Holnap és hónap Part 1: The Digression
One up road, I’m sorry to say, does not sound like van apród, at least not to a native English speaker. We make a distinction, you see, between the V and the W (among other things). In Hiberno-English, or as it’s more broadly known, Irish English ( not Irish by the way, that’s Gaelic) this is even further exacerbated when you take into consideration the pronunciation of Up. No way the ‘ap’ in apród is going to sound anything like up, and don’t bother with the “but that’s how it is in British English” British English, otherwise known as RP, or Received Pronunciation, is a fabricated nonsense of ye old British colonialism, and should therefore have no place within the language learning classroom, and even where you may argue towards a model, and RP is convenient Cos of all those dictionaries and things, it still isn’t the De Facto English. It’s something but it isn’t the be all and end all. If you’ve learnt English that way, you’ve learnt nothing (email@example.com for lessons to set you back on the path to real knowledge). But even when you take RP into consideration the V/W distinction is glaring, yes glaring, so a Wet Vet isn’t a stutter, it’s an uncomfortable condition. A Volkswagen beetle isn’t a Folksvagen because as English speakers we don’t give a toss about how the Germans say it. Protest all ye want, but if you are one of the ones arguing for RP then suck on the tail pipe of this reality: English is the Germanic dialect come home to bite the hand that nurtured it. From an alternative dialectical position RP doesn’t warrant the respect you’d extend it, so if you’ve ever argued in its favour but fight vehemently for the right of Germans to say F for their V and V for their W, that’s all well and good (in fact I agree as it’s their language) but you’re only contradicting yourself. RP is RP because of arrogance and prestige, in as much as mispronunciation of other people’s language is the privilege of that same class of people. Call it ignorance when the working class holiday in your pubs and on your beaches and yet label it eccentricity when it’s hob nobs in your five star hotels, finger fooding in your diplomatic circles, or basically expecting you to bow to their every need, even if it’s in your own country. The Queen came to Cork, but the Fishmonger stole the day. You see, that’s the Corkonian way.
Before I digress let me return to the beginning and, whether you have change or not, let me just make it clear. In English, any English, Van (The Hungarian word) never sounds like One (the English word) but if it ever becomes accepted as the standard Pronunciation I may by a conservatism borne of age, protest, but in my Irish heart I’ll also delight at the notion that napról napra the English are losing control of their language. As an English teacher I can only hope that I’LL stay favourably ahead of the trends, or at least not lag too far behind. Van Apród, One Up Road…I get. A student dealing with difference needs to draw some familiarity and that’s why in this Snowday I’ll never dwell too much on the Whereday even less on the supposed error as English speakers and learners alike may have spotted in that preposition.
© The Hairy Teacher, March, 2018