How To Say Things

No, this is nothing deep 🙂 It’s just that one of the many things I found intriguing about Akademy was learning the different ways that people refer to our apps and technologies – and those of other organisations. Generally, I think I’ll copy the pronunciation of people working on relevant app, so in case you are as clueless as I was (am?) here’s my cheatsheet:

  • Krita. I had picked up “critter” as the pronunciation here and used it when introducing Lukas’s talk. However, he used “Kree-ta”, I think, so I guess that’s right
  • Akonadi. Seems to be “ack-on-aah-dee”. I had always imagined the last bit rhymed with “die”
  • Nepomuk. The “nep” but rhymes with “sep” in September, “o” rhymes with the “o” in FOSS and the last bit seems to vary between an “uck” and “ook” sound

There are a few that have some interesting splits:

  • GNOME. This one fascinates me for its difference between native and non-native English speakers. In English of course we have gnomes pronounced without sounding the “g” and most native English speakers seem to say GNOME the same way with a silent “G”. Most people who don’t have English as a first language seem to sound out the “G” as “guh-nome”
  • GNU. For me, this has always had the “G” sound included: “guh-noo”, but I also met some people who say “noo”, which confused me at first. It is easy to do 🙂
  • openSUSE. This still splits people between the (original and best?) “open-soo-suh”, “open-soose” (which rhymes with “loose”) and “open-soo-zee”. At least everyone seems to agree on how to say “open”.
  • Plasma. Even this has some subtle variations between a soft and harder (more like “z”) sound for the “s” and which syllable carries the stress

There are a few too that no one seems to know how to say:

  • KRandRTray. Is it “kay-ah-and-ah-tray”? Is it “krand-ah-tray”? Or is it just that handy thing that does monitor stuff?
  • Kopete. Maybe one of the developers knows? I heard “koh-pet”, “koh-peet”, “koh-pet-a” and maybe a few others too

And another that came up due to some other event that was on at the same time as Akademy:

  • Uruguay. I know I say it wrong, I’m British after all and we do funny things with our “u”s, pretending we can use them like the “y” in “year”.

14 Responses to “How To Say Things”

  • Ivan says:


    For me, the normal word gnome is with the silent ‘g’, but when GNOME is concerned, it is with the ‘g’ loud and clear. I have no idea what is the stance of GNOME ppl on this one, but since GNU should be pronounced with ‘g’ (as said by RMS), I think that it should be in GNOME as well.

    As for openSUSE, my guess is (as it is coming from Germany) that the letter ‘s’ is supposed to be pronounced as ‘z’.

    For other things, I usually rely on the pronunciation of the developer – /koʊpɛtʌ/ and /nɛpomuk/


  • Stefan says:

    I also heard some people (don’t remember where and when) who pronounced GNOME as “jee-nome”, like if the G was separated by a hyphen (“G-NOME”).

  • Chani says:

    I’m a G-nu
    I’m a G-nu
    The g-nicest work of g-nature in the zoo…

    (google it! 🙂

  • Markus says:

    I’m sorry, but are English-speaking people really that incapable to actually pronounce something right?
    GNOME is GNOME and GNU is GNU and not “guh-nome”/”guh-nu”. There is no vowel between G and N!
    And where do you people get the idea that the E in SUSE is supposed to be pronounced as A/”uh”? It’s and E like in the leading E in “Elmo”.

    • Stu says:

      Yep, sorry – we spend all our mental faculties getting all the weird pronunciations of English right 😉

      It would be a lot easier if I knew the phonetic alphabet as it’s pretty difficult to write pronunciations otherwise. Regarding SUSE, soo-seh might have been better, but still not right and soo-se is too ambiguous.

    • Ivan says:

      It is not about the vowel between, but rather about pronouncing the ‘g’.

      I haven’t really heard anyone inserting a vowel.

  • cg says:

    gnome (creature) ->pronounced /noʊm/

    GNOME (project) -> pronounced /ˈɡnoʊm/

  • Alex Merry says:

    I think projects with names that are not a common word in some language (or even if it is a common word, but in a language not well-known by non-native speakers) should put the preferred pronunciation on the home page (in IPA).

    I also like the way some projects to put the dictionary definition of the word that gives the project its name.

  • Kevin Krammer says:

    The pronouciation of Kopete is in their FAQ, even with a link to a sound file 🙂

  • unegthym says:

    # KRandRTray: I am sure we could (and should) find a better name for that anyway.

  • Andre says:

    As SUSE is originally German for “Software und System Entwicklung” I guess it should be pronounced with a long u, two soft S and a Schwa at the end: “zuːzə”.