NBC doesn’t seem to be budging from its mispronunciation of “Pyeongchang.”
Despite guidance from the Asian American Journalists Association, among others, that confirms the Olympic host city is pronounced “Pyeong-ch-ah-ng” (like the “ah” sound you make at the doctor’s, according to the video), NBC is sticking with the incorrect pronunciation “Pyeong-ch-ay-ng
The outlet reportedly discussed the pronunciation internally, settling on the mispronunciation because “it’s cleaner,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports, told Sports Business Journal in November. A network spokesperson did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.
NBC’s deliberate mispronunciation isn’t sitting right with the Asian community and journalists on social media, who have criticized the network for disrespecting the host city.
The AAJA’s MediaWatch has also encouraged journalists to “use the accurate pronunciation of the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympic games,” and the group’s co-chair, CeFaan Kim, told The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple that “unless you’re pronouncing it the way our guidance shows, it’s incorrect.”
However a spokesperson for NBC Sports told HuffPost in a statement that the network made its decision.
“We heard a variety of ways to say PyeongChang during our preparation for the Games, and ultimately decided on the version in which the second syllable sounds like ‘twang,’” the spokesperson said.