Who changed the pronunciation of Niger?

“cash-AY” is the pronunciation for another actual word: “cachet” which, according to Webster, means, “1: a seal used esp. as a mark of offical approval; 2: a feature or quality conferring prestige; 3: a design, inscription, or advertisement printed on or stamped on mail”

Again, Webster gives “for-TAY” as a legitimate alternate pronunciation. And of course, “forte” meaning “loud” as musical instruction is correctly pronounced for-TAY. All of my music teachers said “FOR-tay”, though.

Also, cachet is French while forte is Italian, and different rules apply :slight_smile:

It’s French, too; both words share the same Latin root, fortis. We can quibble about which language the English usage is primarily borrowed from, but consider the context in which I would say one usually hears the word in English:

“Pronunciation is not my forte.”

Here the term is used as a noun, as it is in French, to mean an area in which one excels. The Italian word is a musical term used to indicate the manner in which a passage of music should be performed, either as an adjective or an adverb:

“This passage is to be played forte.”

I would submit that, in English, one most often hears the word used as a noun, which clearly borrows from the French. In fact, I can only recall hearing the word used as an adjective or adverb in the context of music.

I should also point out that the French word can be used as an adjective or adverb in addition to being used as a noun.

I assume you mean mispronunciation as in the UK “Jay kweeze” for Jaques and “Jag yOU -are” for jaguar.

Remember -----Neezhair is the french pronunciation of an applied word for a country[area]that was there before they horned in!


Squink, you know it’s pronounced UrANUS. Otherwise it would be dirty. Not UR-anus of course. :wink:

I read somewhere that the name of the river Niger, which gave its name to the 2 nations, although apparently from the Latin word for black, since black people lived there, similar to the name Sudan from the Arabic word meaning ‘black peoples’, the name Niger is really derived from a phrase in the Berber language Tamashek of the Touareg, native to the upper Niger River. Something about flowing water, IIRC. I really wish I knew Berber. There’s practically no school that teaches it, let alone finding good study materials on it. I’m Sicilian, so I undoubtedly have Berber ancestors from North Africa. Sicilians are African-Americans in a sense, you know. Spike Lee proved that to John Turturro in Do the Right Thing. Dennis Hopper was murdered by Christopher Walken in a sudden fit of rage in True Romance for saying the same thing. Dice che i siciliani erano generati da neri. Ha ha. BANG! BANG!

Where’s the Moroccan gentleman who used to post here? Haven’t seen him around since it went pay. Maybe he could help out with some Berber vocabulary.

I’ll tell you what’s confusing. The adjectival form, what you call people from that country. Nigerian was already taken. What’s left? People from Niger are called Nigérien, essentially the exact same word, only in French. Mais hélas, one despairs of ever getting Yanks to pronounce the French uvular r, let alone the final nasalized vowel. Faute de mieux, I imagine its pronunciation would be adapted to be American Anglophones’ phonemic capabilities, while still being able to be told apart from “Nigerian.” Nee-zhair-i@n as opposed to Nai-jeer-i@n. N’est-ce pas?

The saving grace is that apart from the odd famine or misadventure involving uranium, no one ever need talk about the place. And for those rare occasions when you do need to, you can always go straight for circulocution: “People from Niger,” instead of “Nigeriens.”

James Strongs Concordance on the King James Bible pronounces this word as
Nee ger it is not ni jer or any other false doctrine
if you want to know any words of the Bible purchase Strong’s concordance for the Bible
and get a old dictionary say in the 1882-1950

you will also find the word nigger as meaning any member of a dark skin race
case closed

Well as a Brit that’s a new one for me. I honestly don’t think I have ever heard it.

Jaguar I’ll give you though.

Let’s face it, all languages pronounce words from other languages right. For every “jaguar” in the US there’s a “smörgåsbord”. For every “Niger” in the UK there’s a “jaguar”. There’s no real rhyme or reason for it. It just happens. We’re all crap. Together.

Which is irrelevant to the question of how to pronounce the name of a former French colony which became an independent country in 1960.

I’m very confused. You bumped a five-year-old thread to make this post but you left out a lot of information. What makes James Strong a reliable source on this? Why do you prefer a dictionary from the late 19th or early 20th century? Dictionaries are guides to current use. You also seem to be under the impression that one person can declare what a word means. That’s not how it works. Words acquire their meaning based on how people used them.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Regardless, a definitive statement of how the word is to be pronounced when encountered in Acts 13:1 of the KJV is, as I said, irrelevant to the pronounciation of the country’s name.

Me neither. The surname “Jaques” or “Jacques” is pronounced “Jakes”. On Googling it, I find that the character from As You Like It is apparently sometimes pronounced “Jakeys” or even “Jay-quease”.

Persia/Iran and Burma/Myanmar represent actual official changes in the countries’ names, not different terminologies in different places.

Burma vs. Myanmar is a little more complicated than some of the others, which are just straightforward name changes made after the countries gained independence. That country’s name was changed when the military dictatorship took over in 1989 and some people and organizations won’t call the country Myanmar because they don’t want to acknowledge that government. According to Wikipedia there is also this issue:

Sure. You can say “Burma” for the physical country and “Myanmar” for the regime, if you want to make a point of it. But it’s not a matter of language or location of the speaker; there was a change.

Confederatio Helvetica, of course. With an ablative absolute.

guys, can’t you see that these di-viss-ive posts are tearing us apart?

This is so plausible that it should be true. Any luck in confirming this in the five years since this thread was active?

When I need to say it, I pronounce that country’s name as “Enword”, just to be safe.

This also solves the adjectival form; a person from Enword is an Enwordian.