Obama Afghanistan and Pakistan

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by S.A.M., Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    But your chart says it's only used in foreign words. Apparently it's not a natural sound in Hindi.
    Surely you learned that pronunciation from the British long before the first Mexican ever showed up in India to explain how it's supposed to sound. We say it that way too. Well actually it's MEX-ih-ko over here. But we're not consistent. We pronounce José as ho-ZAY instead of kho-SEH, and Juan is just WAN, like the adjective, instead of KHWAN.
    The word doesn't appear in American dictionaries. Wikipedia says the meaning of "insane" came about because being stationed at the British Army transit camp in Deolali was unbearably boring.
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I don't know how -kh- is not a natural sound in Hindu considering how many Hindi words contain the sound. E.g. Khel, khar, khira, aankh, okhli, aakhir, khoon, kheer, etc
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  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

    hmmm . . .
    i always heard the correct pronunciation was MEH-ee-ko.
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The pronunciation of the letter X is inconsistent in Spanish, since it only occurs in foreign names and in words borrowed from foreign languages.
    • In words of Latin origin, such as experimental, X is pronounced KS, as in Latin (and usually in English).
    • In names of Native American origin such as Texas, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, México or Ixtlán, it is pronounced KH (as in Russian Khrushchev, German Buch, Scottish Loch, Greek Psyche) because that's the original pronunciation in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs.
    KH is also the sound of Spanish J and soft G: José, Juan, general

    Most anglophones say MAY-hee-ko when they're trying to reproduce the proper Spanish pronunciation, because we don't have the KH phoneme in English. However, many foreign names containing the sound have become prominent in the news, such as Kazakhstan, Nagorno-Karabakh, not to mention the plethora of Arabic words and names such as Akhbar, so Americans have become more facile with it, since it isn't really all that difficult to say. The British, of course, stick to their tradition of mangling words and names from all foreign languages. (Except French, which, from our perspective, they all seem to speak like natives.)

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