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When you come across foreign names, do you know immediately how to pronounce them?
For example:
1. Nicolae
2. Tache
3. Fortaleza
4. Kien Giang
5. Gerti
6. Niedersachsenaged
7. Krister Nylander
8. Bollstabruk

And what about the stress?

Regards,
D.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
1.nick-ol

2.ta-sh

3.fort-leze

4.nin-niang

5.giti

6.dont knw

7.christer-yander

8.bollstra buk

thank you

tj
I suppose demicjusz is interested in how those words are pronounced by people who speak English, so I don't think my opinion here would be useful, since my spoken English doesn't contain many sounds apart from those that belong also to Spanish (so you can imagine my accent). With my nil knowledge of phonetic transcription, if I wanted to tell you how I'd pronounce the words in demicjusz's list (with my Spanish accent, remember), all I'd have to do is copy the list again, perhaps with a couple of changes here and there. Besides, an English-speaking person would not pronounce my transcription as I'd do, so I'm afraid it's no use my writing it. However, I'd like to make a comment about "Fortaleza", which is a Spanish word.
DemicjuszI'm not surprised about 'lei' in 3 (I see a parallel with 'Venezuela'),
Mister Micawber3. Fortaleza / four t? 'lei z? /
When I've read Mister Micawber's transcription I've immediately thought of an American speaking Spanish with a very heavy accent (by the way, I cannot see the parallel with "Venezuela" Emotion: surprise... Perhaps it's because I don't know how that word's pronounced in English). Anyway, I'm going to try to explain how I say "Fortaleza". The fact thatas I've already said I speak English with Spanish sounds won't help, but I'll do my best.

To begin with, I think the idea of "four" for the first syllable is good. In case you're thinking of the British pronunciation of "four", the "r" does sound in "fortaleza", with what I think is a stronger sound than that of your "four" (since the tongue rolls when saying it). As for the next syllable, the transcription "t?" seems to have an "a" with an undefined unclear sound. However, that "a" should be clearly uttered (it seems to me that Nona has managed something closer to it). Forced to give an equivalence, I'd say it's the sound in "park" (but with all kind of reservations). The syllable Demicjusz finds logical, 'lei, wouldn't be pronounced like that, since Spanish is read as it's written, and so, if you see a vowel "e" you pronounce a vowel "e" (probably like in "met", not a long "ee" like Nona's), and not a diphthong. As to the last syllable, the wovel should be the same as in the second, while the "z" should be as the "th" sound in "think". Well, at least that's how I'd say it. That sound isn't used by all Spanish-speaking people. In fact, I think that most of them would use one of those /s/, /z/ or whatever you call it (I cannot really tell the difference, it's what I would simply describe as an "s", although I think theirs is softer, since all Latin Americans keep on telling us how strong our "s" is). In most of Spain we use that "th" sound, but in the south of Spain and in the rest of Spanish-speaking countries they use what I call the "s" sound (even though they're taught to pronounce the "z" with the "th" sound at school, I've been told).

I'm a little ashamed of this clumsy explanation, but I'm afraid I can do no better. I cannot give clear examples in English because I tend to say everything with the only five vowels I know, so I use the same sound in "can", "but" and "park", or in "sheet" and "shit", or in "look" y "pool"... Have I made your hair curl? Sorry! I know they're not the same sounds, although that doesn't mean I can use them!
Demicjuszso I added '-cjusz', which, at least in Polish, immediately shows masculinity;
To me, it only shows a very high degree of Polishness Emotion: stick out tongue
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ColomboI use the same sound in "can", "but" and "park", or in "sheet" and "shit",
Ooops, the asterisks... The word's the same as "sheet", but with an "i" instead of the two "ee".
Liubow Novitskaja
I would say Loo-boff no vet Skya
Well, I listed first the pronunciation for what I would use if I were trying to say them with the closest reasonable English approximation that I could make to what the name would sound like in the foreign language. The second is what I would call them if they moved here--sort of even more of an Anglified pronunciation, and the one that would sound easy and natural:

1) [ nikolaI ] [ [email protected] ]
2) [ tOtSE ] [ tOtSe(I) ]
3) [ fOr\[email protected] ] [ fOr\[email protected]@ ]
4) [ [email protected] gijeN ] [ [email protected] gjeN ]
5) [ [email protected] ] [ gr=4i ]
6) [ [email protected]? ] [ nidr=s{[email protected]@d ]
6) [ kr\[email protected] [email protected] ] [ krIstr= nil{ndr= ]
7) [ [email protected]\uk_} ] [ [email protected]_} ]
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