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gvelasco
05-12-2016, 01:21 PM
I have a friend from Hawaii who plays uke and corrected me the first time I said you-kuh-lay-lee. She said, "It's ooh-coo-leh-leh." I've taken to calling it an ooh-coo-leh-leh and that makes Hawaiians very happy to hear that, but around non-islanders, I get funny looks. Even at the Austin Ukulele society, they all use the mainland pronunciation.

I've taken it as far as calling it ook for short instead of youk. My best friends and ukulele players are used to it now, but at shops and other gatherings of ukulele players I still feel like I should use the "standard" pronunciation?

Thoughts?

wayfarer75
05-12-2016, 01:35 PM
Say it however you want, IMO.

wickedwahine11
05-12-2016, 01:54 PM
I always try to use the Hawaiian pronounciation when in Hawaii or speaking to someone from Hawaii, but often use the mainland pronunciation elsewhere because nobody knew what I meant otherwise.

Then when writing it is complicated. The Hawaiian version would use "an" but the mainland version uses "a."

farmerjones
05-12-2016, 02:43 PM
I use the mainland way. I think the rules for this sort of thing is that once a foreign word enters the English language, you can pronounce it like an English word. This has happened a lot throughout the history of English. If I were speaking Hawaiian, I would use that languages pronunciation but I really only know "aloha" and "ukulele".

Kanaka916
05-12-2016, 02:45 PM
Let's not go down this path, far too many threads dating back to 2008 ...

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?117890-Pronunciation-of-ukulele
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?4501-Ukulele-Pronunciation
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?101117-How-do-you-pronounce-quot-ukulele-quot
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?30719-Proper-Pronunciation-Question
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?982-How-do-YOU-pronounce-quot-ukulele-quot

stevejfc
05-12-2016, 03:25 PM
Somewhere in all of this is a real bad Kevin Youkillis joke

Choirguy
05-12-2016, 03:50 PM
Barry Maz covered this quite well in one of his rants:

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2016/04/please-stop-arguing-over-how-ukulele-is.html

kohanmike
05-12-2016, 04:11 PM
I don't know how well this fits in the discussion, but the leader of our uke group The CC Strummers, Cali Rose, wife of Craig Brandau wrote this song.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqIL-tirkvs

ukulelekarcsi
05-12-2016, 09:17 PM
Do you want things to be even more confusing?

In Spanish and in Dutch, the official spelling is 'ukelele', that's just one U and three Es for you. Although players who speak those languages usually stick to UU-EE, novelists and publishers in those languages insiste on U-EEE.

And in the Netherlands, a band called Nico Haak had a hit song in 1973 with a song about a ukulele, but they had problems with the rhyming, so it was in fact titled 'joekelille', and pronounced like 'yukalilly'. That's how most people in Holland still pronounce it (not Flanders, where the song remained obscure).

Croaky Keith
05-12-2016, 09:59 PM
The 'Ukulele has developed from it's original (oo-ku-le-le) & is now commonly known as a Ukulele (yoo-ku-lay-lee).
(Note the missing apostrophe.)
:cool:

Ukuleleblues
05-13-2016, 01:37 AM
Down here in South Carolina most folks pronounce it "mandolin"...

Rllink
05-13-2016, 01:40 AM
In the states I use you-ku-lele. In Puerto Rico I use oo-ku-le-le, because in Spanish that is how the word is pronounced and I am talking to Spanish speaking people most of the time in PR. If I were ever in Hawaii, I would probably do the Spanish version. The reason is that I don't want to sound goofier than I already am so I try to stick with convention. I have to say, that people who insist on using the Spanish/Hawaiian version in Iowa sound goofy to non ukulele people, which is almost everyone else.

Rllink
05-13-2016, 01:59 AM
Down here in South Carolina most folks pronounce it "mandolin"...We had some friends visiting from California, who are these "we are so cool cause we're from Big Sur" types, and she was pronouncing it Mawndoleen. I guess that would be the Spanish pronunciation, when you get right down to it. Anyway, it sounded a little silly in central Iowa as well.

Soundbored
05-13-2016, 03:00 AM
We had some friends visiting from California, who are these "we are so cool cause we're from Big Sur" types, and she was pronouncing it Mawndoleen. I guess that would be the Spanish pronunciation, when you get right down to it. Anyway, it sounded a little silly in central Iowa as well.

