Nothing speaks of a class act than mastering difficult name pronunciation. Resist the common practice of saying something like...what ever his name is...or mispronouncing it and then making a joke of it. Even if the person is not present or dead, the proper pronunciation is a sign of respect.
Sometimes there are unique or difficult name pronunciation challenges that will face speakers or the MC.
Unusual Spelling of Names
One type of misspoken name is the unusual spelling of common names. Why in the world any parent would want to subject their child to this it hard to comprehend. Yet, we all do things that we have to pay for later.
But for the sake of argument....consider two names of people I personally know. Most people spell Amber like it sounds. Not so with one mom who named her daughter Ambre. It is pronounced the same as Amber. To make things even more complicated, her nick name is Bre as in Breeze.
Or consider Shame. Pronounced Shaah-me, the spelling is something else. All of those who knew him knew how to prounouce his name.
Again, if you are speaking, let the MC know if your spelling is not congruent with the actual pronunciation.
If you are the MC, make sure you know the correct pronunciation.
A rose by any other foreign language name, is it still a rose?
Foreign Language Names
What if you had to speak through an interpreter. No problem you think. However some names if mispronounced can either evoke a laugh or even worse, insult the person your speaking about.
On more than one occasion I have given foreign language speeches. If this opportunity presents to you, get a tutor.
It has been beneficial to try to incorporate some of the actual language in my speech. This is especially important when using foreign language names.
Once, when speaking about Poland, my tutor proved to be invaluable. Turns out there were two proper pronunciations. The Americanized version and the true Polish pronunciation. I was in front of an international audience. For the sake of the actual Polish nationals in the audience, the national language pronunciation was used.
This technique resulted in a few comments after the session mentioning that the proper pronunciation was used. When you use this technique you will make friends. They will come up and ask how you know the language. Even though you don’t, taking the time to learn will impress them.
So whether your a MC, the speaker, or talking of others names, make it your aim to master difficult name pronunciation.
Click Here to go back to proper name pronunciation, the start of this section.