Help Needed pronouncing Skaters Names

Manitou

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Nice to hear this, but most commentators are among those who don't care much. The only exception I know is Johnny Weir who knows how to pronounce every Russian name, because he's fluent in Russian.

It’s not necessary to be fluent to learn to pronounce a name. Especially when you are a professional commentator and you are paid to do your job well. Medvedeva, Zagitova and Pogorilaya are important athletes and the commentators should do their homework to learn to pronounce their names. Before an event they know exactly who is performing, there aren’t too many of them in one televised program, so it should not be a rocket science for them.
If a US commentator (Andrea Joyce) consistently butchers Medvedeva’s name on each program then she shows her complete ignorance.
 

SnowWhite

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It’s not necessary to be fluent to learn to pronounce a name. Especially when you are a professional commentator and you are paid to do your job well. Medvedeva, Zagitova and Pogorilaya are important athletes and the commentators should do their homework to learn to pronounce their names. Before an event they know exactly who is performing, there aren’t too many of them in one televised program, so it should not be a rocket science for them.
If a US commentator (Andrea Joyce) consistently butchers Medvedeva’s name on each program then she shows her complete ignorance.

I don't expect perfect pronunciation, but some effort so that you're not butchering it is good. It can be hard to get names exactly right when they're from a language with different sounds. I know people who didn't speak English as a first language and some of them struggled to get my name and my mother's name right even repeating it right after we say it. Part of the issue is that their first language is Arabic and not all the sounds are the same. And some people just have no talent for other languages, so it's really hard for them to get it. Still I agree that you should try to at least get close if it's your job.

I've tried to learn how to pronounce the names of Russian skaters correctly and I think I've gotten pretty good, but I still find Anna's last name difficult, for example. So if a commentator was pretty much getting the names, but struggled with one or two, then I'd get that.

Now, I'd also prefer if commentators could get it right because I like to pronounce names right and they often confuse me.
 

YagsFan

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One small drop (which happened to come up months ago in the Stupid Questions thread) in the bucket:






Wow, I never would have known :hopelessness:.

Perfect example of what the announcers are up against :yes:.

If you were a skater at a competition in China, for instance, and an enterprising announcer had discovered that Dar' iss is the correct pronunciation ... I cringe to imagine how s/he perhaps would have been unfairly mocked here on GS for not saying Door' iss.

Thus my philosophy of being supportive of any and all announcers.

Yes, all very true, and I too believe in allowing for (sometimes) spur of the moment mistakes. BUT, when I listen to commentators who not long ago were skaters themselves, and personally know some of the current competitors, and/or comment on having spoken with so and so competitor, then I expect them to be able to say those names! Also, I really don't think it is too much to ask for commentators to have a very basic understanding of language pronunciations---I'm thinking here of especially French, Spanish and Russian. I don't speak any of those, but I get basics like dropping final consonants, rolling r, and w for v sound. If they don't have any idea of such, then I feel they should take upon themselves to ask someone who would know, or look it up! As for announcers in the arenas, I don't know how they are hired; maybe they just work for the arena and don't even know figure skating, but still I would think someone announcing US Nationals for example would at least have heard of major competitors in their own country! I heard some really slaughtered names at that comp!
 

ice coverage

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Not complaining, but the post of mine that you quoted is from over two years ago (the fifth post in a thread that has grown to twenty-one pages).

And I will admit to not feeling supportive of at least one arena announcer since then. :(

I attended 2017 Skate America, and went from being perplexed to angry when the announcer repeatedly was mispronouncing Bradie (Tennell) as "brandy."

It bothered me that the same announcer repeatedly was mispronouncing names of other U.S. skaters too, but I felt especially strongly that Bradie deserved better at her GP debut.
(The good news is that the inexplicable addition of an N to her first name apparently did not rattle Bradie one bit. She won the bronze, placing well above the reigning U.S. champion. :bow:)

So ... my philosophy at this point is to be supportive of *almost* ;) any announcers.



