Pronouncing ‘Foreign’ Names Redux

Apropos the Pronouncing ‘Foreign’ Names business, Eugene Volokh reminds us that it’s not just Hispanic surnames that cause problems:

[W]hen you bring an unusual name to a foreign country, you have to expect that people won’t always pronounce it the way you do. But if you want to humor me, please say it in a way that rhymes with “Pollock” (with the accent on the first syllable, of course). It’s not the standard Russian pronunciation, but it’s the one I use myself in English.

I learned my Russian pronunciations from The Original Pavel Chekov and had always internally pronounced Eugene’s last name as if it ended with -wagon.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Boyd says:

    …as if it ended with -wagon.


    This is one of the primary reasons I continue to read OTB, James.