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  1. #1
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    Question How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Hello everyone,
    I got into a hilarious argument with my boyfriend a few weeks ago of how to pronounce the letter "W". Though I was born in Vietnam, I always believe that I speak perfect English since I grew up in the states. Anyway the other day he happended to say the letter "W" as "doub-LU". I told him that it is not correct (he's an international student) and it should be pronounced as "double-U", no exception. But he argued with me that in English, when pronouce, we can "connect" the last letter to pronouce it with the next word syllable. For example: such as ... we can pronouce this as "such-as" or "suchas". Therefore, he argued, why can't he "connect" when pronoucing "W" as "doub-lu"? I totally agree that he has a good point. But still, I have never heard anybody say "doub-lu", especially from my English professors! It just sounds so awkward. So to fight for what I believe is right, I told him that we don't "connect" when pronouncing the letters (without knowning it's true or not) heheh . Can anyone clarify this rule in native English speaking? And seriously ... we can only say "DOUBLE-U" right ????

    Thanks a million ...
    Jocelyn

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    I'm with you on this one- double-u.

  3. #3
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    Exclamation Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Quote Originally Posted by JocelynNguyen
    Hello everyone,
    I got into a hilarious argument with my boyfriend a few weeks ago of how to pronounce the letter "W". Though I was born in Vietnam, I always believe that I speak perfect English since I grew up in the states. Anyway the other day he happended to say the letter "W" as "doub-LU". I told him that it is not correct (he's an international student) and it should be pronounced as "double-U", no exception. But he argued with me that in English, when pronouce, we can "connect" the last letter to pronouce it with the next word syllable. For example: such as ... we can pronouce this as "such-as" or "suchas". Therefore, he argued, why can't he "connect" when pronoucing "W" as "doub-lu"? I totally agree that he has a good point. But still, I have never heard anybody say "doub-lu", especially from my English professors! It just sounds so awkward. So to fight for what I believe is right, I told him that we don't "connect" when pronouncing the letters (without knowning it's true or not) heheh . Can anyone clarify this rule in native English speaking? And seriously ... we can only say "DOUBLE-U" right ????
    Thanks a million ...
    Jocelyn
    This question has NOT surprised me, at all. Most of my students, who come to learn British accent, especially, if they happen to be non-native speaker of English, they end-up pronouncing the letter "W" as "doub-LU".

    This would be widely heard even from the native English speaker (at times), if you listen to them carefully, when saying so collectively such as in web address like "www.yahoo.com".

    So, the PERFECT way of pronouncing the letter "W", if you really take your articulation rather seriously then, it has to be pronounced "double-U".

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Thank you for all of your replies ... greatly appreciated !!!

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    Default Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Jocelyn,
    Your friend is not the only one pronouncing ' doub-lu'. I teach elementary-intermdiate English to chinese-speaking students ages 9 to 17 yrs.

    I asked them to say out loud the alphabets. A-Z, and you know, it is very common that these speakers can't say 'l', 'r', 'ch', 'sh' , 's', 'v', 'w' , 'x' and 'z'!

    They can't say 'v' for vain, Venice, Very, instead they say them with the 'w', like wain, wery, and etc.

    They told them it is a 'double-u'! not a 'single-u'! Ha! It can be very hilarious at times but not to embarrass them too much. It actually makes the class more fun. And then words like 'cucumber', becomes 'choo-choom-ber'.
    And 'chemical' becomes 'car-michael'.

  6. #6
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Quote Originally Posted by hibiscus
    Jocelyn,

    They can't say 'v' for vain, Venice, Very, instead they say them with the 'w', like wain, wery, and etc.
    I used to work for a man who was born in Romania, but moved to the US in the late 1930s. It was 1983 when I started working for him, so that was over 50 years later. Yet, he still couldn't pronounce "w" words properly - they always came out with a "v" sound. For example, he said "Wolksvagen" instead of "Volkswagen," and "weal parmesean" instead of "veal."

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    Default Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Is it because the pronunciation of U is "yu", therefore we don't link it to the L as in the word "double"? Isn't it the same reason we say "a unit" instead of "an unit"?

    But when we say "triple A batteries", for example, we do link the A to the consonant L in the word "triple" to say it like "triple lay", right?

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    Default Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Ouisch,
    Also, I had noticed in a few of my Indian collegues, saying 'wet' as 'vet' , and 'wake up' as 'vake up'; 'wait for me' as 'vait for me'. they are very good with 'v'. Ha!

    That's the other way round for them!

    By the way Ouisch, how do I pronounce your name? : -)

  9. #9
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    I used to work for a man who was born in Romania, but moved to the US in the late 1930s. It was 1983 when I started working for him, so that was over 50 years later. Yet, he still couldn't pronounce "w" words properly - they always came out with a "v" sound. For example, he said "Wolksvagen" instead of "Volkswagen," and "weal parmesean" instead of "veal."

    Hi,Ouisch !

    I `ve learnt that there are a lot of Romanians [especially older generation] who, even if they have lived in USA or England for over 20 years , still cannot pronounce English words properly. And this happens because they are not interested in improving their English but in the message they convey ; they are simply contented if the people around understand their message.
    Younger generation of Romanians are good at English . I am a Romanian and I can say that I don`t have problems with pronouncing letters or words. Romanians have always studied English and French in school. These are compulsory subjects in Romanian schools , no matter what level students are.[elementary, high schools or colleges]. Your case is an isolated one. At least, I hope so.

    My intention was not to contradict your point of view but to show you how Romanians are, when studying foreign languages. We don`t have problems with the English alphabet because it resembles ours.

    However an exception -when pronouncing words - might be when English words start with a "mute w". I mean, the words which start with "w" and this letter is not pronounced.
    e.g. wring, wrest,wrech

    A beginner is confused[ at first] when s/he meets a "w" at the beginning of a word and doesn`t know to to pronounce. The only way to understand this problem is practice all the time.

    I hope you don`t mind my point of view, Ouisch.


    Regards,

    Teia

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce the letter "W" ???

    Quote Originally Posted by hibiscus View Post
    Ouisch,
    By the way Ouisch, how do I pronounce your name? : -)
    Sort of like "Weesh" - think of the French word "oui" and add a "shh" sound to it.

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