Talk:Tonga

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American accents?[edit]

I know Japan is not the Japanese word for their country, they say "Nippon" or "Nihon" but Tongans actually say "Tonga" for their country, except they don't say it with an American accent. And I know Karaoke is pronounced in the US like "Care - E - O - Key" which I think is OK (o-key) since there no rolled R in American English (the Scotts have it, we don't) and when I am talking about it with other Americans I say care-E-O-key, but Americans can actually pronounce "Tonga" correctly even with our limited sounds. The T is a little harder almost exactly like the 'tt' in "little" (lidle) and the "ng" is pronounced together like in "sing" ("toneg-a" rather than "tone-ga"). It is almost exactly the same way you say "tong" like the utensil, except use a long O (as in "tone"). Tanga /ˈtɑŋ.ɡə/ is a city in Tanzania, which has no affiliation what so ever with the Pacific Kingdom. Growing up in Hawaii I have heard "Hawai`i" said in a plethora of ways, including my grandparents calling it "how-why-yuh" and, yes most people will understand it but, what about saying it properly? is that elitist? That is how I grew up saying it, not like i grew up saying "Huh-Y-ee" then decided to say it right later. "W" says Nucular when referring to all things "Nuclear", he is our president, yet in the dictionary entry they decided to use the "proper" pronunciation.

Now the QUESTION: should we perpetuate the mispronunciation /ˈtɑŋ.ɡə/ and let people continue to think we are clueless or, for a word that we can actually pronounce with our language, should we put a more correct pronunciation? (/toʊŋ.ɑ/)

(I can say it semi-properly with an American accent (I can not imitate a Tongan accent) and then have a native Tongan say it to see the difference if that would help the discussion. This is not to dis on anyone since the OOG is exactly how MOST Americans say it, but as in "nucular", it just isn't right, which is the crux of the question.) -- BillyNair 02:42, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

This is the kind of thing people have been debating for decades. A good case in point is Beijing which most people pronunce "incorrectly" as Bayzzhing. When "corrected", they are usually told to pronunce it as Bay-jing. However how far are we supposed to go? Mandarin is a tonal language, so are they supposed to put it in the right tones as well (i.e. Běijīng?) It all seems a bit ridiculous. All languages on this planet transliterate foreign countries, languages, etc in ways often quite different to how they are said in the mother language (hello, Netherlands). But there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, IMO, as long as there is some consensus on what the pronunciation really should be. As for Tonga, I don't see a problem with putting both pronunciations there. Tooironic 03:44, 14 November 2009 (UTC)