Commencement announcer butchers the names of graduates

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/05/14/commencement-announcer-butchers-the-names-of-graduates.html

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Seems like someone executed a prank and it’s being passed off as a technical error by the administration :stuck_out_tongue:

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A lot of universities have started using tools like Marching Order. These are services that get feedback from the graduates prior to the ceremony and hire professional voice actors to record the names. Often, actors with experience in a variety of languages are engaged, so that non-anglo names can be accurately pronounced. I’ve seen it a few times; it works pretty well.

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I’d really like to see what was on there to get Tah-Moo-Mey from Thomas.

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Bang Ding Ow

I think the “Mey” might have been the first syllable of the middle name (Michael)? It might have said something like “Ta Mus Mai Kel”?

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What I’d like to see is Tah-Moo-Mey the Tank Engine.

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I’m always amazed that sports broadcasters can accurately pronounce names. I assume they have all of the roster names written out phonetically and that the broadcaster confirms pronunciation beforehand. Seems like that would have been a good idea here.

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They can just hire the same sports announcers for these graduations :stuck_out_tongue:

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Jim Brockmire would be the greatest graduation announcer of all time!

IMG_0768

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I don’t know about Thomas, but here’s a Washington Post article that shows the pronunciation guide for Sarah Virginia Brennan (or S’AIR-uh vuhr-JIHN-yuh BREH-nuhn).

And the relevant point in the video:

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Sportscasters and most professional radio people take a lot of pride into getting those correct. They talk to team office personnel, translators, etc to get it right. College administrators, not so much apparently.

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Yeah, that’s not as helpful as it could be. e.g. What’s with the apostrophe after the S? That doesn’t seem like a glottal stop to me. Also, that’s a pretty strong accent they’ve chosen to send all those vowels to u.

I’m guessing that the announcer also needed to put on her glasses.

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Worst game of Mad Gab ever? :stuck_out_tongue:

mad-gab

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That might be the worst phonetic translation I’ve ever seen. Does anyone use “uh” sounds when pronouncing the first syllable of “Virginia” or the last syllable of “Brennan”?

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I had a friend at uni in Canada whose surname was easy for Norwegians, and kinda tricky for everyone else. He was always calm when people got it wrong. But he also said it was an amazing feeling when he visited Norway and for the first time everyone got it right, and nobody asked how to spell it.

Kjellbotn.

CHEL-botn.

Chel rhymes with “gel”.
Botn is pronounced “bot” with an “n” stuck on the end.

I’m very curious how his card would look, and how this announcer would pronounce it.

I didn’t realize that “Hooked On Phonics” was a graduate level course…

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The uh here is supposed to be a schwa rather than an actual u sound. It’s a convention that you see in some dictionaries (like for instance dictionary.com) although they generally italicize it. This card works pretty well if you understand that, not so much if you don’t.

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