1. The forums will be closed for a major forum upgrade for around 2-4 hours on Sunday, starting around noon US Eastern Time (GMT -4, 18:00 in most of Europe). Details
    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'English Only' started by duden, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. duden Senior Member

    Hello, pls how do you pronounce the word "karate" in English?
    Is there any difference btw the UK and the US pronunciation?
    Thank you in advance
  2. difficult cuss Senior Member

    English England
    In the UK you can hear both "ka raa tay" and "ka-raa-tee". When I studied it, I was told to pronounce it the first way.
  3. DCPaco Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    Spanish of Mexico/ English of the USA
    Go to this link and click on the speaker icon and it will pronounce it for you.


    The difference may come from the fact that British people pout more when they enunciate words (I often think that British speaking requires more facial movement), where as Americans don't. With a word like this the difference may be minute and it may vary from region to region of America.

    After reading difficult's reply, yeah, Americans do more of an -ee at the end.
  4. difficult cuss Senior Member

    English England
    I went to the site and listened, it is said with an American accent, and is similar to the 2nd of my versions. I was told that
    ka raa tay
    is closer to the Japanese.
  5. DCPaco Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    Spanish of Mexico/ English of the USA
    I totally agree...in foreign words, I try to stick to the BBC's form ;).
  6. MissFit

    MissFit Senior Member

    In the U.S., it is generally pronounced ka-raa-tee outside of karate classes, even though it is fairly well known that in Okinawa it is properly pronounced ka-ra-tay. In fact, there is an often-played episode of the popular television show Friends in which the character Ross is ridiculed by his friends for pronouncing it correctly. (He was a very bad karate student, and no one takes him seriously about anything.)

    It seems to me that Americans have a careless disregard for the origninal pronunciation of a foreign word when we appropriate it into English. I suppose that is because so few of us bother to learn a foreign language and we couldn't pronounce those words correctly if we tried. Once a word becomes widely used with an Americanized pronunciation, there's no going back.
  7. difficult cuss Senior Member

    English England
    MissFit, I have to say that British people are equally as guilty. My Austrian partner ridicules me for my poor pronunciation of such German words (accepted in English) as schadenfreude , Doppelganger , zeitgeist and etc, and my French colleagues look upon me with utter disdain when I attempt to pronouce French words accepted in English.

Share This Page