英語小教室 ~ 如何正確唸英國地方名字  How to pronounce English place names like a local

學英文說難不難,說易不易(其實這句話真有點廢😕)。
For non native English speakers, speaking English isn’t always as simple as it seems. 

學懂拼音就很容易,難就難在同一個字母或一串字母,在不同的字裡發音可能不一樣。例如 wait 跟 fair 兩個生字都有 ai,但發音就不一樣。反而 wait 跟 weight 串法不同,但發音卻一樣。
You would think that if you learn the phonetic alphabet, it should be quite easy. That’s true to a certain extent, until you come across words that are spelt similarly but pronounced differently like wait and fair both have ‘ai’ but are pronounced differently. Or wait and weight both sound the same.

到英國旅遊,工作或留學,經常都會遇到 一些不知道怎樣讀的地方名,甚至可能讀錯也不知道。 今次跟大家談談一些英國的地方名字,他日到英國可能有幫助喔。
Today I’m going to talk about some English place names that maybe you don’t know to pronounce properly, hopefully it will help you if you go to England.


 

倫敦市中心有泰晤士河 The River Thames。其實它並沒有”愛”的音,正確讀音是 Tems,像 ten 只是 ‘n’ 換上’m’ 而已,再加一個 s 就行。
The River Thames runs through central London and beyond, but the ‘a’ sound doesn’t appear in the name. It is actually pronounced Tems like ‘ten’ with with an n instead of m and an s on the end.

著名的杜莎夫人蠟像館位於 Marylebone Road 上。 這是倫敦市中心一條主要的幹道,但請不要讀 Mary-le-bone啊,應該是 Ma (媽)-la-bon才對!
The famous Madam Tussauds Wax Museum is on Marylebone Road in central London. Marylebone Road is one of the major ring roads in London, and is pronounced Ma-le-bon, not Mary-Le-Bone.

足球迷應該知道倫敦有一隊熱刺足球隊,Tottenham Hot Spurs。球隊基地在倫敦北部 Tottenham,而這個地方是讀 Tot-en-um,不是 Tot-ten-ham。除非是單獨自己一個 “ham”(火腿) 字,例如 ham sandwich,否則如果 “ham” 在一個字的尾部,都不用特別強調發這個音,輕輕一聲 “um” 就可以。
Football fans (that’s soccer for a lot of people outside of England) will know of Tottenham Hot Spurs, based at Tottenham in north London. This is pronounced Tet-en-um not Tot-ten-ham. Unless “ham” is on its own like “ham sandwich”, whenever you see ‘ham’ at the end of a place name, the “ham” becomes a silent sound like “um”.

同樣英國其他地方如 Nottingham, Birmingham 和 Durham都一樣。要留意一點,Durham 這所英格蘭其中一家最古舊學府不是讀 Dur-ham,是 Duh-rum
Likewise for places like Nottingham, Birmingham and Durham, the “ham” at the end all becomes a silent “um”, there is no need to emphasize it as a separate loud syllable. By the way, Durham, which is one of the oldest universities in England is pronounced Duh-rum.

講開足球,就算你不是足球迷都應該聽過萬人迷貝克漢姆/碧咸吧?他英文名字 Beckham又怎樣讀?大家現在應該知道了。
Whilst we’re on the topic of football, even if you’re not a football fan, no doubt you would have heard of David Beckham. Now you know how to pronounce his name properly.

Credit : GQ Magazine

 

跟 ham一樣,如果 wickwark 或是 wich在一個名字尾部, 這些地點的發音只要省掉 w 就行。
Like ham, if you see wick, wark or wich at the end of a place name, the w becomes silent.

例如 Warwick 有一座超過 1100年老的中世紀古堡,是 War-ick castle。Chiswick 是倫敦西部一個很優雅的住宅區,發音是 Ch-sikSouthwark在倫敦市中心倫敦橋旁,發音是 Sou-thuk
For example Warwick has a castle which is over 1100 years old and dates back to the medieval times, it is called War-ick Castle. Chiswick is a lovely suburban area in the west of London, it is pronounced Chi-sik, and Southwark which is near London Bridge is pronounced Sou-thuk.

Credit : http://www.warwick-castle.com

大家可能也聽過Greenwich Mean Time GMT 格林尼治標準時間。從倫敦市中心坐火車去Greenwich只需要10分鐘,是一個很美的地方,很值得去。買火車票跟職員說去 Gren-itch 就可以。
You would have all heard of Greenwich Mean Time GMT.  Greenwich is a lovely village about 10 minutes away from central London by train. You can read about it here. It makes a great day out if you’re visiting London, and if you go, just ask for a train ticket to Gren-itch.


