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User comments for Chara (Pronunciation Only)
CH makes a hard K sound. Like Kara (K -ah as in father- ruh).
It is also pronounced SH-ara.
VictoriaCalledTori is right on this; the Greek version of the name begins with the letter Chi, the letter with which Jesus' title of "Christ" ('Christos' in Latinised Greek) also begins. And "Christ" isn't pronounced "SH-rist", is it? The same logic applies to the name "Chara", QED.
I agree with seraphine_eternal. Since it's strictly a Greek name, the only "correct pronunciation" is the Greek one - and that's Kara (or, Khara). PS: I'm not sure what it has to do with Chara but anonymous, let me tell you – as someone who speaks 5 languages, all Indo-European – that English is the simplest of them all by far. What you describe has nothing to do with complexity of English language and everything to do with English speakers's bad habit of applying their native pronunciation to foreign words without thinking. (no offence intended).
Kara in Latin.
The name Chara has the same first five (four in Greek) letters as the word "character" (which itself is from Greek), so the initial "ch" should be pronounced in the same way. Note that the "k" sound in English is only an approximation; it's more like a soft "k" or a guttural "h". For English speakers "k" will do, but never "ch" as in "Charlie" or "sh" as in "Shirley".
Note also that, in ancient Greek, the accent is on the second syllable, but that will probably sound rather unnatural for modern English. The "a" in the first syllable can be pronounced as in "father" (my preference) or, in a more anglicized manner, as in "hat".
As a native speaker of Greek with several cousins that bear this name, I can definitely say it's not Kara. Khara is closer, but it's a guttural sound that I think is most easily represented by Ha-RA, emphasis on the last syllable.
It is definitely true that English speakers tend to mispronounce words and names in other languages. In Greek, the 'X' is said as 'kh'; thus, Chara is said khara. English speakers would probably end up saying Kara, simply because we don't use the 'kh' sound.
The "ch" (or rather "chi" is pronounced like the ch in "Bach," which most English speakers pronounce quite correctly. It's sort of like a dry gargle. (Before an "ee" or "eh" sound (that is, the letters iota, eta, upsilon or the diphthongs epsilon iota, omicron iota, or upsilon iota (all pronounced "ee" in modern Greek), the letter epsilon or the diphthong alpha iota (both pronounced "eh"), it is pronounced like the h in "huge" (unless you pronounce it "yooj," as I usually do).)
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