Transcription of the name Qaddhafi

23–24 August 2011; Partial translation into English:

[The first part of the original Dutch article has not been translated yet.]

Authentic sound sample

Yesterday morning (i.e. 23 August 2011) I heard a telephone interview on Dutch radio station Radio 1, with someone who was born in Libya (I couldn’t understand his name, maybe Sufyen Tmalla?) but came to the Netherlands at an early age. His father was currently preparing to travel to his native country after many years.

The interviewee spoke accentless Dutch, as can be expected from someone who has picked up the language from his environment from childhood. If he has an accent at all, it seems to be from somewhere north (or south?) of Rotterdam, rather than from Lybia.

The Arabic names mentioned in the interview he pronounced in a notably non-Dutch manner, which makes me think he used an authentic Libyan-Arabic pronunciation. The interviewee is probably bilingual, having heard and thus learned his father’s language from an early age, alongside Dutch.

The interview can be heard on the internet using this link. It was broadcast on Tuesday 23 Augustus 2011, from 08h00m Bravo time. Within that hour, the interview is between 12m53s and 18m05s. So it lasts over five minutes, and the name Qaddhafi is mentioned several times.

The table below lists the moments when Arabic names occur in the otherwise Dutch-language interview.

TimeArabic nameComment
14:13, 14:32, 15:20, 15:22, 16:25, 16:37, 17:30, 17:34 Qaddhafi

See details above. The ‘g’ of French or English ‘grand’, noticeably double ‘d’, long front vowel ‘a’.


Sounds more like Banghazi than like Binghazi. I heard that before, in some television interview. Maybe a local variant? The Dutch Wikipedia transcribes the name with ‘ban’ at the start, but the English Wikipedia has ‘bin’.

In this sample I think I hear the ‘g’ of the French or English word ‘grand’, not the Arabic/Dutch fricative sound. Does that mean my article Overzealous foreign pronunciation has it all wrong?

15:53Benghazi Here however, I do hear the fricative. So I was right after all.
14:18Baab al-`Aziiziiya Name of Qaddhafi’s former headquarters (also known as ‘compound’) in Tripoli.
14:34Sayf Sayf al-Islaam, a son of Mu`ammar Qaddhafi
16:37Ibrahim Muusaa Spokesman for Qaddhafi. This is his Wikipedia entry.