I thought the correct prononciation of the word "wite" is exactly same as "white". But Google Translate pronunciates it like "wit". Which is the exact pronunciation of wite?

  • 4
    Machine pronunciations, like machine translations, are adequate for common, simple words and phrases, but not very reliable beyond. Google Translate is not canonical. – choster Oct 8 '13 at 22:32

According to Merriam Webster, wite is pronounced like bite.

  • 3
    Actually, it isn’t: it has no /b/ sound. But wite and wight are homophones, while white has the so-written /hw/ sound for many speakers. – tchrist Oct 9 '13 at 1:17
  • @tchrist thank you, that's what I'm looking for. And I think it's very interesting that "white" has /hw/ sound for some people. Is it a mistake? Do you have any idea how common it is? – Rckt Oct 9 '13 at 5:21

Based on your comment it sounds like you are more curious about the w/wh difference. From Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

The pronunciation of the digraph ⟨wh⟩ in English has varied with time, and can still vary today between different regions. According to the historical period and the accent of the speaker, it is most commonly realised as the consonant cluster /hw/ or as /w/. Before rounded vowels, as in who and whole, it is often realized as /h/.

The historical pronunciation of this digraph is in most cases /hw/, but in many dialects of English it has merged with /w/, a process known as the "wine–whine merger". In dialects which maintain the distinction, it is generally transcribed [ʍ], and is equivalent to a voiceless [w̥] or [hw̥].

The page also has a map suggesting that most American dialects have dropped the distinction between wine and whine (and, therefore, the difference between wite and white). The holdouts are located in the south-eastern states.


The right pronunciation of the word 'white' is waɪt. Anyway, it has a direct relation with the latter pronunciation you have already mentioned "wite". So, you have the right pronunication!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.