Star Trek: The Next Generation introduced among its main cast Captain Jean-Luc Picard, explicitly defined as a Frenchman, who was given an accordingly French name.
I grew up watching TNG with the German dubbing, and Picard's name (both first and last) was consistently pronounced with the French pronunciation by himself and anyone else on the show.
When I first watched TNG with the original English audio, I was somewhat surprised the original voices invariably changed the name by simply reading out what the letters "Jean-Luc Picard" could sound like in English, barely approximating the sound in French.
How did it come to this?
I simply can't see a reason for it:
- If it was not possible to pronounce anything non-English, then why insist on him being a Frenchman in the first place? (This touches upon other aspects, such as him liking Earl Grey Tea and Shakespeare rather than anything particularly French.)
- I read Patrick Stewart said him doing a French accent would have ended up sounding silly. But then, why wasn't at least a French name picked that would be easier to pronounce for native English speakers, or where the French pronunciation would have been closer to the English one, than especially Picard's first name, "Jean-Luc" (which, despite its shortness, appears to contain as many as three distinct sounds that English native speakers would not be used to)?
- Even so, why was even the effort of acknowledging that the final 'd' in "Picard" would not be audible in French deemed too much? That wouldn't have required a full-fledged "French accent".
Was production too far along so the name couldn't be changed anymore when the problem the actors had with it became apparent? Was the name somehow that uniquely special that there was no option of changing it? What happened there? Are there any interviews or texts that describe the process in those days?
EDIT: As an example, here you can hear Dr. Crusher's German voice call the Captain by his given name, and here is the same line with the original English voice - the latter sounds pretty much like "John Look" to me, in particular, the 'n' at the end of "Jean" is clearly audible in English instead of the nasal sound. Unfortunately, I cannot find this scene (or any other with his name in it, for that matter) with the French dubbing on YouTube, which would grant an even better comparison (as I can verify locally with other scenes when setting Netflix audio to French).