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Phonological query
Thread poster: Karin Walker
Karin Walker  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:58
German to English
+ ...
Jan 31, 2004

A (German) friend recently asked me how he should pronounce 'Twinings’ (the tea brand). Of course, I said ‘twynings’ (well, I didn't SAY it, I wrote the approximate pronunciation in an e-mail). Now he comes back to me, saying that another English friend of his said it would be pronounced 'twinnings’. While I wouldn't want to say that I am the source of ultimate truth, I cannot imagine how a native speaker of English could claim that 'twinnings' is the right pronunciation (unless, of course, they believe the brand is written with two nn's). I want to disprove that theory, but the phonological knowledge I wanted to dazzle my friend with seems to have evaporated pretty quick since I graduated with …ahem… a degree in linguistics.

Can anyone give me a hint as to the pronunciation of English vowels before double consonants (or something like that)?


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:58
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
From the horses mouth (well, the tea blenders glossary) Jan 31, 2004

"pronunciation
Twinings should be pronounced with a long 'i' like in the word 'mine'." [which is also often written as a 'y' to represent English, of course]

http://www.twinings.com/en_int/glossary/t.html

Everybody I know says 'Twyn-ings' too, so I don't think your linguistics have been drowned by too many cups of tea

To add a dash of linguistics to the pot, there is an interesting item at the bottom of the page about the village of Twyning in Gloucestershire being linked to the name of the Twining family, and both coming from Anglo-Saxon (Old English) (both meaning: 'two streams').

[Edited at 2004-01-31 17:05]


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sabina moscatelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:58
Member (2004)
German to Italian
+ ...
TV Ads Jan 31, 2004

In the past Twinings used to advertise on TV in Italy and they pronounced "Twynings", (exactly like "mine").

Sabina


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jsalazar
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Re: Twinings Jan 31, 2004

When you have an "i" before a consonant and then a vowel, it is always pronounced "ai". As you said, the "i" sound would be produced by a double consonant, which is the reason why we put in double consonants, for example, sin becomes sinning because if the double n weren't there, it would be pronounced "syning". In the same way, the word "mine" becomes "mining", the the sound created by the vowel/consonant/vowel pattern is maintained. Hope this helps.

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Mollanazar
Iran
Local time: 20:28
English to Farsi (Persian)
+ ...
The rule given above for the pronunciation of words with i+C+V is not 'always' true Jan 31, 2004

jsalazar wrote:


When you have an "i" before a consonant and then a vowel, it is always pronounced "ai". As you said, the "i" sound would be produced by a double consonant, which is the reason why we put in double consonants, for example, sin becomes sinning because if the double n weren't there, it would be pronounced "syning". In the same way, the word "mine" becomes "mining", the the sound created by the vowel/consonant/vowel pattern is maintained. Hope this helps.


For example, the words live (adj.) and olive are pronounced differently!
The exceptions to rules are more common than the rules themselves!

Regards,
H.M.


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xxxpamawa
Norway
Local time: 17:58
Exceptions are ... exceptional Feb 4, 2004

Hussein Mollanazar wrote:

For example, the words live (adj.) and olive are pronounced differently!
The exceptions to rules are more common than the rules themselves!

Regards,
H.M.


I bet a word count would show that the rule holds good far more often than not. But this is really a matter of orthography, not phonology...

Cheers
Paul


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:28
English to Tamil
+ ...
By the way how does one pronounce Hoechst? Feb 4, 2004

Sorry to go a little offtrack. Here I am referring to the German pharmaceutical giant Hoechst. I prounce it as Höchst, as the superlative form of hoch (hoch, höher, höchst), as I consider this superlative form to be the root of this company's name. I am disagreed to vehemently by the Indian employees of this company. According to them it should be pronounced as "Hext". After a certain time I just gave up as a bad job, my attempts to reason with them. I look forward to more inputs on this question.
Similar problem with the French company "Schlumberger". The Indian employees of this company say that it should be pronounced as Schlumberdgeah" (groan). My pronunciation ends with "berger".
Both these sets of people maintain that it is the concerned companies' managements, who insist on these jarring pronunciations (groan, again).
Regards,
N.Raghavan

[Edited at 2004-02-05 00:10]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:58
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Company managements intervene and make matters worse Feb 4, 2004

I sympathise with Narasimhan's difficulties with the insistence on strange pronunciations of Hoechst and Schlumberger.

