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How do YOU say "sauna"?

A forum for discussing US dialects (accents).

How do YOU say "sauna"?

Postby Ranger » Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:57 pm

How many of you true Finns out there wince when you hear people mispronounce "sauna"?
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Postby Ranger » Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:36 pm

First of all, say the word "sound" slowly and notice how the shape of your mouth changes as you say it. It should be the same with "sauna." In Finnish, every syllable is pronounced, and the first syllable takes the heaviest accent. To break the word into syllables, therefore, you would say SA-oo-na. When you say it faster in English, the SAU sounds like SOW (like the pig; rhymes with COW) then add the ending sound "na" and you've got SOW-na, or sauna! And if you've never done it, treat yourself some day to a real wood-fed sauna next to a lake (there are lots of them in northern MN, WI and the UP of Michigan), with a dip in the lake to cool off, and you'll discover the Finns' centuries-old secret to total relaxation.
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Postby Parish_Boy » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:57 pm

I haven't gotten around very much, but in my travels across the southeast US, the only way I have ever heard sauna pronounced was "SAW-nuh."
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Saying "sauna"

Postby Ranger » Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:40 pm

Yes, the word is mispronounced across most of the US, except in places where people speak Finnish (actually, they're just leaving out the middle syllable --the long u sound. Now you can teach others to say it correctly, too!
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Postby Bailey » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:16 am

" Now you can teach others to say it correctly, too!"
and they will love you for it. We all love to be corrected, especially in public with that certain air of condescension.
:lol:

mark

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kb








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Postby Ranger » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:03 am

Oh my, bad day today? Time for some R&R? Maybe a nice hot sauna!

In the words of King Solomon:
"Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning."
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Re: Saying "sauna"

Postby frank » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:12 am

Ranger wrote:Yes, the word is mispronounced across most of the US, except in places where people speak Finnish (actually, they're just leaving out the middle syllable --the long u sound. Now you can teach others to say it correctly, too!


This is weird... Do you also mean that for example every Latin (or Latin based) word in English is "mispronounced" because anglophones don't follow the Latin pronunciation?
The common pronunciation of English 'message' is wrong, because in French (the language where it comes from) 'message' is pronounced completely differently?
If necessary, i could "teach" you the pronunciation of words like 'easle', 'landscape', 'etching', all of which are 'mispronounced in English (and even 'mis-written'), at least according to your logic (not mine :-) ).

Groetjes,

Frank
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Postby Stargzer » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:55 pm

Uh-oh, time to call in the experts (No, not me, but the A. H. D.) to avoid a flame war! :)



The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

sauna

SYLLABICATION: sau·na [Hear it]
PRONUNCIATION: sôn' ə, sou'-
NOUN: 1a. A Finnish steam bath in which the steam is produced by pouring water over heated rocks. b. A bathhouse or room for taking such a steam bath. 2a. A dry heat bath. b. A room or enclosure for taking a dry heat bath.
ETYMOLOGY: Finnish.


But remember, if you range[sup]1[/sup] into Finland, pronounce it să' ū nă

[sup]1[/sup][INTRANSITIVE VERB: . . . 4. To pass over or through an area or region in or as if in exploration. . . .]
Regards//Larry

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Postby Bailey » Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:16 pm

I see a wry comment has gone awry

Mark
sorry for the offends, this is not the place for me.

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Postby gailr » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:05 pm

Bailey wrote:... We all love to be corrected, especially in public with that certain air of [edit]condensation.[/edit]

I took the poetic liberty of editing your reply, Mark, because the saw-oo-na might have some of this going on, as well...(and your cool response was dripping with sarcasm)... :)

Suomi College is located in the "UP", not far wfrom where I used to live; yet, I only ever heard the flattened, mid-western, saw'nuh.
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Postby Ranger » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:34 pm

While the American Heritage Dictionary gives the flattened Mid-western pronunciation, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives two versions, one "flat", the other a bit more like the authentic Finn.

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/sauna




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Postby tcward » Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:59 pm

I could never bring myself to pronounce this word "SOW-na" as in the second audio sample on the m-w.com link.

I've always pronounced this word "SAW-na" -- which, in the South, actually does incorporate a slight "oo" before the 'n'... which I think is what Parish_boy was trying to point out earlier.

-Tim
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Postby Ranger » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:03 pm

Smile. Tim, you say
I could never bring myself to pronounce this word "SOW-na" as in the second audio sample on the m-w.com link.
as if you'd be trespassing some sort of internal regional boundary. I find that charming.The first pronunciation, however, in the ears of those Up North would easily peg you as hailing from somewhere south of Duluth/Superior. However, if you behave nicely and have kind words to say, Northerners might still invite you over for SOW-na, followed by coffee and biscuit (which I might add means cinnamon rolls, not the baking powder biscuits served with white gravy down south). As a Northerner who has lived for the past 30 years in Oklahoma, Texas and Maryland, I confess to the ease at which the Southern inflections slide in and override a Northern dialect (yes, many native "Merl'nders" have a very distinct accent with a southern lilt). When it comes to SOW-na, however, I remain true to my Finnish heritage, for to say it otherwise would trespass some sort of internal ancestral boundary.

P.S. I have recently learned that the Finns are so proud of their sauna traditions that they even have a national sauna society! Visit http://www.sauna.fi
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:38 pm

Bailey wrote:I see a wry comment has gone awry

Mark
sorry for the offends, this is not the place for me.


Mark, with a comment that the one highlighted above, this is the place for you! :D

When you've been told to take a hike, then you can begin to be insulted. :wink:

//Larry the Hiker

Time for something wry and ginger on the rocks . . .
Regards//Larry

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-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Bailey » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:18 pm

When I posted the offensive post I was thinking of my boss who says Eye-talyan (for Italian), my sister's husband who says sup-ee-nee for a legal summons, my daughter's teacher who says lesh for lee-sh (Dog restraint). I'm not sure they want to be instructed. In fact I'm sure they don't.
Gailr I did consider the condensation, but figured it'd go flat, I thought other's might have received less-than-enthusiasm to correction, as have I.

mark

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