Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Pollux V, Jan 13, 2003.
old alright, unfortunatly the guy who asked the question isnt even here anymore.
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As in box cutter.
I think we've just had the definitive pronunciation. I mean, it is his country, so presumably he has a better handle on it than most?
But feel free to continue getting it wrong.
(Wait. Were you making a joke..)
I probably think so.
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Since this thread was moved to Linguistics (a subforum which did not existe five years ago) I cleaned up the flaming and trolling, including yours.
Everyone: please be polite. The Linguistics board gets a lot of international traffic and not everyone is as thick-skinned as us Americans.
Still no one has completely answered the question. Which syllable takes the stress? Is it qa-TAR or QA-tar? I asked S.A.M. to join the discussion.
In Arabic (and other languages which borrow heavily from Arabic such as Farsi), Q is a glottal/uvular stop and has nothing to do with the QU sound in English. So there's no W sound after the Q. If you can't pronounce the Q then just say it as a K: katar.
Native English speakers usually need some coaching and practice to pronounce the Arabic "Qa" right, but it's a relatively easy word say correctly. It's a little harder for Westerners to pronounce "Arab" or "Iraq" correctly.
To say "Qatar", you start with a K sound, but you move the back of your tongue a little further back, to touch the roof of your mouth there. As others have noted, the accent is on the first syllable, the "ah"s are as in "car" and the R is rolled, but not prolonged. Qatar.
In truth, you can enjoy some practice pronouncing Qa: "Haqíqa"
Even if we don't learn Arabic, I think it's more respectful in the USA if we don't overly "Americanize" our pronunciations of common foreign names and places.
I've heard it pronounced as cutter, but its actually a cross between kitar and gitar. The sound of the Q is like the end sound in ack!
Like "cutter", but make the "e" a longer sound ?
Nope. Its qatar there is no e
Why the assumption that all speakers of Arabic will pronounce it in the same way. I am no expert but I know that Arabic pronunciation can vary as do all other languages. I have been present when an Egyptian has criticized a Saudi for his poor pronounciation.
I suggest that the pronunciation of QTAR can vary, depending on the speaker. Best ask someone who is a native of that place, if one wants a definitive answer !
how do you pronounce sciforums? is it like shyforums or skyforums?
Try psyforums and let your mind move mountains !
So the only consensus is:
The Q is velar/uvular, a sound most Westerners can't pronounce but a K is close enough to be respectful.
The R is flapped like Spanish, Russian or Japanese.
The accent is on the first syllable.
Other than that, the wide variance in pronunciation among the dialects of the various Arabic-speaking peoples leaves us with no guidance on the vowels. This is no surprise, since vowels are barely phonemic in the Semitic languages. (In Hebrew they're not even written except in textbooks for beginners, or in the liturgy for people who don't really know the language but want to recite it.) So the change of a vowel from one dialect to another would not cause the lapse in comprehension that it would in English, with cot-cat-Kate-kit-'keet-coat-caught-cut-coot: nine words with the same consonants but a different vowel.
It bugs me when Americans ignorantly butcher the pronunciation of foreign place names by Americanizing them. (I probably do it now and then too, but I try to be aware of pronunciation). One common mispronunciation that annoys me is that of Beijing. Most westerners say the "j" like it's french, like "beige" (the color) with an "ing" after, when it should be pronounced as a hard "dzh" sound as in "jail."
Everyone does that with place names and personal names, in cases where:
The speaker's language simply doesn't have the same phonemes as the original. E.g, Göte, Dvořák;
The original language presents consonant combinations to which the speaker is unaccustomed. E.g, Plzeñ, Hranice (yes, I'm picking on my mother's language a lot but there's probably no language with more difficult phonetics for anglophones than Czech); or
Transcribing foreign writing into the Roman alphabet is misleading and/or ambiguous, e.g...
My third example. Mandarin J is not English J. Mandarin has no voiced stops or affricates. The English paradigm of voiced/voiceless consonants does not match the Mandarin paradigm of aspirated/unaspirated. The consonants in judge, ads, big are voiced, whereas the consonants in church, eats, pick are voiceless. In Mandarin the consonants in ping, cha, cai (pronounced tsai), qi (pronounced chi) are voiceless and aspirated, whereas the consonants in bing, zha (pronounced ja, more or less), zai (pronounced dzai, more or less), ji are voiceless and unaspirated.
So the J in bei jing (northern capital) is not the J in jingle. It's voiceless. It's hard to describe because it never occurs in English. If you consider that Mandarin T and D are like the T in English top and mistake, respectively, that gives you a clue to Mandarin J. But most English speakers are not conscious of that difference. Hang a piece of tissue in front of your mouth while you say top and mistake; in the first word a puff of air after the T will blow the tissue out, but in the second word it will not.
The Q in qing is an aspirated CH, a phoneme we also don't have in English. Try saying cheese with that little puff of air after the CH.
This is why the old Wade-Giles transliteration system had those apostrophes and no voiced consonants. In p'ei, ch'a, ts'ai they want you to put in the puff of air, whereas in pei, cha, tsai they want you to use voiceless consonants but leave out the puff of air.
Nonetheless the American newscaster pronunciation of Beijing grates on my ears too, even though a Chinese would understand it and probably not think it's any worse than the "proper" English way, with a voiced J, because they're both wrong. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Now that we are here again...as per wiki
Qatar (Arabic: قطر ; IPA: [ˈqɑtˁɑr], local pronunciation: giṭar), officially the State of Qatar (Arabic: دولة قطر transliterated as Dawlat Qatar), is an Arab emirate in Southwest Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the larger Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south; otherwise the Persian Gulf surrounds the state.
^ The pronunciation of Qatar in English varies; see List of words of disputed pronunciation for details.
In terms of English phonemics, the vowels sound halfway between short u /ʌ/ and broad a /ɑ/. The q and the t have no direct counterparts, but are closest to the unaspirated allophones of English k and t. However, since these allophones cannot occur in these positions in English, in this context they will sound more like English g and d. So the closest pronunciation, according to English phonemics, to the original Arabic might be /ˈgɑdər/ or /ˈgʌdər/
(on reading Fraggle's post)
Good diction for multilinguals seems related to a knack for music: Easy for some, and not easy for others. I've been lucky enough to have a knack for accents and pronunciation- I speak Czech without any difficulties with ř and the occasional compound consonants. I've found that learning songs in a new language and mimicking them is a great way accelerate the acquisition of good pronunciation. Before I went to work in the Czech Republic, I memorized and often practiced singing some of their folk songs, and it really helped get my tongue in shape to take on full-immersion language learning. I'm convinced that music can be used to greatly accelerate the learning of additional languages. I've often wondered what the relative effectiveness would be learning Mandarin in a musical way, considering the particular importance in that language of tone. Are songs in Mandarin constrained by the tonal requirements of the speech (Fraggle, or anyone)?
Separate names with a comma.