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XIV. On the other hand, names in languages of which the characters cannot be readily converted into Roman letters, or which are but little known as written languages, are usually spelled according to their sound in some well known European tongue. Thus the name of one of the cities of Persia is written in English, Shooster or Shuster, in German Schuster, and in French Chouster, precisely the saine sound being expressed by these different spellings.
We find in English works of the highest character, these various modes of writing oriental and other names, employed indiscriminately. Thus in McCulloch's Geographical Dictionary, under the article SuuSTER, we find within the space of eight lines Khuzistan, (KHOOZISTAN), Karoon and Dezphoul, (Dezfool); the first name being, as regards the sound of the vowels, German or Italian, the second English, and the third French. On the map of Persia, published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, names written according to these three different modes, occur promiscuously in almost every part. Even the same name is frequently spelled differently in different parts of the same work. Thus on the map just mentioned Oorra is written
Orfa or Ourfa,” while on another of the same set it is spelled Ursa. In the Penny Cyclopædia, we find Boossa and Boussa, Soodan and Sudan, Toorkistan and Turkistan, &c. McCulloch gives SHUMLA (Shoomla) under its proper head, but mentioning the town in another place writes it Schumla: in the same article, Africa, he has both Soodan and Soudan, each occurring several times: under MOGADORE he gives Shwera (more properly Sweera) as the Moorish name of this town; afterwards, in enumerating the principal fortified and garrison towns of Morocco, he gives Suira (pronounced Sweera), without so much as mentioning the name of MOGADORE. As neither Schumla nor Suira are to be found in his gazetteer, under their respective heads, it is scarcely possible that any one unacquainted with the different modes of writing these names, should know what places are meant by them, or in what part of his work to look for information respecting them.
XV. In order to avoid the perplexity and confusion resulting from the diversity which prevails in the mode of writing oriental names and others of the same class, we have made it a point always to spell them after the English manner, except in a few instances where a different spelling appears to have become thoroughly established by usage. Accordingly we have given OORPA, SOODAN, TOORKISTAN, &c., as
the preferable mode of writing such names; at the same time, under the beads of Ourfa and Urfa, Soudan and Sudan, and TURKISTAN, the reader will find a reference to the names as spelled in the English manner, to which he must look for a description of those places. By adopting this plan, it is believed that the correct pronunciation of oriental names will be taught in the simplest and easiest manner; the perplexity and error into which the prevailing inconsistent mode of writing such names, has sometimes led even well-informed geographers,* will be avoided ; and the apparent contradictions which are so often met with in our most popular geographical works, will be accounted for and reconciled.
* The reader may be referred to the case of Schirvan and Shirvan, already men. tioned in the Preface. There can be little doubt, that the practice which prevails among the English, of writing oriental names after the manner of other European nations, has sometimes led geographers of the highest character into error. 'l'hus Mantchoo, the name of a tribe of l'artars, inhabiting the north part of the Chinese empire, is written by some of the most respectable authorities, Munchow. It is pro, bable, that in the first place some English writer or writers, spelled it Mantchou after the French manner, and that others supposing it to be English, and wishing to adopt a mode of spelling less equivocal, wrote it Manchow. It may be, how. erer, ihat the latter indicates the true pronunciation, and that the name was originally written correctly Mantchou, the ou having its genuine English round; and that some English writer, naturally supposing it to be French, (for many, if not most of the English, appear to prefer the French mode of spelling such names, to their own,) without investigating the subject, converted the name, as they thought into English, by writing it Mantchoo. As Mantchooria (the country of the Maricboos) is rarely visited by Europeans, this question may long remain unde. cided. At present, Mantchoo appears to have become almost universal. In one of the earlier numbers of the Penny Cyclopædia, (article China,) we find it written Manchons, but in other parts of the work Manul shoo, which does not differ mate. rially in sound from Mantchoo. Had the English uniformly adopted the practice of writing oriental names according to the sounds of their own language, it is probable that CABUL would never have lost its native sound (Kâr-b'l), so far as to be generally pronounced by the English and French, Cabool or Caboul, (see CABOOL, in the body of this work.) It is true that it was formerly written correctly in Eng. lish works Cabul or Caubul; but the practice of spelling oriental names according to the German or Italian mode, is so common among English writers, that analogy would naturally lead us to adopt or confirm that pronunciation of Cabul, which appears to be now so thoroughly established. Had it been the uniform practice of English travellers and geographers to write such names as Surmul, Dezful, (or Dezphoul), according to the sounds of their own tongue, viz., Soormool and Deafool, no English reader would have thought of pronouncing the u in Cabul like oo. The erroneous pronunciation of a single name may, perhaps, justly be regarded as of little moment, but the embarrassment and error into which the prevailing practice of English writers on geography, is continually liable to lead both the ignorant and the learned, appear to us to involve considerations of the bighest importance to the interests of geographical science. From a sincere wish to add as much as possible to the utility of the present work, we have had recourse to the system of writing oriental names, which has already been explained. It may be remarked that though this svstem is frequently at variance with common usage, it is sanc tioned by the example
of the most distinguished French geographers, as well as of several English writers of the highest character.