ETA (on Apr 16, 2019):
For my own reference, I am going to try to keep here a fresh running list of unedited videos of skaters saying their own names. Disclaimer: Possible that skaters on this list-to-be already have been covered in other posts.
- Eunsoo Lim says, "Eunsoo": https://youtu.be/rBRf4zgNosI?t=11 (TSL interview, Oct 2018; hat tip to Mathman)
- Jin Boyang https://www.instagram.com/p/BwMt7f0h__t/ (from @icefantasia, Apr 2019)
- Peng Cheng and Jin Yang https://www.instagram.com/p/BwPXcgEBTJg/ (from @icefantasia, Apr 2019)
- Rika Kihira https://www.instagram.com/p/BwECA1PHG3e/ (from @icefantasia, Apr 2019)​
Thanks to Doris for a new dose of inspiration yesterday.
ETA (on Jul 10, 2019):
- Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating/status/1149092143664979968 (Jul 10)​
ETA (on Nov 7, 2019):
- Han Cong https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1192426547099164673 (Nov 7)
[Sui Wenjing also is in the video, but she speaks so quickly that I cannot catch her pronunciation of her name]​
ETA (on Nov 14, 2019):
ETA (on Dec 24, 2019):
ETA (on Dec 25, 2019):
- Alysa Liu https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1209872419793637377 (Dec 25)
ETA (on Feb 24, 2020): Alysa Liu https://youtu.be/V2pGBDCXR0Y (Feb 24)​
ETA (on Feb 2, 2020):
- Kevin Aymoz https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1217552683982295040 (Jan 15)
- Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1219337588194054145 (Jan 20)
- Nikolaj Majorov https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1220423073964462080 (Jan 23)
- Michal Brezina https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1220311855106863104 (Jan 23)
- Aleksandra Boikova https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1220315840576397312 (Jan 23)
- Miriam Ziegler and Severin Kiefer https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1220318543964790785 (Jan 23)
- Saulius Ambrulevicius https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1220665785946910721 (Jan 24)
ETA (on Feb 19, 2020): https://youtu.be/7qwoIcLib28 (Jan 24)​
- Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1220667486317748224 (Jan 24)
- Mai Berenice Meite https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1221053150771269632 (Jan 25)
- Anna Shcherbakova https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1221056343731326976 (Jan 25)
- Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1221451766727958530 (Jan 26)
- Dmitri Aliev, Jin Boyang, Alexia Paganini https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1223733509967241216 (Feb 1)
- Matteo Rizzo, Yuzu Hanyu https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1224035709616640002 (Feb 2)​
ETA (on Feb 7, 2020):
- Not so easy to hear, but Anna Shcherbakova, Marco Fabbri, Kevin Aymoz https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1224789044883750923 (Feb 4)
- Not so easy to hear, but Dmitri Kozlovskii, Alexandra Trusova, Shiyue Wang and Xinyu Liu https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1225517729257598978 (Feb 6)​
ETA (on Feb 12, 2020):
- Balazs Nagy says his first name https://twitter.com/USFigureSkating/status/1220102632842432513 (Jan 22)​
ETA (on Feb 19, 2020):
- Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise https://youtu.be/W0uNCLLjSx4 (Jan 23)
- Minerva Hase and Nolan Seegert https://youtu.be/qa_21KYYmX4 (Jan 23)
- Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro https://youtu.be/yEcgYfQVkog (Jan 24)
- Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz https://youtu.be/ydo8DMtRyQA (Jan 26)
ETA (on Apr 21, 2020): Adrian Diaz https://www.instagram.com/p/B_Pt2TkJYtu/ (Apr 21)​
- Larry Loupolover https://youtu.be/cw4uoNPHkVE (Jan 23)
- Kailani Craine, Young You https://twitter.com/ISU_Figure/status/1226233329126645760 (Feb 8)
- Emmi Peltonen https://youtu.be/1FBq7QnVsXc (Jan 25)
- Paul Fentz https://youtu.be/uPuQqjyzO4g (Jan 23)​
ETA (on Mar 4, 2020):
ETA (on Mar 30, 2020):
- Jessica Calalang https://www.instagram.com/p/B-XSDVMBGpL/ (Mar 30)
- Trennt Michaud https://youtu.be/pKbYZT149xA?t=51 (Mar 30)
(He says his full name at approx. 0:52, as well as at the beginning of the video.)​
- Adam Rippon https://twitter.com/TeamUSA/status/1244753771894210561 (Mar 30)​
ETA (on Apr 5, 2020):
- Emilia Murdock says her first name https://www.instagram.com/p/B-fd0rjlhsT/ (Apr 2)​
ETA (on Apr 6, 2020):
- Denis Khodykin https://www.instagram.com/p/B-pT_L1Iz6-/ (Apr 6)​
ETA (on Apr 11, 2020):
- Arina Ushakova https://www.instagram.com/p/B-1x1eJpCpk/ (Apr 11)​
ETA (on Apr 20, 2020):
- Stephane Lambiel https://youtu.be/OXgpPTspFu4 (Apr 19)
- Satoko Miyahara https://www.instagram.com/p/B_EawBvh-Y8/ (Apr 17)​
 

