Tuesday, February 26, 2008

National Geographic's Take on Qatar 4 Years Ago

In attempting to track down a printed version of National Geographic's EarthPulse project (supposedly it exists-but my sources in the States can't confirm and NG's website has not been helpful), I discovered the National Geographic page for Qatar.

The page has some standard history bits and facts and figures, but links to an article on Qatar what I believe was a 2003 issue of National Geographic (also not very clear- poor User Interface NG *tsk *tsk). The article, "Revolution from the top down: soon to be the world's richest nation, tiny Qatar--a key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf--steers toward the modern world"
(only available in partial form on NG- the full article may be viewed on other article sites) includes additional images and media, including video on how to correctly pronounce 'Qatar'. No, it's not 'Qa-tar' as in 'guitar' (or 'Qatar Hero'- some folks back in Chicago never found that joke old) ; nor is it 'Cutter'. The best way I can describe its pronunciation in Arabic is make the make the 'Q' more guttural and also move the 't' sound from the front of your mouth to your throat. Also- the 'ar' or 'tar' is very short, so it sounds like 'ter' to English-speaking ears but still is a very short 'a' sound. That's as best as I can understand it. I plan to do my own mini-audio documentation of how folks pronounce 'Qatar' here, highlighting that even in the nation there's a wide-variety of pronunciations.

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