Pronouncing "Sjonna"

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Wed Oct 22 15:23:09 UTC 2008

My niece "Sjonna" asks me why her mother insists that "Sjonna" must be pronounced "shawn" (or, as they render it, "shaan") rather than "shown-nuh" or "shawn-nuh". This seems to be a common conception in the US. I have wondered myself about this, assuming it was rooted in some kind of 20th-century linguistic folk legend.

My knowledge of the Scandinavian languages is sparse, but I'm fairly certain that the normal pronunciation  of "Sjonna" would be "shown-nuh" or "shawn-nuh" (where "shawn" rhymes with "lawn").

It occurs to me (in response to my nice's query) that some Scandinavians may shorten "Sjonna" to "Sjon" as a nickname (the way "Thomas" gets shortened to "Tom" in English), so maybe the way she pronounces her name just comes from the Scandinavian nick-name pronunciation?

Anyone from ANS (or not))know the answer to this?
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