Pronouncing Indian Words

Oct 19th, 2005, 10:45 AM
  #1  
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Pronouncing Indian Words

How does one pronounce the following:

Mumbai: Is it Mum-bye or Mum-bay?
Jaipur: Is it Jeyepur or Jay-pur?
Udaipur: Is it Oo-dye-pur or Oo-day-pur
Jodphur: Is it Jod-pur or Jod-fur?

Thanks,
BigBlue
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Oct 19th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Here is a guide to pronunciation:

Mumbai: "mum" rhymes with "boom" and the 'a' "bai" is short, not long as in 'bye'.

Jaipur: likewise the 'a' in "jai" is short, and "pur" rhymes with "tour" (pur in Sanskrit means town whence Singapore = singha + pur = town of the lion).

Jodhpur: "Jodh" rhymes with "loathe" and "pur" is same as above.

Udaipur: oo-dai-pur (it is a soft 'd' and short 'a' in dai). Udai means dawn in Sanskrit.


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Oct 20th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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Okay, if I understand correctly, then it is Mum-ba, Ja-pur, Uda-pur, and Joath-pur? If so, what does one do with the I? And, how should I pronounce Jain?

Thanks,
David
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Oct 20th, 2005, 06:40 PM
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BigBlue,

The 'i' is very much present in "bai" "jai" and "udai."

My point was - do not pronounce "bai" or "jai" or "udai" with the long 'a' (which would make them rhyme with "eye"). Instead say the entire syllable with the short 'a'.

I just made an mp3 clip of the word. Point to this link -

http://www.parrikar.org/misc/fodors.mp3

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Oct 20th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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As a first-order approximation, "Jain" rhymes with "Maine."
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Oct 20th, 2005, 11:12 PM
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The mp3 sounds the way I learned them with the ai rhyming with "eye".

Udaipur is similar to a babies garment- with long u's: u- u-die-a-pur
lcuy is offline  
Oct 21st, 2005, 09:57 AM
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oops- got an extra u in that udaipur!
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Oct 21st, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Agtoau, many thanks for the MP3 file. I have been struggling on which way to pronounce these cities. Since I will be visting all of them in December and there is nothing actually hearing them.
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Oct 21st, 2005, 04:22 PM
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Then how do you pronounce chai? I have heard "chy" or rhymes with "buy" and "chy" with a long "a" sound at the end which adds another syllable.
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Oct 21st, 2005, 04:22 PM
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ttt
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Oct 21st, 2005, 05:05 PM
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Ahh, the wonders of mp3 and the internet. I am pleased that they are as I would pronounce them.
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Oct 21st, 2005, 07:33 PM
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Jacketwatch,

You are right, "chai" rhymes with "buy." But surely you would know that from your Indian wife!
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Oct 21st, 2005, 07:36 PM
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Jacketwatch,

Oh I see what you mean. In Maharshtra, Goa and some other places it is pronounced "chaa" without the tail 'i'. Whereas in the north it is "chai" (rhymes with "buy"). "Chai," of course, is the way the Chinese say it (and tea came to India via China).

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Oct 22nd, 2005, 01:50 AM
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Actually, and maybe its colloquial but I remember it being pronounced "chy" "a" in train stations, movie theatres and a few other places. Perhaps its the "hawkers" accent. Cheers, Larry. Actually its nearly 0500 here so time for a good hot cup now before work. -)
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Oct 22nd, 2005, 09:42 AM
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i would respectfully disagree that "pur" rhymes with "tour". that is the the big misconception about cities that end in "pur". it is not pronounced "pore" but rather a short "pur" (like the mur-in murmur, but with a p instead).
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Oct 22nd, 2005, 10:44 AM
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Snapple- Maybe tour was not a good word to use as an example, as it is one of those words pronounced differently in different areas...

In California & Hawaii, tour is pronounced like the tur in tureen and rhymes with the sound a kitten makes (purr?). I have heard people from other parts of the US pronounce it "tore". Where are you from?
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Oct 22nd, 2005, 11:27 AM
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snapple,

I have provided the correct pronunciation in an mp3 clip. The way I pronounce "tour" rhymes with the correct phonetics of "pur." Perhaps "tour" was a bad example since I now see that Americans pronounce it a tad differently.

Go to http://www.m-w.com and enter "tour de force" in the word field. You will then see a speaker icon for the pronunciation. The tour in 'tour de force' there is very close to pur.

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Oct 22nd, 2005, 03:14 PM
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Agtoau, your MP3 clip was brilliant and I thank you for it. This whole thread got started when I had a discussion with a Scottish friend about the correct pronunciation of these names. She spent two weeks in Rajasthan last year with a driver and a guide, both from Jaipur. They told her that Jaipur is pronounced Jeye-pur.

In the dialogue and research which has followed this thread, my friend has discovered a website which says that in Jaipur and Udaipur there is a local dialect which does, in fact, pronounce these words as Jeye-pur and U-dye-pur. Live and learn (if you're lucky).

Thanks for all for an enlightening discussion.

BigBlue
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Oct 22nd, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Similarly how different is English pronounced in different regions of the same country let alone different English speaking countries. One example of many is how "Arab" is pronounced in various regions of the south. In some areas in comes out like "urub" and othres its more like long "a" followed by "rab".
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