I want to ask you if there's some special rule about pronouncing foreign names with or without accent. For example, can I say Fedor or Andrey in native russian manner and with russian accent or should I say it with english accent? Is it appropriate?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Peter Shor , user140086, tchrist Jan 7 '17 at 21:21

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  • 1
    If a native Francophone with excellent command of spoken English happens to mention Paris while speaking in English, you wouldn't expect him to enunciate it as Paree unless he's being deliberately facetious. – FumbleFingers Jan 7 '17 at 17:47
  • If you're talking to English speakers who don't know Russian, and you want them to be able to understand and repeat it, it's might be best to use English phonemes (this isn't necessarily the way it's spelled). For example, if you have the Czech name Jiří, you can pronounce it Yeerzhy and not Jeery, but you might want to avoid using the unpronounceable (for us) consonant ř. – Peter Shor Jan 7 '17 at 17:53
  • It depends. In the US, there's a lot of using Spanish pronunciation for Spanish names by Spanish speakers speaking English. Of course, there is no rule for pronouncing names. One can pronounce names any way one likes. It's interesting that the Brits pronounce Ibiza as Ibitha as per Iberian Spanish but there is no real reason to do that. And recently, I heard another presenter pronounce an tes ending from Iberian Portuguese like the Portuguese do (kind of blurring it) instead of actually pronouncing the tes, which, if speaking slowly the Portuguese would not do....so.... – Lambie Jan 7 '17 at 17:55

There are conventions for these things across Europe and elsewhere. Sometimes foreigners use the same spellings for proper nouns, sometimes different ones. A few examples might highlight the fact that this is a massive topic across the world.

Marseilles is spelt with an s in both French and English but everywhere pronounced MARSAY.

Lyons has an s in English, but not in French, but is pronounced in both places as LEE-On.

Antwerp in English is Anvers in French and Antwerpen in Flemish - and pronounced accordingly.

Geneva is Genève in French, Genf in German, Ginevra in Italian, and Genevra in Romanish and pronounced accordingly.

The French surname Jacques is usually pronounced JAKES in English.

There are often marked differences between the way Americans and British render foreign names. President Clinton (and most Americans) used to say KOOSOVO whilst British officials always said KOSSUVER.

These things are not so much the subject of rule as of conventions, often with little rhyme or reason attached to them.

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