“Muru-gun” vs “Muru-gurn”

ACM curator Naomi Wang is promoting a tour of Port Cities exhibition through this video (click here and scroll down a bit until you see the advert for the tour plus the uploaded video). Turn up the volume and listen; at about 50sec into it, she refers to “Murugan” by saying “Muru-gun” (ending the last syllable by pronouncing it as ‘gan’, as is ‘beGUN’). Murugun is, by the way, is the Hindu deity associated with Thaipusam.

Murugan is pronounced “Muru-gurn” (as in ‘intern’ without the ‘hard’ ‘r’). I understand if a person who is not familiar with the proper pronunciation to say His name wrongly; you may be non-Singaporean, speaking a language where saying “Muru-gurn” is beyond your linguistic range.

But I assume Ms Wang is from Singapore, judging from her accent. More important is that she is the curator of the exhibition that covers this topic. When you, as a local Singapore curator, say Murugan in a way unfamiliar to my Singaporean-ears, it makes my hair stand lah….

I won’t be paying to join her tour. Instead, I wouldn’t mind paying Miss Wang to say ‘Japanese Shogun’ just to hear her pronounce it as ‘Sho-gun’!! The Hokkien-speakers amongst us may get the joke…

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