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Hoje eu falo sobre vários nomes de lugares aqui no Reino Unido, em especial na Inglaterra, cuja pronúncia eu só aprendi depois de ouvir a versão certa algumas vezes – estes nomes são muito counter-intuitive pra gente!
What’s up? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!
So today I thought I’d give you a taste of some of the names I’ve encountered since I moved to London. Not people names, but places. Until I got to hear other people say them, I mispronounced quite a few of them. Some places in the UK have names that are not that intuitive to pronounce – well, not for us Brazilians, anyway. The US has got them as well, but I find that they’re a lot more common out here.
For this podcast in particular it would really be helpful if you followed the transcript as I say the name of each place. So let’s start with some neighbourhoods in London. Take Balham and Clapham, for example; two areas below the river. I think what I find a bit unusual is the H after the letters L and P and how the H is completely silent. It’s like it’s not even there. Balham and Clapham.
Now I was very surprised first time I heard someone say Southwark, Southwark which is the name of a huge area of London. I did not expect it and I hope you’re reading these words as well so you can be surprised as well! Southwark. What about the W in there? It just… disappeared.
How about this town in West London called Ruislip? That’s right, Ruislip. I can tell you that that is not the first pronunciation that came to mind when I first saw that word. And here’s one I learned very early on, because it’s a famous market in London and it’s in people’s mouths a lot: Borough market. Not “borou”, no, but Borough. Borough market.
So when I learned that one and then I saw “borough” affixed to the names of other places, I thought “Oh, OK, I know how to say that!” Only, I was wrong. Check these ones out: Loughborough and Peterborough. There are many more like these but I’m just giving you a couple of examples. Loughborough Junction is a neighbourhood in south London and Peterborough is a town in eastern England.
Now, this one – people who move to London get up to speed on this one pretty quickly, because it’s the name of an extremely well known touristic spot in central London, Leicester Square. I’ve heard it mispronounced in all kinds of ways: leicéster, laicester. Hey, I even did it myself years ago. Nope, it’s Leicester. Leicester is a city in the English Midlands, which is the central part of England. It’s a major city in the county of Leicestershire. Yep, Leicestershire. And Worcestershire.. I had to throw that one in.
Now, here’s the name of a place many Brazilians are reasonably familiar with: Windsor, where the Windsor castle is. Not “windssor”, but Windsor. We have a similar “z” sound in Swansea, a coastal town in Wales.
Now look what happens to “mouth” when it’s attached to the end of a name: Portsmouth. We also have Plymouth. Both are port cities in the south of England, which means they’re by the sea. I’ll finish today’s episode with one of the best examples of non-intuitive pronunciation: Newquay. Make sure you check the spelling of all these places by reading the transcript, but especially this one: Newquay. That’s another coastal town in the south of England.
So I want to know: which one surprised you the most? I think for me, it was Newquay. Please let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time!
get up to speed on (something) = se atualizar, ficar sabendo sobre (alguma coisa)
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