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View Full Version : How do YOU pronounce "ukulele"?



ChiyoDad
02-27-2008, 02:46 PM
This is meant as a fun poll, but it should be interesting. I chose the two most common pronunciations. ;)

How do YOU (vous, usted, Sie, anata et cetera) pronounce "ukulele"?

Fred Miu
02-27-2008, 02:57 PM
youz a loser if you dont pronouce it oo-koo leh-leh:rolleyes:

davoomac
02-27-2008, 03:51 PM
When I first got a uke i pronounced it you-koo-leh-leh, Now I know better hahaha

So is this the proper way of saying stuff?
uke = yook
ukulele = ooh-koo-leh-leh

experimentjon
02-27-2008, 04:14 PM
"yoo-keh lay-lee" is just slaughtering the word. (No offense if you do say it like that...but you should probably make the switch.)

ChiyoDad
02-27-2008, 04:44 PM
So is this the proper way of saying stuff?
uke = yook
ukulele = ooh-koo-leh-leh

For me: uke = ook

"I say 'an uke'. You say 'a uke'. I say 'an ukulele'. You say 'a ukulele'. Let's call the whole thing off!"

Ukulele_Junkie
02-27-2008, 04:49 PM
ookoolaylie for me, usually poeple don't know what i'm talking about tho round my parts. but when i abbreviate it to uke. i say yuke. which i should get outta the habit of jus saying that, cuz if i do say ook. they'll be like wat da eff?

mossyoak
02-27-2008, 05:22 PM
people who don't play the uke can it a you-kah-lay-lee

tripl3thr33
02-27-2008, 05:26 PM
its weird, i call it an ook-koo-leh-leh but i say yook for just uke. but i have been trying to get myself to pronounce it ook lol

dajoka
02-27-2008, 05:27 PM
i jus ask my wife "eh, try go grab me da dakine." an she knows exactly wat I mean. if I gotta say um, only one way ... oo ku le le.

P.S. Not to mess up dis tread (but I goin do um anywayz) a similar ting, how you guys say karaoke? since i stay ontop da mainland now I stay so amazed how much ways people stay mess dis one up ... how hard is ka-ra-o-ke? not ka-ree-oo-kee o wateva dey say ... sigh.

acabooe
02-28-2008, 12:50 AM
"yoo-keh lay-lee" is just slaughtering the word. (No offense if you do say it like that...but you should probably make the switch.)

haha, it's kinnda the same as when Connan O'Brian said Jake Shimabukuroo"

I say it the correct Hawaiian way, ( wife wife taught me how to say it:o she is from Hawai'i )

Aloha
Acabooe:cool:

hotnanas
02-28-2008, 05:03 AM
Yooooooooooooooooooooooooouhttp://www.motohouston.com/forums/images/smilies/newsmilies/slide.gif

Here, in Texas, if I said "oo-koo leh-leh" I'd get nothing but blank stares. So it's almost always "Yook" and "yoo-keh lay-lee". So mark me down in the "says it wrong" column!

UKESTAR
02-28-2008, 06:58 AM
Depends who I am talking to. Typically, when I say ookooleyley, the person listening says...."you mean yookoolaylee??" I get tired of always having to explain the real pronunciation. Plus, these outsiders percieve this as being a bit "snobbish". I feel.....could be wrong? So....is it REALLY worth it? Some say yes! some say no!...

End result that I use most often = yook:D

JumpingPulgas
02-28-2008, 07:16 AM
I pronounce it ooh-koo-leh-leh...I try to keep it real :D

NukeDOC
02-28-2008, 07:26 AM
man, im all over the place with this one.

i say it all kinds of ways. usually its ookoo leh leh. but i get those blank stares. yeah everyone knows what im talking about. then i say yookoo laylee. and i get even more stares. then i say "you know those little guitars from hawaii..." and theyre like "ohhhhhhhhh".

i hate having to "dumb it down" for people but its necessary to get your point across sometimes.

ChiyoDad
02-28-2008, 07:33 AM
Here, in Texas, if I said "oo-koo leh-leh" I'd get nothing but blank stares.
Having to deal with double-pronunciations based on community can be a problem.

For example. is Texas pronounced Tek-sess or Teh-has?

hotnanas
02-28-2008, 08:07 AM
Having to deal with double-pronunciations based on community can be a problem.

For example. is Texas pronounced Tek-sess or Teh-has?


Tex-Is, the X is not silent.
Now here in Houston, I hear people say You-Stun, and I hate that...

NukeDOC
02-28-2008, 08:13 AM
Tex-Is, the X is not silent.
Now here in Houston, I hear people say You-Stun, and I hate that...
hahaha better than oos-tone. couldnt help meself. sorry hahaha

Ukulele Dude
02-28-2008, 11:53 AM
haha Fred. I'm joining the 'losers'. Here's why: every language, particularly English, is filled with words that are pronounced differently in different regions. Think about it. I live in a virtually ukulele-free zone known as Arizona. People don't pronounce it 'ookoolele' here, they pronounce it more like youkulaylee. For me to go around insisting that it is 'ookoolele' would be silly (to put it nicely).

Fred, I'm sure your comment was in jest. But you might want to rethink it, because we're all losers by that logic. :D

oh and then there's this
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ukulele

hotnanas
02-28-2008, 11:59 AM
youz a loser if you dont pronouce it oo-koo leh-leh:rolleyes:

:mad:

i must have missed this! i'll be a loser like the rest of the mainland USA!

michaelphipps
02-28-2008, 11:59 AM
The local ukulele club here in Brisbane (Australia) was on the radio a few days ago, talking about the You-ku-lay-lee in our lovely broad Australian accent (I think we sound like hicks).

I cringed every time I heard them say the word.

Mind you, I've heard Aldrine say oo-koo-laa-le and oo-koo-le-le (le as in lets) I favour the first of those.

Hey someone mentioned Jake Shimabukuro - got these from his site which has just been updated by the looks of it!

Jake Shimabukuro (she-ma-BOO- koo-row)
ukulele (oo-koo-LAY-lay)

davoomac
02-28-2008, 12:38 PM
oh and then there's this
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ukulele

HAHA merriam webster says it yookoolaylee :D

Misguided Musician
02-28-2008, 12:44 PM
Forget Merriam Webster! I say it the real way, oo-koo-leh-leh. haha I'm jk. I sometimes just say uke.

ChiyoDad
02-28-2008, 01:18 PM
oh and then there's this
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ukulele

Geez! Everyone knows the Merriam bruddahs and Noah Webster were haoles. :D

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/93/Noah_webster_small.png/180px-Noah_webster_small.png
Noah Webster ... island boy ... NOT!!

IamRobbyah
02-28-2008, 05:54 PM
heh, if ppl start the conversation with me, an keep sayin yoo, then i'll respond wid oo, an they jus feel stupid. jus tryin ta keep it real

Howlie Boy
02-28-2008, 06:25 PM
I pronounce it all ways uke ookulele and youkulele. if im around people whom dont play then i say you, with other players oo and when im talking fast uke, and yes i pronounce uke youke. If you couldnt tell by the name im a socal white boy and i pronounce it the socal white boy way... Yup im a howlie boy... lol all this just my opinion no hard feeling to anyone.:D

Howlie Boy:cool:

UkuLeLesReggAe
02-28-2008, 06:27 PM
i used to pronouce it as youkalayle but i now say ookulele

IamRobbyah
02-28-2008, 06:32 PM
^^ ey bruh. i sooooo wanna go to nz one day. i drive an rx7, an the rotaries from dat island is jus nuts... that, an it looks like a beautiful place, yezzir

Woodshed
02-28-2008, 08:16 PM
youz a loser if you dont pronouce it oo-koo leh-leh:rolleyes:

Well, Iz a loser. And proud of it.

"Yoo-keh lay-lee" all the way for me. I'm English so I pronounce it the Anglicised way. When non-Hawaiians pronounce it "oo-koo leh-leh" it strikes me as being pretentious; like those people who order a cappucino in an exaggerated Italian accent.

