronounced "Mr. Bagwan". In this case, the "h" in these names include the aspirated, heavy "h", as in "host", or "heavy", or "hell". Similarly, one hears of "Maloh" instead of "Mala" and "Cuffy Anan" instead of "Kofi Anan".

The ordinary man in the street may be forgiven for this ignorance but the media people should know better. They should make all effort to phonate the correct way to pronounce names, whether these are Indian, African, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch or whatever. Not taking time to learn the correct pronunciation is lazy and inept. But the media personnel are not the only guilty ones; high ranking officials are just as culpable. Unfortunately, at times even Pandits mispronounce Hindustani names.

Teachers should lead the way in schools by pronouncing words and names accurately.

One may dismiss this as trivial but it is not a frivolous matter. Taking time to enunciate and pronounce words (especially names) correctly makes not only for building a more refined culture, but it shows respect for the person being named and for the person enunciating the name.

Yours faithfully,

Devanand Bhagwan