 

省掉字母的地方名還有包括 ces ,ces 會變成 s。到英國旅遊血拼必會去牛津附近的 Bicester Village 。不要跟人家說我要去 Bi-ces-ter啊,正確發音是 Bis-ter.
Silent sounds also includes ces which simply becomes s. If you come to England looking for quality bargains, you will most likely be heading to Bicester Village near Oxford to help the UK economy. This is called Bis-ter Village not Bi-ces-ter Village.

Credit : http://www.shopological.com

倫敦唐人街旁的 Leicester Square 集中多家豪華電影院,新電影首影的紅地毯都在這裡舉辦。這地點正確發音是 Lester square 跟男生的名字一樣發音。
Leicester Square at London West End is where all the movie premiers and red carpet events are held. It has many top quality cinemas showing all the latest blockbusters. Leicester Square is pronounced Lester Square.

大家有沒有見過這瓶調味料?這是 Worcestershire Sauce原產於一處名 Worcester的地方,在大文豪莎士比亞出生地 Stratford upon Avon 附近。英國人一般會稱 Worcester Sauce,香港人稱李派林喼汁。它有點辣,但又有點甜酸味,總之就是有它獨特的配方吧!只要加一兩滴到食物上就會帶出另一番味道。著名雞尾酒血瑪莉也有加啊!告訴大家,Worcester 正確發音是 Woos-ter
Have you seen this type of sauce before? It’s called Worcestershire Sauce or simple Worcester Sauce by us Brits. It originates from a place called Worcester which is not far away from Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare was born. The sauce has a unique sweet tangy flavour and a hint of hot spiciness. Just one or two drops enhances the flavour of the dish. It goes into a good glass of Bloody Mary as well. Worcester is pronounced Woos-ter.

Credit : Wikipedia

離開 Worcester 不遠有 Gloucester,一個至古羅馬已有的城市。大家猜猜這個地方怎麼讀? 全對!是 Glos-ter
And finally, not far away from Worcester, is Gloucester, a beautiful old town that dates back to the Roman times. Guess how that’s pronounced? Yes, you got it! Glos-ter.


 

最後,加多幾個有趣的地名發音
Mousehole >>> Mow-zel
Aldeburgh >>> All-bruh
Reading >>> Red-ing (可看我這個帖子)

Congresbury >>> Cons-bry

Godmanchester >>>Gum-ster

不要問我這些地方名字為甚麼這樣讀,或者有甚麼竅門。我也不知啊! 只可以告訴你知,這些地點應該從古時侯已存在,以前發音可能跟寫法是一樣。又或是經過多年來文化的改變,地方名字發音也一起變了。啊!除了這兩個解釋,還有一個 ~ that’s just the way it is!

Last and not the least, I got a few more fun ones for you
Mousehole is Mow-zel
Aldeburgh is All-bruh (thanks to a fellow blogger for introducing me to this place)
Reading is Red-ing (you can read my post here)

Congresbury is Cons-bry, and finally my favourite one
Godmanchester is Gum-ster

Don’t ask me why these place names are pronounced as they are, or if there are any techniques that you can learn. I have no idea at all. All I can say is that these are likely to be ancient place names, which perhaps used to be pronounced differently in the old days.  As time has gone by, so have how we pronounce them today. Oh! There’s another reason ~ that’s just the way it is!

21 thoughts on “英語小教室 ~ 如何正確唸英國地方名字  How to pronounce English place names like a local

Add yours

  1. If it makes anyone feel better, native English speakers get place names wrong all the time. I’m an American living in Britain, and I regularly have to ask how places are pronounced. Widemouth Bay is pronounced Wid-muth, but Sandymouth is pronounced Sandy-mouth. For no reason I can figure out.

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    1. Darn! I just noticed I have a typo, it should read tot-en-un and and not tet-en-un! But you’re absolutely right, we seem to lose more and more vowels nowadays.

      By they way, thanks for following me, though I noticed you have followed my old site where I don’t post anymore. I post from this blog now https://livinguktaiwan.com/
      Would be great to see you there! Thanks

      Have a great day!

      Like

      1. mmm… that’s weird, you should land on the front page of my blog, and there should be a follow me button on the bottom right of the page and also on the right panel. Hope you can find it as I don’t see you on my current follow list

        I’m really sorry, I never ask for follows as it’s rude, I only raised it because I saw you had followed my old blog. Thanks a lot. ^_^

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  2. As a native brit – even I struggle with some of the really odd ones, and Norfolk has some of the best:

    Happisburgh -> Hays-bruh
    Little Hautbois -> Little Hobbis
    Costessey – >Coss-ey

    Its basically a minefield for native speakers too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, some of these names are very local which you wouldn’t know unless you live nearby. I’ll keep a look out for these Norfolk ones next time I go there!

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  3. I found this delightful to read, I’m a native English speaker myself. Thank you for this lovely post 😀

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