Re: Transcriptions of "Unicode"

From: Alain LaBonté  (
Date: Mon Jan 15 2001 - 10:35:01 EST

À 06:16 2001-01-15 -0800, Charles a écrit:
>Michael Everson wrote:
>"The pronuncuation ['juni:ko:d] with [i:] or [i] instead of schwa irritates
>me a lot. No one would pronounce "universe" with an [i]."

>I beg to differ; "universe" is commonly pronounced with a short [i] in the
>English Midlands.

[Alain] A "schwa" for an i and an English u to pronounce "Unicode" begins
to be extremely different from the pronunciation of "Unicode" in French (as
I can't write with the IPA on this list, I will add German "Ünicod" to
Marco's "ynicod" to make sure that most of you know how we pronounce it).
This word, in its written form, shocks nobody in French (« et ce n'est pas
peu dire ! »), even the most bigot and pious purists of the French language...

    But if you insist that the French speakers pronounce those two letters,
it is the contrary, we will have to write the "mandated" IPA prononciation
as « Iouneucôde » in French (there is no real "scwha" in French, imho)...
Otherwise you create a strong issue in French.

    Please do not play with pronunciation... Unicode is not a standard
about pronunciation, but rather -- and it is where it is an instrument of
civilization -- a standard about writing... Writing tends to unite people,
spoken languages tend to disunite them... An English speaker with a prefect
knowledge of written French who does not pronounce French correctly is
absolutely not understood, and the reverse is probably true too. I am a
watcher of some American TV programs (mainly sci-fi) on TV, but I have to
put subtitles to fully catch what I don't understand (unfortunately there
is no subtitle in a meeting where English is spoken, and it is *always* a
handicap to me).

    Please, no official IPA transcription for "Unicode"...

Alain LaBonté

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