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I live in Austria and I am a student in computer science and there is a specific thing that drives me bonkers:

Everytime when a person in my vicinity or I am coversing with is mentioning the procuct "Microsoft Azure", they pronounce the word Azure /ˈeɪʒə/ (like Asia) or /ˈeʃə/ (like pressure without the initial pr).

What is so odd is that not only users of this product or students pronounce it that way, but also representatives from MS who promote this product. So far the representatives I have met have all been non-native English speakers, though.

Sometimes I have corrected the person in such a conversation and telling them it is pronounced /ˈazjʊə/ (like sure with an a the beginning and replacing the s with a zh sound. It is pronounced that way on Leo.org, a commonly used online dictionary.

The primary proof I bring forward however in such a case is the song Rule, Britannia!, in which the word azure is pronounced /azjʊə/ like I mentioned.

My question is: Am I right that everyone who pronounces the name Azure like Asia or essure pronounces it incorrectly, or have I missed anything when learning the English language and I am just plain stupid? Or does the Microsoft product have a different pronunciation to the regular word azure?

marked as duplicate by Janus Bahs Jacquet, Community Jan 14 '18 at 18:15

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  • 1
    ODO agrees with your pronunciation. – Lawrence Jan 14 '18 at 11:52
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    Azure wie Journal. – KarlG Jan 14 '18 at 15:09
  • Thanks to Janus Bahs Jacquet for findig the duplicate thread! To be honest, I did not search for a thread about this topic as I thought that my question is so awkwardly special, that nobody has evr asked this - I was wrong. :-D – Bruder Lustig Jan 14 '18 at 18:44
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Let's agree on a few notations:

/s/ - regular "s" sound. the same sound in "The united states"
/z/ - regular "z" sound. the same sound in "Zebra"
/ʒ/ - "french J" sound, the same sound as in "vision"
/ʃ/ - the same sound as in "shame" and "shallow"

At least for American English , Merriam-Webster, Macmillan and Wiktionary (which shouldn't be disregarded!) all agree that "azure" should be pronounced with the /ʒ/ sound ("french j).

for British English, dictionaries vary, but it seems that the British pronunciation has the /z/ or /ʒ/ sounds, but never the /s/ or /ʃ/ sounds.

  • 2
    The question is quite clear: he’s saying that most people he encounters in Austria pronounce it /eɪʒər/ or /eʃər/. The fact that the ⟨s(i)⟩ in Asia is pronounced differently from the ⟨ss⟩ in pressure is part of the description. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 14 '18 at 12:34
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    well, it sounded to me as if he thinks the s in Asia is pronounced the same way as in Pressure, hence the misunderstanding. – David Haim Jan 14 '18 at 12:51
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    German does not have an /æ/ vowel, and consequently many German speakers pronounce azure with a mid front vowel /e:/ instead of a low front vowel /æ/. The problem for German speakers is perhaps worst with the English word jazz /ʤæz/. German does not allow /ʤ/ at the beginning of words, nor /z/ at the end, so there are endless variations, since jazz is very popular in the German-speaking world. Haj Ross tells me that old jazzmen don't care at all, and just pronounce it as if it were a German word: /yats/. – John Lawler Jan 14 '18 at 18:07
  • Would have given you a +1, but for the Wiktionary. You came out with a 0! – Araucaria Jan 14 '18 at 18:17
  • Wiktionary is a great dictionary if you want to speak like a native speaker and not how some fancy English professors from the UK want you to sound. – David Haim Jan 15 '18 at 12:31

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