He’s been at it again, I’m afraid. In last night’s edition of University Challenge Jeremy Paxman was required to ask a rather daft question in which the same phrase in three different languages was given (verbally) and the teams were asked to say what three word English sentence was the equivalent. The answer was I love you. One of the languages was Modern Standard Chinese aka Mandarin and Mr. P. contrived to pronounce this as wəʊ eɪ niː. Oh, boy! I suppose one could forgive the wəʊ, if one were feeling generous, but the pronunciation eɪ is just not on. The correct pronunciation of the phrase, ignoring tones, is wɔ ai ni. Maybe someone should have a quiet word with the question setters and suggest that questions like this should be avoided. Fortunately, some bright spark got the answer correct. It was also fortunate that no-one was in the room with me at the time this nonsense was broadcast.
Picture credit: helix84. Used under this licence.