#1
Old 05-28-2004, 01:06 PM
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How to pronounce Anais

I've pronounced Anais Nin (I can't get an umlaut over the i) as A-na-ees and I have heard An-eye-ees. Last night a friend of mine said she had always heard and called the perfume more like Anise.

So what is the correct pronouncation of the name (as it has made the cut to be in the final 6 girls names that I like for the impending arrival of my baby).
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#2
Old 05-28-2004, 01:24 PM
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It's ah-nah-eees. The "ees" sounds like the end of "police." Definitely not pronounced "anise." The perfume is "ah-na-ees, ah-na-ees."
#3
Old 05-28-2004, 01:31 PM
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Just a quick question; not trying to be snide (really). Why do you want to name your child something that people will be mispronouncing her entire life? And that middle-school boys will surely mis-pronounce as "anus" as they chase her around the playground.
#4
Old 05-28-2004, 01:31 PM
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And emphasis on the last syllable, I believe: ah-nah-EES.
#5
Old 05-28-2004, 01:41 PM
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Hmm. I always thought it was ah-NAY-iss, but I'm willing to concede on this one. No horse in the race.

Funny that we all chose different pronunciations.
#6
Old 05-28-2004, 01:45 PM
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Ah, finally, a question where my French background comes into play!!

The two "a"s should be very short, like the a's in CAT. Not so much like the a's in BALL. Should sound like a Finnish short a (if you've ever heard correctly spoken Finnish...).

As for the ending, it is true you'd stress the EES at the end. That is where the vocal accent should be. Saying it sounds like the "ice" in police is a good comparason, but it should be even shorter than that. More like HISS, but without pronouncing the H at the beginning. Like the "a"s, the "i" is also very short.

The whole name is pronounced using the very front of your mouth. Short vowels, short consonants, the stress on the last syllable. And I agree that the name is too close to "anus" . Being French with a French name myself and being raised in an English environment, I know how easy it is to have people (teenage boys, most definately) twist your name around. Anyway, something to consider for your child. I get sick of always having to repeat my name and spelling it out for people. And then the smart alecs always have some hairbrianed idea of what my name means and stuff and it's pretty annoying. I am definately going to give my kids some more user-friendly names.

LBP
#7
Old 05-28-2004, 01:54 PM
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Oh yeah, I was going to say...

The way that English people have of pronouncing French A's is wrong most of the time. It's very rare that the A sound in French is long (like in BALL). Unless the word is a loan-word from an Anglo-saxon language, that is.

Remember when that French movie, Amelie, came out a few years ago? People everywhere would say "Oh, have you seen this Ahhhhhh-may-LEE movie?" and I would just lose it on them. The A is super short, like the A in CAT. Anyway, I got tired of correcting people and I've been known, for simplicity's sake, to step on my origins and go ahead and say "Ahhhhh-may-LEE" instead. Heck, it beats repeating and explaining to people that they are wrong all the time.

Good luck with the name search!

LBP
#8
Old 05-28-2004, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst
I've pronounced Anais Nin (I can't get an umlaut over the i)
Just a nitpick, it's not an umlaut. An umlaut is used in German to indicate a change in the vowel sound. It's actually a diaeresis (which just happens to look the same as an umlaut), which is used in English and French to indicate that the vowel so marked is supposed to be prounounced as a separate syllable. That, in fact, should give you a major clue as to its pronunciation: A-na-is. You pronounce each syllable separately, so the "a" is not influenced by the "i" next to it.

And as far as choosing a name that people might mispronounce -- I myself have a name that is difficult for most Americans to pronounce, and I wouldn't give it up for anything. Americans need to become more used to "strange" names.

Quote:
The A is super short, like the A in CAT.
The problem here is that the sound you're describing doesn't exist in most dialects of English, so native English speakers are going to have trouble reproducing it (you might get a Bostonian to say it right, but few others). But from my point of view, the "a" is "cat" is completely wrong. The "ahh" sound might not be right, but it's at least a bit closer.
#9
Old 05-28-2004, 02:36 PM
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My wife uses that perfume and she's always called it Uh-nay
#10
Old 05-28-2004, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray
The "ahh" sound might not be right, but it's at least a bit closer.
Well if you go to France, Quebec or French-speaking African countries pronouncing a short A with an "Ahhhh" sound, they might understand but they will also correct you. It is actually much closer to the A in CAT, not the "ahhhh" sound. It's two totally different sounds. The A is never pronounced "ahhh" in French. The only word I can think of in French that would use that sound if AMEN, and that's a loan word... Ask any French-speaking person (like me!), they'll have the same story.
#11
Old 05-28-2004, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PictsiePat
Just a quick question; not trying to be snide (really). Why do you want to name your child something that people will be mispronouncing her entire life? And that middle-school boys will surely mis-pronounce as "anus" as they chase her around the playground.
Maybe because I think it's a beautiful name?


