English/pronunciation questions
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30-09-2015, 12:51 PM (This post was last modified: 30-09-2015 12:58 PM by kingschosen.)
English/pronunciation questions
1) Is there a difference between "microbial" and "microbacterial"? I'm aware the latter isn't a proper word, but I've seen it written and heard it used.

2) The surname "Nguyen". I know its proper pronunciation is "WIN". I've always pronounced it that way; however, I've heard "NUH-goo-in", "NUH-jew-in" and "IN-goo-win". Are these just improper pronunciations/bastardizations or actual, alternative pronunciations?

3) Like the above, the word/name "Ryu/ryu". I was taught the proper pronunciation was basically "ROO" but with a slight tongue roll thingy for the R at the beginning, where it almost makes it sound like "thROO". In different forms of media and throughout my life, I've also heard it pronounced "RYE-you". I've always thought this was a mispronunciation; however, Mortal Kombat X actually pronounces it this way. I know that might be a bad example, but that seems like a pretty egregious mistake for such a big, international game. I know "ryu" means "dragon" in Japanese, and I also know that inflection and syllable emphasis changes words' meanings in several Asian languages. Do the pronunciations differ if "ryu" is a name instead of a word?

4) The word "biopic". I say it like "by-OP-ic" but I've also heard it pronounced "BIO-pic". Are these both acceptable?

EDIT: mades some clarifications on my pronunciations

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30-09-2015, 12:58 PM
RE: English/pronunciation questions
I had no idea microbial was even a word...

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30-09-2015, 01:15 PM
RE: English/pronunciation questions




And it's Bio-Pic. Bi-AHP-ic is a commonly thrown out false etymology kinda thing(I think there is a better proper word for it) Basically it's people saying that because they think the word couldn't simply be Bio-Pic because that sound so juvenile and simple. But it really is just biopic as in a shortening of biographical movie/picture.

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30-09-2015, 01:22 PM
RE: English/pronunciation questions
(30-09-2015 12:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  ...
2) The surname "Nguyen". I know its proper pronunciation is "WIN". I've always pronounced it that way; however, I've heard "NUH-goo-in", "NUH-jew-in" and "IN-goo-win". Are these just improper pronunciations/bastardizations or actual, alternative pronunciations?
...
4) The word "biopic". I say it like "by-OP-ic" but I've also heard it pronounced "BIO-pic". Are these both acceptable?

2) I have a close friend who has four names, two of which (first and last) are Nguyen.
She says there are regional differences in pronounciation (from North to South Vietnam) but she (from Saigon) pronunces it "WIN".

Hence, we call her "win/win". True story.

4) No idea what's 'official' but my brain registers BIO-pic as biographic-picture and bi-OP-ic as related to having two eyes.

It's like:
English-English: PRO-cessing (carrying out)
Murikan-English: pro-CESS-ing (I hear 'procession' or parade)
Singlish: pro-cess-iiinnng.

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30-09-2015, 01:26 PM
RE: English/pronunciation questions
What Clyde Lee said about Ryu, which was what I was going to comment.

I grew up saying Rye-yoo because that's what my older brother said, but it turns out he was just a kid mispronouncing a bunch of Japanese words. (Same issues with Chinese names in romance of the three kingdoms.)

Had a gf with the last named Nguyen. It was a while back, but I thought she said the proper pronunciation was NWIN (where the N goes directly into W so it is still a single quickly-spoken syllable). But my memory could be off, as that wasn't a conversation of importance back when I was 13 haha.

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30-09-2015, 01:27 PM
RE: English/pronunciation questions
(30-09-2015 12:51 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  1) Is there a difference between "microbial" and "microbacterial"? I'm aware the latter isn't a proper word, but I've seen it written and heard it used.

2) The surname "Nguyen". I know its proper pronunciation is "WIN". I've always pronounced it that way; however, I've heard "NUH-goo-in", "NUH-jew-in" and "IN-goo-win". Are these just improper pronunciations/bastardizations or actual, alternative pronunciations?

3) Like the above, the word/name "Ryu/ryu". I was taught the proper pronunciation was basically "ROO" but with a slight tongue roll thingy for the R at the beginning, where it almost makes it sound like "thROO". In different forms of media and throughout my life, I've also heard it pronounced "RYE-you". I've always thought this was a mispronunciation; however, Mortal Kombat X actually pronounces it this way. I know that might be a bad example, but that seems like a pretty egregious mistake for such a big, international game. I know "ryu" means "dragon" in Japanese, and I also know that inflection and syllable emphasis changes words' meanings in several Asian languages. Do the pronunciations differ if "ryu" is a name instead of a word?

4) The word "biopic". I say it like "by-OP-ic" but I've also heard it pronounced "BIO-pic". Are these both acceptable?

EDIT: mades some clarifications on my pronunciations

"Microbacterial" is redundant. I hope. The alternative of a bacteria large enough to be seen with the naked eye is too scary to imagine. That said, microbes (EDIT: What the word "microbial" refers to) can be things that aren't bacteria, including amoebae, algae, and (if you stretch the definition) water bears.

(Also, Wikipedia just now told me that "Microbacterium" is actually a specific genus of, well, bacteria, so it might refer to that.)
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30-09-2015, 01:46 PM (This post was last modified: 30-09-2015 01:50 PM by cjlr.)
RE: English/pronunciation questions
Those... aren't really all English pronunciation, quite, are they?
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North and South Vietnam have pretty different dialects, historically, which the mid-century... unpleasantness... didn't exactly work to harmonise. Anyway. Initial 'ng' is like English 'ng' but without quite finishing the 'g', if that makes sense. If nothing else at least make sure it's just one syllable!

Japanese L/R isn't quite a match for either English phoneme in most dialects, but it's closer to an R so far as I can tell. Ryu can also mean a school or style (like, say, Shorin-Ryu or Shito-Ryu Karate or something). Y is never a vowel in transcribed Japanese, and it's definitely also just one syllable.

Bio-pic is the right stress if anything. It's a syllabic abbreviation. But I'm sure if one searched one could find examples of pronunciation changing.

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30-09-2015, 03:39 PM
RE: English/pronunciation questions
I have always said "bi-OP-ic" without even thinking about it. Then just the other day, one of my friends pronounced it "bio-pic". I thought it sounded goofy, but it actually makes more sense than the other way, and is probably correct. Still sounds goofy, though.
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30-09-2015, 06:14 PM
RE: English/pronunciation questions
As for Nguyen - what DLJ said.

The "ng" is a nasal sound, much like the end of "going." It's a version of the Chinese name spelled Yuen/Ruan. It's pronounced like this in the north or like this in the south.
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30-09-2015, 07:22 PM
RE: English/pronunciation questions
(30-09-2015 12:58 PM)Lightvader Wrote:  I had no idea microbial was even a word...

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