Sports names can be a tricky thing. With big names in Australia and around the world coming from a raft of different heritages and cultures, we can often get the pronunciation wrong.
Here are some of the most famous athletes in Australia and the world that have names you have likely been saying wrong for a long time.
Daniel Ricciardo has Italian heritage and an Italian pronunciation of his name
Daniel Ricciardo (Ri-chi-ardo)
This one is confusing because it is not only fans and commentators that have pronounced the F1 star’s surname as ‘Ri-cardo’, Daniel himself has been heard saying it that way.
The correct way to pronounce his surname is Ri-chi-ardo and you will find his Italian family say it this way. Interestingly, when Daniel is in the presence of his family, he will also pronounce it the traditional Italian way with the ‘i’.
It is likely he succumbed to saying ‘Ri-Cardo’ over the years to avoid confusion or because he just got sick of correcting others.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is commonly referred to as ‘the Greek Freak’
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Nigerian: YAHN-nees AH-ded-KOOM-poh) (Greek: AHN-teh-toh-KOOM-poh)
One of the biggest names in the NBA outside of LeBron James just so happens to be very hard to pronounce.
Making things more complicated is the fact that Giannis has Nigerian parents that raised him in Greece. That means two pronunciations, the traditional Greek way and the Nigerian way. This is why most people will simply refer to him by his nickname, the Greek Freak.
Manchester United forward Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus (GAY-bree-uhl JAY-zooss)
When most people in the western world see Jesus, they pronounce it Jee-zuz. For those living in Latin nations, the ‘J’ often becomes silent for ‘Hay-zooss’.
The Arsenal and Brazilian forward complicates things with a bit of a fusion pronunciation, retaining the hard consonant ‘j’ while applying the Latin ‘zooss’ to the end.
Former Olympian Jana Pittman also competed at the Winter Olympics
Jana Pittman (Yah-nah Pitt-man)
Being unique is nothing strange for this Aussie athlete who started as a hurdler and finished as a bobsledder at the Winter Olympics. Typically, her first name is pronounced using a hard ‘j’ like Jane-uh, Jarn-uh or Jan-uh. Pittman’s is different, though, pronounced Yah-nah, like former 60 Minutes journalist Jana Wendt.
Bruno Fernandes has a very unique pronunciation of his name
Bruno Fernandes (BROO-noh Fur-nandsh)
Typically we are used to pronouncing this surname with a ‘fuh’ or ‘huh’ sound. For example, ‘Fuh-nan-dez’ or Huh-nan-dez’. However this Portuguese name uses the traditional tongue to mash the ‘dez’ sound at the end down to a ‘dshh’ sound.
Parramatta enforcer Junior Paulo
Junior Paulo (Joo-nee-ah Bar-loh)
There are many complex Polynesian names in the NRL and the average football fan is going to struggle with names like Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. Commentators have dedicated training sessions to ensure they are not only pronouncing Polynesian names correctly, but also in line with Samoan and Tongan dialects.
One name many fans thought they had locked down was Parramatta prop Junior Paulo, pronounced ‘Poor-loh’. However that is incorrect, because a capital P is pronounced with a B sound in Samoa. On top of this, his name is pronounced with a ‘Bar’ sound rather than ‘Pau’ which we are familiar with in the Anglo Saxon name Paul.
Young Roosters NRL talent Joseph Sua’ali’i
Joseph Sua’ali’i (Soo-ah-ah-li-ee)
The young giant from the Sydney Roosters has quickly announced himself as an NRL force, but fans and commentators are still adjusting to saying his name correctly.
‘It’s actually pronounced Joseph Sua’ali’i,’ he said.
‘It’s kind of like how people used to say Papalii, but it’s Papali’i.
‘Honestly, I’m not too stressed about it [being pronounced correctly] to be honest, but I’d be happy if everyone pronounced it the right way.’
Dane Gagai playing for the Maroons
Dane Gagai (Gug-eye)
The Queensland Maroons and Australian Kangaroos veteran has been stuck with the pronunciation ‘Gag-eye’ most of his career, event to this day. However in the correct Torres Straits dialect, it is actually pronounced ‘Gug-eye’.
Pepe is not pronounced the way you think it is
We all pronounced the great all-time leading goal scorer for Brazil Pelé as Pel-eh, so it stands to reason that FC Porto’s centre back Pepe would be pronounced Pep-eh. Except we are wrong.
It is just Pep, no ‘eh’ at the end. UEFA officially corrected this in an official pronunciation guide, clearing the air by stating: ‘Pepe does not use that second vowel if you pronounce his name in Portuguese’.
Christian Petracca (Pet-rah-cah)
The Melbourne Demons superstar is constantly getting his surname mixed up by commentators and fans who use the very Aussie pronunciation ‘Pet-rack-ah’.
However, given his Italian heritage, the correct way to say his surname is ‘Pet-rah-cah’. ‘For the commentators listening, pay attention,’ he said in an AFL.com.au video.
Nic Naitanui’s name has been pronounced incorrectly for years
Nic Naitanui (Nate-a-noo-ee)
The West Coast Eagles ruckman actually let this go for a long time, only correctly fans and commentators in 2020. It seemed to make little difference, though, as Aussie still mostly pronounced his name ‘Nic Natter-nui’.
Even commentators have stuck with that pronunciation, although the correct way to say Nic Nat’s name in his native Fiji is ‘Nic Nate-a-noo-ee’.
Bruce McAvaney’s dad was not happy with the family name being pronounced wrong
Bruce McAvaney (Mac-a-vanny)
It is not just the players that have their surname’s butchered, one of the most iconic sports callers in Australian history has had his name pronounced wrong for decades.
‘My father once said to me, ‘Why don’t you tell everyone we’re McAvaney [pronounced Mac-a-vanny] and not McAvaney [pronounced Mac-a-veiny]?’ the legendary sports broadcaster said in 2017.
‘I said, ‘Dad I don’t really care.’ He said, ‘Oh well I do’ but he’s no longer with us dear old dad so it is McAvaney [Mac-a-vanny] but everyone calls me McAvaney [Mac-a-veiny].
‘I’ve been called worse.’
Every single football player in every country
Correct pronunciation is not something that has been widely embraced by many Aussie. They simply sound out how it should be phonetically and run with that.
However The World Game includes thousands of different languages and dialects so these names are often pronounced differently in their native tongue.
Aussie commentator Lucy Zelic recently came under fire for having the decency to research the correct pronunciation of opposition player names and quickly clapped back at her detractors, saying she was being respectful.
Source of data and images: dailymail
The post The sports stars’ names you’ve been saying WRONG all along first appeared on Elrisala.
Sports names can be a tricky thing. With big names in Australia and around the world coming from a raft of different heritages and cultures, we can often get the pronunciation wrong. Here are some of the most famous athletes in Australia and the world that have names you have likely been saying wrong for …
The post The sports stars’ names you’ve been saying WRONG all along first appeared on Elrisala. Sports – Elrisala