How can I figure out how to pronounce a name? Are there any dictionaries for names which tell us how words are articulated? Are there rules to follow to figure it out?

For example, I need to know how the following are pronounced:




  • 1
    Last names, in particular, are going to be very difficult to find in any kind of dictionary. I did a Google search and there's a pronounce names website, but it didn't have many of the names I tried. I have a reasonable pronunciation for every name you list, but at least some of them are either based on similar last names ("Baird" instead of "Paird"), and some are based on an assumed language origin ("Schlosser", "Schrafft", etc, sound germanic so that's how I'd pronounce them).
    – Wayne
    Feb 13, 2014 at 20:54
  • @Wayne would you kindly tell me the pronunciation of all my list, if you like and have time?
    – Juya
    Feb 13, 2014 at 21:20
  • 1
    Actually, spelling alone is not everything. The only way to be sure is to ask the owner. Names may be spelled in the same way and still pronounced differently. Look up Keeping up appearances for an (overwrought) example.
    – oerkelens
    Feb 13, 2014 at 21:38
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    @Juya Simply asking us to give you the pronunciation of a long list of words is off-topic. I have edited your question so it asks how you can learn to pronounce them, so you can figure it out for yourself in the future.
    – WendiKidd
    Feb 13, 2014 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


It looks like you shortened your list, so I'll take a stab at it, though I don't know IPA or any official way to communicate it except through rhyming words. You should be able to find a website with pronunciations of the individual words to get a feel.

"Fitch" would rhyme with "itch", "Stockton" would be pronounced something like the two words "Stock" and "ton" run together ("Stock-ton"), or perhaps "Stock" and "done" ("Stock-dun"), with the emphasis on the first syllable. The ending of "Fishbein" would rhyme with the ending of "Einstein" with the long "i" sound ("eye"): "Fish-bine". (It's much less likely, but it's possible that the "ei" in "Fishbein" would be pronounced as "ee" as in "spleen", but that's not what I'd guess first.)

EDIT: removed an added question about context, which was answered while I typed, in a comment.

  • 2
    I think this just goes to show that names can be pronounced different ways, and will be by different people; I would have guessed Fishbein would sound like fish-bayne. I think the key to the answer here (similar to the question we had a while back about pronouncing fictional names) is that pronunciation is determined by the person who named the thing, or the person who is named it. We can give guidelines to help make an educated guess, but that's about it.
    – WendiKidd
    Feb 13, 2014 at 21:57
  • A friend has made my list shorter so that my question remain on-topic. I am translating a short story containing these names so I'd like to know the correct articulation in order to state the names in a way which resemble the most to the original. although many translators mught think it is not of importance, I think it is to be as close to the real pronunciation as possible.
    – Juya
    Feb 13, 2014 at 21:59

You can search personal names at http://www.forvo.com and http://inogolo.com/ . The first website is more comprehensive and you also can make requests to be pronounced by English speaking volunteers.
"Are there rules to follow to figure it out? " I think they follow the inherent rules of pronunciation in English. If you also ask about foreign names, for example, I heard someone saying the name Garcea. This is a Romanian name and while in Romanian ea is a diphthong, the person was distinctly separating the vowels e and a. Another common anglicization is "a" often becoming a schwa, which is common in general English language (e.g. Napoleon).


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