Two examples spring to mind immediately:

  • Batman Begins Ra's Al Ghul is pronounced in the movie as RAHZ AL GOUL whereas in the Animated series it is pronounced RASHE AL GHUL

  • The Last Airbender Changed a few character's names including AANG to AHNG and SOKKA to SOAKA

This, to me, seems a bit of an ignorance taken by directors for truly knowing the character they're bringing to life on the big screen.

Is there any kind of reasoning behind decisions like this in general (or for these examples)?

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    Different strokes for different folks? – DForck42 Jun 25 '12 at 15:15
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    Actually the pronunciation of Ras's name is truer to the original Arabic in the Nolan movie than it is in the animated series. – System Down Jun 25 '12 at 20:03
  • @SystemDown I did not know that. Then the opposite would still apply for the Animated Series/Arkham games – Tablemaker Jun 26 '12 at 4:04
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    I have read that the director of The Last Airbender was trying to "honor the source material" by opting for a more "Asian" pronunciation of the names. – Adele C Jun 28 '12 at 2:43
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    @SystemDown: Thanks, I rather take your word for it over someone who asked their daughter to ask the language department. I also read elsewhere that the "Ras" pronunciation fits with the "The Demon's Head" meaning, whereas "Raysh" meant something totally inappropriate. – Hugo Jul 2 '12 at 20:46

There can be a myriad of different reasons why names can be mispronounced, or said in a way that contradicts what some people are expecting. For example, there are so many different types of accents in the world, even with those that are native English speakers. A lot of them will say the same name differently.

Another reason, if there are different cannon ways to say a name, is that a director decided they liked one way over the other, or like one cannon over the other.

Another, rather important reason to change the name, is appealing to the major demographic that a movie is made for. The large American audience could understand and sympathize (or the other way around) depending on how the name sounds.

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Some directors take care that is pronounced right and some don't and some want it that way so that it suits the audience that the movie is targeted at.

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    Can you expand on your answer? Concrete, fact-based, sourced answers always get more positive attention than single-sentence ones. :) – stevvve Jun 29 '12 at 14:34

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