This weekend (18-19 Nov 2006) is the G-20 summit in Melbourne, Australia. Normally this would not be a huge blip on my radar, but listening to people report on it (NPR in this case) is starting to grind on me a bit. Not because they are covering it in excruciating detail (which they aren’t), but because most Americans don’t know how to properly pronounce Melbourne.
As an American, I can understand. When you look at the world Melbourne it looks like it should come out Mel-born. As someone who lived in Melbourne, Australia for two years hearing that is just wrong. The Australian way to pronounce Melbourne is more like Mel-bun.
And while I’m at it let me pick on how to pronounce Aussie. Parsing that as American it seems like it should come out aw-see. But the Australian version is more like Ozzie. Think of it as being spelled Auzzie and that should get you pretty close. Yahoo! Answers covers this as well.
I got back from Australia in late 1994, since then I have dropped any hint of an accent and reverted back to using the American versions of words (and their spelling) except for one. I’ve had a hard time dropping use of the word serviette in place of napkin.
Check out the Australian-American Dictionary for a list of Australian words and their American counterparts.