Here's a funny subject.

You know how you can see words for years and not be sure how to pronounce them because you've never actually heard anyone SAY them? Well, I just realized I've never actually heard anyone pronounce the name of two guitars.

The first is the Epiphone. I actually heard someone pronounce it a couple of weeks ago, and they said, "Ep-i-phone." Sorry, no "schwa" (the upside-down "e" used in phonetic spellings) available on the keyboard, so just substitute that for the unaccented "i" in the second syllable. I had always assumed it was "E-pif-i-nee." A word that means "sudden insight." But the other pronunciation is probably correct.

The second is Ibanez. Anyone care to suggest the correct pronunciation so I don't embarass myself somewhere?

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Unless I've been sounding like a tool for a long time now Ibanez is phonetic: I-ban-ez or maybe I-ba-nez (one or the other not that knowledgeable about phonetics) I'm sure someone on the forum will be quick to shoot me down if I'm wrong! While I'm sticking my neck on the line...yes, it is Ep-i-phone. I hope.


While we're (kind of) on the topic, I still daren't talk about Sabian cymbals as I'm never sure I pronounce it correctly.

Sabian? What about Zildjian (or however it's spelled!)?

I've never seen an "enya" over the n in Ibanez, so I assume it's not "Ee-bahn-yez".

I might possibly have meant the Z... ones as I know I can never actually read that name on my drummers cymbals.

"Ee-bahn-yez" doesn't sound right to me, maybe if I was from Dorset it might, what exactly does an enya do? (no elevator-music jokes please)

Somebody give me a nudge when the train gets to my St-ay-chion.

Fa-nk Que... :lol:

While we're on pronunciation, here are a couple of brands that have bugged me.

Teisco is pronounced "TIE sco" not "TEA sco".

Hamer is "HEY mer" not "HAM er".

And who knows about EKO? Is it "Echo" or "EEEK o".

BTW Lee, I think your train just pulled in. sb

An "enya" (properly called a "tilde") is a curved line over an "n" in Spanish that make the n into an "ny" sound. As in that perennial guitar picking song, "Malaguena." That's "mal-a-gwain-ya."

I live in Texas, by the way. That may be distorting my view of how any Spanish name should be pronounced.

My turn to phonic about - nice thread for twisted heads :lol:

"Epiphone" would be from the Greek "phon" meaning "sound" and the Greek prefix "epi" meaning "above" or "additional to". Stretching it a bit, I suppose the intention was to market it as "better sound".

Problem is, English-speaking people mangle Greek and Latin so badly that there's no way of knowing what's right. I reckoned the "viva voce" oral exam was pronounced "veevah voschay" but everybody else reckoned I was a pretentious git (they called it a "vighvah"). Seeing as "telephone", "Linguaphone" etc are pronounced as they are in English, I'd say "Eh-pee-phone" is the correct guitar moniker. "Epp-i-fon-ee" is 6th January, when Catholic kids get their Christmas presents.

As for Japanese guitars, darned if we know. There's a lot of subtle nuances in pronunciation of SE Asian words. I once had a go at "Happy New Year" in Cantonese but, judging by the guy's face, I'd just said something rude about his mother. For Ibanez, I habitually say "eyeb'n'ez" but, from the little I know about Japanese, that's dead wrong. Locally, it would be more like "ee-bahn-yez". I think that individual syllables aren't emphasized in Japanese, and that "n" is a "nyuh" rather than "unnn"; enya or not. It would fit with the early history of Ibanez, as it sounds a bit like Spanish; regarded as the best makers of acoustics in those days.

"Tiesco" is a real git because vowel digraphs aren't a big feature of the language. In the (almost) words of Bing Crosby, "You say Tyes-co, I say Teas-co (atch, I say Tays-co) ... Let's call the whole thing off". It's probably Ti-esco, but who cares? Made up, stupid name anyway. "Hamer" is definitely Haymer and not Hamer because this one's got to follow simple English rules. If a vowel is followed by a single consonant; it's long (slimer, taper, sloper) and if it's followed by a double consonant; it's short (slimmer, tapper, slopper).

EKO is an Italian outfit, so I'm on firmer ground. It's more like "Echo" or "aicho" than "Eeko", for sure.

I'd be much happier if multi-lingual string-strummers looked in and passed comment, though :D

Just before Lee's train runs over his snoring body, I must mention the importance of being enya to Tim. It's quite festive, too. The "enya" is the squiggle over the letter "n" in Spanish. Can't do it here, so imagine n is the squiggly one:

"Prospero ano nuevo" = Happy New Year
"Prospero ano nuevo" = Happy New Arsehole

Big difference in the look you'll get from the paella-server when you say either of these two phrases.

Never heard of the term "Enya" apart from a dodgy British singer of folky warblings. Sounds nicer than "tilde" though. I have this abstract thought of our Aussie Mod Mike taking a girl called Enya out for a dance.

The extremely rubbish punchline of "Waltzing me Tilde" is coming up, so I'd better shut up before I type it.

Also, why do Motörhead have that umlaut over the second letter o like that?

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