As you know when the letter w placed at the end of a word, it is pronounced like 'oo' in the words book and could as seen on the chart below.It can be shown as /w/ or /ʊ/ too in dictionaries.

I am not sure but I think it still can be pronounced like 'oo' in the word book even though the letter w placed as the first letter of a word.For example : Watch like ooatch or ʊatch.What do you think?

But when it comes to the word window, can we say the first letter w is pronounced like 'oo' like ooindoo or ʊindoʊ


the first letter w is pronounced like /v/ in the word volcano as seen in the chart? /v/indoo or /v/indoʊ

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  • 3
    In North American and much of British English, "w" is pronounced nothing like the "v" in "volcano." That's more an Indian English thing. The "oo" is closer, but only because following it with "i" forces most of us to make the true "w" sound. Jan 24, 2015 at 0:06
  • @JamesMcLeod Hi James thank you for your answer.I should say I know the letter w is pronounced like 'oo' normally. But can we say that the word window is kinda exception.Actually I couldn't understand your answer especially the last sentence.What is the true "w" sound.
    – Mrt
    Jan 24, 2015 at 0:22
  • It's a pure consonant and can't be expresses using only vowels. How is "window" different from "work," "ward," "word," or "widow?" I see nothing exceptional about it. Jan 24, 2015 at 0:42
  • 2
    /w/ is not pronounced the same as the ‘oo’ sound, /u/, nor as the short ‘u’ sound, /ʊ/. They are three different sounds, three different phonemes. There is no exception in window. The first sound is the phoneme /w/ (a consonant), and the last sound is the phoneme /oʊ/. Note that the ‘o’ sound is one phoneme. There is no /w/ at the end of window, only in writing. Jan 24, 2015 at 0:47

2 Answers 2


American teenager here. Here is a recording of my pronunciation of it: http://vocaroo.com/i/s1QN5mkcBC7f

  • Likewise age 53, Central PA.
    – Good A.M.
    Jan 24, 2015 at 2:03

The first sound of "window" is very close to the "oo" sound in "book", except in "window" it's a glide, while "oo" in "book" is a vowel. A glide, unlike a vowel, does not have a steady state -- a time during which the quality does not change appreciably. A glide does not count for a syllable -- for instance, both "win" and "in" have just one syllable, even though "win" begins with a glide which is absent from "in".

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