Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Talk like Bush!

I gotta find some time to actually write a little, but for now, read this and this! Samples of how Bush is being told to pronounce hard foreign names like 'Caracas'.

Just don't think Bush is the only one to do it ... Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" also involved crib notes. (See below.)

Or if you're truly boring and want to read something about the evolution of language by a linguist, see here.

7 comments:

The Ridger, FCD said...

I must confess, I'd rather someone told him how than listen to him mess them up.

I still cringe/laugh at the British documentary that talked about RYE-a-zan (sounds like a laxative) instead of rja-ZAHN ([rʲɪˈzanʲ]).

Mr. Verb said...

I'd just as soon not hear his voice!

Brett said...

The Seed article is interesting, but he's wrong on at least one point. Eels can tie themselves in knots. You can watch it here.

Mr. Verb said...

Whoa. That was a new one on me. Thanks. (I can't speak to how right or wrong most of that article is, of course.)

Ollock said...

I'd do it if I could quickly find their email, but someone should tell the FP people that "Perú" contains a tap, not a trill (which appears to be what the President produced). It was a good attempt at a native pronunciation, but the wrong rhotic -- at least for standard Spanish (as well as a rather unnatural stress pattern -- only the ultimate syllable should be stressed).

Mr. Verb said...

Well, the joke of course is that Bush has often claimed to speak Spanish. You learn to distinguish pero 'but' from perro 'dog' (first tapped, second trilled) in first semester, don't you? And any American should know how to pronounce 'Caracas'.

Ollock said...

Ah, yes, I can see that. I was once impressed when I heard Bush realize a reasonably native pronunciation of "Colombia". But after seeing this bit and hearing a few other things, I'd agree with you that his Spanish is probably minimal at best.

That's definitely not the saddest bit of his presidency, but it doesn't add anything. Especially considering that he came from Texas, where knowing Spanish would be a great asset to a public official.