ChiyoDad
02-29-2008, 02:51 AM
When non-Hawaiians pronounce it "oo-koo leh-leh" it strikes me as being pretentious...
I guess it depends on where you live. There's a large islander population here in California and there are regular Hawaiian music concerts. The guys at Gryphon Stringed Instruments (all non-Hawaiians, they have the biggest stock of ukes that I've seen) say "oo-koo leh-leh". Guitar Solo and Schoenberg Guitars sell ukes and they say "oo-koo leh-leh". Most non-Hawaiians attending the annual Northern California festivals say "oo-koo leh-leh".

I think there was a local TV feature where they used "oo-koo leh-leh", too. But they acknowledged that the average person (i.e. non-Hawaiian) pronounces it the other way.

NukeDOC
02-29-2008, 05:31 AM
Well, Iz a loser. And proud of it.

"Yoo-keh lay-lee" all the way for me. I'm English so I pronounce it the Anglicised way. When non-Hawaiians pronounce it "oo-koo leh-leh" it strikes me as being pretentious; like those people who order a cappucino in an exaggerated Italian accent.
you make a good point. kinda like the news reporters here. they can be the most haole haoles youd ever see, but as soon as they come across some spanish last name, they get these HARD mexican accents hahaha... RRRRRRODREEEEGESSSS (rodriguez). its actually quite irritating. but those pretentious people are just so obvious.

but then again, i can appreciate when someone has obviously taken the time to sound words out and get somewhat of an idea of how to pronounce it. something i hear a lot in san diego is the word "tijuana". its a place in mexico for those that dont know. now, living only 20min away from the place, you would think most people would know not to pronounce it "tee uh wah nah". its not spelled tiajuana. its tijuana... "tee hwa na". but i swear more people pronounce it wrong than not. so i view this situation as ignorant. hahaha.

hotnanas
02-29-2008, 06:05 AM
you make a good point. kinda like the news reporters here. they can be the most haole haoles youd ever see, but as soon as they come across some spanish last name, they get these HARD mexican accents hahaha... RRRRRRODREEEEGESSSS (rodriguez). its actually quite irritating. but those pretentious people are just so obvious.

but then again, i can appreciate when someone has obviously taken the time to sound words out and get somewhat of an idea of how to pronounce it. something i hear a lot in san diego is the word "tijuana". its a place in mexico for those that dont know. now, living only 20min away from the place, you would think most people would know not to pronounce it "tee uh wah nah". its not spelled tiajuana. its tijuana... "tee hwa na". but i swear more people pronounce it wrong than not. so i view this situation as ignorant. hahaha.

dang...it's not "tee uh wah nah"? all these years...

NukeDOC
02-29-2008, 06:15 AM
dang...it's not "tee uh wah nah"? all these years...
hahahahahahaha... seriously im crackin up right now! hahaha

had to be the guy from texas! thanks man youre good in my book!

SnakeOiler
02-29-2008, 11:21 PM
Well, Iz a loser. And proud of it.

"Yoo-keh lay-lee" all the way for me. I'm English so I pronounce it the Anglicised way. When non-Hawaiians pronounce it "oo-koo leh-leh" it strikes me as being pretentious; like those people who order a cappucino in an exaggerated Italian accent.

What he said.

Buddy McCue
06-08-2009, 11:18 AM
Or do you pronounce it the Hawaiian way?

Out here in the rural South, I tend to say "yookoolaylee," even though I know that really isn't the proper name for it. I work in a shop, and occasionally bring the little instrument to work to sing a song or so, and I don't want to sound all high-falutin' or snobby or anything, so I don't use the proper pronunciation.

If I were vacationing in Hawaii however, and were invited to a jam, I would probably refrain from pronouncing the word at all until I had heard somebody else say it first.

upskydowncloud
06-08-2009, 11:34 AM
Or do you pronounce it the Hawaiian way?

Out here in the rural South, I tend to say "yookoolaylee," even though I know that really isn't the proper name for it. I work in a shop, and occasionally bring the little instrument to work to sing a song or so, and I don't want to sound all high-falutin' or snobby or anything, so I don't use the proper pronunciation.

If I were vacationing in Hawaii however, and were invited to a jam, I would probably refrain from pronouncing the word at all until I had heard somebody else say it first.

There was a thread about this a while ago and from what I remember it caused a lot of controversy! Personally I pronounce it the non-Hawaiian way, mainly because noone in England would understand me!

ukulele2544
06-08-2009, 11:37 AM
No thats the mainland way of saying it. the pronunciation is; ookulele.

UkuleleHill
06-08-2009, 11:37 AM
You mean this thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=982&highlight=pronunciation)?

Buddy McCue
06-08-2009, 11:40 AM
You mean this thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=982&highlight=pronunciation)?

Okay, I went and voted in the poll on that thread. I found that I was in the 19% minority.

kim jorgensen
06-08-2009, 11:58 AM
Bobby,

I first thought it was pretentious too but you have to honor the Hawaiians. Ooooookoolele means jumping flea in Hawaiian which is what your hand should look like when you're strumming right. Most people know so little about the uke that a little learning won't hurt them much. There's some kind of good in it.

I'm a CA boy with an East Coast Yankee wife who makes fun of me for saying winner instead of winter and I'm an English teacher. Everyone has an accent. Besides when you play well all the girls say, "Ooo, ooo!" That's why it should be pronounced the Hawaiian way.

Now it doesn't phase me if people look at me a little strange. If they really wanted to know something strange they could let me tell them about how obsessed I'm become with that little ol' dancin' flea.

If you still get stink eye looks for saying ooookuuulaylay tell them it was orginally called the cavaquinho and you use Aguila strings.

UkuleleHill
06-08-2009, 12:02 PM
Yeah, I pronounce it the hawiian way and when people don't know what I am saying I say "you might know it as the Yoo-koo-lay-lee" and I explain how its really pronounced. They tend to understand when I say it would be like calling my town Huber Heights pronuonced Heu-Burr Heights, H-uh-burr Heights

Ukulele Jim
06-08-2009, 12:04 PM
I'm with Woodshed. When I'm introduced at shows, it's always as "yoo-koo-lay-lee jim". I prefer it that way.

seeso
06-08-2009, 12:17 PM
I think I'll just go ahead and merge this thread with the previous one if you don't mind, Buddy. Thanks.

UkuleleHill
06-08-2009, 12:26 PM
Thanks Seeso! I was about to suggest it but you beat me to the punch!

Pueo
06-08-2009, 12:48 PM
I am a haole and I TRY to say ookoolehleh every time, but it's tough! Since I am married to a Hawaiian, and most people I am around know that I frequent Hawaii and/or have been there themselves they still know what I am talking about. But when I learned the word, it was a you-koo-lay-lee, so that still comes out of my mouth sometimes.

Ukulele JJ
06-08-2009, 12:58 PM
I predict this is going to be a long, heated thread... :D

Anyway, I usually pronounce it the English way. I'm in Tennessee, fer-cryin-out-loud. But sometimes I'll go with the Hawaiian way. Depends on the situation I guess.

The Hawaiian way is the original way to pronounce it of course. It's a Hawaiian word, after all. But it is not, in my very strong opinion, the only correct way to pronounce it when you are speaking a language other than Hawaiian.

When the ukulele become widely-known in the US and elsewhere, English-speaking people started pronouncing it (and spelling it) all sorts of ways. Eventually, a pronunciation along the lines of "yoo-ka-lay-lee" became by far the most popular.

Now, pretty much every language adopts words from other languages. Most of the time, they change things the process.

Normally, this is no problem. You don't see French people getting all in a snit when we pronounce Paris as "PARE-iss" instead of "pay-REE". Nor do most Italians particularly care that it's perfectly acceptable to order "a panini" in English.

But unlilke French and Italian, Hawaiian is an endangered language. As a result, some people get really touchy about "ukulele". It's probably tempting to see this very normal process of altering the pronunciation of foreign loanwords as being some deliberate ethnocentric attempt to dilute and/or disrespect a culture. I understand that view, but I respectfully disagree that that's the case.

Either that, or they just like being snobs, which I've got no use for, personally.

JJ

RevWill
06-08-2009, 12:59 PM
Playing the oo-koo-le-le in Nee-ca-rrrrrrrrrag-wa.

