Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Astro-Trivia: How do you pronounce "Betelgeuse"?

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
53 replies to this topic

#1 hokkaido53

hokkaido53

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,002
  • Joined: 07 May 2012

Posted 12 April 2015 - 09:08 AM

How do you pronounce "Betelgeuse"? When I was a teenager in the 1950s and 60s, it was always pronounced Bet-el-geeze. Then at some time, this "Beetle-juice" thing started, and that's how most people pronounce it today..

According to Wikipedia, "The star's name is derived from the Arabic يد الجوزاء Yad al-Jauzā', meaning "the hand of Orion". The Arabic letter for Y was misread as B by medieval translators, creating the initial B in Betelgeuse." So it should really be pronounced "Yettle-geeze"?

Roy



#2 blb

blb

    Aurora

  • -----
  • Posts: 4,929
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2005

Posted 12 April 2015 - 09:45 AM

Yep, pronounced Bet-el-geeze in the 60's and 70's, pre movie. After the movie Beetlejuice, every one pronounced it Beetle-juice. Now I do too.



#3 catboat

catboat

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,671
  • Joined: 01 Dec 2009

Posted 12 April 2015 - 09:51 AM

الجوزاء  al-jauza  would be pronounced (classically) as al-jowza  (rhymes with ‘WOW-za').  Some dialects, notably Egyptian arabic, pronounce ‘j’ as a hard 'g’ (the English word ‘jump' would become ‘gump’ -- as in Forrest G.)

 

How one handles the short initial vowel of definite article [al-] in a possessive compound depends on the grammatical case of the first term [yad].  As a fixed compound/name, the form you would mostly likely encounter would be yadu’l-jauza  or  yadu’l-gauza  [Egyptian].    The short vowel  ‘a’ of the word yad  became a short ‘e’ when the word was taken up by speakers of other languages (probably by speakers of Turkish in this case, and then to European astronomers).

 

How people  *should* pronounce the name of the star is another matter.  Generally, we say whatever we think other people will think is correct.   ;)   :graduate:   ;)



#4 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 31,270
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 12 April 2015 - 11:44 AM

However most people pronounce a name or word in a particular language in a specific region is probably correct.  Elite language academes can fight against this tendency, but it's often a lost cause.  The problem is compounded when a word comes from a foreign language.  It's even worse when the source was garbled to begin with, as is often the case with names in astronomy.  A name going from Babylonian to Greek to Arabic to Latin to French to English is certain to sound different from the original source.

 

Probably best to pronounce words in common usage the way they are commonly pronounced.  For instance, you would be more "correct" if you pronounce the Greek letter pi like "pee" instead of like "pie," and I've heard some folks say it that way.  But then they might sound pretentious or silly or at any rate be misunderstood.  Not good.  The prime purpose of language is to convey meaning and be understood.  Or at least it should be.

 

:grin:

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 12 April 2015 - 03:26 PM.


#5 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 31,270
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 12 April 2015 - 11:51 AM

I pronounce Betelgeuse like "Beetle Juice."

 

:grin:

Mike



#6 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 46,327
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003

Posted 12 April 2015 - 01:37 PM

How do you pronounce "Betelgeuse"? When I was a teenager in the 1950s and 60s, it was always pronounced Bet-el-geeze. Then at some time, this "Beetle-juice" thing started, and that's how most people pronounce it today..

According to Wikipedia, "The star's name is derived from the Arabic يد الجوزاء Yad al-Jauzā', meaning "the hand of Orion". The Arabic letter for Y was misread as B by medieval translators, creating the initial B in Betelgeuse." So it should really be pronounced "Yettle-geeze"?

Roy

Bet'-uhl-jooz.

Although I have also heard

Bate'-uhl-jooz.



#7 chrysalis

chrysalis

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22,318
  • Joined: 10 Aug 2013

Posted 12 April 2015 - 03:49 PM

I have always been a "Bate'-uhl-jooz"-er



#8 Ptarmigan

Ptarmigan

    Lagopus lagopus

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,839
  • Joined: 23 Sep 2004

Posted 12 April 2015 - 04:31 PM

Yep, pronounced Bet-el-geeze in the 60's and 70's, pre movie. After the movie Beetlejuice, every one pronounced it Beetle-juice. Now I do too.

 

That is how I pronounce Betelgeuse.



