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Pronouncing names: Tuolumne, Rancheria, Catherine, Isberg

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:19 pm
by orion
Speaking with Bill about the etymology of a lake got me thinking about another Yosemite topic which I find highly amusing, the pronunciation of the names.

For example:

two-allah'-mee or two-awl-lum-knee
ranch-air'-ee-yuh or ranch-a-ree'-huh
cath-reen' or cath'-a-rin
ice-berg or iss-berg

Admittedly, I have no idea how to pronounce Illilouette, but imagine it rhymes with silouette.

Tuolumne is one of those that can distinguish a tourist pretty quick, but saying it correctly is a mouthful of marbles.

Rancheria, Catherine, and Isberg seemed like names locally mispronounced, making mispronounciation the correct pronounciation.

Anyone have any others?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:22 pm
by orion
I should also mention I suspect the misspelling of Edith on the National Geographic Yosemite map could be an intentional cartographers trick, as a way to tell if someone is plagarizing your map outright, slight details are changed to make it unique.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:38 pm
by balzaccom
I can help on the first two:

Two ALL umee is the way the locals in Tuolumne County pronounce it--albeit a lazy way. Umne is the native american word for River, as I recall, so all of those Rivers with umne at the end are repetitive!

And it's ranch a REE uh. It's a Spanish word...

I believe it's CATH erine...but then I have never heard of Cath REEN... Kath LEEN yes.

Iss berg?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:27 pm
by orion
Well, pronunciation of spanish word place names are known to be mangled in California. Arguello Ave. in San Francisco comes to mind, or San Rafael in Marin. Really this sort of thing happens all over the place in this country where cultures mingle. I wonder what the Miwok pronunciation of Tuolumne would be. Yosemite has always seemed like a place where pronunciations were in flux. I've had it explained to me by a somewhat exhasperated park ranger that the n in Tuolumne should be heard to pronounce it correctly, and sometimes I suspect it is a mumbled word because no one is really sure. From twallamee to twallayou...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:36 pm
by orion
Found this at sacred-texts com:


"The Indian names are usually pronounced exactly as spelled, with each syllable distinctly sounded, and the principal accent on the penult, as in Ah-wah'-nee, or the antepenult, as in Yo-sem'-i-te."

maybe the n should be pronounced, but thats not what websters says.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:45 pm
by AlmostThere
I have relatives who live in Two-all-um-ee, and I grew up in the same County.

Ran-cha-ree-ah Falls is where I go every spring - a bunch of the tourists I run into will call it Ran-chair-ria, but I shrug that off. Tourists also sound out Too-ull-ummun-ee and sometimes if I think they are receptive I might correct them.