I pronounce it both ways. Ook- when I'm among other musicians, and Youk- when I'm with the general public.

cpatch
06-08-2009, 01:47 PM
The Hawaiian way is the original way to pronounce it of course. It's a Hawaiian word, after all.
The way I see it, if you insist on pronouncing it "oo-koo-leh-leh" then you better pronounce Hawai`i "huh-WAH-ee" with a glottal stop! (And learn what an `okina is.)

UkuEroll
06-08-2009, 02:36 PM
I'm a Yoo!
Here in England most say yoo-keh lay-lee. I think it's more of an accent thing.
It wasn't till I came to play one that I learnt of the proper pronunciation. Even though I now know the right way, I still revert back to Yoo when I'm talking to people here, but as stated earlier if I had the good fortune to come to the Islands I would try to say it correctly.

Tanizaki
06-08-2009, 03:10 PM
i jus ask my wife "eh, try go grab me da dakine." an she knows exactly wat I mean. if I gotta say um, only one way ... oo ku le le.

P.S. Not to mess up dis tread (but I goin do um anywayz) a similar ting, how you guys say karaoke? since i stay ontop da mainland now I stay so amazed how much ways people stay mess dis one up ... how hard is ka-ra-o-ke? not ka-ree-oo-kee o wateva dey say ... sigh.

"yoo-keh lay-lee" here.

By the way, you'll find that in Japan, a diphthong is made of the second and third mora of "karaoke", making it ka-rao-ke. Yes, I know you will find pages about Japanese out there that go as far as to say that there no diphthongs in Japanese. I wonder if those authors have ever heard Japanese being spoken.

haole
06-08-2009, 04:45 PM
yerk-a-loo-loo

I think this is why neither uke players nor the general population like me. :B

danged
06-08-2009, 06:16 PM
I play in a Ukulele group that sings and plays Hawaiian music. We do not allow anyone in the group unless they can pronounce "oo-koo leh-leh", otherwise we would run into major problems pronouncing Hawaiian words correctly when we sing. The vowels are always pronounced just like speaking Spanish, and never silent. By saying ukulele the other way, would be the same as saying we are Hair-why-ins.

ricdoug
06-08-2009, 07:22 PM
Both ways are correct. There are also more than one correct spelling:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ukulele

Main Entry:uku·le·le
Variant(s):also uke·le·le \ˌyü-kə-ˈlā-lē, ˌü-\
Function:noun
Etymology:Hawaiian ʽukulele, from ʽuku flea + lele jumping
Date:1896
: a small guitar of Portuguese origin popularized in Hawaii in the 1880s and strung typically with four strings

Those who pronounce it "yoo" generally are not trying to disrespect Hawaiian culture, but just following grammatical rules of the English language. I usually pronounce it "oo", but don't get upset when others pronounce it "yoo". Sometimes I will explain the origin of the Hawaiian renaming of a Portuguese instrument. Ric

bornagainjeeper
06-08-2009, 08:02 PM
I must admit, i say yookulele, for a reason cited earlier...if i say ookulele people tend to not figure out what i'm talking about...I personally think its quite fair to pronounce things as your regional dialect sees fit...Thats just how language works...England and America differ on a great number of words potato..poTOTo...hell they invented the language, but we are rarely criticized as its just an acceptable phonic change...God...college linguistic class has ruined me...

but long story short, among uke players i say "Ookulele..." its just a matter of talking to you're audience

great poll!

Ahnko Honu
06-08-2009, 10:12 PM
I call them my leetle friends. ;)

ukantor
06-08-2009, 10:32 PM
Soprano or concert is pronounced Yuo-koo-lay-lee.

Tenor or bigger is pronounced Toi Git-ar:nana:

John Colter.

buddhuu
06-08-2009, 10:43 PM
LOL, John! :D

Through sheer force of lifelong, ignorant habit I generally say Yoo-koo-lay-lee.

I'm trying to remember to pronounce it the proper way. After all, it's a Hawaiian word, so it seems polite to try to get it right.

casetone2514
06-08-2009, 11:55 PM
I say you-ka-lay-li and spell it ukelele (except on here and YT) because I am from the UK and that is traditionally how we say and spell it. It is not disrespecting Hawaiian culture, it is simply following my own.

The fact is that many words are pronounced differently depending upon your background and because of a thing called "Folk Etymology". When a culture adopts an object of concept or terminology and it does not sit well with their culture or liguistic style, common usage adapts it to suit the new locale.

No doubt most English speakers here pronounce cinema as sinner-ma when it is, in fact, a diminution of the word "kinematograf". People in the US and the UK found the harsh "K" sound jarred with the language and by 1920 the word "Kino" (the original english word for cinema) had disappeared and cinema had been adopted from the French version of the word.

...and let's not get in to the debate about pronunciation differences between US and UK english....

CoffeeJunkee
06-09-2009, 12:07 AM
I personally think its quite fair to pronounce things as your regional dialect sees fit...Thats just how language works...England and America differ on a great number of words potato..poTOTo...hell they invented the language, but we are rarely criticized as its just an acceptable phonic change...God...college linguistic class has ruined me...

but long story short, among uke players i say "Ookulele..." its just a matter of talking to you're audience

great poll!

Exactly right!.... I could't agree more. I myself say it both ways, it just depends which way falls out of my mouth at the time.

ichadwick
06-09-2009, 12:40 AM
I compromise. I call it "ook-you-lay-lee... that way I reach out to both sides of what seems to be an endless debate...

Captain Google
06-09-2009, 05:30 AM
Tenor or bigger is pronounced Toi Git-ar:nana:

Watch it, buddy.:stop:

Brad Bordessa
06-09-2009, 05:53 AM
I feel very strongly that it should be pronounced "oo-koo-le-le".

Being on the mainland though, everyone says "you-ka-lay-lee". I am surprised again and again how many people get what I'm talking about when I say "oo". Granted there is always a pause where I think: "dear God, don't make me say it "you"!", but for the most part an interaction goes like this:

Person: "So, what instrument do you play?"
Hippie Guy: "The oo-koo-le-le."
[pause...]
Person: "Oh, the you-ka-lay-le. Cool."
Hippie Guy (thinking): Right... I've just been crossed off his cool list.

I always laugh in my head: they just heard me say it a different way, but they never (ever) even tried to say it like that or even asked "why do you say it like that?".

khrome
06-09-2009, 07:52 AM
I couldn't fill out the poll because honestly I say it both ways. I grew up saying "yoo.." but now am making a concious effort to switch to "ooo.." but when I'm not thinking about it I revert back.

UkuCouS
06-09-2009, 08:13 AM
I pronounce "ukulele" oo-koo-le-le , but I'm used to say "uku" you-koo when I talk about it

cpatch
06-09-2009, 08:24 AM
Can we discuss the correct pronunciation of "Los Angeles" next? ;)

hoosierhiver
06-09-2009, 08:43 AM
Can we discuss the correct pronunciation of "Los Angeles" next? ;)

or maybe "Louisville"

Thumper
06-09-2009, 08:51 AM
or maybe "Louisville"


or Illinois?

Captain Google
06-09-2009, 08:59 AM
or Illinois?

Or Des Moines, Le Mans, Bologna, Kuala Lumpur, and phyllo?

Back on topic, I prefer shortening it to "yook", so there's less time between saying it and playing it (which is the most important thing).

haole
06-09-2009, 10:22 AM
Back on topic, I prefer shortening it to "yook", so there's less time between saying it and playing it (which is the most important thing).

This .

UkuCouS
06-09-2009, 10:33 AM
Or Des Moines, Le Mans,

Ahah lived here !

Spooner
06-09-2009, 10:36 AM
I think it goes sumn like this...

OOKOO - MUTHAFLAPPIN - LAYLAY!!!!!!!!!!:p

casetone2514
06-10-2009, 04:00 AM
Can we discuss the correct pronunciation of "Los Angeles" next? ;)

or Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysili ogogogoch in Wales or Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakit anatahu In New Zealand or Krungthepmahanakonbowornratanakosinmahintarayudyay amahadil-oponoparatanarajthaniburiromudomrajniwesmahasatarn amornpimarnavatarsatitsakattiyavisanukamphrasit, Thailand.

buddhuu
06-10-2009, 04:38 AM
I say you-ka-lay-li and spell it ukelele (except on here and YT) because I am from the UK and that is traditionally how we say and spell it. It is not disrespecting Hawaiian culture, it is simply following my own.

