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User comments for Siân
Sian is actually spelt "Siân"-- that is, using an A with a 'roof' over it (I can't remember the proper name for that, sorry). This is because that particular A, in Welsh, makes the vowel long; the pronunciation isn't 'SHAN', but more at 'SHAHN' (though in an American accent of course, this would pretty much just sound the same as Sean). [noted -ed]
― Anonymous User
The circumflex is known as a 'to bach' in Welsh, this translates as 'little roof'. This lengthens the vowel sound to 'ar'. I think it would be better phonetically written as 'Sharn'.
In France people often think you're saying that your name is John as there pronunciation of John is similar to Siân. And a lot of people think it's an Irish boys name rather than a Welsh girls name.
There is a girl I know who pronounces her name like SYE-ANN.
― Anonymous User
I hate when people pronounce it See-ann Sigh-ann! My mom's guide to teaching Americans to pronounce my name when I was little was always "It sounds like 'sha na na' not like 'fawn'"
It took a fair amount of explaining since "Shawna" was a very popular name when I was a kid.
Something to bear in mind if you are thinking of calling your daughter Siân - they will have to put up with people mispronouncing it all the time (unless they live in Wales that is!). I'm forever having my name pronounced Sye-Anne or See-Anne, or worse still Sean (Shawn).
But I agree with what someone else has written on here - it's nice to have a name that is still fairly unusual and it is often a conversation starter (albeit, if only to correct people on their pronunciation of it or to tell them no, it's not Irish or French!).
I read through all of this and I still don't know how to pronounce it. I thought it was just like "Sean". Now I'm confused?
Pronounced SHAAN - it's one syllable. Also, the ^ circumflex is essential in Wales, or you end up with SHAN.
I'm British and my mum's name is pronounced an odd way (sea-anne). It all comes down to when her mum saw somebody pronounce Sian Phillips' name that way on the TV and thought it was some unique, fashionable name. Grandmas can be strange like that.
I had a friend whose family was of Welsh descent, and this was her middle name as well as her mother's first name. (Neither of them spelled it with the accent, though.) Anyway, they pronounced it like 'Shan', rhyming with 'van'.
But there was a teacher at a school of mine who was Welsh-American, and she was also named Siân; however, she would tell everyone to pronounce it like 'Sean'.
My name is Siân and I'm just starting secondary school. Because my name is so uncommon, when teachers first see the name they pronounce it Sean or see-ann. To be honest, I'm thinking of just telling people I've never met before to just call me Jane!
― Anonymous User
Most people that are named with this name have it pronounced sharn/see-anne/shawn/c-en but if that wasn't hard enough, my mother has it pronounced see-arn and it kills me!
My name is Sian I'm actually Irish but I don't pronounce it like it should be pronounced. When I was born my mother saw the name in a newspaper. When she read it her automatic pronunciation of the name was (see-Ann). I've had trouble correcting people all my life, I've been called all sorts of names but I do like the fact that it is unique.
― Anonymous User
I've looked through quite a few of the previous comments about this name and there is only one other who has the same pronunciation as me. I'm from Australia and my name is pronounced See-arn ('arn' like 'barn'). Almost no one can pronounce it properly on the first go, but I admit I love it because it is so unique, and I have never met another Sian.
I'm loving this thread! My name is Siân, my Mum is from Cardiff and we live in Canada. She's always told me Siân means Jane "God's gracious gift". With her Welsh accent she pronounces it "Sh-ahn", which rhymes with barn or "B-ahn". So in my Canadian accent I always clarify it by saying Siân "sharn" rhymes with barn. It's a great ice breaker and I'm always sure when someone doesn't know me on the phone. Nice to meet you, Ladies!
I would guess if you are an American naming your child that in America, Sian with no punctuation mark above the A it would be pronounced (Sigh an) the rule is when 2 vowels go out walking the first one does the talking!
My name is Siân-Elin. My name always gets confused with Shawn or Siôn, especially when that certain person is English. I live in Wales so it's not really a problem that much but it still gets annoying. I love my name and everything but it gets on my nerves because when I was in high school, if a new teacher would call me Shawn, everyone would laugh and my name would change for a day. I do like my name though and I just hope there's more mature people in college, haha!
Basically what is confusing for people is that people from the UK and people from the US have very different accents. Now, while the consonants in both varieties of English are more or less consistent, the vowels are actually really quite different in many cases:
A little FYI: a way to make the "sh" sound in Welsh is "si" and to make the "sh" in Irish, it's "se" so:
Siân = si+â+n = sh-ah-n
Seán = se+á+n = sh-aw-n
A UK "Siân" sounds almost the same as a US "Seán".
A UK "Seán" sounds to like a US "shorn" (go light on the /r/)
A US "Seán" sounds like a UK "shan" (think of the "shan" in the word "shan't")
If a UK person tells a US person that "Siân" rhymes with "man", it's gonna make it sound funny.
A US person says "man" like "May-Ann" to UK ears, so the name would come out sounding like "Shay-Ann".
Conclusion - it's all a bit confusing.
But - I may have a work-around... everyone has seen "Frozen" right? If US speakers try to say "Siân" with the same vowel as "Princess Anna" then you're probably pretty close.
Think of the way some US speakers say "pecan", like "pecahhhn" instead of "pecayan".
Hope that helps :)
My grandaughter is called Sián and she is called all sorts of names. Being Irish born a lot of people seem to call her Sean. She loves her name as do I.
I named my youngest daughter Siân too but we live in Germany; which makes it interesting but both components are there in German (the sch from Schiff and ahn from Autobahn. Some of the Dutch (so Belgians too) like to pronounce it as Sea-Anne, very irritating but they can manage when using the German analogy above. For English speakers, I just write down "sharn" and use the "barn" analogy as others have mentioned. Back home in N. Wales where I came from, we have no trouble at all, English, Welsh or folks from Eire.
I'm an American Sian. Mine is pronounced like Shawn.
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