Had no idea 'Sapiens' was pronounced differently between US and UK English. What are some of your pronunciation surprises?

Devin

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Oct 27, 2017
607
Does one say the name Mike as Mikey?
Or Hike as Hikey?
Like as Likey?
etc etc. You get the point. It makes logical sense for them to not have an 'ee' sound at the end of Nike, if one was just reading the word and going from there. However, Nike is a US company so the way they pronounce it is correct.
It's pronounced that way because it's an Ancient Greek word. It would have originally been pronounced more like 'nee-kay', but for some reason the way Greek vowels were pronounced in English changed in the 14th century.
 

Cocolina

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,357
Does one say the name Mike as Mikey?
Or Hike as Hikey?
Like as Likey?
etc etc. You get the point. It makes logical sense for them to not have an 'ee' sound at the end of Nike, if one was just reading the word and going from there. However, Nike is a US company so the way they pronounce it is correct.

Also, I live in the UK and have never heard sap-iens too.
https://www.theguardian.com/media/shortcuts/2014/jun/03/nike-how-to-pronounce-correctly-brand-names-audi-adidas-porsche-yvessaintlaurent
 

amanset

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Oct 28, 2017
888
In the UK, we pronounced Iraq “E-rak” – until 9/11 where we had US TV networks and correspondents on our screens at a daily rate (which was rare back then). At which point, you slowly saw UK newscasters and journalists start using “I-rak” instead.
Which even then isn't the "Eye-rack" that Americans say.
 

LL_Decitrig

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Oct 27, 2017
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But while we're here can we do the soccer thing? The word soccer was in fairly common use in Britain in the sixties where it was used to distinguish Association Football from the two forms of Rugby football. At some point in the late seventies, though, the professionalised form of Association Football achieved a cultural dominance and now a whole generation has grown up apparently believing that the word "soccer" is a crude American import. Getting old is weird, you get to see cultural change happen in real time.
 
Oct 29, 2017
706
Florida
How else would you pronounce it? The Latin American and Castilian pronunciations aren't that far from tack-o. The American "tahco" pronunciation isn't a great approximation of either.
I mean I speak Spanish and, maybe it's just the people I've heard, but none of the British people I've heard pronouncing taco sounds anything like the Spanish pronunciation.

Or maybe my ears are just busted or something IDK.
 

LL_Decitrig

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I mean I speak Spanish and, maybe it's just the people I've heard, but none of the British people I've heard pronouncing taco sounds anything like the Spanish pronunciation.

Or maybe my ears are just busted or something IDK.
I have to admit I've heard some right royal butchering of Spanish by English speakers. As a northern Englishman I've always been something of a foreigner in my own country (our vowel pronunciation is distinctly alien sounding to those from the south). If northerners sometimes mess up in Spanish pronunciation, it's because we'll elongate the trailing o or even turn it into a diphthong.
 

Fatoy

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Mar 13, 2019
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Depending on where you're from in the North, this can lead to some amusing situations. My father in law has a pretty broad Manchester / Oldham accent, and he drops H's all over the shop. 'appy, 'eart, 'ouse. You get the idea. I pronounce all of those with very clear H's, even though I grew up maybe 40 minutes drive from him.

It's kind of funny watching him try to say a sentence like: "I need to book a hotel," though. Hotel starts with a consonant sound for me, so I just say it the way I've just written it there. He, on the other hand, says "I need to book uh 'otel" with a really forced stop between the two vowel sounds.

This is the reason that French (and probably other romance languages) tell you to pronounce the "T" at the end of words where you wouldn't normally, when they're followed by a word that starts with a vowel sound. The most obvious example being the brand name Moët et Chandon, which you'd say "Moh-ayy" if you were just reading the first word of, but "Moh-ett" if you were reading the full thing. It avoids a very unnatural stop.

EDIT - Apparently the Moët et Chandon thing is actually because the guy was Dutch, according to the link above. But the principle still stands.
 
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LL_Decitrig

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I hear this occasionally in Canada too and I think it's more that people just don't know the phrase. Like the thread yesterday about ears burning.
My pet grouse is the quite nonsensical "the proof is in the pudding." The phrase as I learned it is "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." I don't think the latter needs any explanation.
 

P-MAC

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Nov 15, 2017
1,939
Wait what?? I’ve lived in the UK all my life and never once heard a single person say it with sap like tree sap.

Sape-iens is the norm here, even for my 60 year old parents, and other older relations
 

LL_Decitrig

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They do something similar with the word "pasta." A lot of Brits pronounce it like the word "past" with an "uh" on the end. I don't think I'll ever get used to hearing it that way.
Yeah, word endings tend to get swallowed in British English. And few concessions are made to latin consonants. It's basically a familiar word pronounced in the English way (past) with a schwa afterwards to denote the -a.
 

Tranq

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Oct 21, 2018
150
I love it when british people pronounce "negotiations" with an "s" sound.
It never gets old.
 

Shoe

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Oct 25, 2017
1,606
I always found the UK style of making corporations and other singular proper nouns plural bizarre. e.g. “Apple are making a new phone” or “Manchester United are playing”. They are singular entities; sure, they’re comprised of multiple people, but it’s not like you say “the city are hosting a festival”.
 

Kazoku_

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Oct 27, 2017
1,021
what words are you chatting about lad
JAG-yew-eh (Jaguar, controversial, I know), bah (bar), bee-eh (beer), or anything that ends in r. The r specifically is a hard (hahd) thing for Brits to enunciate. It's part of the accent, which is a good thing to me. It'd suck if we all sounded the same. Still tickles me, though.
 

IPSF

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Oct 27, 2017
345
ITT Americans forget what language they speak :P

And it’s not sape-ien because the Latin root is sapere which is pronounced with a sap like the English sapien.

Also what’s with aluminium? The second “i” is right there!
 

Anoregon

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Oct 25, 2017
5,625
ITT Americans forget what language they speak :P

And it’s not sape-ien because the Latin root is sapere which is pronounced with a sap like the English sapien.

Also what’s with aluminium? The second “i” is right there!
It's actually spelled without the second i in the US.
 
Jul 19, 2018
537
Does one say the name Mike as Mikey?
Or Hike as Hikey?
Like as Likey?
etc etc. You get the point. It makes logical sense for them to not have an 'ee' sound at the end of Nike, if one was just reading the word and going from there. However, Nike is a US company so the way they pronounce it is correct.

Also, I live in the UK and have never heard sap-iens too.
They can have their pronunciation of Nike. Their attempt at Adidas is a disgrace, though!
 

Casa

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Oct 25, 2017
2,327
As a big time football (soccer) fan who has watched the Premier League for more than a decade now, I've noticed that most of the English pundits/commentators butcher most foreign surnames. And it seems like they almost go out of their way to not make the effort to pronounce names as they would be in their native tongue.

Spanish names in particular.