Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dialect pronunciation on Al-Jazeera

Comrade Joseph sent me this:  "I have noticed in the last two months a very interesting development on Al-Jazeera, pursuant to other relatively recent language-related changes that have been noticeable for a while. While in the last year plus, al-Jazeera began to refer to Hilf Shimal al-Atlasi as “Hilf al-Nato,” which makes no sense in Arabic, or  to refer, for a while now, to “al-Mihraqah” as the Hulukust which also makes no sense in Arabic (and there are other English words with longstanding Arabic equivalents that are being used increasingly) not to mention Al-Jazeera’s hosting of Arab intellectuals who insist on using at least one English word in each sentence all the time, the more recent pronunciation of the “Ga” instead of the “qaf” in the names of North African persons or cities as well as of Jordanian officials and in the Gulf is noteworthy. I should note that al-Jazeera has insisted, correctly I believe, in not granting the northern and urban Egyptian pronunciation (that is erronesouly claimed as representing all “Egyptian” pronunciation when the majority of Egyptians do not uphold it) of the “jim” as “gim” entrance into its coverage (Jamal ‘Abd al-Nasir to name the most obvious example remains Jamal, and never Gamal), increasingly al-Jazeera insists not only on pronouncing the name of Qadhdhafi as Gadhdhafi or of the head of the Jordanian Mukhabarat as “Raggad” and not ‘Raqqad” but also of insisting on naming Libyan cities as “Briga” and not “Burayqa”.  Does this mean that the Egyptian city of Qina should be pronounced on al-Jazeera as “Ina” for example? Why is al-Jazeera conceding on these pronunciations and not on others?"