We love NBC Sports. Without NBC Sports, we would not have the accessibility that we do to the Premier League each weekend. There is just one problem:
The dreaded NBC Pronunciation Guide.
It all started with Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne. We noticed that the NBC announcers refer to him as Kevin "de-BROY-nuh." Brian threw Dave and Scott a curveball when he insisted that, because of his Flemish background, it should be "de-BROW-nuh." A pronunciation controversy was born.
The following week, Arlo White and Lee Dixon were the NBC announcers for Manchester City's match. After 90 minutes of "de-BROY-nuh" from them, Dave tweeted at Lee Dixon, asking why he kept using the wrong pronunciation. After a little back and forth, Lee Dixon claimed that "de-BROY-nuh" was the required pronunciation in the "NBC Pronunciation Guide."
A pronunciation controversy became a pronunciation war.
Ever since then, your humble podcast hosts have been on the lookout for odd and/or flat-out-wrong pronunciations from the NBC Premier League announcers. When they hear a possible mispronunciation, they give it the podcast treatment. For FSFC, that means making it part of everyone's favorite podcast segment: "How to Say with Brian J."
Based on the popularity of that podcast segment, we have decided to take action -- to create our own alternative but definitive pronunciation guide. All of these entries below come from previous "How to Say with Brian J," a segment that you will want to hear first on our podcast each and every week.
Alli, Bamidele "Dele" (deh-lee al-lee) - Deli Alley is pretty much it. Great name for a player, and a great name for the section of town that has a lot of good deals.
Anichebe, Victor (an-EE-chih-bee) - Victor is just like any other Victors in your life. You probably don't have many Anichebes in your life.
Ayew, Andre (ahn-dray eye-you) - Whether he ends up being terrible or great for West Ham, one thing is certain: Andre's last name is just "I" and "you."
Batshuayi, Michy (MEE-shee bat-shoo-WHY-ee) - Just give the "u" in Batshuayi the slightest pronunciation.
Benalouane, Yohan (yo-hahn ben-a-loo-AHN) - As far as we're concerned, if there's no accent on a guy's name, don't pronounce it like there is. However, if Yohan asks you to say his name with an accent, you probably want to do what he says and don't ask any questions.
Biram Diouf, Mame (mahm bih-ram dyoof) - Whether you prefer saying "the Diouf is on fire!" or "Diouf, there it is," Mame is a podcast favorite because he doesn't have an accent on any of the letters in his name.
Bournemouth (BORN-mith) - Courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary!
Capoue, Etienne (ET-tee-enn CAH-poo) - His name is the French equivalent for "Stephen," forever the titleholder for Most Unexpectedly Great Fantasy Score (1st half of season only).
Chalobah, Nathaniel (KAL-oh-bah) - You already know Nathaniel - no drama there. When you're done practicing his last name, go to YouTube and search "Nathaniel Chalobah screamer vs Leicester." Sit back and enjoy.
Dann, Scott (skaht or scot dan) - Two first names, plus double consonants in both names? Sign us up. His name hits you as hard as a Scott Dann header in the penalty area, then lays you down as soft as the moss in a lush valley.
de Bruyne, Kevin (de-BROW-nuh) - If you're an English match announcer, it is Kevin de-BROY-nuh. If you're Flemish and/or care about truth, you will probably say it more like Kevin de-BROW-nuh.
Dja Djedje, Brice (breese jah jay-jay) - Not nearly as intimidating as it looks. Fun alternative tip: if you take out the j's, his name is just Brice Da De De! Neat!
Djilobodji, Papy (pap-PEE jee-lo-bo-JEE) - When you really think about it, it's a named packed more with fun than with j's.
Doucoure, Abdoulaye (ab-doo-lie doo-CORE-ay) - Abdoulaye played for 2 minutes against Southampton in March 2017 and scored a goal. That is the complete list of his 2016-17 highlights.
Fabregas, Cesc (sessk FAB-ruh-gas) - Don't forget to slightly trill the "r" in Fabregas to really impress your friends!
Gabor, Kiraly (KEER-eye GAB-ore) - Karch Kiraly and Zsa Zsa Gabor would be proud.
