On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 19:48:34 -0500, Trebor Jung <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Off-topic: How is "Qatar" pronounced in Qatari Arabic? On TV, it was
> mentioned, pronounced [kAtAr\], and my mom mentioned how irritating she
> finds it that CNN reporters consistently pronounced it as [kV4r\=]: "There
> are supposed to be people knowledgeable about foreign languages explaining
> to the reporters how to pronounce foreign words and names".

Apparently /"kA%tAr/ used to be common in English (that's the pronunciation
given in my AHD3).  When it came into global focus and started appearing
in the news a lot, that was apparently amended to /"kVd@r/ (for */"kVt@r/,
with the American writer/rider merger);  AHD4 has /"kAt@r/ and /"[log in to unmask]

According to Wikipedia's [[List of words of disputed pronunciation]]:

   <<  Qatar - (1) [qV.t_?\4], (2) ["kV.tVr], (3) ["kA.t@`], (4) ["kV.t@`],
       (5)  ["gV.t@`], (6)[[log in to unmask]"tAr]

       (1) is approximately how it is pronounced in Arabic. (2) is thus
       the most straighforward approximation using sounds of English,
       although [Vr] is very uncommon at the end of words. (4) (sounds like
       cutter) is the next closest approximation, and (3) (sounds like
       cotter) is similar to (4) except it uses the vowel [A] as the spelling
       might imply, instead of a vowel normally associated with the letter
       /u/. (5) (sounds like gutter) is commonly heard because to some ears,
       English [g] sounds closer to Arabic [q] than English [k] does. Finally,
       (6) (sounds like guitar with initial [k]), with stress on the
       second syllable, is often heard. Word stress does not work the same
       way in Arabic as it does in English, so choosing which syllable to
       stress in a borrowed word can vary.  >>

If all that's accurate, [kV4r\=] probably is the best American English
speakers can manage.


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