Sunday, July 3, 2005

Suw Charman – A Pronunciation Guide

by Suw on July 3, 2005

This is something that came up a lot when I was in the US last month, so I figure it must be worth clarifying. My name is pronounced:
Soo TCHAR-m'n
That's 'soo' to rhyme with 'boo' or 'goo' or even 'gnu' (but absolutely not 'view').
'TCHAR-m'n' to rhyme with, er, well, um… 'charman' (and bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the well-known brand of toilet paper).
Two really important points about my surname:
1. It's a hard CH, as in chocolate or chalk or chuffin 'eck.
2. The last syllable is a schwa, so you don't emphasis the 'man', but make it more of a 'mun'.
This may sound to some as if I am stating the obvious and being a bit precious about it, but I heard 'Sharmin' so often last month that it started to get on my wick a bit. Seven letters, two syllables, really very easy, please try harder.
Also, whilst I am clearing up misconceptions, I'd like to make the point that as much as I love the Welsh, and as much as I adore being able to speak Welsh, I'm still English. Very, very English. So if you meet me and wonder why I have an English accent instead of a Welsh one, then that would be why.
There. That makes me feel better.

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