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Why do Americans pronounce centaurs "centars"???

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
On the radio ads from the 50s and before, Protein is pronounce "Pro-tee-enn" instead of "Pro-teen"...

Edit: It's not quite as extreme as the radio ones, but you can here some of it in this TV ad from the 60s
around :11, and twice just after :29, and again a few times more.
That's how I always pronounced it. :D

But, if an English word is very similar to an Italian one, I noticed that I tend to pronounce it similarly to the Italian pronunciation....
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, assuming by “ah” you mean the thing I think you mean, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody (even on US TV!) say those words like that. Even on American TV they say it they way I do. “Orto”, “Plorsible”. It must be a regionalism local to you?
Maybe. I've been in California since I was 13 and I'm 51 now, so my memory of Michigan and how things were pronounced there is spotty.
 



billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
If I try to imagine someone saying 'claustrophobic" in a Midwest accent it sounds a bit like 'ah'. I can't get my head around 'plahsible' though.

Important point to bear in mind here is that we don't actually all hear the same sounds as each other. Depending on the languages and dialects to which you're exposed, especially when growing up, your brain learns to distinguish and group different sounds. So it's entirely possible for me and you to hear two distinct vowels where someone from across the Atlantic can hear only one, and vice versa. My girlfriend finds it hilarious that I struggle to distinguish 'ou' and 'u' in standard French.

Further complicating things is that, not only do we hear different sounds, but we label them differently as well. The way that I would pronounce the vowel in 'hot' or 'top' would, for me, define what a short 'o' sounds like, but to American ears it apparently sounds more like an 'a'. Which is funny because the standard American pronunciation of that vowel sounds closer to an 'a' to me.
Yeah, there's gotta be something in the hearing. When I see the references to 'clahstrophobic' and 'plahsible', the sound doesn't seem right unless someone's from Boston where they "pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd". Nor does 'orto' or 'plorsible'.

What I would characterize as the standard American TV accent should render the au in those words as aw (pronounced aw-ful, awe-some). So you get 'clawstrophobic' and 'plawsible'.
 






American English is pretty varied. I am actually trying to think of how people where I live pronounce Centaur and I am pretty sure it isn't 'centar' here. But I'd need to grab someone with a thicker accent and ask them to say it (and now I am too conscious of the question to say it honestly myself lol)

EDIT: Also I am pretty sure I say pronounce the 'aur' like in dinosaur
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I watch a lot of videos on YouTube from the Sorted Food channel, which is a small gaggle of British guys, each with a different accent, and the way they pronounce things ranges from hilarious to painful.

Brits shouldn’t be allowed to say “taco” until they learn how to say it right.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
I watch a lot of videos on YouTube from the Sorted Food channel, which is a small gaggle of British guys, each with a different accent, and the way they pronounce things ranges from hilarious to painful.

Brits shouldn’t be allowed to say “taco” until they learn how to say it right.
I imagine they're using a fair bit of oregano and basil in some meals
 


embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
With the "ah" sound.

Au(ah)spicious
Au(ah)dacity
Au(ah)to
Clau(ah)strophobia
Menopau(ah)se
Plau(ah)sible

Everyone I've ever met and heard say these words and other "au" words has also pronounced them that way. Except dinosaur. There may be some other exceptions, but I cannot recall those words at the moment. Perhaps it's an American thing, since @turnip_farmer is from England. Do you pronounce them the way he does?
Do(AW)g
Co(AW)ffee
Ta(AW)lk
Wa(AW)lk
 

With the "ah" sound.

Au(ah)spicious
Au(ah)dacity
Au(ah)to
Clau(ah)strophobia
Menopau(ah)se
Plau(ah)sible

Everyone I've ever met and heard say these words and other "au" words has also pronounced them that way. Except dinosaur. There may be some other exceptions, but I cannot recall those words at the moment. Perhaps it's an American thing, since @turnip_farmer is from England. Do you pronounce them the way he does?

I may be misunderstanding how you are using 'ah' but I think the au's I pronounce and people around me pronounce, as 'aw' (like paws). Seems mostly about how these words are pronounced on the US east coast (north east last, probably changes further south).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I may be misunderstanding how you are using 'ah' but I think the au's I pronounce and people around me pronounce, as 'aw' (like paws). Seems mostly about how these words are pronounced on the US east coast (north east last, probably changes further south).
Sounds pretty much the same.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I’m an Army Brat in the USA, so moving every 2-4 years (including 3 years in Bavaria) weirded my accent & pronunciation.

For me:

Au(aw)spicious
Au(aw)dacity
Au(aw)to
Clau(ow)strophobia
Menopau(ah)se
Plau(aw)sible
 


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