Social Question

LostInParadise's avatar

How would you pronounce Canaan?

Asked by LostInParadise (29303points) August 24th, 2020
24 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

I have been watching some videos from Khan Academy dealing with history. Generally speaking, I have a high regard for Khan’s videos, particularly those teaching math.

The history videos give a good quick historical overview, but Salman sometimes mispronounces words, which can be a bit irritating. For example, he pronounces viscount the way it is spelled. I just watched a video dealing with the Jewish religion, and he pronounced Canaan the same way you pronounce cannon. That did not seem right, so I did a Web search and found that the pronunciation was wrong, but so was mine.

You can find the correct pronunciation here

Observing members: 0
Composing members: 0


filmfann's avatar


chyna's avatar

We have a ski resort in my state named Canaan Valley.
Here it is pronounced Ka-nane.

zenvelo's avatar

I pronounce it almost the same way as @filmfann. Long a first syllable; second syllable the aa is pronounced “nin”. kay-nin.

Mr_Saturn512's avatar

I always thought it was “Kay-nan”

Jeruba's avatar

It would rhyme if I said “It’s rainin’ in Canaan.”

The anglicized versions of biblical names make no pretense of sounding as they do in their original languages.

LostInParadise's avatar

You guys all got it right.

@chyna, I did a Web search on pronunciation of Canaan Valley, and the story goes that the person who originally named mispronounced it. Link

I had thought that the correct pronunciation was for the first “a” to be short, the double “a” pronounced as a short “o”, with the stress on the second syllable.

chyna's avatar

Thanks! That’s very interesting.

janbb's avatar

Nope. In Hebrew school and my growing up it was always pronounced Ke-nah-on. Don’t know if that’s right or not.

janbb's avatar

I just sent a Q to my two Jewish scholar brothers. Will report on what they say.

janbb's avatar

Here’s the answer from one of the top Jewish scholars in the world:

“Depends whether you’re speaking Hebrew or English. In Hebrew you’re right; in English people say Kaynen. Jews should say Kena’an.”

LostInParadise's avatar

Thanks for that. I must have also heard it that way in Hebrew school. It is not a word that comes up often in conversation.

stanleybmanly's avatar

cane ann with accent on the cane

KNOWITALL's avatar

Isreal is also often pronounced differently.
Is real

Dutchess_III's avatar

And viscount is vi-count. Why?

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^^But visqueen is pronounced vis-queen.

Jeruba's avatar

Somebody tell @KNOWITALL how to spell Israel.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

If you’re asking about the towns of Canaan and New Canaan, CT, the answer is KAY-nan.

As for the bible, I’ve always heard kah-NON.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not me @Jeruba! I ain’t telling her!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Jeruba Rough day, sorry.

zenvelo's avatar

But everyone knows how to pronounce Israelites

janbb's avatar

@zenvelo Now I’m bopping!

jca2's avatar

“Caesar” is another spelling that gets mangled constantly.

LostInParadise's avatar

Regarding the pronunciation of Israel, the Hebrew pronunciation is yis-raw-ALE.

jca2's avatar

Here in NY, I’m right next to the town of New Canaan, which we pronounce KAY nan.

Answer this question




to answer.

Mobile | Desktop

Send Feedback