The fact is that many words are pronounced differently depending upon your background and because of a thing called "Folk Etymology". When a culture adopts an object of concept or terminology and it does not sit well with their culture or liguistic style, common usage adapts it to suit the new locale.
[...]

Indeed. I do take your point. I'm a writer - words and their origins are important to me.

I see things a little differently though. Where pre-existing cultures have a bit of an uphill struggle to maintain their languages and traditions in the face of interference from dominant imported cultures, I like to see the indigenous ways survive.

Locally to you and me, the people of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall have had a heck of a time trying to keep their own languages and traditions alive in the face of the English onslaught. I do my best to use local versions for place names etc when I visit. I try to pronounce other things appropriately too. I play the Irish frame drum, so I use (one of) the Irish pronunciation of "bodhran". I do my inadequate best to use the Irish names for the Irish traditional tunes I play.

I don't think it will hurt me to try to change from yoo-koo-lay-lee to oo-koo-leh-leh. Brits and mainland Americans can try doing things the other guy's way for a change instead of mangling everything to suit our own lazy, melting pot.

I have Asian friends living in England who have changed their names rather than struggle with the native English failure to try to grasp the facts that some Chinese people may not have the given names and family names in the same order that we are used to, and that Sikh and Muslim people do not have "Christian" names.

I loved the ironic line in Paul Haggis's brilliant movie Crash where a black lady who had been the target of a white character's resentfulness towards her ethnicity then proceeded to yell at an Asian character, "What the hell is wrong with you people? Don't talk to me unless you speak American!"

No. I'd rather not anglicise everything. Let's allow the world to retain some character. ;)

Just my personal way of seeing it. YMMV.

hoosierhiver
06-10-2009, 05:53 AM
or Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysili ogogogoch in Wales or Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakit anatahu In New Zealand or Krungthepmahanakonbowornratanakosinmahintarayudyay amahadil-oponoparatanarajthaniburiromudomrajniwesmahasatarn amornpimarnavatarsatitsakattiyavisanukamphrasit, Thailand.

Bangkok also known as Krung-thep, can also be translated as the "City of Angels"

Brad Bordessa
06-10-2009, 06:16 AM
I don't think it will hurt me to try to change from yoo-koo-lay-lee to oo-koo-leh-leh. Brits and mainland Americans can try doing things the other guy's way for a change instead of mangling everything to suit our own lazy, melting pot...

...No. I'd rather not anglicise everything. Let's allow the world to retain some character. ;)

Just my personal way of seeing it. YMMV.

Thank you! The nail has been hit on the head.

We should remember too that it was the Americans and Brits who banned the Hawaiians from speaking their own language for a whole generation. It was almost lost.

specialmike
06-10-2009, 06:21 AM
after hearing some natives on the islands pronounce the word, I have officially changed the way I pronounced the word. I think anglicized accents are ... a big NO

rreffner
06-10-2009, 06:36 AM
The way I see it, if you insist on pronouncing it "oo-koo-leh-leh" then you better pronounce Hawai`i "huh-WAH-ee" with a glottal stop! (And learn what an `okina is.)

The way we always said was: huh-vi-e, molo-ki-e, lanai-e, oo-koo, etc.:)

ichadwick
06-10-2009, 07:15 AM
I'm a writer - words and their origins are important to me.
I have been writer, editor, columnist and reporter. Words and their correct usage is of critical importance to me (I'm anal enough about it to read books on grammar and usage while I walk my dog!). However, I see things a little differently.

We agonize over this issue far more than necessary. It simply doesn't matter beyond personal preference how it is pronounced.

No one on the planet is confused is you say "you-koo-lay-lee" and somehow thinks you mean a trombone or a small salted fish. They may be momentarily confused if you say "oo-koo-lel-eh" because they haven't heard that pronunciation before, but I have yet to have someone offer me an anchovy as a result of my doing so.

Has the world gone to hell in a handbasket simply because English speakers call it "van-il-ah" intead of the proper "van-ee-yah"? Or that we called the city Peking for a couple of centuries and now call it Beijing? Did anyone think we were referring to anchovies as a result?

No. I do admit I've had a few strange looks when I ask for "hala -pain-yo" peppers with my nachos instead of "jala-pee-nos" at the local restuarant. Still no small salted fish with the order, though.

It's not colonialism or racism or cultural despotism or some linguistic imperialism to pronounce a word according to the rules and systems you're used to. It's just the way we do things.

Stop agonizing. Play more.

Ukulele JJ
06-10-2009, 07:19 AM
I think anglicized accents are ... a big NO

Which is cool.

But I'm willing to bet there are still tons of words that you regularly pronounce in an anglicized way. Perhaps some of these:

Violin
Kamikaze
Minestrone
Forte (as in "not my forte")
Mitsubishi
Jesus (the famous carpenter, not the famous baseball player)
Cockroach
Moulin Rouge
Sake
...and pretty much any foreign country/city name, like Mexico, Spain, Vienna, Quebec, etc.


I admire your respect of foreign languages, but man, you've got your work cut out for you!

JJ

ukantor
06-10-2009, 07:19 AM
We are talking about a word that has been adopted by one culture from another. It happens all the time, and if the word comes into common usage with a pronunciation different from the original, well, that's what normally happens. Just listen to a Welsh person speaking their Mother tongue. You will hear lots of English words, but they will likely be pronounced very differently from the way an English person would say them. It doesn't make me feel that the Welsh person is being ignorant, culturally unaware, or insulting.

I'll carry on saying it the commonly accepted Anglo/American way, but if I'm ever lucky enough to visit Hawaii, I'll listen to how the local people say it, and I will do my best to honour their wonderful little adaptation of a Portuguese instrument, by saying the word the same way they do.

John Colter.

1014
06-10-2009, 07:22 AM
I have been writer, editor, columnist and reporter. Words and their correct usage is of critical importance to me (I'm anal enough about it to read books on grammar and usage while I walk my dog!). However, I see things a little differently.

We agonize over this issue far more than necessary. It simply doesn't matter beyond personal preference how it is pronounced.

No one on the planet is confused is you say "you-koo-lay-lee" and somehow thinks you mean a trombone or a small salted fish. They may be momentarily confused if you say "oo-koo-lel-eh" because they haven't heard that pronunciation before, but I have yet to have someone offer me an anchovy as a result of my doing so.

Has the world gone to hell in a handbasket simply because English speakers call it "van-il-ah" intead of the proper "van-ee-yah"? Or that we called the city Peking for a couple of centuries and now call it Beijing? Did anyone think we were referring to anchovies as a result?

No. I do admit I've had a few strange looks when I ask for "hala -pain-yo" peppers with my nachos instead of "jala-pee-nos" at the local restuarant. Still no small salted fish with the order, though.

It's not colonialism or racism or cultural despotism or some linguistic imperialism to pronounce a word according to the rules and systems you're used to. It's just the way we do things.

Stop agonizing. Play more.


http://z.about.com/d/italianfood/1/0/h/y/acciughe1.jpg

i've got strong opinions on this but i'll keep quiet. this was a mere poke.

Captain Google
06-10-2009, 07:26 AM
Thank you! The nail has been hit on the head.

It's been hit so many times, it doesn't remember being a nail.:p

ichadwick
06-10-2009, 07:45 AM
MMMM... Anchovies!:D

Er... or is that a small musical instrument?:confused:

Ukulele JJ
06-10-2009, 07:48 AM
[IMG]
this was a mere poke.[/SIZE]

Well then I won't carp about it.

JJ

Tanizaki
06-10-2009, 08:47 AM
Indeed. I do take your point. I'm a writer - words and their origins are important to me.

