Re: Another translation posted

From: André Szabolcs Szelp (
Date: Thu Jun 18 2009 - 05:22:40 CDT

  • Next message: Hans Aberg: "Re: Another translation posted"

    No, you can't use the spelling Unikód! "Unicode" is a proper name. You
    don't transcribe proper names in Hungarian. And the choice of article
    is definitely governed by the (Hungarian) pronunciation.
    However, there are instances of hungaricized pronunciation with kept
    spelling. A nice parallel would be the abbreviation USA which is not
    pronounced approx. you-es-ay but ushah (on the computer I'm sitting at
    I don't have proper tools to include IPA, sorry).

    Neither do you pronounce Washington with a bilabial at the beginning,
    but a labiodental /v/ and you don't pronouce the nasal velar but
    substitute it for a nasal velar + /g/ sequence. The shwa in the last
    syllable is realised as /o/. Nevertheless, you don't change the
    This goes for all relatively recently adapted English geographical
    names, see San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles... They are seriously
    hungaricized in speech (often based on spelling rather than
    pronunciation!), but keep their oringinal orthography in writing.

    This would be an argument in favour of letting Unicode be pronounced
    with word initial [u-] rather than [ju-] in Hungarian, especially as
    the compound is quite transparent to the speakers as containing the
    international (< Latin) prefix "uni-" which is always pronounced [uni]
    in Hungarian.

    Note, that I'm personally pronouncing the word with [ju-] even in
    Hungarian, but I am aware of the fact that I'm not representative in
    this respect and I'm trying to discuss the matter diligently, which
    may seem as if I were playing the devils advocate.


    PS: Note that I'm trying to provide arguments for the people involved
    in the discussion, but I think it's quite ridiculous to be so upset
    about the choice of an article. It's really not *that* important. And
    even in English you do have instable articles, as one findes both "a
    hotel" and "an hostel" in abundance, for example.

    2009/6/17 satai <>:
    > I think the compromise in translation could be simple - if it is possible to
    > change Unicode to Unikód, then article will not be an issue at all.
    > On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 9:39 PM, Joó Ádám <> wrote:
    >> > You're wrong about Universal. Try to review Google results - "a
    >> > Universal"
    >> > returns mostly pages in English, not in Hungarian, so 159 000 pages are
    >> > quite good, but most of them are in English, while 22 000 "az"-es are
    >> > pure
    >> > Hungarian phrases.
    >> No, they aren’t. I checked the radio button to search only in
    >> Hungarian pages, so these are 159 000 pure English phrases (I randomly
    >> checked result pages too).
    >> > What about article usage, I agree that your arguments are correct for a
    >> > pronunciation-driven usage, but it seems like for foreign abbreviations
    >> > people try to use a spelling-driven one. Try to review UNESCO, UNICEF,
    >> > UNO,
    >> > Universal, Univision (), University of Florida (5400 az, 99 a), United
    >> > Nations (1050 az, 692 a). Last two aren't even abbreviations, but are
    >> > pure
    >> > English words.
    >> Indeed, there are a number of people pronuncing English words starting
    >> with a u, pronuncing /u/, because in Hungary a lot of people do not
    >> speak English at all, or speak it very poorly. If they know another
    >> European language which pronunces u as /u/ (e. g. German), this can
    >> also lead them to use it that way. However, such a mixed pronunciation
    >> is completely wrong.
    >> Regards,
    >> Ádám

    Szelp, André Szabolcs
    +43 (650) 79 22 400

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