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Urambo Tauro
02-14-2005, 04:45 AM
What is the proper way to pronounce Tolkien?
Tol(as in told)
Tol(as tall)
-kien(as ken)
-kien(as keen)
Or would he have liked the i and e seperate (as often found in his writings)... Tol-kee-en?

Hammersmith
02-14-2005, 08:18 AM
With my English accent I'd say "Toll" "Kin", two syllables.

Aulė
02-14-2005, 01:16 PM
According to dictionary.com, it is pronounced 'Toll-keen' or ''Toel-keen'
(The o being like pot or toe, and the ie being like bee).

I believe that that was based on what Tolkien wrote about the matter in one of his letters.

Edit: In fact, here it is:

The Letters of JRR Tolkien: Letter #347
I am nearly always written to as Tolkein (not by you): I do not know why, since it is pronounced by me always -keen.

Barliman Butterbur
02-15-2005, 03:27 AM
According to dictionary.com, it is pronounced 'Toll-keen' or ''Toel-keen'
(The o being like pot or toe, and the ie being like bee).

I believe that that was based on what Tolkien wrote about the matter in one of his letters.

Edit: In fact, here it is: [JRR: "...it is pronounced by me always -keen."]

I would only add that TOL-keen is correct because that is correct German: the "ie" in German is prounounced like the "ee" in English.

Barley

scotsboyuk
02-15-2005, 04:02 AM
I too pronounce it as 'Toll Kin'. I wonder if there is a pattern to regional variations on pronunciation of Tolkien?

Elorendil
02-15-2005, 04:04 AM
I have to agree with Barley. I say it Tol-keen.

Barliman Butterbur
02-15-2005, 10:37 AM
I too pronounce it as 'Toll Kin'. I wonder if there is a pattern to regional variations on pronunciation of Tolkien?

In America, there are different variations on the spelling: I've seen the name spelled as "Tolkin," and pronounced accordingly. But that's not the case with our good Professor.

Barley

scotsboyuk
02-15-2005, 01:54 PM
I could be wrong in this regard, but I believe that the common pronunciation in Britain is 'Toll Kin'.

Barliman Butterbur
02-15-2005, 04:08 PM
I could be wrong in this regard, but I believe that the common pronunciation in Britain is 'Toll Kin'.

True enough, but it is only common courtesy to pronounce another's name as he would like it to be pronounced, if one has the knowledge. :)

Barley

scotsboyuk
02-15-2005, 04:59 PM
@Barley

Indeed, I shall endeavour to pronounce Tolkien as 'Toll Keen' from now on.

Urambo Tauro
02-16-2005, 12:53 AM
Hear, hear!
Thanks!

scotsboyuk
02-16-2005, 01:31 AM
Although, being British I shall probably stubbornly refuse to alter the way I pronounce it at the moment. :p

Varda35
02-16-2005, 02:50 AM
I've known for a while that I should probably pronounce it Toll-keen, in fact at one point I always tried to say it that way. But when I did, people looked at me like I was crazy because everyone else around here says Toll-kin. So I gave in and just reverted to Toll-kin. But I think it's true that you should pronounce someone's name the way they wanted it to be pronounced and if the great professor indeed said that it should be pronounced Toll-keen then gosh darnit I'll try to honor that and my friends can look at me funny all they want! :D

Maggot
02-16-2005, 04:39 PM
I will honour the greatest author ever by trying to say his name properly cheers guys for the correct pronunciation as I was unsure about how to pronounce it.

Bethelarien
02-16-2005, 06:07 PM
Tolkien is a German name, as Barley said, and as Tolkien himself has said. So again, Barley is correct, it is pronounced Toll-keen. (I'm a German major, I should know these things, right?)

Concerning the British, I would assume it's like many words, where it would depend on what part of Britain you're from. I have a professor from Manchester, and he pronounces it Toll-keen.

Hammersmith
02-16-2005, 07:21 PM
Tolkien is a German name, as Barley said, and as Tolkien himself has said. So again, Barley is correct, it is pronounced Toll-keen. (I'm a German major, I should know these things, right?)

Concerning the British, I would assume it's like many words, where it would depend on what part of Britain you're from. I have a professor from Manchester, and he pronounces it Toll-keen.

I speak Recieved Pronunciation. For me it'll always be "Toll" as in a toll bridge, "Kin" as in family. :p

scotsboyuk
02-16-2005, 08:20 PM
@Hammersmith

Are you from the Home Counties by any chance? The rain in Spain ... :p

Barliman Butterbur
02-16-2005, 08:37 PM
...if the great professor indeed said that it should be pronounced Toll-keen then gosh darnit I'll try to honor that and my friends can look at me funny all they want! :D

Way ta go, kid!!! :D

Barley

Hammersmith
02-16-2005, 09:23 PM
@Hammersmith

Are you from the Home Counties by any chance? The rain in Spain ... :p

Surrey :D

But I don't play cricket

scotsboyuk
02-17-2005, 12:01 AM
@Hammersmith

I rather liked cricket at school, rugby too.

Confusticated
10-21-2010, 02:02 AM
I heard a woman call him Tow-kin in this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUyXLMBWJ8) old Guillermo Del Toro interview 21 seconds in. The strangest pronunciation I've ever heard.

(Keep in mind the interview is very old news now.)