Dear U.S. Tennis Commentators
You are all professionals. If commentating on tennis matches is your job, then perhaps you might have some regard for how you pronounce players’ names. This is not a new phenomenon. The same cast of characters have been butchering “foreign” names for many years.
I could barely listen to the Zheng Jie/Madison Keys 2nd round match because the commentators insisted on calling the Chinese player “Jeng Jee.” Mary Joe Fernandez is one of the biggest culprits. I single her out because I imagined, being a person who speaks Spanish, she might have some sensitivity to how words and names are pronounced in languages other than English.
By not taking the time to learn pronunciations, these American broadcasters are telling the global audience that they don’t care. How do the higher ups at ESPN not see this as a problem? Who is policing their on-air talent? How is it that they are allowed to fail time and again at such a basic component of their jobs?
It took me 5 seconds to google how to pronounce Zheng’s name; lo and behold, I came across this tutorial. The likes of Fernandez, Pam Shriver and Brad Gilbert ought to do a bit of homework before calling these matches. The world is watching, and their continued disregard for proper pronunciation does not reflect well on them, their employers, or even Americans’ reputation overseas.
Leave a Reply.