Toulouse: Nathan Kaufmann had the idea of ​​creating a world map of pronunciations

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With this amusing, aesthetic and educational map, the Toulouse native Nathan Kaufmann, also a geographer, cartographer and graphic designer, wants to stick to the local pronunciation.

When the Toulouse geographer Nathan Kaufmann creates a new map, it must be aesthetic, informative and fun at the same time. It is in this spirit that he has just developed the world map of pronunciations. A first. Its principle? “State the names of cities and countries as close as possible to the local pronunciation”. To do this, the 37-year-old cartographer doubled the geographical name by their phonetic speech. Also we find Blaziouw / Brazil; Pelou / Peru; ékwadole / Ecuador; Lanedœne / London; Aljazahè / Algeria … If for some places, the resemblance is obvious, for others, we willingly give our tongue to the cat. For example, you should know that India, in Indian, is called Baalat; that China, in Chinese, is pronounced Tchongkouo… This cartographer really sets out to reveal the unexpected side of our world. “We live on a planet full of unusual things. Through my cards, that’s what I want to share, ”he explains.
Nathan Kaufmann first tried his hand at a map of toponyms in the Alsatian dialect. With this first experience, he discovered “the difference between the way we can read these place names and the way they are actually pronounced”, and decided to carry out the same attempt on a world scale, this time. .
On this World Map of pronunciations, we find more than 1000 names, from the depths of the United States to the exotic islands of Oceania, including China, Russia, Africa, … “But, I have had to make choices to keep it readable. The goal is to read these names the first time to understand and start over to be as close as possible to the local language, ”he advises.
This world map is an excellent way to learn about the richness of languages. “In some cases, for the same country, I did not choose the same language”, laughs Nathan Kaufmann. Thus, in South Africa, he opted for Afrikaans to transcribe the local pronunciation of Cape Town. This gives: Capstate. “On the other hand, for South Africa, he adopted Zulu, which gives Inihngzimmaflika. “
The Toulousain also took great pleasure in creating names in North America, “because they are pronounced very badly, in a kind of Franglais which has nothing to do with American pronunciation. “For example, for New York, you have to say Nouyowk Sidi !!!
Learning local pronunciations is a great way to travel by proxy. We recommend it!

Nathan Kaufmann already has a dozen cards to his credit. All are on sale on his website ( from 45 €. Contact: nathan.kaufmann @