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How do I pronounce 'Gaudi', in the name of Antoni Gaudí (the architect)?

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I like this tip about using YouTube to know the pronounciation of difficult/foreign words & names. "Go to YouTube.com and search for any word followed by ',cc' – this is a YouTube search operator that will only show videos that have closed captions. Example - Eyjafjallajokull, cc [YouTube search for videos with closed captions]. In YouTube search results, pick a video that has that particular word in the transcript. Then click the transcript button and jump to the line containing that word." – mvark Aug 23 '12 at 10:35
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The "au" in Catalan (his native language) is pronounced like English "ow" (how, cow ...etc) and there's an accent on the "i" to indicate emphasis, so you pronounce it as "gow-DEE". However, most native English speakers would not be aware of the emphasis on the "i", so you most commonly hear "GOW-dee" in English-speaking countries.

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Unless Pau Casals is an exception, it looks like it would probably be pronounced as Antony Quinn says (in IPA, "ow" like "cow" is written [aw]): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_phonology#Diphthongs – Kosmonaut Sep 22 '10 at 11:11
@cindi: "Pau" is pronounced like the first syllable in "Gaudi". – CesarGon Jan 3 '11 at 20:27
@AntonyQuinn: The name's Catalan, not Spanish. – Mechanical snail Aug 23 '12 at 0:39

The closest approximation to how a Spaniard, whether Castilian or Catalan, would say Gaudí is as [ga̠u̯ˈð̞i].

That won’t sound very English, of course. That’s because the second consonant is not one that occurs in English, and English-speakers often struggle to hear it clearly at all. That letter ‹d› there is actually a voiced dental approximant in Spanish, like a voiced ‹th› per English this, but not so strong. It can be very faint indeed.

If you just say the sound from English this there instead, it will be ok, and people will know whom you mean. If you say the sound of English dud, it won’t be ok — at least if you are trying to sound like it’s Spanish.

More IPA details available here.

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That won’t sound very English, of course: why should it? – nico Aug 23 '12 at 11:10
@nico It isn’t ever clear what people mean when they ask how to pronounce a foreign word. Do you they want to know how to say it in that foreign language, or do they want some general approximation in English? English speakers typically flub Spanish consonants quite badly, because they are different from those in English, and change depending on the word. ‹t› and ‹d› are dental not alveolar as in English, and the 3 stop/fricative/approximant series all are wont to trip them up: ‹b, v› as [b, β, β̞]; ‹d› as [d̪, ð, ð̞]; ‹g› as [g, ɣ, ɣ̞/ɰ] or [x, χ]. – tchrist Aug 23 '12 at 11:57

In my neck of the woods... like Audi (the car).

This is, however - not to say that my forest-friends know "their butts" from a Seat.

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protected by RegDwigнt Aug 23 '12 at 12:36

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