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Thread: Proper Pronunciation Question

  1. #1
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    Default Proper Pronunciation Question

    I know that the proper pronunciation of ukulele is ookoolayley, but how do you pronounce uke? Does it follow the same pattern as ook, or is it yuke?

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    Is this by the same people who renamed Uranus and Halley's Comet?
    Penster

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    Apparently ukulele is 2 words uku and lele meaning jumping flea. Although I usually say yuke (uke) a lot of people say ookoo (uku). You say potayto I say potaato...Just like I call the brand of ukes I have Kaalaa (Kala) but I saw a video of Mike talking about his company and he says Cawlaa.
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    I've learned that the safest thing to do is just not pronounce it at all, abbreviated or not.

    Sure, in print I'll type "ukulele" or "uke" all day long. But in person and on videos, I just stick with "that", "it", "my instrument", "ol' Bessie", and such.

    In worst-case scenarios, I'll fake a cellphone call, appendicitis attack, or Elvis sighting just to avoid having to actually say the word.

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    Hoo boy, here we go again (see previous threads listed below) . . . 1) ukulele is one word made from two hawaiian words 2) uku translates to flea or head lice, you can't play either of em 3)From the Kala website; KALA (pronounced Kah’ la). 'Nuff said on this topic.
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...-about-grammar
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...e-vs-oo-kulele
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...-Pronunciation
    http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/...nounce-ukulele
    Last edited by Kanaka916; 05-16-2010 at 12:29 PM.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by the52blues View Post
    Apparently ukulele is 2 words uku and lele meaning jumping flea. Although I usually say yuke (uke) a lot of people say ookoo (uku). You say potayto I say potaato...Just like I call the brand of ukes I have Kaalaa (Kala) but I saw a video of Mike talking about his company and he says Cawlaa.
    Ever notice that no one actually says "po-tah-to"? A bit OT I know, but still, it eats away at me like a festering wound...
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukulele JJ View Post
    I've learned that the safest thing to do is just not pronounce it at all, abbreviated or not.

    Sure, in print I'll type "ukulele" or "uke" all day long. But in person and on videos, I just stick with "that", "it", "my instrument", "ol' Bessie", and such.

    In worst-case scenarios, I'll fake a cellphone call, appendicitis attack, or Elvis sighting just to avoid having to actually say the word.

    JJ
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  8. #8
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    Thus far, nobody here in California has found it odd that I pronounce it as it's pronounced in Hawaii. Most of the people at the shops pronounce it that way too. At Guitar Showcase yesterday, all three haole customers also pronounced it correctly when we were talking about the instrument.

    The only remark I ever got was from an enthusiastic retailer in a small town who said, "Hey! You know your instrument!"

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kanaka916 View Post
    Hoo boy, here we go again (see previous threads listed below) . . . 1) ukulele is one word made from two hawaiian words 2) uku translates to flea or head lice, you can't play either of em 3)From the Kala website; KALA (pronounced Kah’ la). 'Nuff said on this topic.
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...-about-grammar
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...e-vs-oo-kulele
    http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/fo...-Pronunciation
    http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/...nounce-ukulele
    Boy, that last topic turned into a fight. Why does this kind of discussion turn heated?
    Last edited by GVlog; 05-16-2010 at 01:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulelehua View Post
    Ever notice that no one actually says "po-tah-to"? A bit OT I know, but still, it eats away at me like a festering wound...
    Yes, but people still say "zee-brah" when it's obvious to anyone with English as their first language it's really pronounced "zeh-bra" ... you can't stop people from mispronouncing words. Let them call it ook or yuke - we all know what they mean.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ichadwick View Post
    Yes, but people still say "zee-brah" when it's obvious to anyone with English as their first language it's really pronounced "zeh-bra" ... you can't stop people from mispronouncing words. Let them call it ook or yuke - we all know what they mean.
    I'm sure we'd be having that debate if zebras were as popular as ukuleles and there was a forum called Zebra Underground.
    Kanilea Islander MST-4 in Low-G
    Plays easy. Sounds great. Don't need another ukulele.

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