Dachshund

18 03 2009

A short-haired chocolate brown dachshund

One of my greatest pet peeves is hearing people mispronounce this particular breed of dog’s name. The Dachshund. It’s not dash-yand! It’s not das-shund! And it’s NOT dutch-hound for crying out loud!

I’m a true-blue dog lover. I have a purebred German Shepherd Dog named Sasha. She’s 11 months old. I also have 2 adult mongrels and 1 mongrel pup. Ever since I was a kid, I have always had a dog. My father wasn’t exactly into purebreds but we’ve always had dogs of mixed breed in the house.

Last year, I was invited (they didn’t have a choice! I was always in the vet clinic!) to join a local canine club. They needed an extra pair of hands to help organize their dog show, that’s why. I was bored and I wanted to see the dogs in the city gathered in one place so I readily agreed! I prepared the program, the certificates, the awards and what-nots. Baptism of fire! And all in less than one week! I also had to be the emcee. Now, I’m a behind-the-scenes person. I hate being in the spotlight, much less talking on a microphone, with people who don’t know me. Perhaps it’s because I get the kick out of laughing at people’s mistakes when they do the thing that I was supposed to do then. Well, don’t we all have guilty pleasures? It’s easier to see other people’s mistakes, right? Come on, admit it! Get real! LOL.

But I had a mission. I wanted to let people know how Dachshund is pronounced. I asked one of the vets in the clinic where I used to hang out how he pronounces Dachshund and he told me that he didn’t use it because people would always look at him funny every time he did. So he opted to just use the more popular way of pronouncing it—which is really not doing anybody any good!

Not a single doxie was pre-registered. But I was really hoping that on the day itself, there’d be walk-in registrants. To my utter dismay, none of them came.

So I hope I can still rectify whatever errors in pronunciation we have when it comes to this cute doggies by blogging all about it. We owe it to them. Really! As I said in one of my older posts, the best way to show respect is to pronounce one’s name correctly—or in this case, its breed’s name.

dachshund — dak sund; däks-ˌhu̇nd DAHKS-hund

It is an Anglicized German word. According to Merriam-Webster, it comes from the German words: Dachs (pronounced as Daks) and Hund (pronounced as Hund, like gunned, stunned). Dachs means badger. Hund means dog.

Spread the word! If people look at you funny and you are not comfortable in being the object of such, just say Doxie!

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Those Commonly Mispronounced Last Names

21 12 2007

Having worked as a publishing consultant for a Canadian-owned, Random House-affiliate publishing services providing company was the closest that I ever had to working for a call center.   Because we catered to mostly North American clients, we had to speak, well, at least passable American English.  Not having undergone any American accent training, I still felt that my English (and other Anglicized words)-speaking skills are somehow above average. 

I never liked trying to sound American by talking nasally.  I’d sound like someone with speech problems like some people I know.  Hehe.  So, I went into training and since I am not at all an idiot, I learned what I was supposed to learn within the period allotted for the process, far more quickly, I believe.  Our trainers were a bunch of characters.  But then again, trainees—and students for that matter—always make fun of their trainers and teachers. 

The first month was a lot of fun.  Our American department head gave us the permission to take 10-minute breaks in between 60-minute of straight serious work.  Those were on top of our lunch breaks and two 15-minute breaks.  That was pure heaven for smokers like us and for non-smokers who took the same breaks as we did to chat and talk about the “characters” in the office.  Since we were told to speak English at all times then, we did.  So breaks were a bunch of breaks indeed filled with funny anecdotes in English.  There were 9 of us in our batch.  We were supposed to be a part of the first batch of 12 but since the first three—who later became our supervisors—were taken in before the Christmas break and they needed hands on deck (not on the dick, you, you!) then, we were considered the 1 1/2 batch.  Hehe. 

So anyway, the main criterion for the beauty contest—er—for hiring us was our English speaking skills.  Our American department head conducted one on one interviews and if you pass his standards—meaning he understands the way you speak and you get to deliver the answers to his questions the way he wants to hear them—then you’re hired.  So we were super proud to have been hired into a position that promised at least a basic fee of twenty grand, well, not in dollars, but in pesos.  We were also given the chance to earn commissions.  It was a good deal!  I will keep mum about what went on after that in terms of monetary concerns because I don’t want to rouse the sleeping monsters here and there. 

The first day we went live—call potential clients—we got lost.  One of the major problems?  Pronunciation of last names.  Pronouncing places wasn’t much of a problem because somehow, I already knew how to properly most of them, like Tucson/TOO-sahn/in Arizona,  Cayce /KAY • see/ in South Carolina, Des Moines /dih-MOYN/ in Iowa, Leicester /LESS-tur/ in Massachusetts, Reading /RED-ing/ (not like READING from the base verb READ!) in Pennsylvannia and many others. 

