"Samaranch": Explainer Corrects Himself

"Samaranch": Explainer Corrects Himself

"Samaranch": Explainer Corrects Himself

Answers to your questions about the news.
Dec. 20 1999 5:08 PM

"Samaranch": Explainer Corrects Himself

Last week, Explainer attempted to clear up the confusion regarding the pronunciation of the name "Juan Antonio Samaranch." Since Samaranch, who is the chairman of the International Olympic Committee, is a Spaniard, Explainer said that the terminal ch should be pronounced just as it is in English. (Click here for the original article.) If Samaranch were a Spanish name, Explainer would have been right.

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Unfortunately, it is not. As a handful of readers pointed out, Samaranch is actually a Catalan name. (Catalonia is an autonomous region of northeastern Spain that includes Barcelona. Catalan and Spanish, which are both spoken by many Catalan citizens, are related but distinct languages.) In Catalan, the terminal ch is a hard sound--close to the English k. So, the correct pronunciation of the name is "Sa-ma-rank." (The first and third a's are pronounced as in the English "barn," while the middle a sounds like that in "annoy.") Explainer apologizes for the confusion.