Salman Rushdie

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The knighthood conferred on this author has brought him back into the spotlight. Unfortunately, many people still find it difficult to pronounce his name correctly, including some BBC newsreaders (Natasha Kaplinsky on 18 June, for instance). The man in the street can be excused – not everyone know Sir Salman personally, nor speaks Urdu, but everyone working for the BBC has access to SpeakEasy, the Pronunciation Unit’s computerised database which I helped design in the 1990s. This not only gives a re-spelling of all its entries, but also has a voice component, so that broadcasters in doubt can listen to it as well. What a shame that so many fail to take advantage of it.

For the record, the correct pronunciation is sal-MAAN ROOSH-di (stressed syllables in capitals, -al as in “pal”, -oo as in “foot”)

One Comment

  1. Graham,

    does the pronunciation of the name of Salman Rushdie reflect the original pronunciation in Urdu?
    Just to make sure!


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