Silly phonics question -ai

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Apr 26, 2020.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Apr 26, 2020

    I’m on another nonteaching message board.

    There’s a thread asking whether a certain name (eye-ahn) should be spelled Ayan, Ayaan, or Aiyan. The name is of Indian origin.

    Some people are chiming in with comments like, “I’m a teacher, and Ai makes the Long I sound, so people are most likely to pronounce this one correctly.”

    I disagree, but am not interested in arguing about it in this other forum haha. But I’m curious what other teachers here say. To me, ai makes the long A sound or sometimes a short E (said), but never long I. I can’t think of any examples where it does (Edit- just thought of a few with the I sound at the end, chai, Thai, and Hawaii), so I’m confused by these teachers’ insistence that they’re educated professionals and clearly they’re correct here.

    I’d choose one of the first two. I think I’ve also seen the name spelled Aayan.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2020
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Apr 26, 2020

    There is no one definitive answer here. ai- could be pronounced as the long A sound -- as in the Aidan or rain. "When two vowels go a walkin', the first one does the talkin'..."

    It could be pronounced as the eh- sound -- the short e sound -- as in said or tail.

    Personally, if it was used in a name, and I had to guess, I'd choose the long A sound.

    In American English, I'm struggling to think of an example where ai- would make the Long I sound.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Apr 26, 2020

    Where I live, tail has the long a sound, not the short e sound.

    I think that we have to remember that regional dialects and accents account for a lot of instances of confusion when we are discussing phonics with others from around the country or world.
     
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  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 15, 2020

    Do said and tail have the same vowel sound to you? To me these words are very different. sehd. tay-uhl.
     
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  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    May 18, 2020

    When it's a name, all bets are off as far as phonics is concerned.
     
  7. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    May 19, 2020

    Darn tootin'. Two particular examples stand out: I had a student this year, Kinaysha. Naturally, I pronounced it as Kin-ay-sha, but it turns out she's Kin-ah-sha.
    The other is two girls I knew in high school, twins Deana and Diana. One would think Dee-ann-uh and Dy-ann-uh, but they're pronounced as Deena and Dinah (Dee-nuh/Dy-nuh) because their Vietnamese parents struggle with vowel blends.

    As to the OP, to me it depends on the accented syllable. Ayan being almost neutral, Aiyan being EYE-ahn, and Ayaan being eye-AHN.
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I think phonics goes out the window when some people decide how to pronounce their kid's name.
     
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  9. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    The Ai name in this scenario is also the least traditional. The other spellings are common names in India, but the person was asking about what would be easiest for Americans to pronounce. As a teacher, when I see a name that appears to be of non-English origin, I almost always ask if it’s not a name I know. I teach a very diverse group with a lot of Middle Eastern and Asian students, so non-English names are almost the norm and nothing really surprises me.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    May 21, 2020

    Pretty much any terminal -ai sound would be a long I. These are often foreign loanwords.

    Sai
    Samurai
    Thai
    Jai alai (a south american sport)
    bonsai
    Shanghai
     
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  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 19, 2020

    A friend of mine from Bangladesh has a son named Ayan. Pronunciation is eye-yahn.
     

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