September 04, 2007

Cheeseheads can't pronounce Indian names

Say 'Chequamegon,' Cheeseheads

Pronouncing Wisconsin names can be a challenge. But there's a website for that.Even for native Cheeseheads, speaking like a local can be a linguistic nightmare.

Just ask radio reporter Jackie Johnson, who grew up in Wisconsin. On the air, she has butchered the proper inflection for "Chequamegon" National Forest, and struggled to sound out town names like "Oconomowoc." Her friends have garbled the pronunciation of "Lake Butte des Morts," and gotten tongue-tied over some of the state's Native American tribes.

So, in her off-hours, the broadcaster created, a website that provides free audio files of the correct pronunciations of more than 190 Wisconsin cities, 400 villages and nearly 1,300 towns.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
All of which reminds writerfella of early explorers in New England. Tribal guides were asked about a tidal river: 'What is this called?' And the guides said, "Quin-nih-ta-tiddi-quik-ki-ki-kut." And the explorers said, 'What?' It was repeated, "Quin-nih-ta-tiddi-quik-ki-ki-kut."
'Ah,' the explorers said. 'Connecticut!!'
All Best
Russ Bates