2017-02-16 / Happenings

‘You Say it How in Michigan?’ offers correct pronunciations

Whether you’ve lived in Michi­gan all your life, just moved here or happen to be visiting or planning a vacation to this great state, there’s now an online directory to help with the correct pronunciation of Michi­gan’s many unique cities and places.

The “You Say it How in Michi­gan?” guide is the first-of-its-kind comprehensive directory, primar­ily developed to benefit audio book production for the blind and visually impaired, will benefit anyone look­ing to experience Pure Michigan.

“We initially developed the ‘You Say it How in Michigan?’ guide for narrators across the country during audio book production to get Michi­gan name and place pronunciations right,” said Susan Chinault, manager of the nationally recognized Michi­gan Braille and Talking Book Li­brary (BTBL), where the guide was developed. “Actually the guide is in­valuable for anyone, especially since Michigan has so many unique names that can be mispronounced.”

The guide includes an audio MP3 and the phonetic pronunciation of more than 2,200 listings from Co­hoctah and Kitch-iti-kipi – to Yp­silanti and Wequetonsing and ev­erywhere in between, including the often debatable pronunciation of “Presque Isle.” The guide can be found by visiting www.michigan. gov/howtosayit or on the BTBL website at www.michigan.gov/btbl under “Pronunciation Guide.”

The BTBL is a division of the Bureau of Services for Blind Per­sons (BSBP). William Robinson, BSBP director praised the BTBL ef­forts saying, “the ‘You Say it How in Michigan?’ guide is a perfect example of an innovative outreach that illustrates the creativity of the library team. I have used the guide myself and it is a great resource to bookmark on your web browser.”

The BTBL loans books and mag­azines in braille and audio formats free of charge to those who qualify and serves more than 11,000 patrons annually. More than 556,500 braille and talking books were circulated in 2016, averaging 2,100 – 2,200 per day. There are 30,085 titles avail­able in audio format and 10,275 titles available in braille. These in­clude popular fiction and nonfic­tion, best sellers, how-to books, and talking book versions of magazines and foreign language materials. The BTBL is located on the first floor of the Michigan Library and Historical Center in downtown Lansing.

The BTBL’s Local Recording Studio Program records books and magazines of Michigan and Great Lakes interest, as well as books by Michigan authors. The recordings are also made available to Libraries for the Blind nationwide through the Braille and Audio Reading Down­load (BARD) service provided through the Library of Congress.

For information about or to ap­ply for BTBL resources, call (800) 992-9012 (TTY (888) 864-1212) or visit www.michigan.gov/bsbp and click on the link titled “Braille and Talking Book Library,” then “Ap­plication.” The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons provides training and other services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to achieve employment and/or in­dependence in the careers of their choice. For information about BSBP, visit www.michigan.gov/bsbp or call (800) 292-4200, (TTY (888) 864- 1212.)

Currently, there are more than 228,000 citizens in Michigan with a prevalence for vision loss and that number is expected to increase as baby boomers age.

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