YagsFan

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Sorry about that, ice coverage; I never even glanced at the date of your post! I too noticed the Bradie/Brandy thing you mention, and at Nationals the announcer could not get the Knierems anywhere near right! I'll agree with you about being supportive to most, but I do expect them, as professionals, to be willing to work out the hard ones before they turn on the mike:)
 

Ladskater

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Rod Black of CTV Canada is amazing with names. He can pronounce pretty much every skaters name correctly, I've yet to hear him make a mess of it. Also Kurt Browning, Carol Lane and Brenda Irving and Scott Russel of the CBC do a fantastic job. The name I have the most trouble with is: Evgenia Medvedeva. I just can't get it to stick in my brain! Oh well.
 

MACGoldSeal

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One guy who made my toes curl kept saying for poor Ondrej HOTAREK.....HOR A TEK. For heaven's sake it's HO TAR EK. Some of the other, longer, complicated namess are difficult. Why not just go and ask someone to write it down phonetically? It's only a sign of respect.
 

GretchenG

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One guy who made my toes curl kept saying for poor Ondrej HOTAREK.....HOR A TEK. For heaven's sake it's HO TAR EK. Some of the other, longer, complicated namess are difficult. Why not just go and ask someone to write it down phonetically? It's only a sign of respect.

You are so right! Someone pay me $100 and I'll create the document. Why on earth doesn't such a document already exist? I could just create a pdf file and upload it on the web. Duh. Some people that really impress me with their pronunciations are the commentators for World Cup alpine skiing competitions. They almost never have to pronounce Asian or Russian names, but I'll bet they'd get it right.
 

GoneWithTheWind

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For my own reference, I am going to try to keep here a fresh running list of unedited videos of skaters saying their own names. Disclaimer: Possible that skaters on this list-to-be already have been covered in other posts.

If you'd like another entry for your fantastic list, I found Charlène Guignard and Marco Fabbri pronouncing their names: https://twitter.com/goldenskate/stat...20084434706432
Technically, Marco says them both, but as they've been together for nearly 11 years, I think we can trust him to pronounce hers correctly! I will see if there's a video of Charlène pronouncing her own name also.
Poor Charlène is often victim to commentators mispronouncing her name, usually as SharLEEN, rather than SharLEN, as well as having trouble with her surname, but I wonder if that's because, when her first name is written down, the grave accent on her first 'e' is sometimes not printed?
 

MGstyle

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Sorry if it was mentioned before, I didn't go over the entire thread. One thing that always made me curious is the last name of Michal Brezina. It's most commonly pronounced as it's spelled, but on several occasions (probably in competitions in his homeland or surrounding country with similar languages...) I heard the announcement pronouncing his name sounding roughly like "zhzhezina" (???) with no B sound audible. Can someone clarify the real pronounciation of his last name????
 

GoneWithTheWind

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Sorry if it was mentioned before, I didn't go over the entire thread. One thing that always made me curious is the last name of Michal Brezina. It's most commonly pronounced as it's spelled, but on several occasions (probably in competitions in his homeland or surrounding country with similar languages...) I heard the announcement pronouncing his name sounding roughly like "zhzhezina" (???) with no B sound audible. Can someone clarify the real pronunciation of his last name????

