How to Pronounce "Tolkien"?

Discussion in 'The Languages of Middle-earth' started by Urambo Tauro, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Registered User

    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?
     
  2. Hammersmith

    Hammersmith Irresistible Ork Child

    With my English accent I'd say "Toll" "Kin", two syllables.
     
  3. Aulë

    Aulë The Larrikin

    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:
     
  4. Barliman Butterbur

    Barliman Butterbur Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué

    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
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2005
  5. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Vitr Alfr

    I too pronounce it as 'Toll Kin'. I wonder if there is a pattern to regional variations on pronunciation of Tolkien?
     
  6. Elorendil

    Elorendil Lover of music

    I have to agree with Barley. I say it Tol-keen.
     
  7. Barliman Butterbur

    Barliman Butterbur Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué

    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
     
  8. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Vitr Alfr

    I could be wrong in this regard, but I believe that the common pronunciation in Britain is 'Toll Kin'.
     
  9. Barliman Butterbur

    Barliman Butterbur Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué

    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
     
  10. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Vitr Alfr

    @Barley

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

    Urambo Tauro Registered User

    Hear, hear!
    Thanks!
     
  12. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Vitr Alfr

    Although, being British I shall probably stubbornly refuse to alter the way I pronounce it at the moment. :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2005
  13. Varda35

    Varda35 Amin n'rangwa edanea

    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
     
  14. Maggot

    Maggot King of farmers.

    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.
     
  15. Bethelarien

    Bethelarien The Lost Evenstar

    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.
     
  16. Hammersmith

    Hammersmith Irresistible Ork Child

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

    scotsboyuk Vitr Alfr

    @Hammersmith

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

    Barliman Butterbur Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué

    Way ta go, kid!!! :D

    Barley
     
  19. Hammersmith

    Hammersmith Irresistible Ork Child

    Surrey :D

    But I don't play cricket
     
  20. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Vitr Alfr

    @Hammersmith

    I rather liked cricket at school, rugby too.
     

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