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NPR Pronounciation Guide
People and Places in the Iraq War

People & Places

al-Kut     ahl KUUT
Basra     BAHS-rah
Dohuk     doh-HUUK
Faw     FOW
Harir     hah-REER
Iraq     ih-RAHK
Karbala     KAR-bah-lah
Kirkuk     keer-KUUK
Mosul     MOH-suhl
Najaf     NAH-jahf
Nasiriyah     nah-sih-REE-ah
Qatar     KAH-tahr
Safwan     SAHF-wahn
Sulaymaniyah     soo-lay-meh-NEE-ah
Tikrit     tih-KREET
Umm Qasr     uum KAH-ser
Tarik Aziz     TAH-rihk ah-ZEEZ
Saddam Hussein     sah-DAHM hoo-SAYN
Uday Hussein     oo-DAY hoo-SAYN
Qusay Hussein    koo-SAY hoo-SAYN


Pronunciation Key

Vowel Sounds:

a -- apple, bat
ah -- father, hot
ai -- air, pair
aw -- law, long
ay -- ace, fate
e -- bed
eh -- merry
ee -- see, tea
ih -- pin, middle
oh -- go, oval
oo -- blue, two
ow -- ouch, cow
oy -- boy
uu -- foot, put
uh -- puff
ur -- burden, curl
y, eye -- ice, time


Consonants:

g -- got, beg
j -- gem, job
k -- cap, keep
ch -- chair
hh -- strongly aspirated "h" in Arabic
kh -- gutteral "k"
s -- see, citrus
sh -- shut
z -- zoo
zh -- mirage


In Depth

Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the way politicians and journalists are pronouncing place names associated with the war on Iraq.


Other Resources

Department of Defense Dictionary of Military Terms




   
   
   
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