I've (again) learned something useful on my amazon.com plog.
In a post (that I believe you can find here), the good people over at Amazon have given us a pronunciation guide to some of the more difficult names in film and tv.
The post begins as such:
Remember back when the hardest actor's name to say was Ralph Fiennes?
You know the drill. You get all excited talking to your friends about movies and TV, and as you approach someone's name, your voice.... slows... down. 'Cause you're kinda afraid of saying it out loud for fear they will a) not know who you're talking about or b) laugh at your mispronounciation.
And surprisingly (or not surprisingly, depending on your outlook), I've been fucking up some names for a while. Notably:
Charlize Theron: If you want to be authentically Afrikaans, it sounds like "Thrown" with a roll on the R. Otherwise, it's THER-on. (not Ther-OWN)
Catherine Zeta-Jones: Zeeta-Jones (like Velveeta), not Zehta-Jones
I'm not a huge fan of either of them, but it sucks that I've been pronouncing their names incorrectly.
However, I do have some of the others down including (can you pronounce all of the following?):
Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal
Ioan Gruffudd (why are those Celtic languages so weird?)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (that was my crowning glory a couple weeks ago...yes, I actually sat down to learn the pronunciation)
The others I have neither consistently mispronounced, nor pronounced correctly (I still stumble over them all the time) include Djimon Hounsou and Aishwarya Rai.
To find pronunciations for those I've listed above, or to view the entire list, clicky on the link above.