#9 havasman

havasman

    Voyager 1

  • ****-
  • Posts: 11,054
  • Joined: 04 Aug 2013

Posted 12 April 2015 - 04:57 PM

Like Michael Keaton did.



#10 nickatnight

nickatnight

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,374
  • Joined: 13 Apr 2008

Posted 12 April 2015 - 05:40 PM

Just don't say it three times in a row!!!

#11 Kidastronomer

Kidastronomer

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,517
  • Joined: 04 Nov 2014

Posted 12 April 2015 - 06:21 PM

Betle-juice. It's a mix of original and modern way to say it.

Edited by Kidastronomer, 12 April 2015 - 06:22 PM.


#12 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 31,270
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 12 April 2015 - 07:39 PM

If we all pronounced words and names they way they were "originally" pronounced - assuming that's how they should be pronounced - few people would understand us.  We would say "Caesar" like "kisar."  "Detroit" would be pronounced like "Duh trwah."  And "Betelgeuse" would be something like "Yaduljowza."  Sounds like a lost cause to me.

 

Mike ... or should that be Mīkhāʼēl?

 

:grin:

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 12 April 2015 - 07:40 PM.


#13 David Knisely

David Knisely

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 17,002
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2004

Posted 15 April 2015 - 07:01 PM

I pronounced it Alpha Orionis :)



#14 BrooksObs

BrooksObs

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,036
  • Joined: 08 Dec 2012

Posted 15 April 2015 - 07:17 PM

 

How do you pronounce "Betelgeuse"? When I was a teenager in the 1950s and 60s, it was always pronounced Bet-el-geeze. Then at some time, this "Beetle-juice" thing started, and that's how most people pronounce it today..

According to Wikipedia, "The star's name is derived from the Arabic يد الجوزاء Yad al-Jauzā', meaning "the hand of Orion". The Arabic letter for Y was misread as B by medieval translators, creating the initial B in Betelgeuse." So it should really be pronounced "Yettle-geeze"?

Roy

Bet'-uhl-jooz.

Although I have also heard

Bate'-uhl-jooz.

 

 

I'm with Don. As long as I've been in the hobby everyone I've known referred to the star as "Bet'-uhl-jooz".

 

BrooksObs



#15 Feidb

Feidb

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2,937
  • Joined: 09 Oct 2009

Posted 15 April 2015 - 09:34 PM

Beatle - juice.

 

I don't care how it's supposed to be pronounced.

 

Ophiuchus: Awful - yuckus.

 

Uranus: Your - anus (go ahead and laugh Bevis)



#16 Love Cowboy

Love Cowboy

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 972
  • Joined: 05 May 2014

Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:16 PM

Interestingly, while I have always been one to insist and correct others regarding the proper pronunciation of Uranus, and am one of the very few people I know even in my astronomy club who pronounce Io correctly, I have always pronounced Betelgeuse as "Beetlejuice" and never cared.



#17 Doug Culbertson

Doug Culbertson

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,240
  • Joined: 06 Jan 2005

Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:28 PM

 

How do you pronounce "Betelgeuse"? When I was a teenager in the 1950s and 60s, it was always pronounced Bet-el-geeze. Then at some time, this "Beetle-juice" thing started, and that's how most people pronounce it today..

According to Wikipedia, "The star's name is derived from the Arabic يد الجوزاء Yad al-Jauzā', meaning "the hand of Orion". The Arabic letter for Y was misread as B by medieval translators, creating the initial B in Betelgeuse." So it should really be pronounced "Yettle-geeze"?

Roy

Bet'-uhl-jooz.

Although I have also heard

Bate'-uhl-jooz.

 

 

The last one, Bate'-uhl-jooz, is how I learned to pronounce it. That's one that I would never correct anyone for "mispronouncing" though.



#18 Doug Culbertson

Doug Culbertson

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,240
  • Joined: 06 Jan 2005

Posted 16 April 2015 - 12:32 PM

Beatle - juice.

 

I don't care how it's supposed to be pronounced.

 

Ophiuchus: Awful - yuckus.

 

Uranus: Your - anus (go ahead and laugh Bevis)

 

And Cassiopeia? I've always said Cass-ee-oh-PEE-uh, but many of my former club members pronounced it Cass-ee-OH-piuh.



#19 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 31,270
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 16 April 2015 - 01:27 PM

If we all spoke Latin like Cicero, we'd say something like, Cahs-se-oh-PAY-e-ah.  But we don't, so why bother?  Cass-e-uh-PEE-uh is fine with me.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 16 April 2015 - 03:30 PM.