I see things a little differently though. Where pre-existing cultures have a bit of an uphill struggle to maintain their languages and traditions in the face of interference from dominant imported cultures, I like to see the indigenous ways survive.
What do you mean by "survive"? Specifically, what makes that think that's English you're writing? The language you are writing would be unrecognizable to anyone living 500 years ago. Similarly, chances are that someone reading this post 500 years in the future will not be able to do so unaided. There is a reason why the copies of Shakespeare's plays that we read in school all have extensive liner notes regarding 16th century English. When Flavius describes a carpenter in Julius Caesar as "being mechanical", he does not mean that the man is a cyborg. Like anything thing else that lives, languages arise, evolve, and die.

The same evolution is almost certainly true for Hawaiian as well, although we cannot be certain because the speakers of Hawaiian never bothered to think of a writing system. That was left to the western "onslaught" to do that job for them.

Speaking in the context of musical instruments, do you call the instrument that Glenn Gould played a "piano" or "pianoforte"?


Locally to you and me, the people of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall have had a heck of a time trying to keep their own languages and traditions alive in the face of the English onslaught. I do my best to use local versions for place names etc when I visit. I try to pronounce other things appropriately too. I play the Irish frame drum, so I use (one of) the Irish pronunciation of "bodhran". I do my inadequate best to use the Irish names for the Irish traditional tunes I play.
Speakers of English had an onslaught of their own to deal with a while back. Please see "Battle of Hastings" for more.


I don't think it will hurt me to try to change from yoo-koo-lay-lee to oo-koo-leh-leh. Brits and mainland Americans can try doing things the other guy's way for a change instead of mangling everything to suit our own lazy, melting pot.
It's not a mangling for foreign loanwords to adapt to the phonics of the adopting language. When I speak Japanese with my family about preparing a salad, may we use the loanword of "sarada" (サラダ), or must we say "salad" to avoid being lazy?


No. I'd rather not anglicise everything. Let's allow the world to retain some character. ;0
Really? How do you pronounce "tornado" or "Colorado"? I don't see how an anglicized word has any less (or more) character than any other word. By the way, your spelling of "anglicise" is a relic of the Norman conquest. Why submit to onslaught in that case?

hoosierhiver
06-10-2009, 09:14 AM
"The Anchovy" sounds like a good name for a soprano.

Ukulele JJ
06-10-2009, 10:30 AM
"The Anchovy" sounds like a good name for a soprano.

Maria "the Anchovy" Callas.

Hey, I like it!

JJ

nikolo727
06-10-2009, 11:24 AM
personally I dont care anymore. I used to call people sinners if you pronounce it you-ka-lay-lee, but i really dont care anymore. Its not about the name. I mean if you write the name on a piece of paper does it make a sound. no. Its all about the instrument itself. So call it what you want. A mini guitar, a lute, blah blah blah, it is still the greatest instrument in the world.

ukantor
06-10-2009, 11:31 AM
I'll drink to that, Nick.

Bottoms up!

John Colter.

ichadwick
06-10-2009, 11:46 AM
The language you are writing would be unrecognizable to anyone living 500 years ago.
I'm not sure it would be totally unrecognizable in its written form. Pronunciation would be very different, of course. I can read Chaucer in its original and stumble my way through much of his work without needing a glossary. I can read Mallory, too. I can read Shakespeare with ease, although a few word meanings have shifted somewhat. I delight in reading the seafaring accounts in the collections of Hakluyut and Purchas. But when I listen to a CD of the spoken Canterbury Tales, I lose much, since the oral form is so different. In spoken form, a familiar story becomes a confusion of anchovies.

haole
06-10-2009, 11:51 AM
I'd rather see someone call it a "toy guitar" but enjoy the hell out of it than see someone correctly pronounce it as "ookoolehleh" but treat it with indifference or disdain.

cpatch
06-10-2009, 12:41 PM
I mean if you write the name on a piece of paper does it make a sound.
Not if the paper is made from a tree that fell in a forest when no one was around to hear it.

Jimmy
06-10-2009, 12:44 PM
I say youkoolaylee, but that's just how we say it around these parts. Also when I say ookoolehleh I just sound like a gorilla.

specialmike
06-10-2009, 12:46 PM
Which is cool.

But I'm willing to bet there are still tons of words that you regularly pronounce in an anglicized way. Perhaps some of these:

Violin
Kamikaze
Minestrone
Forte (as in "not my forte")
Mitsubishi
Jesus (the famous carpenter, not the famous baseball player)
Cockroach
Moulin Rouge
Sake
...and pretty much any foreign country/city name, like Mexico, Spain, Vienna, Quebec, etc.


I admire your respect of foreign languages, but man, you've got your work cut out for you!

JJ

Totally. It's an constant fight uphill. I agree, there is soooooooo much to learn. Can't be perfect, but to strive for it isn't too crazy. :)

UUadmin
06-10-2009, 12:48 PM
Gone over this before. Doesn't really matter how you say it. Just call it an accent if you don't pronounce it the Hawaiian way.

Correcting people on how to say it is like correcting people how to say Karaoke, which 99% of the people outside of Japan mispronounce. Doesn't really matter.

Imagine if I went around saying , "NO, it's pronounced, 'Cah-llrrah-Oh-kay' people would punch me in the face. lol :biglaugh:

snowcooley
06-10-2009, 12:59 PM
I compromise. I call it "ook-you-lay-lee... that way I reach out to both sides of what seems to be an endless debate...

Is this a Canadian thing? I say something to the tune of "Yook-oo-lay-lee" because I always feel like a redneck when I say "You-KAH-lay-lee." (insert "aboot" joke here)

Tanizaki
06-10-2009, 02:53 PM
[INDENT]
I'm not sure it would be totally unrecognizable in its written form. Pronunciation would be very different, of course.
Well, there is no way to be sure of any event that will happen 500 years from now. However, pronounciation would not be the only difference. Middle English and Early Modern English are different languages. The differences between the two are not just matters of vocabulary, pronounciation, or the accompanying orthography.


I can read Chaucer in its original and stumble my way through much of his work without needing a glossary. I can read Mallory, too. I can read Shakespeare with ease, although a few word meanings have shifted somewhat. I delight in reading the seafaring accounts in the collections of Hakluyut and Purchas. But when I listen to a CD of the spoken Canterbury Tales, I lose much, since the oral form is so different. In spoken form, a familiar story becomes a confusion of anchovies.

You (think you) can do these things because you have learned to do so, not by dint of your status as an English speaker. You had to learn, for example, that the infinitive ended in "-on" rather than began with "to". Otherwise, you would think that "goon" means a burly thug instead of "to go". Without consulting a reference, can you know what "psitak", "kynde", or "ycleped" mean? That would be a neat trick.

And, of course, since you do all these activities on your own, you have no mechanism of correction. No one is actually testing your comprehension. When you see the phrase "buxom womman", your Modern English likely tells you "well-endowed woman" rather than the correct meaning of "obedient woman". But, you go along your merry way thinking that you are reading "with ease".

The written form is no more than the rendition of the spoken form. The language is what is spoken, not what is written. If you cannot understand the spoken form, you don't understand the language.

Tanizaki
06-10-2009, 02:56 PM
Imagine if I went around saying , "NO, it's pronounced, 'Cah-llrrah-Oh-kay' people would punch me in the face. lol :biglaugh:

Yes, probably because it's a three-syllable word. (Four mora, three syllables) If that is how you pronounce "karaoke", I wonder how you pronounce 顔?

hoosierhiver
06-10-2009, 03:43 PM
Gone over this before. Doesn't really matter how you say it. Just call it an accent if you don't pronounce it the Hawaiian way.

Correcting people on how to say it is like correcting people how to say Karaoke, which 99% of the people outside of Japan mispronounce. Doesn't really matter.

Imagine if I went around saying , "NO, it's pronounced, 'Cah-llrrah-Oh-kay' people would punch me in the face. lol :biglaugh:

You forgot yo say, "break it up folks, nothing to see here" :D

Bissrok
06-10-2009, 03:46 PM
"Yoo-keh lay-lee", 'cause I don't live in Hawaii.

jdmcnasty
06-10-2009, 04:15 PM
It's funny, I find my self saying it both ways at times. But i prefer "oo".

