You say Pinochet, I say Pinoshay

If you’re at all interested in Spanish dialect phonology — or just in the matter of the pronunciation of the now-dead Chilean ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet’s last name — check out my latest post on Language Log.

3 thoughts on “You say Pinochet, I say Pinoshay

  1. Maria

    Speaking of names of world leaders, I’d like to register my annoyance with the NPR pronunciation of “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad” with the fricative [ʒ] as in “rouge.” According to a linguist who is a native speaker of Farsi, the name has an affricate ([ʤ] as in “Joe”) in the Farsi pronunciation. The whole name is pronounced like this: [æhmædineʤɑ:t].

    Once again NPR gets it wrong in a misguided attempt to sound authentic.

  2. Bob Kennedy

    There is a brief linguablog literature on the use of fricatives by English speakers in loan words that have affricates: twice on Language Log, and a brief remark on Language Hat. NPR is not alone in this usage; it may be quite pervasive among English speakers.

  3. Eric Bakovic

    Maria — Corey Flintoff seems to say it pretty much as you transcribe, though perhaps with different vowels and a final voiced stop: [ahmədi:nəʤɑ:d]. I definitely don’t hear a fricative.

    NPR’s pronunciation of “Muqtada al-Sadr”, on the other hand, seems to me to be all over the map …

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