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How do I pronounce this name?

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One of my favorite boy names. I had my first crush on a boy named José Javier. I have Saint Francis Xavier (San Francisco Javier) in my paternal family tree.

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 I've heard it pronounced  Ha-vee-ay   along with the other variations above.

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It's a Spanish name, you pronounce it the way it's spelled, unless the person who holds the name has Anglicized it.

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Not to be confused with the Spanish "Jaime" (High-me). I play tennis with both Javier and Jaime. I'm constantly mixing them up.  :o

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Common pronunciation around here would be HAH-vee-air. But, I've also had students who pronounced it JAY-vee-er.

 

Wouldn't it depend on which country the particular person is from? 

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Wouldn't it depend on which country the particular person is from? 

 

That is something that I couldn't tell you. Around here, you don't guess as to who came from where. If you guess wrong, the students may not ever speak to you again...

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I have also heard it pronounced Haw Be Air. Haw Vee Air is Latin American pronunciation; Haw Be Air is Spanish pronunciation.

"Hah bee air" would be the closest to true pronunciation. The stress is on the last syllable, specifically on the letter "e". The final r is pronounced.

 

The standard Spanish pronunciation of the letter "v" is the same as that of the letter "b". Exceptions are some areas in Latin America due to interference of indigenous languages or in some regions in Spain due to interference of the Catalan language or one of its dialects (Valencian, Mallorquín).

Edited by Mabelen
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Common pronunciation around here would be HAH-vee-air. But, I've also had students who pronounced it JAY-vee-er.

Sorry, not "Jay....". The letter "j" does not sound the same as in English.

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That's true, Mabelen, but the person who holds the name is the one who can determine how it is pronounced. In America, we have a lot of name pairs where one is the pronunciation in the original language, and the other has been Anglicized. Sometimes, especially when we're dealing with Irish names, we have triplets - the original pronunciation and spelling, Anglicized spelling and original pronunciation, or original spelling and Anglicized pronunciation!

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That's true, Mabelen, but the person who holds the name is the one who can determine how it is pronounced. In America, we have a lot of name pairs where one is the pronunciation in the original language, and the other has been Anglicized. Sometimes, especially when we're dealing with Irish names, we have triplets - the original pronunciation and spelling, Anglicized spelling and original pronunciation, or original spelling and Anglicized pronunciation!

Well, yes, I guess how it ends up pronounced once it is anglicized and distorted could be different, but I took that the OP was asking how it was pronounced in the original language, which is Spanish. In English, the equivalent form of the name would be Xavier. I have a Spanish name and, of course it usually does not get pronounced the same here as in Spain, but if someone asks, I will give them the proper way.

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It's the first name of the guy that owns the business that is coming out to my house to fix my back door. I'm assuming his last name is pronounced as it's spelled because it looks straight forward. I guess I could just skip his first name and just ask for Mr. so-and-so and hope I get that right! Honestly, I'm just hoping someone will show up at the appointment time and I won't have to call at all.

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That is something that I couldn't tell you. Around here, you don't guess as to who came from where. If you guess wrong, the students may not ever speak to you again...

 

Why is that? 

 

When my dc took Spanish lessons at the Saturday morning international languages classes, the teachers and families were very proud of the countries they came from and their heritage and culture. It was an opportunity to share with others, too. We have no Spanish heritage at all, so it was fascinating to here the differences in pronunciations among many different people from Spanish-speaking countries.

Edited by wintermom

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but I took that the OP was asking how it was pronounced in the original language, which is Spanish.

 

She speaks English. I assumed that if she has to ask, the person she's speaking to also speaks English, and may be a monolingual speaker if they live in this country.

 

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While it's pretty safe to assume ha-vee-AIR, it's even safer to go with "Mr. ___" and then ask "how do you pronounce your first name?"  Just like you'd ask how to pronounce a last name.  The other day I was working with someone whose last name is Cloutier.  Had to ask how that is pronounced.

 

Pronunciations do vary for the same spelling in the USA.  I had a friend who named her daughter Shana.  She used to get irritated when people thought that was pronounced SHAH-na.  She pronounced it SHAY-na.   So SHAY-na it is.  :)

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One of my favorite boy names. I had my first crush on a boy named José Javier. I have Saint Francis Xavier (San Francisco Javier) in my paternal family tree.

See now, I would pronounce Xavier ex-zay-vee-er.

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It's the first name of the guy that owns the business that is coming out to my house to fix my back door. I'm assuming his last name is pronounced as it's spelled because it looks straight forward. I guess I could just skip his first name and just ask for Mr. so-and-so and hope I get that right! Honestly, I'm just hoping someone will show up at the appointment time and I won't have to call at all.

So, how did it go? Did you have to ask him? Inquiring minds want to know, 😆.

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So, how did it go? Did you have to ask him? Inquiring minds want to know, 😆.

