VOA Pronunciation Guide


If you’re the kind of news junkie or complete nerd who’s a stickler for pronouncing names in the news correctly—even if they’re complex foreign ones like Abolhassan Bani-Sadr (Ah-bol-hah-sahn Bah-nee-Sahd-[r]), or easy-to-mispronounce ones like Ahmad Chalabi (Akh-mahd Chaah-lah-bee)—this Web page, part of the U.S. government’s Voice of America network site, has the answers. It features a search engine where you can enter names (or approximations) or look through pull-down menus to search by name or by country of origin. Most of the names listed also include a speaker icon; clicking it will load a Real Audio file of how the name should sound, pronounced. Listening to George W. Bush painfully mangle Abu Ghraib (Ah-boo Grehb) three different ways in a recent speech, it’s apparent he could have used this site.