+0
How is the name "Micawber" (as in David Copperfield) pronounced (including the stress)?
And: what about Sophia (as in Tom Jones)? I've heard both So-pheea and So-faia. Has there been a change in pronunciation since the 18th century?

Thank you very much for your help!
1 2
Comments  
I think Mr. M should answer this one. Emotion: smile
Mick-aw-ber

Sophia is generally pronounced Sophaiya in "period" pieces, though quite how one knows how they said it in the 17 -18th c don't know!
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Perhaps it's my northern accent but I would say "mi'KAW-buh".
The "i" is a very short sound (not "e" or "ee") and is not joined to the "k". The AW is stressed and sounds like "oo" in "door" or the "or" in "horse" (but the "r" is not pronounced). The "r" in "ber" is not pronounced at all. In other words, the tongue is not raised at the end of this word. In fact the entire word is pronounced without raising the front of the tongue.

Hmm!
Would it be pronounced as Mick-aw-burr (with the r properly 'rolled') in the American accent?
Guest : Is there more than one way to pronounce the name Mabel? The normal way is : "May-Bur", right? Can we pronounce it as "May-Bell"? Or any other way? Would greatly appreciate for any advice. Thanks.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
The name Mabel.

May-bur is incorrect.

May-bell is not quite right either. The emphasis should be on the May part and then the bel is not sounded out as clearly as 'bell', it is more of a 'bul'.

In fact, Mabel rhymes with table. Say 'table' but replacing the t with an m, and you are saying Mabel correctly.
Sophia was always pronounced 'Soph-eye-a' when I was young. Now it seems to have changed to 'Soph-ee-ya'. I suspect that's because people travel more and have been exposed to the pronunciation of the name in other languages.
The change from 'Clair-a' to 'Clah-ra' must be another example of this phenomenon.
That must be strictly a British phenomenon, Anon.

I'm 55 (and American) and I've never heard Sophia pronounced any way other than 'Soph-ee-ya'.
The name Clara has been pronounced 'Clair-a' here in the US for as long as I can remember. There has been no change.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more