I found 2 American pronunciation samples on Forvo, and they said /ˈʃæmən/ (audio), I wonder if British people say /ˈʃeɪmən/ (audio), or not? Could you please tell me something about that?

  • The OED clearly has a lot to say pronunciation-wise. {Brit. /ˈʃɑːmən/, /ˈʃamən/, /ˈʃeɪmən/, U.S. /ˈʃɑmən/, /ˈʃeɪmən/} – Lordology Mar 24 at 15:50

As an American I consistently say /ˈʃæmən/ and don't recall ever hearing anyone, American or otherwise, saying /ˈʃeɪmən/.

The latter might be a regional difference? I've lived in a half dozen or so different places and haven't come across it. Still, I haven't covered them all.

Per Peter Shor's comment /ˈʃeɪmən/ is the primary pronunciation in at least one dictionary of British English.

Note: Since I relied on personal experience as a native speaker for this answer I'll mention that my formative speaking years were spent in the Northeastern United States and that I have spent significant time living in the South Atlantic, Midwest, and Mountain regions of my country. I consume media mostly in American and British English.

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    /ˈʃeɪmən/ is pretty common, making it sound like it starts with the shame at the front. /ˈʃæmən/ would start like the word sham. – tchrist Mar 23 at 13:10
  • Is it common in the U.S. @tchrist or do you mean common in the Anglosphere? Where do you run into it? Maybe there's an audio or video example to link to online. – Trevor Reid Mar 23 at 13:17
  • /ˈʃeɪmən/ is given as the main pronunciation in the (British) Cambridge dictionary. I can only find it as an alternate pronunciation in American dictionaries. I suspect that in the U.S. it is a regional pronunciation, and that it's more common in the U.K. – Peter Shor Mar 23 at 13:54
  • I have only ever heard "shawmen" (First syllable like ’bother’) – Jim Mar 24 at 6:46
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    @PeterShor The CED appears to have it wrong with the US IPA. They transcribe it as /ʃeɪmən/, but if you listen to it, it clearly says /ʃ'ɑːmən/. – Lordology Mar 24 at 15:47

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