Gestede, Rudy (jes-sted) - Regular old Rudy. Then it's a "J" sound up there, so Jes-sted.
Gnabry, Serge (sare-j or surge nya-bree or guh-NAH-bree) - If you're French, it will probably be "sairj NYA-bree." If you're German, you'll still say "sairj," but you'll articulate the "g" in guh-NAH-bree." If you're English, you'll probably just say Surge and call it a day.
Gooch, Lynden (lin-den gooch) - He is American, and his last name is Gooch. If this isn't enough for you, then there's nothing further we can do.
Gross, Pascal (pass-cal grohs) - There is no trick or challenge to Pascal's name pronunciation. The only issue is when the "ss" at the end of Gross is represented as a scharfes. Even then, is doesn't change the pronunciation.
Gueye, Idrissa Gana (i-DRIS-suh GAH-nuh GAY-uh) - Idrissa is pretty simple. Gana is just like the country "Ghana." Then it's GAY-uh, with a very light "uh" at the end of the name. Try to say it very French. Most English announcers just say it like "Gay."
Gundogan, Ilkay (ILL-kahy GOON-doe-ahn) - The "u" in Gundogan is also like the "oo" in book. And of course, don't forget about the silent Yumusak "g," the most exciting "g" in the entire Turkish language!
Guzan, Brad (Brad goo-ZANN) - You can keep praying for him even if he's not going to be in the Premier League in 2017-18.
Hadergjonaj, Florent (floor-ent HAD-er-joe-nigh) - Until international courts hear our appeals to make it illegal to have a 'g' and a 'j' beside each other in a person's name, we'll have to be okay with Hadergjonaj.
Haugaard, Jacob (YAW kub HOW-gull?) - Haugaard ends in the infamous "soft D" in Danish and is mostly unpronounced. The Danish pronunciation of it sounds like it is in the back of your throat like a weird gulp.
Hojbjerg, Pierre-Emile (pee-AIR eh-MEEL HOY-bee-air) - You probably already know about Pierre, and you can probably figure out Emile. But, as everyone knows, the Danish "j" sounds like an English "y," and the "erg" in "Hojbjerg" is similar to the "ere" in "there." You have to love those Scandinavian j's!
Holebas, Jose (HOE-zay Lloyd HO-lay-bas) - Yes, his middle name is Lloyd. If you see "Cholevas," it's because he has Greek heritage as well as Uruguayan, and this is the closest English transliteration of the Greek characters in his name. In short, Watford is the perfect club for him.
Iheanacho, Kelechi (kell-etch-ee ee-an-atch-oh) - You use his name when you say "Kelechi got Iheanacho'd by Gabriel Jesus."
Janssen, Vincent (YAHN-sen) - He's the poor man's friend of a homeless man's Harry Kane. He is Vincent Petrus Anna Sebastiaan Janssen.
Kolasinac, Sead (say-ahd coal-ah-SHEE-nits) - Even though you'll probably hear people say "coal-ass-in-ack," the better Bosnian pronunciation is the way we have it. Don't believe the lies.
Knockaert, Anthony (an-tuh-nee (k)nock-airt) - You'll probably hear people pronounce the "k" at the beginning of Knockaert, but if you're not French, we won't fault you for just saying "nock-art."
Lai, Guochan (gwo-chwan lie) - Possibly the only person's name we've featured on our podcast out of pure hatred -- that is, Scott's pure hatred of Tony Pulis. Guochan fired Tony, so naturally, we learned his name.
Lejeune, Florian (FLOOR-ee-an le-JOON) - Florian's 2017-18 season has been marred by injury a good bit, but we're always happy to learn more about Newcastle, even when it's a player not named Jack Colback.
Llorente, Fernando (fer-NAHN-doe your-EN-tay) - He's not LOR-ente; he's YOUR-ente. "El Rey Leon" should have "Fernando" by Abba as his theme music.
Maenpaa, Niki (nick-kee MY-en-pah) - As much as we like talking about Finland, we never would have guessed we would get to by way of Brighton's backup goalkeeper. Thankfully, the number of vowels in his name is not reflective of the difficulty of its pronunciation.
