pronunciation Aaron vs. Erin

Discussion in 'English Only' started by newg, May 22, 2013.

  1. newg

    newg Senior Member

    London, UK
    Hi guys,

    I'm watching a show in which one character is called Aaron and another one Erin. To my foreign ear, there doesn't seem to be a difference in pronunciation between the two names... But I might be wrong. I asked myself the question because if I were the producers I wouldn't choose to give two names that sound the same, to my characters. I don't know, in order to avoid confusion, for example. :D

    How do you pronounce these two names? Is the pronunciation different in BrE?

    In AE, for Aaron, I would say I hear /eəɹən/ and in BrE it would be more like /æɹən/.
  2. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    It really varies depending on the individual person's accent - and I think it's a lot more complicated than AmE vs. BE. In some AmE accents, the initial vowel sounds of two names sound somewhat different. In mine, they (I think) sound very slightly different - so slight that while some people could hear it, others could not. In some accents, they sound identical.
  3. ecording Member

    I differentiate between Aaron and Erin, but I also know many AE speakers who don't. Erin is [ɛɹɪn] and Aaron is [æɹɪn].
  4. Miss Julie

    Miss Julie Senior Member

    Chicago metro area
    I don't differentiate between them. Aaron rhymes with Erin, which rhymes with Karen and Sharon. :D
  5. newg

    newg Senior Member

    London, UK
    Thanks for the replies :) - it's very interesting.

    I don't hear a /ɪ/ at all, though! For me it's really a schwa.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  6. DW

    DW Banned

    I don't know whether it is only a typo or something else, but I guess you meant "hear" writing "here".
  7. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    For me Aaron has a long vowel (like in air), and Erin has a short initial vowel (like in set). The vowel quality could be very similar: /ˈeərən/, /ˈerɪn/. Aaron is different from Karen or baron which has the vowel in sat.
  8. newg

    newg Senior Member

    London, UK
    Interesting... Next time they say it, I will try to pay attention to the length of the initial vowel. Thanks :)
  9. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    I agree.
  10. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    Aaron, Erin, Karen and baron (and Sharon, and barren ...) all have the same vowel for me. It's the same vowel that's in Mary, merry and marry.

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