Here's the link from ice coverage's fantastic list (post no. 304), of Michal pronouncing his own name:


This is part of an interview in English so I wonder if perhaps the different pronunciation you heard comes from using his name in a sentence/paragraph of his native language, Czech? I don't know enough about linguistics/languages to know if the pronunciation might alter slightly if used in a person's native language as opposed to a second/other language.
 

ice coverage

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Sorry if it was mentioned before, I didn't go over the entire thread. One thing that always made me curious is the last name of Michal Brezina. It's most commonly pronounced as it's spelled, but on several occasions (probably in competitions in his homeland or surrounding country with similar languages...) I heard the announcement pronouncing his name sounding roughly like "zhzhezina" (???) with no B sound audible. Can someone clarify the real pronounciation of his last name????

Here's the link from ice coverage's fantastic list (post no. 304), of Michal pronouncing his own name:



This is part of an interview in English so I wonder if perhaps the different pronunciation you heard comes from using his name in a sentence/paragraph of his native language, Czech? I don't know enough about linguistics/languages to know if the pronunciation might alter slightly if used in a person's native language as opposed to a second/other language.

Here is sabinfire's clip of Michal's Czech pronounciation of his name:


It is in the OP of Michal's fan thread.
Thanks again to sabinfire for editing many pronunciation clips and to Doris for posting them in the respective fan threads.

Credit also to cathlen, who found the original video that was the source material for sabinfire's clip of Michal.
cathlen's post in 2015 is from page 8 of this thread.

... Here's Michal Brezina saying his name: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApPpZQmPAxA It's a little qiuet, but I also found others Czechs saying his name for reference: no.1 no.2 ...

I could swear that since then, some additional discussion of the Czech pronunciation of Brezina arose somewhere on GS, but unfortunately I do not remember exactly where.


... Technically, Marco says them both, but as they've been together for nearly 11 years, I think we can trust him to pronounce hers correctly! I will see if there's a video of Charlène pronouncing her own name also. ...

I do completely trust Marco :agree:, but video of Charlène pronouncing her own name would be great. :pray:

In any case, thank you for your posts. :)
 

GoneWithTheWind

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I do completely trust Marco :agree:, but video of Charlène pronouncing her own name would be great. :pray:

I've managed to find Charlène pronouncing her own name! I knew I'd heard it somewhere and re-found it in a 'season's greetings' video from the 2018 GPF. I think the video was originally shown in CBC coverage of the GPF gala, but a helpful person has cut out just the 'season's greetings' bit: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ze47e

Charlène and Marco appear 7 seconds in, after Stephen Gogolev. They are followed, coincidentally, by Michal Brezina!
 

MGstyle

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Thanks everyone, although I am even more confused... sounds like there is a very faint B at the beginning, not so prominent as in English pronounciation???? :scratch2:

Tomas Verner introduced Brezina (about 1m40s in) on this recent video discussion group.
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=250579996003978

LOL how funny, he demonstrated a perfect Czech version of Březina while pronouncing his first name "Michael" :rofl:
 

ice coverage

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I've managed to find Charlène pronouncing her own name! I knew I'd heard it somewhere and re-found it in a 'season's greetings' video from the 2018 GPF. I think the video was originally shown in CBC coverage of the GPF gala, but a helpful person has cut out just the 'season's greetings' bit: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ze47e

Charlène and Marco appear 7 seconds in, after Stephen Gogolev. They are followed, coincidentally, by Michal Brezina!

Wow, thanks for finding the video of Charlène so quickly.

And ... thanks also to our fellow GS member siberia82, who is the helpful person who had made the dailymotion video.

Only in hindsight, I see now that the dailymotion link is in one of siberia82's posts in the video thread for 2018 GPF.
I am quoting it below with the hope that s/he will receive a quote notification and find out that we in this thread are grateful for the helpful video. :)

CBC coverage of the Exhibition Gala 720p (it was only broadcast several hours ago) ...

Season's Greetings from Gogolev, Guignard & Fabbri, Michal Brezina (also available as a separate video: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ze47e) ...
 
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