French-language protection group doesn't want P.K. Subban's name pronounced in English

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Image: Montreal Canadiens / Facebook

A French-language protection group has a problem with the way Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban’s first name is pronounced by French-language sportscasters in Quebec.

The Association pour le soutien et l’usage de la langue française (ASULF) wants broadcasters to pronounce P.K. as “Pay-Kah”, rather than “Pee-Kay”.

You could say it has taken some time for ASULF to catch on.

Subban was drafted by the Canadiens eight and half years ago, and began playing for them in 2010. Since then he, along with goaltender Carey Price, have been the faces of the storied Montreal Canadiens franchise.

French-language broadcasters always pronounce anglophone players with an English pronunciation. Habs captain Max Pacioretty, for example, is American from Connecticut who gets his name pronounced with a hard R, rather than a rolling R by French-language media.

The difference in this case is that Subban, whose birth name is “Pernell Karl”, goes by the acronym “P.K.” which can be directly translated into French.

Subban, when asked to comment, was his usual humorous self:

The French-language issue in Quebec is complex, and not something I am qualified to speak on. Regardless, I think most people, French, English, or otherwise, would like to dictate how their own name gets pronounced.

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Rob Williams Sports Editor at Vancity Buzz covering all sports in Vancouver.
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