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Thread: Louis Braille

  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default Louis Braille

    If you are American and you know Louis Braille is French, would you pronounce him as /lui breɪl/ in French way or /luis breil/ in American way? I wonder how they will react to this. Even in Korea, many foreigners' names are known in Korean pronunciations, not in their original ones.

    ma61)...Before long, the young boy, Louis Braille, found that he could not see anything...He attended the National Institute for the Blind Youth in Paris...

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Louis Braille

    If I knew he was French, I would say it in the French way. Then again, "Louis" is quite common. If it was a French name that was not common, it would probably be pronounced in an Anglicized way.

    Of course, I am an ice hockey fan, and am exposed to more French-Canadian names than most Americans who are not hockey fans.

    Edit to note I was talking about "Louis" and not "Braille."
    Last edited by SoothingDave; 04-Feb-2013 at 18:39.

  3. #3
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Louis Braille

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    If you are American and you know Louis Braille is French, would you pronounce him as /lui breɪl/ in French way or /luis breil/ in American way? I wonder how they will react to this. Even in Korea, many foreigners' names are known in Korean pronunciations, not in their original ones.

    ma61)...Before long, the young boy, Louis Braille, found that he could not see anything...He attended the National Institute for the Blind Youth in Paris...
    The rule I use is that a word is pronounced the way most of the people in the area pronounce it. For example, the Rio Grande Railway is pronounced "Rye o Grand". In the original Spanish, this would be pronounced "Ree O Grand da". There are a couple of good reasons for this. The first is that the railway company owns the name and they can call if anything they want. The second reason is that this is the way 19th Century Americans pronounced the word. As a word is taken into English, the pronouncation almost always changes - Rodeo, in Spanish is "Ro da o", in English it is pronounced "Row d o".

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Braille

    We say "Braille" to rhyme with grail or pail.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Louis Braille

    And these things are seldom fixed. The young Louis Armstrong was called /lu:ɪs/. For most of my lifetime (until about the mid 'nineties, I'd guess) he was known as /lu:i:/. Towards the end of last century, it became fashionable to use the correct (aka incorrect) [ or, if you like incorrect (aka correct)] pronunciation.

    b

  6. #6
    Grumpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Braille

    BobK
    My brain hurts....
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Louis Braille

    I had no idea that anyone anywhere in the world pronounced "Rio" as "Rye-oh"!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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