In the UK, a certain kitchen cleaning fluid was marketed for many years under the name of "Jif". This was an understandable allusion to the colloquial word "jiffy", meaning a very short or negligible period of time.
But a couple of years ago the management, now marketing the product internationally, changed the name to "Cif", apparently because they did not like the idea that "Jif" would be pronounced "Dzhif" in the UK, "Zhif" in France, "Khif" in Spain, "Yif" in Germany, etc. However, for English speakers, the new name sounds like "syph" - an abbreviation for the sexially transmitted disease "syphilis".


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ingo_h
Germany
Local time: 17:58
English to German
Hoechst, Schlumberger and so on Feb 4, 2004

With "Hoechst" you are right, because it is a German name and the company (now part of Aventis if I am not wrong) resides in Germany.
But what with "Schlumberger"? As it seems the name has Alsatian Origin, so in France it is pronounced the french way. As I am german I feel free to pronounce it the german way.
As Schlumberger is a mixed company (french/american) there may be some more ways to pronounce this company name. For instance: "it's pronounced SCLHUM-ber-ZHAY" (typo): www.fool.com/news/2000/slb000719.htm.
So there may be no "correct" pronounciation, it depends on the speaker. This is globalization in the field of brands and company names.


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Karin Walker  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:58
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Höchst - and where it comes from Feb 4, 2004

[quote]Narasimhan Raghavan wrote:

Sorry to go a little offtrack. Here I am referring to the German pharmaceutical giant Hoechst. I prounce it as Höchst, as the superlative form of hoch (hoch, höher, höchst), as I consider this superlative form to be the root of this company\'s name.

Hi Narasimhan,

You are right to pronounce the name as Höchst, as in the superlative form of \'hoch\'. However, the origin of the name is the (original) location of the company:

***Die Wahl der kleinen, im noch ganz agrarisch orientierten Herzogtum Nassau gelegenen Amtsstadt Höchst am Main als Standort für die neue Fabrik mag auf den ersten Blick erstaunen.*** (Source: www.hoechst.de)

As for Schlumberger, I can\'t help you with that one - I know it\'s rather controversial. I remember that during the company milkround at my University, when potential employers used to come and talk to students about their career choices, Schlumberger was one of these companies and we pronounced it pretty much as the Germans would, except \'Schlum\' sounded a bit more like \'Schlamm\' as spoken by a German, if that makes any sense...


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Karin Walker  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:58
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Drowing in the brew Feb 4, 2004

Dr. Giuli Kvrivishvili wrote:


Everybody I know says 'Twyn-ings' too, so I don't think your linguistics have been drowned by too many cups of tea

[Edited at 2004-01-31 17:05]


Thanks for the glossary hint, which BTW convinced my friend 100%!

What I actually meant, though, is that time (oh, it was all so long ago!) seems to have erased my (back then) quite formidable knowledge of phonetics and phonology; I do hope that my innate English pronunciation skills are here to stay, though, despite my addiction to the brown stuff...


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:28
English to Tamil
+ ...
Alsatian origin explains the German sounding name Feb 4, 2004

Even though Schlumberger is a French company, I was sure that the name sounds German. Alsatian origin explains it. After all the province of Alsaß has been changing hands between the Germans and the French. Personally I thought it was a Jewish owned company, hence the German sounding name (Yiddish). Whatever it might be I have a weakness for the German pronunciation, as the German language was my first love.
Regards,
N.Raghavan
ingo_h wrote:
But what with "Schlumberger"? As it seems the name has Alsatian Origin, so in France it is pronounced the french way. As I am german I feel free to pronounce it the german way.
As Schlumberger is a mixed company (french/american) there may be some more ways to pronounce this company name. For instance: "it's pronounced SCLHUM-ber-ZHAY" (typo): www.fool.com/news/2000/slb000719.htm.
So there may be no "correct" pronounciation, it depends on the speaker. This is globalization in the field of brands and company names.


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:58
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
innate English here to stay :-) Feb 5, 2004

Karin Gartshore wrote:

Thanks for the glossary hint, which BTW convinced my friend 100%!

What I actually meant, though.....

my innate English pronunciation skills are here to stay, though, despite my addiction to the brown stuff...



I never doubted you
I'm glad it helped convince your friend (call it a little dash of the English empirical tradition).
Giuli ~

~Eng Russ Geo~


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Moslehi
Iran
Local time: 20:28
English to Persian (Farsi)
+ ...
I am glad to know you Apr 23, 2004

Dr. Giuli Kvrivishvili wrote:


I never doubted you
I'm glad it helped convince your friend (call it a little dash of the English empirical tradition).
Giuli ~

~Eng Russ Geo~


Dear Mr. Kvrivishvili,
When I read your name, it seemed to me that you're of Georgian origin (shen kartuli xar). Aren't you?


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