Swabia and Swabian pronunciation

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Senior Member

If Swabia = Schwaben and Swabian = Schwäbisch, does the 'a' in Swabia rhyme with the the 'a' in Schwaben and the 'a' in Swabian rhyme with the 'ä' in Schwäbisch? Or is it the speaker's personal preference, like saying 'tomAYto' versus 'tomAHto'?

In English, there is the word 'swab' always pronounced with a short 'a', so it would seem logical to pronounce both Swabia and Swabian with a short 'a', but it sounds odd to me and when I read Swabia and Swabian, I "hear" both words with a long 'a'. I checked some other websites about Schwaben, but didn't see any guidelines on how to pronounce the English translation.
  • bh7

    Senior Member
    Canada; English
    I agree with Blumengarten, there is no consonance of the 'a' pronunciation in English Swabia/Swabian with the German Schwabe/schwäbisch, in fact, why should one expect it? I have never heard Swabia pronounced with an open a-sound like in 'rather'. However, there were at least two variants of the English pronunciation of Czechoslovakia, with the open a-pronunciation prevalent, but the ei-pronunciation (rhyming with 'sway') also heard with some regularity, even among native Czechs and Slovaks.


    Senior Member
    Germany (NRW)
    A Swabian would pronouce ein Schwabe: "en Shwoab", and plural (Schwaben): "shwoabe"
    And he wouldn't say: in Schwaben, but "im Ländle"

    So you don't really have a chance of rhyming the English pronunciation with the Swabian one anyway. ;)
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