Several French Canadian members of Canada's Olympic team have won medals in Sochi. Canadian news network CBC has opted to pronounce their names on-air in their French pronunciations, just as the athletes themselves do. Sun News, regarded by some as the Fox News of Canada, is terribly crabby about it.
(EDIT, 5:20 p.m. ET: The video has been taken down, and Sun has issued an apology.)
But don't worry, everyone! I, an American, am here to tell you how to feel about this via a collection of pithy screen caps. All quotes are taken from the video above.
Why am I showing you CBC and their coverage of the Olympics? Why? Because of the ridiculous pronunciation of the names involved.
A lot of these names, yes, they're Francophone names, but they are used in English and have a certain English pronunciation.
But if you listen to CBC, you wouldn't know that [with Anglophone accent] Charles Hamelin had won a Gold, because he's [with Francophone accent] Charles Hamelin? Que? Hm?
This is an ongoing thing where broadcasters in this country think they have to go all native and speak a foreign language just because they're pronouncing somebody's name.
The only thing I can think of of an anchor doing this would be to show you smelly bumpkins, who are only used to one language, how to pronounce these words in these communities that you have no real acquaintance with. So it's almost like a slapping, but it fell flat on its face because it sounds ridiculous.
- Can you imagine if we tried to speak English using proper pronunciation in terms of its heritage whenever it came up?
- Hopefully not. Of course, CBC's the same organization that says [using exaggerated accent] Ahffhganistraan and Phhakistahhhn and everything else.
If we took this, the way they're pronouncing the athletes' names to its natural extension, we would not say Germany, we would say Deutschland.
Finland is "Suomi." Looks like "sumo wrestler" to me.