Kaneohe til the end
06-10-2009, 10:00 PM
"Yoo-keh lay-lee", 'cause I don't live in Hawaii.

most of us have read the other threads on the topic, and we know the reason as to why it's pronounced differently, but i still see no reason as to why you shouldn't try to say it in its original form, or as to why just not living in hawai'i makes it ok.

buddhuu
06-10-2009, 10:03 PM
As I said very clearly in my post, what I set out was my personal way of seeing things, not a recommendation for others to follow.

Also, the concerns I set out aren't primarily linguistic, they are cultural. I have no problem with the standard assimilation that has always occurred, and to approach my post from that angle requires misunderstanding it or misrepresenting it.

Although I'm a pale, pasty-faced Englishman, I speak, read and write Hindi and Punjabi, and speak a little of several other languages. I'm familiar with loan words, and with how English has evolved from input brought by conquerors, the conquered and trading partnerships. That is all fine.

My *personal* philosophy (for me, not put upon you) is, however, concerned with the preservation of currently surviving cultures and languages which either are, or have been, under threat of being overwhelmed and, to some extent, lost or lessened. It's not a huge moral campaign, but something that moves me to make modest gestures of support.

Somehow, people still seem to want to tell me that I'm seeing things wrongly, rather than just accepting my position.

So it goes.

Not looking to start or participate in an argument, so I'll go and make a cup of tea.

Kaneohe til the end
06-10-2009, 10:08 PM
LOL, John! :D

Through sheer force of lifelong, ignorant habit I generally say Yoo-koo-lay-lee.

I'm trying to remember to pronounce it the proper way. After all, it's a Hawaiian word, so it seems polite to try to get it right.

THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. i appreciate just the attempt.

ukantor
06-10-2009, 11:37 PM
K til the end - I take it that you are also concerned about the way Hawaiians and Americans mispronounce some English words? Or is this cultural respect and politeness only a one way thing?

Let's have a little acceptance, and human warmth.

Ukantor.

ichadwick
06-11-2009, 01:35 AM
You (think you) can do these things...
I'm impressed. Not only can you tell me - a complete stranger - what I know, how I speak and what I can (and can't) do, but you know what I think as well.
Pretty impressive.
I never used to believe in an omnsicient being, but since you seem to be one, I must be wrong.
Should we start worship services soon?

ichadwick
06-11-2009, 01:37 AM
Is this a Canadian thing?
Well, it's a made-in-Canada joke, for sure. It was said tongue-in-cheek. I could as easily have said I pronounce it "Bob."

Tanizaki
06-11-2009, 01:40 AM
As I said very clearly in my post, what I set out was my personal way of seeing things, not a recommendation for others to follow.

Also, the concerns I set out aren't primarily linguistic, they are cultural. I have no problem with the standard assimilation that has always occurred, and to approach my post from that angle requires misunderstanding it or misrepresenting it.
But you said, "I'm a writer, so I care about words and their origins" not "I am a guy who cares about cultures". I would posit that cultures evolve even faster than languages. How recognizable do you think your way of live would be to your ancestors of 200 years ago?


My *personal* philosophy (for me, not put upon you) is, however, concerned with the preservation of currently surviving cultures and languages which either are, or have been, under threat of being overwhelmed and, to some extent, lost or lessened. It's not a huge moral campaign, but something that moves me to make modest gestures of support.
But you did make value judgments, such as saying that people who don't pronounce loanwords as in the original language are lazy.


Somehow, people still seem to want to tell me that I'm seeing things wrongly, rather than just accepting my position.

No, people are subjecting your position to analysis. What you are saying here is, "I am entitled to my opinion and it is beyond reproach". It doesn't work that way.

Tanizaki
06-11-2009, 01:41 AM
I'm impressed. Not only can you tell me - a complete stranger - what I know, how I speak and what I can (and can't) do, but you know what I think as well.
Pretty impressive.
I never used to believe in an omnsicient being, but since you seem to be one, I must be wrong.
Should we start worship services soon?

Please be responsive. Without consulting a reference, can you tell us what Chaucer would mean by saying "silly man"?

Ukulele JJ
06-11-2009, 02:05 AM
most of us have read the other threads on the topic, and we know the reason as to why it's pronounced differently, but i still see no reason as to why you shouldn't try to say it in its original form, or as to why just not living in hawai'i makes it ok.

Who said anything about not trying? We're talking about a preferred way to pronounce a word. Not an inability or complete unwillingness to pronounce a word any other way.

Why do you feel that pronouncing ukulele any other way than the original is somehow not "okay"? Particularly in light of the hundreds (thousands?) of other words in the English language that are not pronounced in their original form, and the abundance of other regional/cultural language differences that nobody seems to have any trouble with?

JJ

ichadwick
06-11-2009, 02:20 AM
Please be responsive. Without consulting a reference, can you tell us what Chaucer would mean by saying "silly man"?
Uh, perhaps he was thinking of a pompous, all-knowing pedant who pontificates to all and sundry that whatever they say is wrong and only he holds the key to wisdom, so we better pay attention, one who argues incessantly, dissecting glib wisecracks into dreary monologues to show off his superior learning... or am I confusing him with you?

buddhuu
06-11-2009, 02:26 AM
But you said, "I'm a writer, so I care about words and their origins" not "I am a guy who cares about cultures".
You misrepresent me.

What I said, in context was:

Indeed. I do take your point. I'm a writer - words and their origins are important to me.

I see things a little differently though. Where pre-existing cultures have a bit of an uphill struggle to maintain their languages and traditions in the face of interference from dominant imported cultures, I like to see the indigenous ways survive.
The introductory point that I am a writer was made to illustrate that I understood, and took on board, what the other poster had said. There then followed a paragraph break which separated that from what followed. IMMEDIATELY after that I introduced my cultural concerns, explaining why they were the motivation behind my preference to have a stab at non-anglicised pronunciations. That remained the angle of my post from that point.

Please, debate honestly.


But you did make value judgments, such as saying that people who don't pronounce loanwords as in the original language are lazy.
You misrepresent me.

Find those words of mine and quote them verbatim. I did make a point about what I see as a prevalent tendency for UK and US cultures to reconstitute and dilute the "foreign" influences they assimilate rather than make any real effort to understand and appreciate other ways in any depth. I do think this often down to laziness, and I stand by that opinion. It was a broad generalisation reflecting what I perceive.

I did not say that "people who don't pronounce loanwords as in the original language are lazy". That could have implied criticism of specific members here, and I did not say it.

Please debate honestly.


No, people are subjecting your position to analysis. What you are saying here is, "I am entitled to my opinion and it is beyond reproach". It doesn't work that way.

That's fair, but please do it honestly, without misrepresenting what I did actually say.

I'm still not inclined to argue the point, beyond defending myself from false claims and dishonest and invalid debating techniques. And, you know, I think I'll even decline to do that any more.

I withdraw, with thanks for an interesting thread.

Tanizaki
06-11-2009, 02:27 AM
Uh, perhaps he was thinking of a pompous, all-knowing pedant who pontificates to all and sundry that whatever they say is wrong and only he holds the key to wisdom, so we better pay attention, one who argues incessantly, dissecting glib wisecracks into dreary monologues to show off his superior learning... or am I confusing him with you?

Thank you for being responsive, albeit in a roundabout way. I imagine Chaucer was thinking of me because "silly man" means "blessed man" in Middle English.

I wonder what he would say about someone who takes offense and calls names whenever he is contradicted?

Tanizaki
06-11-2009, 02:32 AM
Find those words of mine and quote them verbatim. I did make a point about what I see as a prevalent tendency for UK and US cultures to reconstitute and dilute the "foreign" influences they assimilate rather than make any real effort to understand and appreciate other ways in any depth. I do think this often down to laziness, and I stand by that opinion. It was a broad generalisation reflecting what I perceive.

I don't think it will hurt me to try to change from yoo-koo-lay-lee to oo-koo-leh-leh. Brits and mainland Americans can try doing things the other guy's way for a change instead of mangling everything to suit our own lazy, melting pot.
Who is being lazy besides people? Only actors can be lazy.


I did not say that "people who don't pronounce loanwords as in the original language are lazy". That could have implied criticism of specific members here, and I did not say it.
See above.


Please debate honestly.
Please don't move the goal posts.