In regards to the mispronounciation, my name is Wendy. Should be a pretty obviously easy name to pronounce, right? No. I get Windy all the damn time.

As for boys calling her anus, boys will always find something to tease you about. Maybe it's your name or maybe its a physical trait, who knows?


here is a link where you can actually hear the name:

http://french.about.com/library/media/wavs/Anais.wav

The perfume also is pronounced the same way.
#12
Old 05-28-2004, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Well if you go to France, Quebec or French-speaking African countries pronouncing a short A with an "Ahhhh" sound, they might understand but they will also correct you. It is actually much closer to the A in CAT, not the "ahhhh" sound. It's two totally different sounds. The A is never pronounced "ahhh" in French. The only word I can think of in French that would use that sound if AMEN, and that's a loan word... Ask any French-speaking person (like me!), they'll have the same story.
We're talking about at least three distinct vowel sounds here and only one of them can be "heard" as well as pronounced easily by both native English native French speakers. As an English speaker, I can tell you that when I hear most French-speaking people say a word like "cat," they get the vowel completely wrong. So, it's not just that English speakers are pronouncing "Anais" wrong; French speakers are also pronouncing (and hearing) "cat" wrong. Indeed, there is more than one "ahh" sound in English, depending on the dialect. So the one that you're hearing from one speaker is going to be more "wrong" than another. It's all rather tricky, because such phonemes have to be ingrained into one's mignd at a young age or they just plain don't exist. And it's all difficult to describe in writing, but if I could sound it out for you I might be able to show you that the "cat" vowel is completely different from what you imagine it to be.
#13
Old 05-28-2004, 02:57 PM
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One more thing.
Here's how to make the .


on a Mac:
hold down "alt option" and "u" at the same time, then type i.


For a pc:
Hold down "alt", type 0239 on your numeric keypad, and release the "alt" key.
#14
Old 05-28-2004, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad News Baboon
In regards to the mispronounciation, my name is Wendy. Should be a pretty obviously easy name to pronounce, right? No. I get Windy all the damn time.
You must talk to a lot of Southern Californians. There are some dialects in which the "e" in "pen" merges with the "i" in "pin." Those who speak those dialects honestly can't hear any difference between "Wendy" and "Windy," so go easy on them.

Quote:
As for boys calling her anus, boys will always find something to tease you about.
Exactly. Don't let that scare you off.
#15
Old 05-28-2004, 03:10 PM
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Actually...

When I lived in California, my name was said correctly!
It's now that I am D/FW that noboby can say Wendy.
When I lived in El Paso, it wasn't a problem, typically, because spanish speakers do not pronounce e as i.

That's another reason I picked Anas for my daughter: it is said the same way in Spanish as in the French. I didn't want to pick a name like, say, Jennifer. It would be pronounced way off from the correct English.

I have since discovered that there is a Hispanic soap opera star with the name Anais (she doesn't use the diaeresis).


Amethyst,
if you name your daughter Anas, let me know if you ever are interested in personalized items! I had some stationary made up and already have the plates made with just her first name.

As our daughters get older (mine is 5 months), we can have them become pen-pals. They can commiserate on their name! ;-)
#16
Old 05-28-2004, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Remember when that French movie, Amelie, came out a few years ago? People everywhere would say "Oh, have you seen this Ahhhhhh-may-LEE movie?" and I would just lose it on them.

You must have been as annoyed as I was at "Moo-Lawn Rouge."
#17
Old 05-28-2004, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missbunny
You must have been as annoyed as I was at "Moo-Lawn Rouge."
I remember a college newspaper that quoted a visiting performing artist as saying that his favourite theatrical work was Lame Is Rob.
#18
Old 05-28-2004, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missbunny
You must have been as annoyed as I was at "Moo-Lawn Rouge."

Haha!! YES! Don't get me started on that one! Oh, and lets not forget LON JERRAY (Lingerie). I never really understood that one.

