"Tony Lewis" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes: > Can you give us linguistically challenged Americans a phonetic > rendition of your name?
It's not easy to describe because of the phonems and concepts not present in the English language. You'll probably regret having asked. :-) "HUR-voh-yeh" would be the closest approximation you can get without leaving the constraints of English. More specifically: * There are three syllables, with the accent being on the first one, not on the second, which comes natural to most English speakers. It's pronounced as one word, the dashes in "hur-voh-yeh" are just to make the syllables stand out. * The "oh" in "voh" is fairly short, and sounds like how Brits pronounce "o" in "dog". (So it's not "dawg":-)) I'm not sure if this phonem exists in American English. * The "eh" in "yeh" is fairly short and sounds like the "e" in "elm", not like "e" in "default". * "HUR" is the loosest approximation, and arguably the hardest one to get right. The Croatian "r" is as a rolling r, like in Italian or Spanish. The "h" is clearly heard, think of Shaw's Henry Higgins. If you're wondering how three consonants h+r+v coexist next to each other, the answer is that the (rolling) "r" between two consonants takes the role of a vowel. I'm not sure if that makes sense to you, but I guess the truth is that Slavic people are in general much more comfortable with adjacent consonants than Anglo-Saxons. I noticed that Americans have a problem pronouncing "GNU" with a non-silent "g", and often help themselves by saying "guh-noo", which sounds strange to me. For me, saying "gnu" is as natural as saying "glove". Pronuncing my name is an undertaking for most people outside my country, but it's not impossible. I've known Americans with good ear for languages who have gotten it right almost at once. But people are usually *very* confused when they hear it, and probably even more confused when they see it in writing. As you may imagine, living in Munich for two years has taught me to respond to even the most distorted variants. I really ought to get a cheap $2 microphone in the store and record it. :-)