Sunday, August 26, 2012

iPod and iPad in Spanish

WARNING: International Phonetic Alphabet ahead. I try to make it easy for people who don't know IPA, which is most of you, and people who don't see the symbols. IPA makes this kind of discussion way easier.

There are only two things I wanted to find online that I couldn't: 1. Train schedules for the railroads in my town and 2. How Spanish speakers pronounce "iPad" and "iPod". I did a bunch of searches for the second thing and couldn't find anything.

Apple's iPad has the worst product name ever. It sounds like "iPod" with an annoying accent. In fact, most languages don't distinguish the vowel /æ/ in "iPad" from the vowel /ɑ/ in "iPod". Most of them merge them together into /a/, which sounds similar to /ɑ/. So I asked my Facebook friends. They said it's "like in English". This doesn't help me. The English pronunciations are /aipæd/ and /aipɑd/, and Spanish would merge them both into /aipad/. Spanish spelling suggests /ipað/ "ee-pahth" and /ipoð/ "ee-pohth".

I found a page about how Japanese speakers say iPad and iPod. They say /aipad/ for "iPad", which sounds more like "iPod" to me, and /aipod/ or /aipoud/ for "iPod", which sounds like "eye-pode". This is interesting because Japanese doesn't allow "d" at the end of a syllable. Japanese syllables only end with a vowel or "n".

So I asked two actual Spanish speakers in person. They both told me they pronounce it "like in English", /aipad/ and /aipad/. (Final /d/ may have been /ð/ because final /d/ in Spanish always becomes /ð/.) One may have been /aipɑd/, but I definitely did not hear /aipæd/ or even /aipɛd/ or /aiped/. So they basically say them the same.

The final lesson: Apple doesn't respect people who don't speak English. Gives me less reason to respect Apple.

No comments:

Post a Comment