But then again I've butchered a few foreign names myself... It is hard to describe foreign language pronounciation using examples from our own languages though. I am trying to teach my husband French right now (so he and the in-laws can communicate better) and it is exasperating sometimes. There is a lot of "No, no, say it like this!" going on in our house at the moment.

This thread would be so much better if we could just talk to each other instead of having to describe sounds and stuff!!

LBP
#19
Old 05-28-2004, 04:34 PM
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I have heard it pronounced in all the ways that you suggest. I dunno which is right, but it is one of my favorite scents on a woman
#20
Old 05-29-2004, 03:33 PM
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And to make saying her name even harder, her last name is pronounced "neen."
#21
Old 05-29-2004, 11:58 PM
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It's rough to give anyone a name that needs the diaeresis to be pronounced correctly. 95% of the time it will be dropped (like even in the OP!).
#22
Old 05-30-2004, 12:11 AM
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The writer/director of Henry & June knew Anais and Henry personally, so if you want to know how she pronounced it, I'd say that was your best source for the sound. (Assuming, of course, you can't find an interview with her on video someplace where she says her name.)
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#23
Old 05-30-2004, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmackFu
It's rough to give anyone a name that needs the diaeresis to be pronounced correctly. 95% of the time it will be dropped (like even in the OP!).
Once the name (or any other word) is Anglicised, there's no 'need' for the diaeresis to aid correct pronunciation, or indeed for any other marks - we get along perfectly with "naive" and "cafe", for instance.
#24
Old 06-01-2004, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmackFu
It's rough to give anyone a name that needs the diaeresis to be pronounced correctly. 95% of the time it will be dropped (like even in the OP!).
I beg to differ. Just because there are idiots around we all have to dumb down for them? I think not. I don't know what other names made the list, but personally I think this is a great choice.
#25
Old 06-01-2004, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray
You must talk to a lot of Southern Californians. There are some dialects in which the "e" in "pen" merges with the "i" in "pin." Those who speak those dialects honestly can't hear any difference between "Wendy" and "Windy," so go easy on them.



Exactly. Don't let that scare you off.

I've travelled and lived all over this country and I know exactly one person that doesn't speak in whatever dialect this is.

My sister-in-law writes with a pEHn, has tEHn fingers, and goes to the zoo to see the pEHguins. See also has a sister named WEHndy.

To everybody else, even within her family, you write with a pin, have tin fingers, visit the peengwins, and her sister is Windy.
#26
Old 06-01-2004, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

I have thought about the nickname 'Anus' as a possible drawback but there is always something kids can do to make a name funny for teasing purposes ... kids are really ingenious that way.

I, too, have a name most people can't pronounce at first and it is very very uncommon, even in its country of origin. I really like my name and wouldn't want anything more common. (I will admit that in grade school I wanted to be called Mary Jane since everyone else had normal names).

BTW .. the other name choices I am looking at are:
(Anais)
Catriona (or possibly the Russian Katrina / Katja)
Ceilidh (Cayleigh/Cayley)
Danica
Maya
Siobhan

(For the most part we (my husband and I) are torn between Irish names and Slavic names. I'm finding it very difficult to choose a name - I'm hoping she comes out with a tag on that says 'Hello, my name is ....'. )
#27
Old 06-01-2004, 11:01 AM
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Those are all lovely, and congratulations on your impending new arrival, but can I just say, please please PLEASE don't spell it Ceilidh. Please? That's a dance, a kneesup, a hootenanny - there are better ways to spell it for use as a name.

I like Catriona, even though I was in my twenties before I saw it written down that way, and I didn't know you don't pronounce the 'o'.
#28
Old 06-01-2004, 11:40 PM
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The first time I heard this beautiful name was from a Motion Picture.

The Movie, "FOOLS"
1968 or 69.

Starring Katherine Ross as Anais
and Jason Robards

The Soundtrack featured a minor hit by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition.
"Someone Who Cares" in which the lyrics mention Anais.

Funny, I had a crush on Miss Ross for several years because of this Movie.....
#29
Old 06-02-2004, 12:11 AM
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A friend of mine is named Anais. She pronounces it Ah-Nah-Ees.

We never joked that it was anus, but people were known to call her "on her knees."
#30
Old 06-02-2004, 01:42 AM
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[Waving hand] Ask me! Ask me! My grandfather had a sister Annais (with a double "n").

And it is a pretty name, schoolyard teasing be damned.
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