A volcano in Iceland called …

Ekya ... Eyja ... That volcano in Iceland

If you were curious about the name of  the volcano in Iceland that’s causing airline chaos, you probably won’t hear it on many newscasts, for the good reason that it’s quite a tongue-twister:

Eyjafjallajökull

And you thought English was hard to pronounce? Fortunately, the world’s linguists are on hand to explain how to say it (John Wells on his blog, and Mark Liberman on Language Log, and here again). The BBC’s famed pronunciation unit — of course — has its own advice. NPR in the US has largely given up (with the exception of the intrepid Joe Palca), but offers these renditions.

At least it gives you something to do while you’re stuck at Heathrow

Author: Nigel Caplan

Nigel Caplan, Ph.D., is an associate professor of ESL and materials developer in Delaware, in the United States.

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