Maxim Choupo-Moting, Eric (air-ick max-im SHOOP-oh moh-ting) - It seems like the German pronunciation makes it more like CHOOP-oh; French makes it SHOOP-oh. Our recommendation: pick one and stick with it (but probably defer to the French pronunciation).
Mbokani, Dieumerci (DYOO-mare-see em-BO-can-ee) - If you only/mostly speak English and you love self-inflicted linguistic pain and anguish, you'll want to know that his full name is Dieudonne "Dieumerci" Mbokani Bezua.
Milivojevic, Luka (luke-uh mil-li-VOH-ye-vitch) - You can blame it on Milli Vanilli, or you can blame it on Suzanne Vega, but you cannot blame Crystal Palace for liking Luka in their midfield in 16/17.
Mkhitaryan, Henrikh (hen-REEK-h mik-hit-AHR-ee-an) - Fire up those mucus membranes! The phlegmy throat you need for a true pronunciation is about the same as you get drinking a quart of milk during a sinus infection.
Mooy, Aaron (aaron moy) - One of Brian's favorite How to Say segments ever because it took everyone to Australia, and his name just looks like could be complicated because it has two o's. It's just plain old Moy.
Mounie, Steve (steve moo-nee-ay) - Huddersfield's one-time club-record signing lit up the Premier League score sheet in the first match of the season, which forced us to officially say his name. Thankfully, it's pretty straightforward.
N'Diaye, Alfred (en-DEE-eye-yuh) - It's Alfred, just like Bruce Wayne's brother, and it's "en-DEE-eye-yuh" if you really want to get French about it. What you'll probably hear is "en-DIE" from most PL announcers.
Niasse, Oumar (oo-mahr knee-ASS) - Senegalese; on loan to Hull; functioning as a striker but classified as a midfielder in FPL.
Richarlison (ri-SHAR-li-son) - As much as we'd like his name to be Rich Arlison, like Men in Blazers has said, the truth is that it's just one name, and that "ch" is pronounced like an "sh" in there.
Son, Heung Min (sahn hoong meen) - The "eu" in Heung is more like the "oo" in "book." The "i" in Min gets more of a long "e" sound.
Srivaddhanaprabha, Vichay (WEE-chai sree-wad-ha-na-PRAHB-ha) - Too bad we don't need to keep track of Leicester's owner too much anymore.
Stuani, Christian (or Christhian) (STEW-ah-nee) - Don't be fooled by the spelling of his first name if it includes the extra "h." It's still pronounced as just a "t."
Tosun, Cenk (jenk-toe-SOON) - Whether he saves Everton's season or not, we are thankful that Cenk was able to teach us something about weak Turkish consonants.
Toure, Yaya (YAH-yah TOOR-ay) - It's the name we all know and love. His real first name, though, is Gnegneri (nyeh-nyair-EE), and that's where the party is at.
Tuanzebe, Axel (azel too-ahn-ZEB) - No accent on the last "e" makes his name less complicated than most announcers make it. But let's be honest, his kit should just say "Axel" on it anyway.
van la Parra, Rajiv (rah-JEEV vahn luh pah-ruh) - Even if it's Dutch, Rajiv's name is pretty straightforward. Just think of Jeeves the famous butler and/or defunct search engine, and you'll be just fine.
Veretout, Jordan (VAIR-too) - Remember him from Aston Villa? Yeah, us neither.
Wijnaldum, Giorginio (george-EE-nee-oh vin-ALL-dum) - Beware of the Dutch "w!" It's not a "w" at all. It's not quite a "v," but it isn't exactly an "f" either. It's somewhere between a "v" and an "f." Maybe the best solution is just to call him Dave.
Wimmer, Kevin (VIM-mah) - Wels (Vels), Austria. VolksVagon. Vunderbar.
Zanka (zayn-kuh) - Mathias Jorgensen, the Huddersfield defender, is nicknamed Zanka, which originates from the Doug E. Doug character Sanka from the famous Disney movie Cool Runnings.
Zeegelaar, Marvin (mar-vin ZAY-hel-arr) - The 'g' in Zeegelaar has got to come from the back of your throat.