31 October 2016


I was listening to the midday news on RTB Nasional FM today, and once again I heard Calais pronounced as /kʌlaɪs/ rather than the expected /kæleɪ/. Given the frequency with which this name crops up at the moment, as the French police are trying to clear the migrants camped there, one would have thought that RTB announcers might try and get it right.

Or maybe the standard pronunciation in Malay actually is /kʌlaɪs/. Given the reasonably close association between pronunciation and spelling in Malay, perhaps the norm is to closely follow the spelling for all foreign names.

However, if that is the case, surely it should be /tʃʌlaɪs/ rather than /kʌlaɪs/, as 'c' is always pronounced as /tʃ/ in Malay.