Poll: Pronouncing “Xidnaf”


Hi guys, I’ve picked a topic for the next
video (and no, I’m not telling you what it is), but before that I have a question: how
do you pronounce this word? This isn’t a rhetorical question, I genuinely have no idea. Well,
ok, I have no idea how to pronounce this word in english, uh, OK, let me back up. I initially
came up with this word back when I was in eight grade and I was a little bit obsessed
with a language called Lojban. I’ll probably be doing a video on Lojban at some point,
but for now all you need to know is that proper nouns in Lojban always have to begin and end
in consonants, but my name in meatspace both begins and ends in a vowel, so I came up with
this thing to be my Lojban name. How I came up with it exactly is a bit of a long story,
it doesn’t mean anything in any language but it has some interesting phonetic properties
and it relates to my meatspace name in a cool way. Anyway, in Lojban it’s pronounced “xidnaf,”
with a velar fricative at the beginning. In one of my first videos I called myself
“xidnaf” at the beginning, but since then I’ve kind of realized that all my videos are
in English and all the titles are in English and all the comments are, well, most of the
comments are in English, so this is basically an English Language channel and therefor the
channel’s name should probably have a standard pronunciation in English that only uses English
sounds. Now, there’s only one good option for how to pronounce the letter “X” and that’s
as a “z” “zzz” sound. Most English words that begin with an “X” are pronounced with a “z”
sound at the beginning, and besides, the only other options are, like X-idnaf or Xidnaf?
But besides that, there’s actually a few different ways the vowels could be pronounced. By my
count there’s three ways each vowel could be pronounced: the letter “I” could be pronounced:
“ai” as in “kind,” “i” as in “slip” or “ee” as in “steel,” while the letter “a” could
also be pronounce “æ” as in “stab,” “ei” as in “table” or “ah” as in “fall.” This leaves
nine different possible pronunciations: “zaidnæf,” “zaidneif,” “zaidnahf,” “zidnæf” “zidneif”
“zidnahf” “zeednæf” “zeedneif” and “zeednahf.” Now, I could just pick one of these pronunciations
and make it official, but I don’t really care either way and most of you probably already
pronounce it a certain way in your head I really don’t want to wind up fighting my fans
about what my name is. So, I’ve decided to just let you guys vote on it! Let me know
in the comments which one of these ways you say it or, alternatively, which one you think
sounds coolest. Try to write them the way I write them here so that I know what you’re
talking about, and don’t vote by voting on someone else’s comment, write you’re own,
it’ll make it easier to count. If there’s a pronunciation I forgot, just explain it
to me in the comment. Voting ends exactly one week after I post this video, at 3:00AM
Wednesday, June 11th 2014. After that I’ll count up the votes and let you guys know which
pronunciation won, so I’ll see you then!

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Comments

  1. I'm a bit late, but since I'm a Mandarin student, I always pronounced the "x" with a voiceless alveopalatal fricative, or the x in pinyin. So I guess it would be [ɕɪd.næf].

  2. Lol I’ve been watching your videos for some time and as a portuguese speaker i’ve always thought it was pronounced something like kseednáf

  3. I say it Xeednaf, like the X symbol in cyrillic alphabets. Kind of like a sound you’d make when there’s something in your throat and you’re trying to get it out. I hope you understand what i mean now

  4. I mentally pronounce it kinda like Ku-sid-gnau-pf but when I think about how it would most likely be pronounced in English I think it'd be kzidnaf(mostly silent k)

    Ps I am just some eighth grader who started watching your videos so I don't know how to necessarily get the sounds across properly

  5. I say it "gzeendahf" even though the d is before the n. It's easier to pronounce that way. My background is French is that makes a difference.

  6. At first I pronounced it «Sheednahf» because that's how Spanish speaking person would pronounce it,but when I saw the IPA,I saw that /x/= Voiceless velar fricative (ch/kh) so I pronounce it like the original name

  7. 0:44– SOUTH CATS FTW!

    (That’s the sound of a South Dutch G. This is of course despite the fact that in the PIE video he pronounced it with a throaty NORTH Dutch G.)

    I’m learning Dutch.

  8. PS: I have, ever since SOSchip, been routinely switching between “zid-naf” and “gid-naf.” G being the velar fricative, the throaty North Dutch one.

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