LOL, this is like the pretentious news anchors who say "Nee-ha-rah-you-ahh", instead of "Nicaragua", etc. Always good for a laugh, and always makes that person sound like a pretentious twit. "Ookoolaylee" isn't quite that bad, but when in Rome...

johnson430
05-13-2016, 03:18 AM
LOL, this is like the pretentious news anchors who say "Nee-ha-rah-you-ahh", instead of "Nicaragua", etc. Always good for a laugh, and always makes that person sound like a pretentious twit. "Ookoolaylee" isn't quite that bad, but when in Rome...

Have you seen this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKGoVefhtMQ

mikelz777
05-13-2016, 03:55 AM
All of this reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld where George was so annoyed at the pretension of his girlfriend pronouncing "paper mache" as "pah-pee-ay-mah-shay" and calling his doorman Sammy, "Samuel" but drawing it out and pronouncing it, "Sam-you-elle". :D

wayfarer75
05-13-2016, 04:24 AM
LOL, this is like the pretentious news anchors who say "Nee-ha-rah-you-ahh", instead of "Nicaragua", etc. Always good for a laugh, and always makes that person sound like a pretentious twit. "Ookoolaylee" isn't quite that bad, but when in Rome...

I've never heard anyone say oo-koo-lay-lee, that would be an interesting combo of pronunciations. I've only heard either oo-koo-leh-leh (Hawaiian) or you-kuh-lay-lee (US mainland).

Soundbored
05-13-2016, 04:35 AM
I've never heard anyone say oo-koo-lay-lee, that would be an interesting combo of pronunciations. I've only heard either oo-koo-leh-leh (Hawaiian) or you-kuh-lay-lee (US mainland).

Kimo Hussey says "Ooo-koo-lay-lee". I've heard it several times in different youtube videos.

Mivo
05-13-2016, 04:58 AM
In German, it is pronounced just like the Hawaiian version. :)

wayfarer75
05-13-2016, 07:21 AM
Kimo Hussey says "Ooo-koo-lay-lee". I've heard it several times in different youtube videos.

Hmmm, I've watched a bunch of his vids, and he says leh-leh, not lay-lee.

bazmaz
05-13-2016, 07:38 AM
Of course - the right answer is 'ukulele'.

And I didnt type that to be difficult and know that it doesn't answer the question. But that is the point. The right pronunciation for you is the vernacular pronunciation of where you live.

Snargle
05-13-2016, 07:44 AM
My other instrument is the West African Djembe drum (jem-bay), but most people insist on pronouncing it "Bongo"! :rolleyes:

Down Up Dick
05-13-2016, 08:16 AM
This sounds like the old, silly flaute/flute argument. Do any Americans say Sverge for Sweden or Norge for Norway or Deutschland for Germany or Espana for Spain or Meh-he-co for Mexico or Los Ang-el-las for Los Angeles? How about bonnet or tyre or boot or windscreen or those other different names for our car's parts. And on and on . . .

A ukulele by any other name is still a little, plinky stringed instrument. I call mine Ukes to rhyme with puke, and I wish I could get spell-check to stop capitalizing the u.
:old:

Django
05-14-2016, 02:17 PM
I think that you can call it whatever you like as long as you don't try to tell a Hawaiian how to pronounce it. It would be nice to preserve what is left of their heritage.

wayfarer75
05-14-2016, 04:17 PM
I think that you can call it whatever you like as long as you don't try to tell a Hawaiian how to pronounce it. It would be nice to preserve what is left of their heritage.

You know, I think that's the crux of the issue. Some people from the USA worked pretty hard to denigrate the Hawaiian culture and did their best to install a culture they thought was appropriate. Saying Paris instead of Pareee is one thing, as French is very alive and well. Hawaiian language and culture, not so much.

johnson430
05-14-2016, 04:23 PM
This sounds like the old, silly flaute/flute argument. Do any Americans say Sverge for Sweden or Norge for Norway or Deutschland for Germany or Espana for Spain or Meh-he-co for Mexico or Los Ang-el-las for Los Angeles? How about bonnet or tyre or boot or windscreen or those other different names for our car's parts. And on and on . . .