 

Our appointment is Tuesday at 3:00pm. I have a confirmed appointment so someone should so up without me calling. I had to find their website to get a phone number and there was only one listed under the owner's name. If someone shows up, I won't have to call and ask if someone will be coming. I'm not 100% comfortable making random appointments online but that was the easiest option and we absolutely have to have the door fixed.

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I lived in Texas where we would pronounce things with their Spanish/Mexican pronunciation.  In Colorado, even the Spanish names they pronounce straight up English.  The town Buena Vista. I said "Bwena Veesta" and was immediately corrected.  Bu-na Vista.  In fact, they shorten it to Buny.  Long U sound, rhyming with puny.  That is so weird to me.  I asked, "Do you call tortillas tor-till-a's?)  :glare:

 

Also, have a friend who's son is named Manuel.  He prefers the English pronunciation like manual, not the Spanish man-well.

Edited by goldberry

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She speaks English. I assumed that if she has to ask, the person she's speaking to also speaks English, and may be a monolingual speaker if they live in this country.

Yes, you can have several scenarios.

 

My mind went straight to first generation immigrant like myself, born and bred outside the US. In this case, even if we realize and accept that our names will not be pronounced properly, it is nice and appreciated when someone bothers to try to do it right. Sometimes first generation immigrants will adopt a local or anglicized variant of their names for practical reasons. I didn't think that was the case here because the spelling is still in Spanish, but of course I am speculating, just like anybody else, lol.

 

The further along you go the generations, the more likely it will be that the pronunciation will deviate from the original language.

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I lived in Texas where we would pronounce things with their Spanish/Mexican pronunciation. In Colorado, even the Spanish names they pronounce straight up English. The town Buena Vista. I said "Bwena Veesta" and was immediately corrected. Bu-na Vista. In fact, they shorten it to Buny. Long U sound, rhyming with puny. That is so weird to me. I asked, "Do you call tortillas tor-till-a's?) :glare:

 

Also, have a friend who's son is named Manuel. He prefers the English pronunciation like manual, not the Spanish man-well.

I am in California, Spanish place names are everywhere. After all, the Spaniards were the first Europeans to settle here and Spanish was the first European language in the area. They are pronounced following Spanish language norms, albeit with an American accent.

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I am in California, Spanish place names are everywhere. After all, the Spaniards were the first Europeans to settle here and Spanish was the first European language in the area. They are pronounced following Spanish language norms, albeit with an American accent.

Not the towns I lived in!

 

Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Pedro--Most of the vowels and some of the consonants are wrong, they don't even vaguely resemble the Spanish pronunciations.

Edited by maize
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Why is that? 

 

 

The majority of  the students that I taught were either Puerto Rican or Dominican. For reasons unknown to me, those two groups do not really intermingle in this community. 

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Not the towns I lived in!

 

Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Pedro--Most of the vowels and some of the consonants are wrong, they don't even vaguely resemble the Spanish pronunciations.

I must have low standards for this! As long as it mostly follows Spanish norms, I am happy! I suppose it is relative. Compared to how familiar with Spanish names people in the UK and Maryland were when I lived there, California is a marked improvement, 😂

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Customers will often spell out their name for me without telling me how it is pronounced, so I'll just ask "how do you say your name."  so I don't mess it up when I call them later.   Californian also and we have such a diversity of folks from Latin America (as well as every where else) and not all pronounce things the same.   It's  just like here in the U.S. with our southern, midwestern,  or eastern accents, depends on the speaker. 

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If in doubt, politely ask.

 

We had Hispanic foster boys and one would get VERY upset if anyone pronounced his Hispanic foster name that way most Hispanics would. People we're trying to be culturally sensitive and pronounce it correctly but HE pronounced it as if it was an English last name.

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I must have low standards for this! As long as it mostly follows Spanish norms, I am happy! I suppose it is relative. Compared to how familiar with Spanish names people in the UK and Maryland were when I lived there, California is a marked improvement, 😂

Brits are really bad at Spanish but tend to be better at French, which is taught more commonly.

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I lived in Texas where we would pronounce things with their Spanish/Mexican pronunciation. In Colorado, even the Spanish names they pronounce straight up English. The town Buena Vista. I said "Bwena Veesta" and was immediately corrected. Bu-na Vista. In fact, they shorten it to Buny. Long U sound, rhyming with puny. That is so weird to me. I asked, "Do you call tortillas tor-till-a's?) :glare:

 

Also, have a friend who's son is named Manuel. He prefers the English pronunciation like manual, not the Spanish man-well.

That IS strange! Coming from California that would have thrown me as well.

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See now, I would pronounce Xavier ex-zay-vee-er.

But why?

 

Do you say "ex-zy-lo-fone"? Or "ex-zee-no-fo-bee-uh" (xenophobia)?

 

I do not understand why people do that to this name.

