Saturday, 21 January 2012

SAY MY NAME, SAY MY NAME


My name is pretty unpronouncable. I realise this every time someone goes to introduce me. I was doing workshops in schools the last two weeks; then a talk to an MA class; then a podcast interview with an American site - each time the person who introduced me either asked how to pronounce my name, or gave it their own special pronunciation. Irish, Americans, Antipodeans and Europeans alike have difficulty with my name. It doesn't help that my surname (which is the Irish for O'Connor, btw) sounds nothing like the way it looks.

So, here is the from-the-horse's-mouth guide to pronouncing Nuala Ní Chonchúir:

Nuala - pronounced NOO-LA (rhymes with 'hula', as in 'hula hoop')

Ní - it sounds the same as KNEE (as in 'knee cap him')

Chonchúir - it has two parts: the first part sounds like CRUH (as in the start of the word 'crutches'); the second part sounds like HOOR (as in 'she's a mad hoor').

NOOLA KNEE CRUH-HOOR
NUALA NÍ CHONCHÚIR

See? Simple, when you know how!

17 comments:

WiseMóna said...

I will forever treasure this lesson ... And promise never to mis-pronounce it ever again. Have a great weekend!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Hahaha, Móna - big smiles! Have a good one with the chef and the kids. Noola x

Rob said...

Yes, but does the stressed syllable come on the 'cruh' or the 'hoor'? Vital information for poetic types.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Rob - let me be really awkward and say it depends where you're from :)
BUT, for me, it comes on the 'CRUH'.

dan powell said...

Have to admit the only bit I had right was the Knee.

Merc said...

I need to print this out and take it with me to Little Rock.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Looks like this lesson was much needed then, guys :)

Mandy said...

Thank you! I was doing all right on the first two parts, but the third... well, the lesson was very useful. ;)

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Cool, Mandy :)

Afric McGlinchey said...

I knew how to pronounce your name, Nuala. Except I stress the 'hoor'! Sure, isn't there a fada encouraging us to do so...?

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

It just depends. It's like the way some people put the emphasis on the start of Chonghaile, others not. It's a regional thing. I seem to remember in Kerry it was always ChonCHÚIR.

Kar said...

nicely put Nools ;-)

ah I remember way back in the day trying to pronouce it correctly and then making myself learn the correct spelling... seems like a hundred years ago now..

(btw I left a comment on your burning bush post the other day hmmmm I don't know what happened there, no matter now :-))

Tania Hershman said...

Oh bless you, I will get it right now, I promise!

Kat Mortensen said...

How does the "ch" in the first syllable of Chonchuir attain that "r" sound? Fascinating!

Kat

Nuala, I've been trying to add you to my Twitter followers, but it is not co-operating. Will keep at it.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Hi Kar
No commments came through on the BB post so not sure what happened there?
N x

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Kat - I have no idea. One doesn't have to think about it until one is trying to phoneticise it :)
Dunno re Twitter either!

Rachel Fenton said...

My stress was misplaced! Have to say though - every kiwi I've told about your books knows how to say your name!
Now, if you could just point out a "for beginners" guide else I'm stuffed if I meet any other Irish writers with hula hoop mad hoor names.