Cultural Learnings

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

Alright. I’m sick of people pronouncing the name Borat incorrectly. At first it didn’t bother me much, but now that the Borat movie is, well, kicking so much ass, everyone is talking about it and everyone is pronouncing the name incorrectly. It’s irritating, because it’s so easy to pronounce properly. Let’s take a look:

The common (and incorrect) pronunciation is “bo” as in Bo Derrick and “rat” as in sewer rat. Bo-rat. Considering that’s how the name is spelled, it’s not a real surprise that people are screwing it up.

However, if you listen to how Sascha Baron Cohen (the guy who plays Borat) pronounces the name, it’s “bo” as in Bo Derrick and “rot” as in link rot. Bo-rot.

It’s not hard, so get it right, media!

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5 Comments

  1. The movie title, as pronounced by the trailer announcer, is Bo-rat.

    Now, while that may not be how Cohen refers to himself *within* the film, it is, since the official audible pronunciation of the trailer says it is so, the name *of* the film.

    Just so you know. 😛

  2. When we sent our announcer scripts, he would just pronounce stuff the way he thought it should be pronounced (unless we sent him a script with the words in question spelled phonetically).

    Failure on the part of some producer to ensure that the announcer knows how to pronounce Borat does not mean it’s the official title of the film. I would argue that Cohen, having created the character and written the film (and, most likely, titled it) would best know how to pronounce it.

    Furthermore, considering that the title of the film includes the name of the character, I would also argue that they are pronounced the same.

  3. Yes – I’m sure Cohen is the right one.

    All I’m saying is that since the trailer pronounces the title of the movie as Bo-rat, then that is what people are going to call it. And thus, regardless of if that was the intended title or not, it is now. 😉

    The power of collective reasoning. Good times.

  4. By the way…is this a Nerd War? I’ve always wanted to be in one!! 🙂

  5. Could be…

    While I’ll agree that the general populace does affect change in our language, I feel that this is one case in which everyone, including the announcer, is wrong and will always be wrong.

    For example, most people mispronounce Morah’s name as moy-ruh instead of the correct more-uh (yeah, yeah, more uh what, she’s heard it a million times). However, just because most people pronounce it incorrectly, that doesn’t mean the pronunciation of her name has changed, or ever will.

    Same with Moscow. It can be pronounced moss-cow and moss-coe. They’re both correct, but which one is correct depends on if you’re talking about Moscow, Idaho or Moscow, Russia.

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