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I imagine that's also the reason why Americans usually mispronounce "Melbourne" and "Brisbane",

and Cans. (Spelled Cairns).

Even we can't agree on that one. I tend to say "Kehns" (a lengthened version of "kens", and indeed the same way most of us pronounce the monument-sort of cairn).
http://www.wordreference.com/definition/Cairns.htm?v=b gives both pronunciations, although it transcribes all "air"-type sounds with a schwa, which I don't use (nor would most Australians). Dunno what the Macquarie has.
I can half understand why we don't say Paree, but why shouldn't English speaking people be able to sort out ... ard' instead of 'Mare lind' (Ok, I can't do Fontanian symbols) and the 'normal' pronunciation of the American company name?

I was just doing a little lurking after a few weeks holiday in Thailand and Vietnam but I could not resist replying to this one.

I guess that you know that the problem is not all one way. Most English people collapse laughing when Americans talk about "Worcestershire sauce" or ask where "Gloucester" is.

Once on an American Airlines flight I attempted to order a tomato juice with Worcestershire sauce (*). I managed to translate "tomato" but despite several variations I had no success with "Worcestershire sauce". An American next to me had enough experience of the UK to solve the problem and suggested that I asked for a "Bloody Mary" mixer which was successful.
(*) This is one of my preferred drinks when driving concerns prohibit alcohol.
How about "St Louis"? Over here the final "s" is rarely, if ever, pronounced. This is probably due to familiarity with the French name. When I went there once, the "s" was normally pronounced. But there is a song in a musical (I forget which one): "Meet me in St Louis" and, if my memory is correct, the "s" is not pronounced. So what is correct and do all Americans agree?
I don't get too upset by this problem either way around. There are just too many places with unexpected pronunciations. This is exacerbated by issues such as Melbourne Florida / Australia which is discussed further down the thread.
I am happy to hear either: a reasonable attempt at the native version, or a version in line with reasonable expectations of the speaker. I don't expect Americans to know how to say "Worcestershire" and if they don't criticise my "Maryland", I won't criticise their "Worcestershire".
What does upset me are pronunciations that are not natural to the speaker but are no closer to the native version either.

Further down the thread "Ibiza" is mentioned. Many Brits use a Spanish style (T) for the z but normal English vowels which is pretty daft (especially since the natives don't speak Castilian). But worse still I have heard some people use an Italian style z. They would be better with an English one. Another example is the common use of a French style j in "Beijing" but an English j would be closer to the correct value.
Seán O'Leathlóbhair
Who has never been to Michigan but knows to use (S) rather than (tS).
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It seems just a bit stranger in the case of HP, because it's not simply a case of a common ... try to get people's names reasonably correct? When they reported on "David Packard of Hewlett-Packard", how did they do it?

The only transcription I've seen here of the "correct" American pronunciation of "Packard" contains a phoneme (/R/) absent from most forms of British English. How do Americans generally pronounce British names containing /A./?
David
How about "St Louis"? Over here the final "s" is rarely, if ever, pronounced. This is probably due to familiarity ... and, if my memory is correct, the "s" is not pronounced. So what is correct and do all Americans agree?

You're not the only person to be confused by the song. It is much older than the movie it was a Tin Pan Alley (i.e., New York) creation from the turn of the century that was popular at the time of the 1904 World's Fair. The songwriter forces you to rhyme "Louis" with "Louie" despite the fact that the local population of the city has been saying their city name like "Lewis" for a very long time now.
The movie (1944) dialog discusses this problem. From a transcript, where little Tootie is talking with the wagon driver:
STRONGEST ICE HORSE IN ST. LOUIE.
EXCUSE ME, MR. NEELY, BUT IT'S PRONOUNCED
ST. LOUIS.
IS IT, NOW? I'VE GOT A COUSIN
SPELLS IT THE SAME WAY, AND WE CALL HIM LOUIE.
HE'S NOT A CITY, THOUGH, IS HE?
NO.
IS HE A SAINT?
NO.
THEN THERE'S NO COMPARISON.

Best Donna Richoux
Former resident of St. Louis
It seems just a bit stranger in the case of ... on "David Packard of Hewlett-Packard", how did they do it?

The only transcription I've seen here of the "correct" American pronunciation of "Packard" contains a phoneme (/R/) absent from most forms of British English. How do Americans generally pronounce British names containing /A./?

Probably with the closest phoneme we have. While most Brits may lack an /R/, Americans are used to making the mental accent translation. What strikes us as "wrong" with the way they say "Packard" is that they use the vowel we'd expect them to use in "card" rather than the vowel we'd expect them to use in "curd" (those are distinguished, right?) and also that they attach at least a secondary stress to a syllable that should be unstressed.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >English is about as pure as a
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >cribhouse ***. We don't justPalo Alto, CA 94304 >borrow words; on occasion, English
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I can half understand why we don't say Paree, but ... symbols) and the 'normal' pronunciation of the American company name?