That's fair, but please do it honestly, without misrepresenting what I did actually say.
I did nothing of the sort.

ukantor
06-11-2009, 06:03 AM
Gosh! And all this is about a fun little instrument from Portugal, via Hawaii. Let's save a lot of aggravation and use its Portuguese name.

Ukantor.

toubisard
06-11-2009, 07:06 AM
I think we should call it Braguinho this side of the atlantic Cavaquinho on the other side of the atlantic. Ukulele in the Pacific region Hawaiian guitar if your over eighty. And to top it all we should maintain the original Hawaiian spelling and pronunciation for use internationally. Simples. Uke bach in Wales.

lacerveza
06-11-2009, 07:39 AM
youz a loser if you dont pronouce it oo-koo leh-leh:rolleyes:
no u are a loser if u pronounce it "l-ittle-gee-tar"

Jimmy
06-11-2009, 07:52 AM
ever notice how "herb" has an h in it eh

ichadwick
06-11-2009, 08:14 AM
Thank you for being responsive, albeit in a roundabout way. I imagine Chaucer was thinking of me because "silly man" means "blessed man" in Middle English.

I wonder what he would say about someone who takes offense and calls names whenever he is contradicted?
Probably call him the Middle English equivalent of Tanizaki...:p

But before you start polishing your halo, blessed one, consider that, while silly (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=silly&searchmode=none) meant blessed or happy in the 11th century, it also meant "pious, innocent" and "harmless" by the 12th century. Then it started to be used in a derogatory manner to mean "pitiable, feeble and feeble-minded" by the early 13th century.

So you may as easily pick any one of those definitions for yourself. Others may chose a different one, of course.

Oh, and buxom (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=buxom&searchmode=none) also meant lively, plump, healthy and even compliant (in the sense of capable of being bent). I'm not sure why you needed to bring that up, except to blind us with the pure white light of your superior knowledge, but it does lead to some amusing commentary about how words change over time. Awful, mundane and artificial come to mind as prime examples that meant the opposite today of what they originally meant.

So maybe one day people WILL say ukulele when they mean "small salted fish." But will they pronounce it ook or youk? I'd like a large pizza to go, hold the you-koo-leles...

ichadwick
06-11-2009, 08:19 AM
ever notice how "herb" has an h in it eh

So do history, hickey, harumph and Hermione. And the haitch is pronounced in all of them. Curiously, ukulele does not have one, although it might conceivably be spelt ukhulele. Or even ukuhlele, depending on your accent.

I personally spell it uku3lele. The three being silent, you see...

(Sorry - old Tom Leher joke...)

Tanizaki
06-11-2009, 01:13 PM
I'm not sure why you needed to bring that up, except to blind us with the pure white light of your superior knowledge, but it does lead to some amusing commentary about how words change over time.

I probably did it for the same reason that you delighted in giving your friend a hard time about "zebra". But, the important thing is that you acknowledge my superior knowledge. :shaka:

GrumpyCoyote
06-11-2009, 01:52 PM
For the most part this thread has been a pleasure to read, but there are a few of you (you know who you are) who are running dangerously close to turning it into a pissing contest. Please do not do that.

Take a deep breath, and think before your next post:

“We’re all friends here…”

In case you are wondering, I'm a "one warning" type of Coyote.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.

hoosierhiver
06-12-2009, 04:46 AM
Maybe we should just come up with a symbol, like Prince did. It could be "the instrument formerly known as a Yook-u-lele or Ook-o-lele".

ichadwick
06-12-2009, 06:15 AM
I probably did it for the same reason that you delighted in giving your friend a hard time about "zebra".
Gee! You mean you're anal retentive about language like me, too? A fellow sufferer! I think Lynn Truss is in our august company.

But, the important thing is that you acknowledge my superior knowledge. :shaka:
I don't dispute your knowledge. It's the pedestal it's on that raise my hackles.

You're a bright guy and I actually enjoy reading your posts (most of the time). I even enjoy the verbal jousts between us because, although they may be a little barbed at times, they are nevertheless entertaining and often informative. I have a thick skin, too.

You seem like an interesting, well-educated character. Just a little bit of a chip on the shoulder, but we can cure that if you stick around long enough. Ukuleles mellow everyone out. Come on, don't deny it. That brought a smile to your face, didn't it?

Group hug, anyone? :anyone:

Tanizaki
06-12-2009, 07:28 AM
Gee! You mean you're anal retentive about language like me, too? A fellow sufferer! I think Lynn Truss is in our august company.

I don't dispute your knowledge. It's the pedestal it's on that raise my hackles.

You're a bright guy and I actually enjoy reading your posts (most of the time). I even enjoy the verbal jousts between us because, although they may be a little barbed at times, they are nevertheless entertaining and often informative. I have a thick skin, too.

You seem like an interesting, well-educated character. Just a little bit of a chip on the shoulder, but we can cure that if you stick around long enough. Ukuleles mellow everyone out. Come on, don't deny it. That brought a smile to your face, didn't it?

Group hug, anyone? :anyone:

:shaka:

....

Kaneohe til the end
06-12-2009, 08:08 AM
I will say this. The hawaiian language was more than just words to the people. Cheifs and preists were feared for their chants, their mana. There's a saying, "in language is life, in language is death." Its in hawaiian, but I don't remember it off the top of my head. Anyway, this shows how powerful language was for the hawaiians, language had the power to bring forth life, and it had the power to deal death.
Much of this carries over today. This is why so many hawaiians will correct you when you pronounce a hawaiian word wrong, even if it may be a loanword. The 'ukulele is especially a touchy word for hawaiians because its such a cultural icon. Its different from how you pronounce salad or if you can read english from any century. That's why many hawaiians get offended, that's why we will correct you and that's why it seems like it doesn't go both ways. I understand that yes, it does seem like a one way street, but I'm not aware of any other culture as proud of its language and culture. This is why the term "the proud hawaiians" was born.

And again, I'm not trying to start another argument, debate or whatever, I just want you to see this side of the fence.

1014
06-12-2009, 08:18 AM
I will say this. The hawaiian language was more than just words to the people. Cheifs and preists were feared for their chants, their mana. There's a saying, "in language is life, in language is death." Its in hawaiian, but I don't remember it off the top of my head. Anyway, this shows how powerful language was for the hawaiians, language had the power to bring forth life, and it had the power to deal death.
Much of this carries over today. This is why so many hawaiians will correct you when you pronounce a hawaiian word wrong, even if it may be a loanword. The 'ukulele is especially a touchy word for hawaiians because its such a cultural icon. Its different from how you pronounce salad or if you can read english from any century. That's why many hawaiians get offended, that's why we will correct you and that's why it seems like it doesn't go both ways. I understand that yes, it does seem like a one way street, but I'm not aware of any other culture as proud of its language and culture. This is why the term "the proud hawaiians" was born.

And again, I'm not trying to start another argument, debate or whatever, I just want you to see this side of the fence.

i ke `olelo no ke ola, i ke `olelo no ka make.


there's many cultures that are very watchful about the appropriation of their language/culture. not just Hawaiian.

`Olelo Hawai`i is an oral language. it was codified by outside minds. hence you get weird interpretations like t or k sounds (ie.`utulele) people are reading a western interpretation of the hua`olelo. hence they read it with a western frame. the `okina actually stunts that prolonged "u" sound, but since it's now spelled in contemporary times sans the `okina, it creates a whole new modern word.

ua pau.

GrumpyCoyote
06-12-2009, 08:37 AM
To me it's about respect. I went out of my way to learn to pronounce it as the Hawaiians do to show my respect for them and the instrument.

To be clear - I don't expect others to do the same, nor do I think pronunciation is required to show respect, but that was my reason.

Spooner
06-12-2009, 10:15 AM
For the most part this thread has been a pleasure to read, but there are a few of you (you know who you are) who are running dangerously close to turning it into a pissing contest. Please do not do that.

Take a deep breath, and think before your next post:

“We’re all friends here…”

In case you are wondering, I'm a "one warning" type of Coyote.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.


