zah-NAY tee-LAH-nay

Latvian athletes have done well in college sports in the United States, especially in men’s and women’s basketball and in track and field. Case in point: Zane Teilāne, the 6-foot, 7-inch (2-meter) starting center for the women’s basketball squad at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

Teilāne, who hails from Āgenskalns in Rīga, in October was voted the preseason player of the year in the Mid-Continent Conference. A junior majoring in business, Teilāne is in her second season at Western Illinois. She also has played on the Latvian national team.

Her abilities have drawn the attention of media throughout central Illinois and in communities where Western Illinois has played.

However, we have to wonder about the pronunciation guide offered by the Lawrence Journal-World. A Dec. 8 story, highlighting what Teilāne might do to the hometown Kansas University team, suggests that her name is pronounced zah-NAY tee-LAH-nay.

Aargh! Let’s try ZAH-ne TAY-lah-ne instead, putting the emphasis on the correct syllables.

Western Illinois University is the source of the mangled pronunciation.

Teilāne, by the way, is not the only Latvian on the Western Illinois team. Also on the roster is forward Līga Bergvalde of Rīga.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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