Larry Krantz Flute Pages: FLUTE Pronunciation Guide
FLUTE Pronunciation Guide

Each name has been recorded by a native speaker of the language (e.g. French, German, Hungarian, Japanese).
The list is not complete.
We will be adding more names and sound files as they become available.

You can go directly to the pronunciations now.

The symbol * denotes that the person you will hear speaking on the sound file is the OWNER of the name!

RESPELLING GUIDE

To help you follow the pronunciation, the names have been written in the normal alphabet, but with some special capital letters. We call this Respelling.

Note that Respelling can only give you an idea of the pronunciation; it will help you see the important points you need to imitate. The way you speak your own language will affect to some extent how you say these 'foreign' names!In Respelling

  • Most single letters stand for single sounds; certain combinations of letters also stand for single sounds.
  • Respelling is put inside ( ) brackets.

Example: The French name 'Joseph' is re-spelled (zhoh-zef).

  • The 'zh' represents a single sound; so does the 'oh'.
  • But the remaining letters 'z', 'e', and 'f' are three separate sounds.
  • See below for a full explanation of how to interpret each letter in Respelling.

Example: The French name 'Michel' is re-spelled (mee-shel).

  • The 'm' is the normal 'm' sound as in the word 'men'.
  • The 'ee' is like the 'ee' sound in the word 'see'.
  • The '-' means a syllable-boundary (that is, you can have a short break here when saying the word slowly).
  • The 'sh' is like the 'sh' of 'shed'.
  • The 'e' is like the 'e' of 'red'.
  • The 'l' is like the 'l' of 'let'.

Words are separated from each other by a __ mark. Example: (lwee_oh-baiR) =Louis Aubert.

Two more examples:

  • The French name 'Benoît' is actually quite easy to pronounce once you see it re-spelled as (be-nwa).
  • The composer Cécile Chaminade's name is (say-seel__sha-mee-nad).

Capital letters, like R, N and OO, are to draw your attention to some sounds which normally won't occur in your pronunciation of English.

Example: 'R' in the French name 'Ernest' (aiR-nest) means that, to make it sound French, you can't use your normal 'r' sound. Instead you have to make the sound at the back of the mouth; very much as you would if you were using the back (uvular) flutter.

Example: Capital 'N', as in (aN) or (eN), means that the preceding vowel sound has to be made with air going through the nose. Many American pronunciations of the word 'can't' have this 'nasal' quality in the vowel.

Example: Capital OO means that the sound is similar, but different, from the 'oo' of 'fool'. You have to make it further forward in the mouth (see below for more details). 

Vowel Sounds Near equivalents in English Consonant Sounds Near equivalents in English
a 'hat', but with a deeper sound; not like the American English 'a' b 'bee'
ah 'ah' CH The 'ch' sound in the the German 'Bach' and 'ich', or the Scots 'loch'.
ai 'stair' d 'day'
aN Like an 'ah' sound, but with the air coming through the nose D A sound which has some of the characteristics of 'd' and 'dzh'
aw 'trawl' dzh The 'j' in 'just' or the two 'g' sounds in 'George'.
awN Like the 'aw' sound, but with the air coming through the nose. f 'fed'
ay 'say' g 'get'
AY Similar to 'ay'. but the lips are pushed forwards at the same time. G A softer sound than a hard 'g'; for example, in the Spanish word 'abogado' (lawyer)
e  'let'. Sometimes, e.g. in an unstressed syllable, it has a duller sound (like the 'a' sound at the beginning of the word 'again', or the 'e' sound in 'Handel'). h 'help'
E Similar to an 'e' or an 'ay' sound, but with the lips pushed forwards at the same time. k 'king', 'cat'
ee 'see' l 'let'
eN Very similar to the 'an' in an American 'can't'. m 'met'
i 'sit' n 'net'
ie 'pie' N See the entries in the vowel sounds for aN, awN, eN.
o British 'got' p 'pet'
oo 'fool' R The back 'r' sound (similar to back or 'uvular' flutter-tonguing).
OO Similar to 'oo', but the tongue is further forward. Imagine you're saying 'feel' but with the lips pushed forwards at the same time. Some fluteplayers imitate this when they're adjusting their embouchure. s 'see'
oh 'oh' but keep the lips and tongue steady as you say the sound. sh 'sheep'
ow how' t 'ten'
u 'put' tsh The 'ch' in 'church'.
uh* A very quiet, whispered vowel sound v 'vent'
    w 'wet'
    W Similar to a 'w' but the tongue is further forward in the mouth. French 'lui' (lWee) sounds different from 'Louis' (lwee).
    y 'yes'
    z 'zebra'
    zh The 's' in 'leisure', 'measure', 'usual'


Hear the Pronunciations!!

We also have AIFF files available offline for most of the names. AIFF files are high quality sound files, but they are very large. If you would like to request a pronunciation in AIFF format, please send email to Robin. You will receive the file as an attachment to email.

Regretfully, we are not able to provide pronunciations on demand for non-flute-related names.

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the recordings were made at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.


This page was conceived and developed by:

Prof. Mike MacMahon, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Robin Mason Horne, Ft. Walton Beach, FL USA

All comments, suggestions, and ....corrections are welcomed! Please send email to Robin.

Regretfully, we are not able to provide pronunciations on demand for non-flute-related names.

© 1997, R M Horne & M K C MacMahon



Return to my home page