Maltese: Fenech/Sfenek

Linnets

Senior Member
Hello,
are these surnames related in Maltese? I ask it beacuse the famous actress Edwige Fenech was born as Edwige Sfenek but at some point decided to change her surname in Fenech, which seems to be pretty common in Malta, while Sfenek is likely rarer.
Also, what is the current pronunciation of the two in Maltese?
 
  • Şafak

    Senior Member
    Yes, Fenech is a common surname in Malta. Not as common as Farrugia or Attard (basically, if you do not know someone's surname it might be safe to assume it's Farrugia :D).

    Maltese does not have "c" in the alphabet. So "ch" shows the precise pronunciation of the letter.
    I do not think the surname is difficult to pronounce: [fɛnɛtʃ].
     

    Şafak

    Senior Member
    I'm trying to recall but failing miserably. You can ask them directly :D

    * this is not an add. I actually contacted the firm some time ago.

    I'm actually curious in both of your questions. I hope a native will shed some light on them.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Maltese does not have "c" in the alphabet. So "ch" shows the precise pronunciation of the letter.
    Where it has survived the spelling reform of 1924, undotted c in front of h is surely /k/. [tʃ] is represented by the dotted c in modern spelling and before that, it was the pronunciation of c before e and i as in Italian.
    Thanks. But in what syllable is the word stressed? [ˈfɛnɛtʃ] or [fɛˈnɛtʃ]?
    I hear [ˈfɛnɛk].
    (source)
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    I have met several people named Fenech. I had no idea it was Maltese in origin. They all pronounced [ˈfɛnɛk]. I don't know if it is a corrupted pronunciation or not. At least it is another example of ch=k.
     
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