Montreal

Pea-Kay Subban or Pay-Ka Subban? French-language group stirs debate over pronunciation

A Quebec-language group is raising a stink over how to pronounce the name of Montreal Canadiens star defenceman P.K. Subban, arguing French broadcasters should say it the French way.

P.K. Subban's name should be pronounced in French by French broadcasters, group argues

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban, often in the spotlight, is now at the centre of a debate over pronunciation of his name. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

A Quebec language group is raising a stink over how to pronounce the name of Montreal Canadiens star defenceman P.K. Subban, arguing French broadcasters should say it the French way.

L'Association pour l'usage et le soutien de la langue française argues French-language broadcasters should use the French pronunciation of his abbreviated first name, "Pay-Ka," rather than the English, "Pea-Kay."

Robert Auclair, founder of the group, said the name should be pronounced in the language of the intended audience.

In a statement obtained by Montreal's La Presse, Auclair said the suggestion should be viewed as "constructive" criticism rather than an admonishment.

Auclair points out that, in the past, English broadcasters referred to former Hab Jean-Claude Tremblay by the English "Jay-See" rather than the French "Gee-Say."

He said French broadcasters should now do the same in reference to Subban, the 26-year-old Toronto native known for his on-ice play but also his dedication to charitable work

In the Habs dressing room, Subban responded to reporters' questions about it, stating, "I heard about this. It sounds kind of sexy, actually. I like it. I'd say, 'C'est très bien but my name's P.K. [pronounced Pea-Kay]' But if they want to call me Pay-Kee or Pay-Ka … I've heard Pay-Ka before."

Auclair has not returned CBC's request for comment.

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