How would you pronounce this?

I'm American, my SO is not and we will be picking a name from his culture. We both love the name Agnese, but I'm concerned that most Americans (or English speakers) won't pronounce it correctly. 

So, how would you pronounce Agnese?


May 14, 2012 8:56 PM

My gut guess is  something like an-YES-eh, but that guess could change if I knew the person's cultural background. (And if the proper pronunciation is ag-NEES or ag-NAY-seh or something, I could easily adapt after one correction.)

May 14, 2012 7:54 PM

I think I lot of people will assume it is just like Agnes, but my guess is more like Agnes-ah.  I think it'd be an easy correction for people to make though-particularly if people know your SO isn't American.

May 22, 2012 6:33 PM

Yes, I would have said Agnes just by sight.

May 14, 2012 8:10 PM

It'd depend on what other language cues I had to go by, such as a surname. In a vacuum (like here), I'd guess something like ag-NAY-seh.

By Guest (not verified)
May 14, 2012 9:50 PM

I'd probably say it like Ag-neese, fearing all the while I was wrong!

I think most Americans will try to do something Agnes like with wide variations on the ending.

By Guest (not verified)
May 16, 2012 9:57 AM

That would be exactly my reaction too. I like the sound of Ag-neese though!


sharalyns (not logged in)

May 14, 2012 11:32 PM

Thank you all for your relplies. I don't like the sound of the name when pronounced like Agnes with just an -ay at the end. I don't like the hard g sound in any pronunciation, so that's my concern.

He is Italian, but speaks a dialect (in addition to Italian) so I don't know if his pronunciation is the standard in Italy, or the standard in his dialect.

Anyway, he pronounces it Ahng-yay-say, however, the 'g' is almost silent, so when said quickly it sounds like Ahn-yay-say.



May 14, 2012 11:53 PM

Oh! My initial guess was almost right! I had the first syllable as ann, not ahn, and I was trying to decide whether to write the other vowels as "e" or "ay", because I thought of them somewhere in between the two, and apparently chose the wrong one... But overall, I'm perhaps more proud of myself than I should be :)

Were our answers encouraging or discouraging for you?

May 15, 2012 10:36 AM

You were pretty close, so close that when I read your response to him, he said, "see, people almost pronounce it right!"

They were pretty encouraging since they weren't the one pronunciation that absolutely detest.

May 15, 2012 10:57 AM

The pronunciation is not difficult, but almost no one will get it right upon seeing it. If that bothers you, pick another name. But as I said, the correct pronunciation is not difficult for English speakers, so most people will get it right once they've heard it a time or two. Do you live in an area where people are used to foreign names? That will help a lot.


It's a pretty name! I like it much more than Agnes.

May 17, 2012 6:52 PM

I like the pronunciation of Ag-nay-say (approximating) much better than the way I WOULD have pronounced it Ag-neice. 

May 20, 2012 3:00 AM

what if you changed the spelling around to help with american pronunciation?

except, now that i said that, i can't find a way to type it :( 

but, i think about these things often since my guy is german. for example, i absolutely adore the name marlene, when pronounced in german is MAR-LAY-NUH but here in america, MAR-LEAN is so unattractive to me :( i think the sad truth is that people will pronounce it inncorectly instead of asking, "wow, what a cool name, how do you pronounce that?"

another option, live in italy forever? :) 

May 22, 2012 1:42 PM

I think most people would say "Ag-ness"...

June 2, 2012 6:27 PM

I would pronounce it agg-NEH-zee.