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I must have low standards for this! As long as it mostly follows Spanish norms, I am happy! I suppose it is relative. Compared to how familiar with Spanish names people in the UK and Maryland were when I lived there, California is a marked improvement, 😂

You're probably right that it is all relative. I've lived in Latin America and really struggled to retrain myself to say the city names in Southern California the way the locals did. Took me years to be able to do it without cringing internally! No, there is no pea in Pedro...and the middle syllable of Segundo does not rhyme with Hun (or gun...)

Edited by maize

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But why?

 

Do you say "ex-zy-lo-fone"? Or "ex-zee-no-fo-bee-uh" (xenophobia)?

 

I do not understand why people do that to this name.

Actually, that is how I pronounce xylophone (but not xenophobia). Maybe it's regional?

 

As for Xavier, I went to school with a kid K-8 who pronounced it that way, so I guess it just stuck. I have never heard anyone pronounce Xavier the same as Javier, with an h sound at the beginning.

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I lived in Texas where we would pronounce things with their Spanish/Mexican pronunciation. In Colorado, even the Spanish names they pronounce straight up English. The town Buena Vista. I said "Bwena Veesta" and was immediately corrected. Bu-na Vista. In fact, they shorten it to Buny. Long U sound, rhyming with puny. That is so weird to me. I asked, "Do you call tortillas tor-till-a's?) :glare:

 

Also, have a friend who's son is named Manuel. He prefers the English pronunciation like manual, not the Spanish man-well.

That's because the person who named the town wanted it to match the word "beautiful".

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Nothing really to add to the conversation, except that we are fostering a boy whose name is Xavier.  I looked up pronunciation when we first got him and couldn't believe the variety of "right" ways to say it.

 

We go with zay-vee-er...mostly it comes out sounding like Saviour but with a Z sound at the beginning.  

 

We also have a Shana...I didn't know there was any other way to pronounce that but Shay-na.   :001_smile:

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Actually, that is how I pronounce xylophone (but not xenophobia). Maybe it's regional?

 

As for Xavier, I went to school with a kid K-8 who pronounced it that way, so I guess it just stuck. I have never heard anyone pronounce Xavier the same as Javier, with an h sound at the beginning.

The most common pronunciation I heard for that before X-men was "Zaw-vee-A". With the A being its long sound and the emphasis being on that final syllable. But now it's popping up as a popular baby name again in general American nomenclature, and the ex-A-vee-yer pronunciation is the one used.

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I lived in Texas where we would pronounce things with their Spanish/Mexican pronunciation.  In Colorado, even the Spanish names they pronounce straight up English.  The town Buena Vista. I said "Bwena Veesta" and was immediately corrected.  Bu-na Vista.  In fact, they shorten it to Buny.  Long U sound, rhyming with puny.  That is so weird to me.  I asked, "Do you call tortillas tor-till-a's?)  :glare:

 

<snip>

I am from CO and I have always pronounced it Bwena Vista. The only people I ever heard say it the other way were from north of Denver. I spent a number of years living in Pueblo, though, and that town has a strong Hispanic influence and the best Mexican food this side of the border.

 

If anyone from the boards is headed to CO this summer, I highly suggest swinging by Pueblo for some roasted chilis.

 

ETA: I have always pronounced Javier and Xavier the same way - Haw-vee-air.

Edited by Scoutermom

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NIghtelf - Did he show up? Did you ask how he pronounces his name?

 

NM - just saw the update for the Tuesday appt. 

 

I wonder if his ears are burning now that he is the subject of debate.

 

Edited by Scoutermom

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Actually, that is how I pronounce xylophone (but not xenophobia). Maybe it's regional?

 

Wait...really? You really, truly pronounce xylophone as "ex-zy-lo-fone?" I really need to know if this is just a you thing, a your area thing, or if I live under a rock. 

 

 

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Wait...really? You really, truly pronounce xylophone as "ex-zy-lo-fone?" I really need to know if this is just a you thing, a your area thing, or if I live under a rock.

 

 

It's not just her. So do I and so do the people I know. If it comes up, that is.

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Not the towns I lived in!

 

Los Angeles, El Segundo, San Pedro--Most of the vowels and some of the consonants are wrong, they don't even vaguely resemble the Spanish pronunciations.

Los Feliz-- that one drives me crazy. 

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It's not just her. So do I and so do the people I know. If it comes up, that is.

 

Wow, I have never heard this. 

 

And here in my area of CA the OP pronunciation that I have heard people use for themselves is Hah Vee Are.

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Well, yes, I guess how it ends up pronounced once it is anglicized and distorted could be different, but I took that the OP was asking how it was pronounced in the original language, which is Spanish. In English, the equivalent form of the name would be Xavier. I have a Spanish name and, of course it usually does not get pronounced the same here as in Spain, but if someone asks, I will give them the proper way.

 

 

Xavier is a really common French name around here. We say "zah-vee-ay."

 

ETA:  And, if you have a French person named Javier, we say "zhah-vee-ay."

Edited by Audrey
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