Wow! That didn't take long. :biglaugh:

http://shadowwar.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/stalin.jpg

Kaneohe til the end
06-12-2009, 07:21 PM
To me it's about respect. I went out of my way to learn to pronounce it as the Hawaiians do to show my respect for them and the instrument.

To be clear - I don't expect others to do the same, nor do I think pronunciation is required to show respect, but that was my reason.

And this is how I like it. Our new badass mod just got more badass.

interp1
06-12-2009, 07:28 PM
I used to think "ukulele" (oo-koo-leh-leh) and "uke" were interchangeable. Then, I was told "uke" ribs at Ukrainians and was made to feel miserable. Also, if anyone is familiar with anime, there's sub-group of young anime fans who have commandeered "uke" (pronounced differently) for themselves. It's an association I'd be fine avoiding with my ukulele.

RON<>VA
06-12-2009, 07:51 PM
Whew. I need some duck tape to wrap around my head after reading all these posts.

I'm just going to call it 'little guitar.'


just kidding

Spooner
06-12-2009, 08:03 PM
How do you pronounce:

Enough already! Lock this damn thread?

:rolleyes::biglaugh::biglaugh:

seeso
06-12-2009, 09:13 PM
Enough already! Lock this damn thread?

It's fine. Everybody kissed and made up. I'm glad they were able to do that without a lock.

Mahalozzzz

ricdoug
06-12-2009, 10:22 PM
Should those from the United Kingdom and/or those from the continental United States feel insulted when Pacific islanders pronounce the word "brother" as "braddah"? I think not. Being a mix breed of Scottish/German/Somalian (dad's side) and Japanese/Dutch (mom's side) along with being married to a Tagalog/Ilocano Filipina, I commonly hear many pronunciations of English words. It does not insult me. It's diversity. If everyone was the same, this would be a dull world. Ric

Tanizaki
06-13-2009, 05:08 AM
Should those from the United Kingdom and/or those from the continental United States feel insulted when Pacific islanders pronounce the word "brother" as "braddah"? I think not. Being a mix breed of Scottish/German/Somalian (dad's side) and Japanese/Dutch (mom's side) along with being married to a Tagalog/Ilocano Filipina, I commonly hear many pronunciations of English words. It does not insult me. It's diversity. If everyone was the same, this would be a dull world. Ric

It is simply natural for a language, when adopting a loanword, to alter it to match its phonic scheme. The "ook" folks would be pulling their hair out in Japan, where "salad dressing" is "sarada doresshingu", "beer" is "biiru", and "coffee" is "koohii".

"Why can't you guys respect the true pronunciation of 'hotel'?!", they would scream.

Kaneohe til the end
06-13-2009, 12:21 PM
It is simply natural for a language, when adopting a loanword, to alter it to match its phonic scheme. The "ook" folks would be pulling their hair out in Japan, where "salad dressing" is "sarada doresshingu", "beer" is "biiru", and "coffee" is "koohii".

"Why can't you guys respect the true pronunciation of 'hotel'?!", they would scream.

By "ook folks" I assume you mean people who strive for it to be pronounced 'ukulele. IF SO, then you're wrong, because like I keep saying, the 'ukulele goes beyond just being a word. Its not just a salad, for some its something spiritual, something that picks you p when you're down, and it seems like its those people who want to pronounce it the hawaiian way.

ukulele2544
06-13-2009, 12:31 PM
This is meant as a fun poll, but it should be interesting. I chose the two most common pronunciations. ;)

How do YOU (vous, usted, Sie, anata et cetera) pronounce "ukulele"?
Whoa.. are you korean? or do you know korean? caus you wrote it you play '바둑'.
And no I don't play it.. kinda boring..-_-

Ukulele JJ
06-13-2009, 01:49 PM
Its not just a salad, for some its something spiritual, something that picks you p when you're down

You've obviously never had a really, really good salad.

JJ

Tanizaki
06-13-2009, 03:01 PM
You've obviously never had a really, really good salad.

JJ

Or beer.

And definitely not a stay in a hotel, if you know what I mean.

seeso
06-13-2009, 03:30 PM
Alright, time to let this thread fade away. It's obvious no one is going to change anyone else's mind. It's pointless to debate it at this point, and now all we're doing is making jokes.

Let it die.

Until it's inevitably brought up again.

Buddy McCue
06-17-2009, 12:57 PM
...in light of the hundreds (thousands?) of other words in the English language that are not pronounced in their original form...

We have various place names here in Georgia that are good examples of this. LaFayette, GA is pronounced "Luh-FAY-itt," not "La-Fee-Et" and there's a little town just north of here that's spelled "Buchanan," but pronounced "BUCK-anan" by the people who live there.

SailorQwest
06-17-2009, 05:30 PM
The Hawaiians took an instrument from Portugal(brackikania Sp?) tuned it their own way, wrote their own style of music , and called it a Ukulele. My Ukulele was made in China, bought in Indiana, I live in the Atlantic Caribbean, I'm not Hawaiian, I tune it my own way and I play(Ok not as creative as writing) my own style of music. So, I kinda pronounce it a little different. Somehow I feel like it would be sorta presumptuous of me to pretend I was playing the Hawaiian Ukulele. Most Hawaiiains play a LOT better than me too.:o

Ukulele JJ
06-17-2009, 05:35 PM
LaFayette, GA is pronounced "Luh-FAY-itt," not "La-Fee-Et"

Yeah, we've got a Lafayette street here in Nashville, and everyone pronounces it that way too. Must be a southern thang.

:rolleyes:


JJ

Tulip
06-17-2009, 06:13 PM
Yeah, we've got a Lafayette street here in Nashville, and everyone pronounces it that way too. Must be a southern thang.

:rolleyes:


JJ
Well, Lafayette is a city and street name in the south so the southern way to pronounce it should be the right way. ;) Hehe...Just trying to be funny and not presumptuous so sorry if I offend anyone. :P And mainlanders do not pronounce ka-ra-okay, but ka-roke-kee...hihi....

Well, I just noticed Seeso asking the thread to fade away. Sorry, I didn't read all 15 pages, just a few first threads and a few last ones, so I had to add a few words. But now, letting things fade....

ChiyoDad
08-25-2009, 02:30 PM
The way I see it, if you insist on pronouncing it "oo-koo-leh-leh" then you better pronounce Hawai`i "huh-WAH-ee" with a glottal stop! (And learn what an `okina is.)

That's "Ha-VAH-ee". ;) :D

Uncle-Taco
08-25-2009, 02:49 PM
Y'all-kuh-lay-lee. :nana::D

hoosierhiver
08-25-2009, 03:07 PM
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.......

RON<>VA
08-25-2009, 06:27 PM
Oh no . . . hand me the duck tape to wrap around my head before it explodes.

Brad Bordessa
08-25-2009, 06:42 PM
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.......

No kidding! Here we go again....

Kanaka916
08-25-2009, 07:38 PM
Holy thread revival, I thought it was pretty much clarified.

Kaneohe til the end
08-25-2009, 07:40 PM
not too much to worry about seeing as how a certain someone is gone.:D:D:D

but on a serious note, im staying out of this one.

supergokou
08-25-2009, 09:24 PM
If I'm talking to people who know of the instrument, then I'll say ooh-koo-lay-lay. I find if they don't know it, then saying it the right way sounds like gibberish and I end up having to say yoo-koo-lay-lee. Then I say, "It's really pronounced like this..." I'm actually surprised at how many people have never heard of a ukulele.

buddhuu
08-25-2009, 10:13 PM
Someone remind me... What did we decide about this?

Nooooo! I'm just joking... :stop:

casetone2514
08-25-2009, 10:18 PM
I have just read this whole thread and have decided from now on to pronounce ukulele as: Tiny Guitar to save confusion.

biscuit
08-26-2009, 02:32 AM
In Norwegian it's closer to oo-koo-leh-leh, when I speak English I call it a you-keh-lay-lee ;)

ChiyoDad
08-26-2009, 06:30 AM
I didn't realize how badly the topic had degenerated. :uhoh: (Yeah. I didn't read some of the posts.)

It was just supposed to be a survey to satisfy my curiosity. My interest was piqued after I got back from a shop asking if they had "oo-koo-leh-lehs" and the owner said I must be from Hawaii.