Editor at Large Spoken English

dahl-eye LAH-mah and mah-MOOD ah-BAH-SS: Saying It Right at Voice of America

Here in the United States, there are many recognizable accents. Just ask a native of the Peach state about the former President and he may well tell you about “JIH-mih KAH-tuh” from “JAW-juh. “

That’s Jim Tedder of Voice of America (VOA), the U.S.-funded broadcasting service which merits mention on this blog for its use of Special English alone.

Today, however, the focus is on Tedder’s VOA Pronunciation Guide, a handy little index of over 5,000 place and person names which could give an English speaker difficulty. Wondering about what to call the Dalai Lama and Mahmoud Abbas? Check the title of this post, and then click on over to the Pronunciation Guide where you can download actual mp3s of every name, sometimes even recorded by the name’s very—er—namesake.

Did you notice how I used that awkward construction in the last sentence so I wouldn’t have to say his or her? Yeah, I went there.

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