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Pronounciation of the name "Rafael"


Duchess 1 | 6
10 Mar 2011  #1
Hello,

I wonder if anyone here could help me with the pronounciation of the name "Rafael" in Poland?

The thing is, my friends and I are making a short film. In our film, one of the characters is meant to be Polish, with the surname Rafael (he does a Polish accent in the film). We've already filmed quite a few scenes, and we've been pronouncing it as "ra-faɪ-el, with the /a/ as in cat and the /aɪ/ as in bike".

Is this acceptable as a Polish pronounciation for this surname? Would a Polish person ever pronounce this surname like this? I really don't want to re-film (it's for school and we don't have the time, or the money, really), but I don't want to be incorrect, either, and this issue is really bothering me!!

If this is absolutely not an acceptable pronounciation, how should he pronounce this name when we re-film?

Thanks very much. :)
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
10 Mar 2011  #2
It isn't a Polish surname. There is a Polish first name Rafał pronounced Rafau (raf + ow as in town, slightly longer a than cat, accent on the first syllable ). But it is a first name only.

If a Polish person had Rafael or Raphael as a (foreign) surname, they would pronounce it pretty well as you suggested.
Bzibzioh
10 Mar 2011  #3
First of all Rafael is not a Polish name. Only a foreigner living in Poland would give a boy such a name but not Polish parent. Closest Polish version is probably Rafał.

"ra-faɪ-el, with the /a/ as in cat and the /aɪ/ as in bike".

Ra-fa-el. Both "a" as in cat. Not "ai" in there. Accent on second syllable.
OP Duchess 1 | 6
10 Mar 2011  #4
If a Polish person had Rafael or Raphael as a (foreign) surname, they would pronounce it exactly as you suggested.

Thank you, it's actually a Jewish surname used occasionally in Poland, so I suppose that would count as foreign. :)
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
10 Mar 2011  #5
A pleasure! You've got me wondering now if there's anybody in PL called Rafał Rafael... I used to know a Michał Michalski ;-)
OP Duchess 1 | 6
10 Mar 2011  #6
Rafał Rafael...Michał Michalski

LOL, they both sound like stage names...certainly not forgettable, at least...
Leopejo 4 | 120
10 Mar 2011  #7
/a/ as in cat

slightly longer a than cat

Ra-fa-el. Both "a" as in cat

So which is off, my English or my Polish, as for me it should be as the U in "cut" and not the A in "cat"?
AdamKadmon 2 | 508
10 Mar 2011  #8
I wonder if anyone here could help me with the pronunciation of the name "Rafael" in Poland?

Put it in ivona.com/ - ]the box:
OP Duchess 1 | 6
10 Mar 2011  #9
Put it in the box

Wow, that box is one of the handiest things I think I've ever seen...
Anyway, "Jacek" and "Jan" pronounce it more like "Ra-fa-el", but "Maja" and "Ewa" pronounce it more like "Ra-fai-el", so I think we'll be okay not to re-film (thank God!).

for me it should be as the U in "cut" and not the A in "cat"

I agree, actually, you're right. Cat was the wrong example to use. I was actually thinking more of a long A sound, more like the A in Father (which is how we've been saying it in the film), and to me the difference between a U sound and a long A is so subtle that I can't really notice the difference. But yeah, "cut" is much closer than "cat".
puella 4 | 172
10 Mar 2011  #10
Anyway, "Jacek" and "Jan" pronounce it more like "Ra-fa-el" but "Maja" and "Ewa" pronounce it more like "Ra-fai-el"

Jan i Jacek divides each syllabe which sounds slightly unnatural, while Maja and Ewa speaks as if they were Spnish. Lol

If you type in the box a sentence: "Rafael Santi to znany artysta." then voices of Ewa and Jacek will be the best. Jan pronounce it in weird way, while Maja has a high pitch voice.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
10 Mar 2011  #11
the U in "cut" and not the A in "cat"?

That would depend which part of the English-speaking world you came from, wouldn't it...
OP Duchess 1 | 6
12 Mar 2011  #12
If you type in the box a sentence: "Rafael Santi to znany artysta." then voices of Ewa and Jacek will be the best

Thanks very much for that, its good to hear it in the context of a proper sentence. And Ewa and Jacek both pronounce it like Ra-fai-el, which is a great relief. :)
puella 4 | 172
12 Mar 2011  #13
And Ewa and Jacek both pronounce it like Ra-fai-el, which is a great relief. :)

If you say so...
OP Duchess 1 | 6
12 Mar 2011  #14
Really? Do you not hear it like that? Well, however you would write it out phonetically, we've been pronouncing it the way Ewa and Jacek do, so that's the important thing.
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
12 Mar 2011  #15
Ra-fai-el is fine, with the stress on the middle syllable.
OP Duchess 1 | 6
12 Mar 2011  #16
Thanks, Jonny. :)


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