A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2020 Dec 26, 10:04 -0800
Is anyone familiar with a guide to star name pronunciations that is not English-based? I'm not looking for attempts to re-create "original" pronunciations, with all the problems entailed there, just pronunciations that are based on common phonetic values for vowels, so-called "continental" vowels, and so forth. Also, do such pronunciations exist apart from individual choices? If you go to an amateur astronomy gathering in Argentina or the Netherlands or Finland (or Egypt or Vietnam, or Korea, etc.), how are star names pronounced? Or do folks just go with the recommended anglicized versions?
How do you say Rasalhague??!
Related to pronunciation, the spellings of star names seem to be anglicized in important ways already. The "other knee" in Orion is "Saiph". The Scorpion's stinger is "Shaula" and the ancient North Star, in Draco halfway between Kochab and Mizar, is "Thuban". Those letter pairs, ph, sh, th, are intended to be pronounced as if in English, right? But not ch, which is pronounced as a "k" sound in star names, like Kochab and Achernar, unless it's in the combination "sch". Is there a standard that goes beyond astronomy for scientific naming (and spelling) somewhere that defines English spellings as preferred in some seetings? Usually so-called "Modern Latin" takes precedence.
Constellations are less problematic, but there are still some oddballs, like "Coma Berenices" and "Canes Venatici". Good luck finding a stable pronunciation for those!