md0 wrote:Spelling pronunciations like that are so common they are not really surprising any more.
Oh definitely. This certainly happened with names from Latin-based orthographies in the Soviet Union reaching English-speaking countries through Russian transliterations.Since the original orthography of these names is
the Latin alphabet, the change to a completely different spelling in the Latin alphabet can look bizarre (and can also completely mangle the pronunciation, as with the Khashoggi and Fobhar examples that came into other languages through English). Hiiemäe
becomes nearly unrecognizable as Khiyemyae
(through the Russian transliteration Хийемяэ), Jõelähtme
(through Russian Йыэляхтме) and so on.
One rather famous example is that supposedly the Estonian island of Hiiumaa was at one point identified as "Ostrov Khiuma" in the Encyclopedia Britannica. (It may be apocryphal in that specific form, i.e. with the Russian word "ostrov" as part of the name, but I have in fact seen the spelling "Khiuma" on old maps and elsewhere, including as an "alternate spelling" in the Encyclopedia Britannica.) The original spelling is Hiiumaa but the Soviet Russian spelling was Хиума and from that it ended up written as Khiuma in English.
linguoboy wrote:One of my colleagues was pained at the thought of having to get rid of some books so I told her to imagine them "frolicking on a farm upstate". Our Cuban student worker was in the room and asked, "'Frolic'? What is that?" When we explained her reaction was, "You have a word for that? Every language is a different kind of crazy."
I don't know how common its use is in Cuba specifically, but the Spanish word retozar
is pretty close. Naturally it wouldn't normally be used to describe books, but that's true in English as well.
But I agree with the sentiment: language certainly can be inventive.