Nope, we were not given any help in that department.  What I did was create my own pronunciation guide.  Well, it all boils down to etymology for some.  And if you really can’t pronounce it properly, it’s best to politely ask the owner of the name.  I once looked for a Miss Augusta Something only to find out that he’s a HE.  Some countries don’t go by the usual Filipino convention of names ending with (Mario) O or U for men and A (Maria) for women.  By the way, my parents names are Gregorio and Gregoria.  Talk about soulmates!  LOL. 

My research enabled me to learn some new things and to affirm those that I already knew.  I thought it would be nice to share the fruits of my research here.  How’s that?  Most of them are from Inoglo, About.com and The Budget Fashionista.

I started with author’s names. 

Paulo Coelhopaw-LU ko-wel-YU (my own version based on the IPA guide)

Chuck Palahniukchuhk PALL-uh-nik

Ayn Randine rand

Roland Barthesroll-AH(NG) bart

J.R.R Tolkien“TOLL”-keen

Ivan Illichih-VAHN IH-lich

Jodi PicoultJOE-dee PEE-koe

Marcel Proustmar-SELL proost

Kathy ReichsKA-thee ryks

Jon Scieszkajahn SHESS-kuh

Fyodor Mikhailovich DostoevskyFYOE-dur mih-HY-loe-vich dahs-tuh-YEF-skee

J K Rowling—“rolling
 

Then artists:

Jan van Eyckyahn fuhn ike

Caravaggiokar-uh-VAHJ-o

RembrandtREM-brant

Eugene Delacroixuu-ZHEHN deh-lah-krwah

Edgar DegasED-gar duh-GAH

Claude Monetkload moe-nay

Paul Gauguinpall go-GA

Jean-Auguste Ingreszhahn-o-gust angg

And what last name pronunciation guide would be complete without fashion designers?  So here’s a not-so-complete guide from The Budget Fashionista.  They’re divided into A-G, H-M, and N-Z

Giorgio Armani: Jor-ji-o Ar-ma-nee
Manolo Blahnik: Muh-no-low blah- nick
Andre Courreges: AN-Dre Courreges
Balenciaga: Bal-en-see-AH-gah
Bottega Veneta: Bo-TAY-ga Ve-NE-tah
Roberto Cavalli: RO-ber-to Ka-VA-lee
Chanel: Sha-nel
Chloé: KLO-ee
Comme des Garcons: KUM de Gar-SOHN
Christian Dior: KRE-shtaan DEE-or
Dolce and Gabbana: DOL-chay and Gab-BAH-nah
Ellen Tracy: EL-lin TRAY-see
Salvatore Ferragamo: Sal- va- tor Ferr-A-ga-mo
Gianfranco Ferre: Gee-an-fran-ko Ferr-ay
John Galliano: Gall-lee-a-no
Givenchy: Gee-von-she
Halston: Hall-stun
Hermes: Air-mez
Hugo Boss: He-you-go Bo-s
Imitation of Christ: Em-ma-ta-shun of Cry-st
Marc Jacobs: Ma-rk Jay-kob-s
Betsey Johnson: BET-see JON-sun
Calvin Klein: CAL-vin KLYIN
Donna Karan (DKNY): Don-NAH KA-ran
Michael Kors: My-kal Ko-ors
Karl Lagerfeld: Ka-ral La-ger-fell-d
Helmut Lang: Hell- Mut Lay-ng
Jeanne Lanvin: John La- vin
Ralph Lauren: LORE-in
Nanette Lepore: Na-net LA-pour
Christian Louboutin: KRI-shtaan Lu-bu-TAHN
Louis Vuitton: Lu-wee Vee-tuhhh
Catherine Malandrino: KATH-er-in Mal-an-DREE-no
Alexander McQueen: Al-ex-AHN-der Mac-KWEEN
Isaac Mizrahi: Eye-zak Miz-ra-hee
Issey Miyake: E-say Me-ya-kay
Zac Posen: Zak Poo-zen
Proenza Schouler: pro-en-za skool-er
Emilio Pucci: E-MEE-lee-o POH-chee
Tracy Reese: TRAY- cee Ree-s
Elsa Schiaparelli: EL-sa She-a-pa-REHL-lee
Anna Sui: AN-na SOO-ee
Gianni Versace: Gee-a-nee Verr-sha-chie
Diane Von Furstenberg: DY-an Von FUR-sten-berg
Vera Wang: Veer- ra Way-ng

About.com also has an audio pronunciation guide on how designers’ names and brands are pronounced.  Check it out here.  It contains the correct pronunciation guides of Balmain, Byblos, Ermenegildo Zegna, Jean Paul Gaultier, Les Copains, Yves Saint Laurent and many more.

As a largely English-speaking country, I believe that pronouncing these foreign names and last names—English and Anglicized—are not merely about sounding good or whatever but it means giving respect to people from other countries whose names are not that easy for us Filipinos to pronounce.  My name is constantly mispronounced and misspelled either and while I have gotten used to it, it still gets annoying sometimes.  So, I think learning how to pronounce these names properly is a way of giving respect to others.