I was just doing a little lurking after a few weeks holiday in Thailand and Vietnam but I could not resist replying to this one.

Welcome back, Sean. Did you meet any Buddhists while there, then talk with them about their beliefs? That, besides doing some serious eating, would be the first thing I'd do in either of those countries.
I guess that you know that the problem is not all one way. Most English people collapse laughing when Americans ... of the UK to solve the problem and suggested that I asked for a "Bloody Mary" mixer which was successful.

Many US barmen know the term 'Virgin Mary'. When not in the mood for vodka, I'd often get them there.
(*) This is one of my preferred drinks when driving concerns prohibit alcohol.

Mine too.
How about "St Louis"? Over here the final "s" is rarely, if ever, pronounced.

Almost always voiced in America.
This is probably due to familiarity with the French name. When I went there once, the "s" was normally pronounced. ... expect Americans to know how to say "Worcestershire" and if they don't criticise my "Maryland", I won't criticise their "Worcestershire".

Ahem. I can say Worcestershire properly, I expect Englishmen to say Maryland equally so. It isn't like it is all that difficult.
Charles Riggs
I was just doing a little lurking after a few weeks holiday in Thailand and Vietnam but I could not resist replying to this one.

Welcome back, Sean. Did you meet any Buddhists while there, then talk with them about their beliefs? That, besides doing some serious eating, would be the first thing I'd do in either of those countries.

It is hard to avoid meeting Buddhists since the majority of both populations are Buddhists. There are quite a lot of Catholics in Vietnam by standards of the region but that still does not mean very many. There are Muslims in Thailand but mostly down south where I did not go this time. I did not discuss religion much in Thailand since I have been there many times before, I used to live there. The subject came up a bit in Vietnam but I did not get a chance for a very good discussion. It would be a bit seriously off topic to go into religion here. I am a bit wary of discussing religion in the groups since some people may get quite heated about it.
Mostly my time was spent visiting friends and family. Ordinary stuff in a not so ordinary setting.
I guess that you know that the problem is not ... I asked for a "Bloody Mary" mixer which was successful.

Many US barmen know the term 'Virgin Mary'. When not in the mood for vodka, I'd often get them there.

That sounds vaguely familiar. It was once called "Bloody Barbara" here after Barbara Castle who introduced the drink drive laws. The name is pretty much forgotten now.

I had noticed this in St Louis itself but what happened to the "s" in the song?
This is probably due to familiarity with the French name. ... they don't criticise my "Maryland", I won't criticise their "Worcestershire".

Ahem. I can say Worcestershire properly, I expect Englishmen to say Maryland equally so. It isn't like it is all that difficult.

I don't expect that it would be difficult for me to say Maryland properly or for an American to say Worcestershire properly. The difficult bit is knowing what is proper. Prior to this thread, I did not know that I was saying Maryland improperly. I expect that you are a bit more familiar with things over here than many of your compatriots, would you really expect an American with little experience of Britain and the British to get Worcestershire correct?

It can be a problem to be correct when most of those around you are not. If I pronounce the s in St Louis, people here are liable to correct me and quote the song as evidence. I need to say: "But I have been there and they do pronounce the s". If I am too tired for this discussion then I drop the s.
Seán O'Leathlóbhair
(A British John Lawler)
You've just reminded me of a visiting American who broke his long stay in Australia with a short trip to ... visit "Doon-din". None of us had ever heard of the place. It finally clicked when he wrote it down: Dunedin.

Your Yank was not from Florida. We have a Dunedin (Done-E-Dinn) here, and challenge you to pronounce "Kissimmee".
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The only transcription I've seen here of the "correct" American ... English. How do Americans generally pronounce British names containing /A./?

Probably with the closest phoneme we have.

But there are several. I don't think we have any strong feelings about which one you should use.
While most Brits may lack an /R/, Americans are used to making the mental accent translation.

But which one? American /R/ seems to correspond to several British phonemes.
What strikes us as "wrong" with the way they say "Packard" is that they use the vowel we'd expect them to use in "card" rather than the vowel we'd expect them to use in "curd" (those are distinguished, right?)

Yes: /kA:d/ and /kV":d/. (Have I got that right? The thing that looks like /3:/ and sounds like /@:/?)
and also that they attach at least a secondary stress to a syllable that should be unstressed.

That difference makes more sense. In that case, I think we'd have to use /@/.
The problem seems to be not that we don't use the American pronunciation, but that we don't use what Americans think should be the British pronunciation. A bit too subtle for most of us!

David
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