Pronunciation

One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

How to pronounce Pu-erh

Pu-air (like you breath)
24
86%
Pu-aarrr (like a pirate)
4
14%
 
Total votes: 28

Pronunciation

Postby zellie » Aug 14th, '08, 22:19

So I've always pronounced it like pu-air (like you breath), but the owners of the tea parlor I visited today seem quite convinced that it is pronounced pu-aarrr (like a pirate). I do know that one should not pronounce it as the steap reviewers do (pu-errr..someone who poos?), but would anyone be willing to once and for all clear up this confusion? Thanks.

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Postby Geekgirl » Aug 14th, '08, 22:20

at the chinese tea shops (both that I've been to,) they say pwur. One syllable.[/i]

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Postby brandon » Aug 14th, '08, 22:23

Sounds more like "pour" than the choices above.

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Postby heavydoom » Aug 14th, '08, 22:24

are you asking a westerner or a chinese person? does the chinese person speak cantonese or mandarin?

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Postby Salsero » Aug 14th, '08, 22:44

I think the Mandarin sound is not one that we have in English. When my brother (who has studied some Mandarin) pronounces it, it sounds to me more like air but way back in the throat and with the tongue more arched than air.

I know that sheng is pronounced more as if it were spelled shung to rhyme with hung.

I speak some Spanish and have known a little French and studied a bit of German, Latin, Italian, and Greek, but none of them is as totally intimidating to me in pronunciation as Chinese, not even considering the various sub-languages like Cantonese and others. I make no effort to get any of it right, especially since I virtually never speak any of these words aloud as my tea buddies are all on line!

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Postby heavydoom » Aug 14th, '08, 22:46

in cantonese you say it this way : beau lay.

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Postby Salsero » Aug 14th, '08, 22:52

heavydoom wrote:in cantonese you say it this way : beau lay.
Cool. That's good to know because so many people here speak Cantonese. Is that what they speak in Fujian? I suppose Fujian has a completely separate dialect. Urgh. China is a country divided by one language.

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Postby heavydoom » Aug 14th, '08, 23:00

Salsero wrote:
heavydoom wrote:in cantonese you say it this way : beau lay.
Cool. That's good to know because so many people here speak Cantonese. Is that what they speak in Fujian? I suppose Fujian has a completely separate dialect. Urgh. China is a country divided by one language.



china is divided by different dialects. there is basically mandarin and cantonese and the latter is spoken by a very very small part of china, in fact, only in hong kong and parts of guang dong province. fujianese would be a dialect. pu erh in fujianese would be like another language but really, it's a dialect difference.

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Postby Geekgirl » Aug 14th, '08, 23:13

heavydoom wrote:in cantonese you say it this way : beau lay.


Well that explains that. All the puerh jars at my local shop say "Polay."

When I was taking my eastern bodywork training, we were taught basic pronunciation, I think Mandarin. This went on for a major portion of the theory courses. Still, at best I rarely have more than a vague idea of how to pronounce things. Add to that the difficulty of the chinese version of diacritical marks, and mostly I'm utterly lost. Then top it off with the fact that many of the sounds in the Chinese dialects are not even sounds we learn to produce here in the west... well. *throws hands up in the air and clutches at aching brain*

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Postby ABx » Aug 14th, '08, 23:14

That's the problem with pinyin; none of the sounds really translate directly. To me the closest spelling that matches is "puer" or "pu-r", with the "er" being pronounced more with the throat (as Sal mentioned).

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Postby ABx » Aug 14th, '08, 23:15

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote:
heavydoom wrote:in cantonese you say it this way : beau lay.


Well that explains that. All the puerh jars at my local shop say "Polay."

When I was taking my eastern bodywork training, we were taught basic pronunciation, I think Mandarin. This went on for a major portion of the theory courses. Still, at best I rarely have more than a vague idea of how to pronounce things. Add to that the difficulty of the chinese version of diacritical marks, and mostly I'm utterly lost. Then top it off with the fact that many of the sounds in the Chinese dialects are not even sounds we learn to produce here in the west... well. *throws hands up in the air and clutches at aching brain*
Serenity Art recently changed it all to "Pu-erh" :) I suspect they're getting more white people in there - I know I've sent about a half dozen people.

What was the other Chinese shop you went to?

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Postby Geekgirl » Aug 14th, '08, 23:22

ABx wrote:Serenity Art recently changed it all to "Pu-erh" :) I suspect they're getting more white people in there - I know I've sent about a half dozen people.

What was the other Chinese shop you went to?


I think last time I was in there they were writing "Polay" then in small letters "pu'er." The other shop was New Century Tea Gallery in Seattle. It is difficult to write it phonetically, because it sounds a bit like pushing the sound out from the back of the throat.

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Postby Space Samurai » Aug 14th, '08, 23:24

This whitey says pu-air.

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Postby Mary R » Aug 14th, '08, 23:38

This whitey says pu-air, too. Well, actually no. I don't put as much emphasis on the 'pu' part. I sort of slur it into one syllable....pware, I guess. I do know that the Modern Marvels episode on tea pronounces it as pu-air, though. (41:33, if you wanna check it out.)

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Postby hop_goblin » Aug 15th, '08, 00:24

poo-air but the air is soft.

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