XVI. In giving the pronunciation of this class of geographical names, to represent the accent correctly, is the principal difficulty to be encountered. Those acquainted with French, are aware that this language has no accent in the sense in which we employ the term. The same may be said of the Hungarian, and perhaps also of the Arabic, Turkish, and Persian. At all events, those best acquainted with these languages, are not unfrequently at a loss, when they wish to represent accurately in English, the accentuation of Arabic, Turkish, and Persian words. Nevertheless it will be found that here, as in the French and Hungarian, there is something analogous to our accent, which will generally serve to guide us in marking in English, the accentuation of names in these languages. The different syllables of oriental names, however, like those of French words, are not unfrequently pronounced with a stress of voice so nearly equal, that it has been deemed proper in a number of instances, to use the secondary accents in order to indicate more precisely the true pronunciation. (See Remarks on the French accent, Section XIX.)
Obs. 1. It may not be improper here to remind the reader, that the accents which we often see upon oriental names, are by no means to be understood as always indicating the manner in which an Englishman should accentuate these names in pronunciation, as they are often employed to denote some particular sound in the vowels over which they are placed. Thus some authors place an accent upon a, when they wish merely to signify that this letter has the clear full sound of a in far. In the same manner an accent is placed upon u, in order to show that it has the Italian or German sound, or in other words, is to be pronounced like oo.
OBS. 2. The sound of a in several of the oriental languages is often very broad, approaching nearly to that of au, in English. Hence we often see AFGHAUN instead of AFGHIAN, Cauvery instead of CAVERY, sultaun instead of sultan, &c. In writing NEPAUL and BHOPAUL, the improper diphthong an appears to be almost universally employed by the English. The French indicate the same sound, by using a with a circumflex, e. g., NEPAL, BUOPÂL, &c. This method is, perhaps, preferable to ours, the sound of a being intermediate between that is the English word far and that in fall.
OBs. 3. The Arabic article al or el, is often changed in pronunciation, so as to correspond with the initial consonant of the word to which it is prefixed, thus, El-RASHEED (Rashid), EL-SHAM, (the Arabic name of Syria), and El-Scoot, are pronounced and should be written in English, Er-Rasheed, Esh-Sham, Es-Sioot. The vowel sound of the article also varies considerably, sometimes approaching that of oo, thus the “ Country of Dates," is usually pronounced Beled'ool Jer-eed'. So Es-Scoot (or Šioot, without the article,) is sometimes written Assyout and Osioot.
OBS. 4. Gh in the Arabic and some other oriental tongues, is not merely a hard g, as in the Italian, nor an aspirate like the German ch, as in the Irish language, but a harsh guttural, bearing the same relation to the German ch that g bears to k. As it has no equivalent in any European language, we have not attempted to distinguish it in pronunciation, having represented it merely by a hard g.
Kk is equivalent to ch in German, and accordingly has been represented by k, distinguished as a small capital.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF PRONUNCIATION OF THE
MORE IMPORTANT EUROPEAN LANGUAGES. It may perhaps be proper to remark that this brief exposition of the peculiar sounds of the different European languages, has been prepared solely with reference to the work before us. The object has been twofold: first, to enable the reader more fully to understand the system of geographical pronunciation adopted in this gazetteer : secondly, to furnish some general hints for the proper pronunciation of those European names which are not found in the present work. Some explanation of the kind has been deemed indispensable; and imperfect as this may be, it is hoped that it will be found to answer, in a great measure, the particular object proposed.
[See OBSERVATION at the end of Section XXV.)
1. A is pronounced generally as in the English word far, though it frequently approaches the sound of a in fat.
2. E at the end of an accented syllable usually has a sound like that of i in pin ; in other cases it is sometimes like e in met, and sometimes like e in battery.
3. I is like ee, or like i in pin.
7. Ad sounds like o. 8. Ae
a in fate. 9. le
ee in English. 10. Oe or ö is the same as in German.
11. The consonants b, c, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, q, s, t, X, %, are like the English
12. D, between two vowels, or at the end of a syllable in which it follows a vowel, sounds like th in this; in other situations it is usually the same as in English.
13. G is always hard; at the end of a word it is sounded very slightly so as to resemble h; e. g. AALBORG is pronounced nearly ol-bor'h.
14. J is like the English y (consonant). 15. R is similar to the German.
16. V is usually like the English, but it sometimes appears to hare a vowel sound ; thus, havn is pronounced almost houn.
17. W has a sound similar to the German.
1. The vowels a, e, i, o, and u, are similar to the French.
3. Ae is equivalent to då.
8. The consonants b, c, f, h, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, x, z, are similar to the English.
9. D, at the end of a word, is like t; in other cases it is the same as in English.
10. G resembles in sound a strongly aspirated h, or the German ch,