#20 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 46,327
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003

Posted 16 April 2015 - 01:52 PM

The biggest dichotomy between modern pronunciation and Classical Latin would be in how Canes Venatici is pronounced.

Most modern astronomers say Kay'-neez Venn-at'-uh-sigh.

In liturgical Latin (close to the medieval scholars, it is thought), the pronunciation was Kah'-nayz Venn-at'-uh-chee.

(sounds like italian a bit).

In Classical Latin, it's Kah'-ness Wen-at'-ih-kih with the i pronounced like the i in list.

So whatever form of the name is used, I won't make a comment.  I usually say "CVN"

 

Wikipedia lists several pronunciations for Betelgeuse:

/ˈbiːtəldʒuːz/,  or bit'-uhl-jooz (hard j sound)

/ˈbɛtəldʒuːz/,  or bet'-uhl-jooz

/ˈbiːtəldʒɜrz/  or bit'-uhl-jerz

/ˈbiːtəldʒuːs/ or bit'-uhl-joos

a little research suggests the name "beetle juice" came about because of the 1988 Tim Burton film, though I suspect that pronunciation preceded the movie.

When I was in Italy, I once heard an Italian friend say "bay'tuhl-gay'-zay", but I have no idea if that is how the Italians say it.

I can see this could be confusing.  Maybe, taking a tip from David, we should say "al'fuh Or-ee-on'-iss" :lol:



#21 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18,113
  • Joined: 18 May 2006

Posted 16 April 2015 - 04:02 PM

I used to pronounce it Bay-tuhl-jurze, where "jurze" rhymes with "furs," but minus the "r." (This vowel is common in French -- it's the one in "le." But as far as I know, it never occurs in English without the r following it.)

 

But after I learned just how mangled this name really is -- and how far Bay-tuhl-jurze is not just from the Arabic original but also from the first half-dozen mangled versions in European languages -- I decided to pronounce it Beetle Juice. Beetle Juice is totally unpretentious; it's blatantly inauthentic. Bay-tulhl-jurze, by contrast, is trying to sound authentic and failing miserably. The one thing worse than being pretentious and correct is being pretentious and incorrect.


Edited by Tony Flanders, 16 April 2015 - 04:04 PM.


#22 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 46,327
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003

Posted 16 April 2015 - 04:30 PM

I used to pronounce it Bay-tuhl-jurze, where "jurze" rhymes with "furs," but minus the "r." (This vowel is common in French -- it's the one in "le." But as far as I know, it never occurs in English without the r following it.)

 

But after I learned just how mangled this name really is -- and how far Bay-tuhl-jurze is not just from the Arabic original but also from the first half-dozen mangled versions in European languages -- I decided to pronounce it Beetle Juice. Beetle Juice is totally unpretentious; it's blatantly inauthentic. Bay-tulhl-jurze, by contrast, is trying to sound authentic and failing miserably. The one thing worse than being pretentious and correct is being pretentious and incorrect.

:lol:  :bow:



#23 hokkaido53

hokkaido53

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,002
  • Joined: 07 May 2012

Posted 16 April 2015 - 04:39 PM

I used to pronounce it Bay-tuhl-jurze, where "jurze" rhymes with "furs," but minus the "r." (This vowel is common in French -- it's the one in "le." But as far as I know, it never occurs in English without the r following it.)

 

But after I learned just how mangled this name really is -- and how far Bay-tuhl-jurze is not just from the Arabic original but also from the first half-dozen mangled versions in European languages -- I decided to pronounce it Beetle Juice. Beetle Juice is totally unpretentious; it's blatantly inauthentic. Bay-tulhl-jurze, by contrast, is trying to sound authentic and failing miserably. The one thing worse than being pretentious and correct is being pretentious and incorrect.

On the other hand, if the thing blows up this year, the problem will cease to exist.

 

Roy



#24 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 31,270
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 16 April 2015 - 05:14 PM

It could happen. :thinking:

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 16 April 2015 - 05:15 PM.


#25 Sarkikos

Sarkikos

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 31,270
  • Joined: 18 Dec 2007

Posted 16 April 2015 - 05:15 PM

The one thing worse than being pretentious and correct is being pretentious and incorrect.

 

Yep, you got it.

 

:grin:

Mike




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics