How to Pronounce "Tolkien"?

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

  1. Confusticated

    Confusticated Registered User

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    I heard a woman call him Tow-kin in this 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.)
     
  2. The Old Eregionan

    The Old Eregionan New Member

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    JRR Told Keen stories:

    but how do you pronounce the Reuel in John Ronald Reuel Tolkien?

    Self taught on how to pronounce it when about 13 as Tol-Keen, with the 'o' as in pole.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2017 at 10:22 AM

  3. EcthelionL

    EcthelionL Away with the Eldar...

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    I pronounce the professor's name as he himself did -

    John - Jon
    Ronald - Ron-uld
    Reuel - Roo-ul
    Tolkien - Tol-kin

    It's horrible when people pronounce your name incorrectly - I know from experience!
     
  4. Azrubêl

    Azrubêl Drúadan

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    But Tolkien rolls all his letters and speaks it quite differently than either "Tolk-in" or "Tolk-een".

    I used to say it more "Tolk-in", but now I say it more "Tolk-eein", how he says it.
     

  5. EcthelionL

    EcthelionL Away with the Eldar...

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    Tolk-eein is a good rendering - better than mine. I was trying to put tolk-een to bed as it is just plain wrong. Tolk-in is passable but, as you say, the ei in his name is a dipthong
     
  6. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    -keen appears to be good enough in writing for JRRT himself, when explaining the pronunciation to Richard Jeffery in 1972.

    "I am nearly always written to as Tolkein (not by you): I do not know why, since it is pronounced by me always -keen."

    JRRT, letter 347,
     
  7. EcthelionL

    EcthelionL Away with the Eldar...

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    But the written word is open to interpretation. Is that we as in 'feet' or as in 'wheel'? Is it an English, Welsh. Scotch or Irish pronunciation? English, presumably but in which English region - the Midlands (where Tolkien was from) or the South?

    Much better to listen to the man's voice.

    Edit: should say 'ee' not 'we'. Bloody spell-check!
     
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  8. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    As in keen ;)

    I can't recall if we have any examples of Tolkien saying his last name (or Christopher Tolkien saying it), but we do have Adam Tolkien and Simon Tolkien saying Tolkien in interviews.

    (both can be found on Youtube)
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  9. EcthelionL

    EcthelionL Away with the Eldar...

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    In which accent? Birmingham or Oxford, Leeds or Capetown?
    I seem to remember hearing on a BBC Radio 4 broadcast, many years ago Tolkien and interviewer talking about pronunciation of the name but, alas, I can't find it anywhere online.

    I'll continue saying 'Tol -keein' as that is what I heard way back then.
     
  10. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    For anyone interested, Adam Tolkien and Simon Tolkien saying the name (YouTube).



     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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  11. Might_of_arnor

    Might_of_arnor New Member

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    i have an aussie accent so we say it like "Tol Keen"or "Tol Kin"
     

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