30 JANUARY 1942, Page 10

If, therefore, we admit that some concession at least must

be made to the fact that fqreign names are foreign, is there any general system which can be devised to increase conviction and diminish rage? . Everybody, I suppose, would agree that there are certain foreign names which are so familiar as to have become part of the English language, and that such names should be pronounced as if they were as English as Ricksmansworth. Nobody but an ass, for instance, would pronounce. Paris, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam or Copenhagen in an un-English voice. There are, however, a number of other names which, although familiar, are not yet completely anglicised, such as "Lyons," "Calais," " Marseilles " and " Rheims." There are foreign names, which, although little known in this island, are accorded 211 eccentric rendering by local British residents, such as " Algeciras' and " Salonica." There are many places again which we have been taught to mispronounce at school and which' we have sins learnt are pronounced quite differently in their home towns, such as " Vladivostodc," " Sebastopol " or " Smolensk." And, finahl there are the countless names with which we are not ourselves familiar but which we know from experience are probably not pronounced in their own language in the same manner as we pronounce " Worthing " or " Stroud." Should we, for instance, say " Neaster " or "Dniestr," " Jerrez " or " Chereth "? Most reasonably modest _people could, I suggest, answer these problems for themselves. In nine cases out of ten, for instance, I kilo in my own soul whether I am seeking solely to convey en! meaning or whether I am also seeking to impress people with 3 wide command of foreign languages. On this basis, three general rules could, I suggest, be devised. (z) Names which ought to be known to the ordinary child who has passed school certificate should be pronounced in the -English way. (a) Other natno should be pronounced in such a way as to enable the ordinal! listener to identify them upon the map. (3) When in douht remember that no foreign name should ever be pronounced it such a way as to indicate superior erudition, taste or delicacl on the part of the speaker. How easy all that sounds! Yd am I really in future to speak about "Canis" and " Reams And will the Oriental expert really be satisfied if the announcer talks about " Pa Levi "? Much more modesty and unselfishness is, above all, needed both on the part of those who speak as those who hear.