Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eemian is pronounced 'aim-ee-un'

In climatology, Eemian refers to the previous interglacial period about 125,000 years ago. I've only read the term, so I needed a proper pronunciation. Web searches, dictionaries, even the Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology failed me, so I asked a scientist who joked that being raised by meteorologists left him no clue on how to pronounce the word.

Then, I contacted the Dutch Consulate. I'm posting the reply for the benefit of others who may have to pronounce this word:
I understand that it can be difficult to pronounce Dutch words, such as the river Eem. You would pronounce Eem, as in the English word 'aim' (as in: I aim for something). So: Eem = 'aim'. For the pronunciation of Eemian, it would be: 'aim-ee-un'. So the letter 'i', you would pronounce like a 'e'. And the letter 'u', like in the expression 'um'.
My thanks to the Dutch Consulate.


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