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pronunciation/writing: when O sounds like "AH" othala or ansuz?


I've always been in a bit of a quandary about this. When I spell out my name in runes, I've always wondered which one to use for the second letter.

My name is Jonathan. So the O is actually pronounced "AH". When I spell my names in runes, I've always spelled it jera, ansuz, nauthiz, ansuz, thurisaz, ansuz, nauthiz.

As such, I have always used ansuz as the second character, as opposed to othala, so that when someone reads it, it's pronounced "yAH-nah-than". I always figured this was correct, since if I used othala, it would be pronounced "yOH-nah-than"

However, I noticed that Oswald starts his name off with othala, even though his name (I believe) is pronounced AHs-wAHld.

Have I been doing it wrong all this time?

Re: pronunciation/writing: when O sounds like "AH" othala or ansuz?

You will see varying opinions on this matter on the web and in books. I have always used Othila for the OH sound as in ROSE and for the short O sound as in POT. Under that principle I would use Othila for your second letter.

But it has to be said, I base my pronunciation on the Anglo-Saxon usage rather than Norse or Germanic because I am no expert on old Norse or the root Teutonic languages.

The bottom line is - make up your own mind, just as the ancient rune carvers did.

Re: pronunciation/writing: when O sounds like "AH" othala or ansuz?

Thanks to Jonathan's question, I was able to add an important note in "The Rune Primer".

The pronunciation he describes is found in many American dialects, and he is American. For most other speakers. O is pronounced as a much more rounded vowel. Thus British, Australian, even German speakers say POT with a short rounded vowel, while many Americans pronounce it more like PAHT, with a longer more open vowel like the A in FATHER.

"The Rune Primer"
(available on Runemaker's Recommended Books page)

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