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Subject: Re: Ralph - RALF or RAYF
Author: Anneza   (Authenticated as Anneza)
Date: May 24, 2007 at 10:59:54 PM
Reply to: Ralph - RALF or RAYF by Kate
The classic English pronunciation didn't have (and doesn't have) the L sounded. Nowadays it's beginning to sound a little bit precious, because (a) American influence is stronger than ever before - satellite TV, movies, Internet etc, and (b) a tendency in education not to "correct" minor errors like spelling pronunciations, or even to encourage them on the grounds that, if there's an L in there, it must be there for a reason and that reason is to be heard.

In South Africa it's complicated by the presence of more Germanic names like Ralf and Rolf, used by speakers of Afrikaans; this makes people accustomed to an L sound, so they do the same in English. I've known a few English-speaking Ralphs but only one who was a Rafe ... his mother was a social climbing English teacher! (I was also at university with a Rafie, but that was short for Raphael.)

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