May 10, 2016
Name mash up angers Pasifika viewers
The head of the Pacific Island Media Association is calling out Australian sportscasters for their wilful mispronunciation of Polynesian names.
Will IIlolahia says he sent off a letter to Foxtel over the calling of a weekend rugby double-header involving Fiji versus Papua new Guinea and Tonga against Samoa.
He says there was a huge response on social media against the way names were mangled, with some viewers saying they had to switch off the sound because they felt so insulted.
"Willie Ofahengaue is a well known Wallaby icon in Australia for more than a decade and his son plays for Tonga, and yet they were still calling him 'Off-a-hen-gah-way . Pangai was called Pan-guy. I mean how would these guys like to have their names basically mistrued," he says.
Mr Illolahia says Foxtel sent an apology, but there needs to be a programme of training its announcers in pronunciation of names from Aotearoa and te Moananui a Kiwa.
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