9 Responses to American Movie

  1. Anon73 May 1, 2010 at 2:21 am #

    I watched the video and thought his pronunciation was correct. I was surprised to hear an audio sample that has it as “pi-rahn-yah”. Perhaps the trailer’s version is the more common and hence correct?

  2. Charles H. May 1, 2010 at 6:56 am #

    Well, seeing as how the characters in the movie all seem to be American rather than Portuguese, I think that, regardless of what is “correct,” the pronunciation given is more accurate.

    • Roderick May 1, 2010 at 11:01 am #

      Well, I’m American, and I grew up always hearing “pi-rahn-ya.” The first time I ever heard “pi-rahn-a” was in the Monty Python sketch about the Piranha Brothers, so I assumed it was a British thing. Then in recent years I suddenly started hearing “pi-rahn-a” everywhere. Some kind of collective amnesia?

      (Maybe it’s the same virus that earlier on made Americans unaccountably shift from pronouncing “falcon” the traditional way (“al” as in “Wal-Mart” — the universal pronunciation in 1940s media) to the new way (“al” as in “alcove” — the universal pronunciation since the 1980s).

  3. Brandon May 1, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    There is no exclusive way of pronouncing it. But to me, the ‘y’ noise would have to come from somewhere, and a silent ‘h’ does not produce a ‘y’ noise. This site has audio of it both ways.

  4. Ndugu May 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    In Portuguese, ‘nh’ represents the French/Italian ‘gn’ sound and Spanish ñ sound, which English approximates with ‘ny.’

    I’ve actually only ever heard just ‘n,’ FWIW.

  5. Jonathan Finegold Catalán May 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Besides the mispronunciation of Piranha, what surprises me is that they still make these bad remakes of old horror movies (well, bad horror movies in general, not just bad remakes). I guess they make enough revenue to justify filming them (it seems that these types of movies make on average around $30 million over their budgets).

    • Roderick May 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

      The remake-of-bad-horror-movie phenomenon seems to have accelerated the last few years.

    • Anon73 May 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

      The remaking of old movies and an absence of creative ideas both seem more prominent as well.

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