A ukulele by any other name is still a little, plinky stringed instrument. I call mine Ukes to rhyme with puke, and I wish I could get spell-check to stop capitalizing the u.
:old:

Well said, Dick. (golf clap)

ricdoug
05-14-2016, 06:36 PM
It's 'ukulele. Ric

Tootler
05-14-2016, 11:46 PM
Does it really matter?

If you're in Hawaii, then use their pronunciation out of courtesy. Elsewhere pronounce it how you like as long as others understand.

Down Up Dick
05-15-2016, 03:09 AM
". . . potato/potahto tomato/tomahto - let's call the whole thing off . . ." :old:

Rllink
05-15-2016, 04:49 AM
I think that you can call it whatever you like as long as you don't try to tell a Hawaiian how to pronounce it. It would be nice to preserve what is left of their heritage.
I don't think that people should go around telling other people how to pronounce anything, but that doesn't mean that people can't laugh at how other people pronounce things, does it? Or is that mean?:D

jollyboy
05-15-2016, 05:24 AM
I don't think that people should go around telling other people how to pronounce anything, but that doesn't mean that people can't laugh at how other people pronounce things, does it? Or is that mean?:D

I laugh at the way Americans pronounce things all the time.

Edit: "Squirrel", for example, makes me chuckle every time.

Down Up Dick
05-15-2016, 05:42 AM
I laugh at the way Americans pronounce things all the time.

Edit: "Squirrel", for example, makes me chuckle every time.

What's funny about Squirrel? How do Brits pronounce it? :old:

mikelz777
05-15-2016, 05:47 AM
I laugh at the way Americans pronounce things all the time.

Edit: "Squirrel", for example, makes me chuckle every time.

"Sk-whirl" or "sk-whir-rell"? My part of the world pronounces it with one syllable.

Rllink
05-15-2016, 05:55 AM
I laugh at the way Americans pronounce things all the time.

Edit: "Squirrel", for example, makes me chuckle every time.That's okay, I understand. I laugh every time I hear them say Downton Abbey on Puerto Rican Public Television. I walk around the apartment saying Dowton Abby with the Spanish pronunciation until my wife tells me to shut up. We watch a lot of BBC shows on Netflix, and I find myself doing this British accent thing that my wife tells me is so terrible in itself, that it is funny.

Down Up Dick
05-15-2016, 06:01 AM
We watch PBS a lot too -- no stupid Zombies and no 20 commercials in a row! I don't know what's happened to TV. :old:

jollyboy
05-15-2016, 06:23 AM
How do Brits pronounce it? :old:

Well, I suppose the obvious answer is "Squirrel" :p

Here's something a little more informative...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrWpJupEJWk



"Sk-whirl" or "sk-whir-rell"? My part of the world pronounces it with one syllable.

The monosyllabic "Sk-whirl" or "Squirl" is the one I'm familiar with.


...and I find myself doing this British accent thing that my wife tells me is so terrible in itself, that it is funny.

Well, just so long as it's as good as Dick Van Dyke's, I guess it's okay... Pip pip cheerio :)

Down Up Dick
05-15-2016, 06:32 AM
Huh? Well, there's just no tellin' about the British sense of humor. I guess we just have ta laugh when everybody else laughs. :old:

kvehe
05-15-2016, 06:50 AM
Chicago:

shi-CAW-goh

or

shi-CAH-goh

or something else?

The dictionary says #2, but the only people I've ever heard say that are not native Chicagoans.

Or maybe I live in my own strange little world.

Down Up Dick
05-15-2016, 07:31 AM
Well, Kathryn, both of your examples sound the same to me; I think you really do live in your own strange little world. Do you say ookoolaylee or youkoulaylay or you cah lay lay or what?

I say Uke to rhyme with Puke, but without the caps. :old:

kvehe
05-15-2016, 11:33 AM
It's hard to write out. Yes, uke rhymes with puke.

I guess my closest would be "you kah LAY lee".

kohanmike
05-15-2016, 08:21 PM
What I find interesting between British and American is aluminum, it's spelled differently therefore pronounced differently. In the US it's spelled without an i, aluminum, pronounced ah-loom-min-num. In Britain it's spelled aluminium with an i and pronounced al-you-min-ni-yum.