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Pronunciation of US place names
Thread poster: Roman Bulkiewicz

Roman Bulkiewicz  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 07:34
Member (2004)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Feb 14, 2006

Is there a resource in the internet listing pronunciations of US place names? Of course, I am interested mostly in less important names, those that are not present in major dictionaries.

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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 06:34
French to English
Don't know of a single resource... Feb 14, 2006

Also, this can vary so much locally that in many instances you'd have to check with the locals.

Here are two examples:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancaster,_PA


Locals quickly recognize visitors to Lancaster by the way they pronounce Lancaster. Natives typically pronounce it as LANK-a-stir, rather than LAN-cas-ter, as is the common pronunciation for other Lancasters in the US.


Another one from my neck of the woods is BER-lin, NH (as opposed to ber-LIN).

Here's a fun list (though not exactly what you are looking for):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Featherstonehaugh

Regards,
Sara


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María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 23:34
English to Spanish
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Thanks, Sara! Feb 14, 2006

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

Here's a fun list (though not exactly what you are looking for):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Featherstonehaugh

Regards,
Sara


I don't know if that's what Roman was looking for, but I find it very interesting

Since English is not my native language, I've always been mystified with the pronunciation of places like Arkansas and Illinois... now I have a whole list of names to have fun with!


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 07:34
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Pronunciation is local Feb 14, 2006

I lived in Eugene, Oregon. The big river which flows through the town is called the Williamette River. It is a bit of shiboleth for people. Outsiders call its the [willimit] river, accent on first syllable, while locals call it the [willamet, accent on second sylable. Why? Who knows? Oregon in general has a bevy of strange names, such as Tangent, Boring, Upper (no lower) Soda, and New Era. It makes the place charming.

Stephen Rifkind
Hebrew/Russian/French to English


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:34
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
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US onomastics Feb 14, 2006

Roman Bulkiewicz wrote:

Is there a resource in the internet listing pronunciations of US place names? Of course, I am interested mostly in less important names, those that are not present in major dictionaries.


The reference you are looking for is specifically related to the field of "onomastics".

See for example the "Pronunciation lexicon of British place names, surnames and first names" which was one of the sub-projects of the Language Resource Production and Packaging project that I managed several years ago, which was partially funded by the European Commission.
http://www.elda.org/catalogue/en/speech/S0091.html

The person you should contact is Dr. Marc Fryd at the Université de Poitiers in France. He would most likely know who is specialized in onomastics for North American place names.

send me a message through my profile and I'll send you his contact info.

Jeff

------
Jeff Allen, Ph.D.
Paris, France
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/


[Edited at 2006-02-14 23:08]


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davidgreen
German to English
I'd be happy to pronounce them for you Feb 14, 2006

Roman, I don't know if you're using Skype or other VOIP software (free "telephone" calling from computer to computer over the internet), but you are certainly welcome to call me and I'll pronounce all the town names for you that I'm sure of. Feel free to send me an email if that would help you any.

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Roman Bulkiewicz  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 07:34
Member (2004)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Feb 19, 2006

for your references and kind offers.
I am not doing research on onomastics, nor are fine nuances of pronunciation very important to me. It's just that now and then I need to somehow put some obscure place name in Russian or Ukrainian... and I was hoping someone had prepared a resource for me in the Internet.
Thanks again.


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