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How was this question closed as 'too localized'? I asked the same question about Gaudi and Louis Armstrong and got great answers with no votes to close. Has the policy changed & why?

How are these Brazilian Portuguese names pronounced in English?

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    if the person is famous, perhaps the pronunciation of their name should be considered "general reference" – Jeff Atwood Oct 7 '11 at 11:20
  • The policy may not have changed just the fidelity in execution. Or maybe people have slowly learned or slowly changed culture. – Mitch Oct 7 '11 at 12:44
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    @Jeff the pronunciations of proper names are notoriously difficult to find authoritative references for. – nohat Oct 7 '11 at 15:37
  • If not too localized, the question is asking for a list of pronunciations rather than one question at a time. – simchona Oct 7 '11 at 17:11
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Ridiculous. Reopened. There was nothing localized about those famous names. I'm sure those who voted to close just were unfamiliar with the names and voted to close without checking first if the names were famous.

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    hmm, I dunno, reading the question, it's kind of "here is a list of names of {x} nationality, how do I pronounce them?" I think they'd have to meet the general notability rules for English Wikipedia to be famous, and it bugs me that there is a list of them too. – Jeff Atwood Oct 7 '11 at 19:02
  • looks like 4/6 do have wikipedia entries, so that is decent, at least. – Jeff Atwood Oct 7 '11 at 19:03
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    I disagree with the question being open as it is. – simchona Oct 7 '11 at 19:30
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    @Jeff All 5 people listed in the question have Wikipedia entries and are extremely famous musicians, known world-wide as being the central figures of the bossa nova musical movement (except maybe Bebel, but she's João's daughter!). The main airport in Rio is even named after Jobim! The song "Vivo Sonhando" is one of the most famous songs (in the top 15, at least) of the bossa nova canon and is listed on Jobim's article under "notable compositions". The idea that these are unrelated minor topics unworthy of a question of pronunciation is laughable. – nohat Oct 8 '11 at 4:41
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    ok, so I can post a list of famous video game designers and ask how to pronounce their names? The question boils down to "how do I pronounce foreign sounding names in English" and should probably be generalized to that. The answer is unremarkable -- "they will pronounce them with the rules of American orthography". I'll go ahead and make that change. – Jeff Atwood Oct 8 '11 at 11:05
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    @Jeff Every question on the site about a specific something can be "boiled down" to a more general question with a similarly useless, generic answer. I will note however that your summary answer is just plain wrong, and your revision of the question title was obviously confused. Do you even know what "orthographical rules" are? – nohat Oct 8 '11 at 16:49
  • Feel free to edit it and improve it further. I was quoting "they will pronounce them with the rules of American orthography" from the accepted answer. If that's wrong you need to edit that too -- is there some reason you didn't? – Jeff Atwood Oct 8 '11 at 17:05
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    I still think the question is far too localized; can we expect to see "How do I pronounce {other language} names in English?" for every possible language? The advice there seems to fit ANY foreign language. – Jeff Atwood Oct 8 '11 at 17:12
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    So if we see another question asking about how to pronounce some names (any language) in English, we must consider it as legit? – Alenanno Oct 8 '11 at 17:17
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    @Alenanno must? no. Should probably? yes. It boggles the mind that anyone would think questions about pronunciation could be off-topic. – nohat Oct 8 '11 at 18:35
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    @Jeff obviously questions about how to pronounce proper names from foreign languages are only on-topic if they are names which are so commonly used that they are part of the language. It's not like there is some dividing line that excludes proper names of foreign origin from being part of language. – nohat Oct 8 '11 at 18:36
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    The idea that every question about a specific something should be made into some kind of generic question is frankly stupid, and I don't understand why that argument is being made at all. This question was about some specific, related famous names used frequently in English, and how to pronounce them in English. I can't imagine a more on-topic question. – nohat Oct 8 '11 at 18:43
  • I don't know how much they are used since I'm not in an english speaking country. So the limit is "famous person or not"? – Alenanno Oct 8 '11 at 18:59
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    @Alenanno I think the limit is "is it reasonable to assume that there is a standardized anglicized pronunciation for this" – nohat Oct 8 '11 at 19:21
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    @nohat: pardon my lack of culture, but I had -no- idea that those names were anything other than random. The fact that they are supposed to be famous and well known in the English speaking community does make a case for not-so-local and not closing. – Mitch Oct 11 '11 at 13:42
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For the particular question I suspect it was voted to close as too local because it was ostensibly asking about a set of people for which no one could ever expect to ask about here again.

Some questions that look too local can be construed as asking for a general pattern (the Portuguese in English question) or controversial (maybe the Gaudi question). Because it is on the edge it might be closed or not depending on the whim of voters.

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I think it is too localized, as few users would need to know the pronunciation of the names reported in that question. If the question would allow to understand the pronunciation of similar names, that would be probably be more helpful.
The fact they are names of famous people doesn't make any difference.

I think the question set a precedent. Would a question about the pronunciation of famous Italian people be accepted too? In general, do we want such questions?

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    Rule of thumb: is there (likely to be) a correct way to pronounce this foreign name in English? Usually, but not necessarily, this means a famous person and a difficult (to English-speakers) name. – Tim Lymington May 9 '12 at 22:17

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