<deinx nxtxr> wrote:
> I wouldn't expect the average anglophone to know how to pronounce Pinyin 
> spellings, even in an anglicized form.  It was only about a generation 
> ago that Beijing was still Peking to us, and many in the media like to 
> mispronounce the <j> as /Z/.

Yep - /bejZiN/ seems to be the most common pronunciation this side of
the Pond also     ;)


Mark J. Reed wrote:
> Yeah, that'd be the "Anglophones' default foreign language is French"
> phenomenon.  <j>'s in foreign words are pronounced as [Z] even though
> <j> is normally /dZ)/ in English; likewise <ch> as [S] instead of
> /tS)/ (*), <i> as [i] instead of [I], etc.  Especially likely to
> influence stress in the direction of word-final emphasis.

Yep - this is certainly so in RightPondia as well. I assume in our case
it's because about the only foreign language most kids meet in school is
French - so that's how "foreign" must be pronounced   :)

I recall many years one girl when reading Latin carefully pronouncing
_semper_ as [sA~pe] and getting very upset when I told her it was
[sEmpEr] as spelled.

> -Mark
> (*) Context is everything, though, and <ch> becomes [x] in
> recognizably Germanic (Yiddish, Scots) linguistic environs.

Well, yes. We don't get much Yiddish here - but in a Welsh of Scots
context <ch> will come our as [x] and <j> retains it rightful Old French
& modern English [dZ]   ;)

As for German - that depends how familiar a person might be with the 
language; the more  educated will generally have [x] or [ç] for <ch> and 
[j] for <j> - but other will mangle, sometimes treating it like Scots or 
Welsh. As for umlauts, well, they're just decoration, aren't they? I've 
not infrequently heard München pronounced like "munchin'"    ;)

"Ein Kopf, der auf seine eigene Kosten denkt,
wird immer Eingriffe in die Sprache thun."
[J.G. Hamann, 1760]
"A mind that thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language".