Author Topic: Pronouncing "kefir"  (Read 21192 times)

Offline Becky in WV

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Pronouncing "kefir"
« on: February 24, 2007, 04:38:30 PM »
I'm not sure if this post is in the right category...I'm really curious how to pronounce "kefir".  I ordered some grains today from ebay (I've spent time today reading through the kefir-making threads.  Thanks to those who recommended the seller raz---something or other!  That's who I ordered from) and if I'm going to be making this stuff I ought to be pronouncing it correctly, right? So is it kee-fir, kay-fir, keh-fir??  I've been to Dom's kefir site and saw a link to listen to someone pronouncing it but my computer doesn't have sound so that didn't do me any good. 

Offline jenny4wen

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2007, 04:58:00 PM »
ke-fear, is how I've heard people from all around the world say it.  If they know what the drink is, and you refer to it any other way, it takes them a while to understand what you mean.   I don't know exact phonetical spelling, but I think you can get the gist of it.  It's not pronounced the way it looks, because it's not an English word.

Here's the entry from www.m-w.com

ke-fir
Pronunciation: ke-'fir; 'kE-f&r, 'ke-
Function: noun
Etymology: Russian
: a beverage of fermented cow's milk
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Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2007, 05:00:21 PM »
We say KEE-fur.  Like Keifer Sutherland.  Course we also say tuh-MAY-tuhs (tomatoes) and puh-TAY-tuhs (potatoes).   ;D
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2007, 05:42:38 PM »
I've heard the propper pronunciation a few times and it sounds like ke (as in kettle) FEAR (this syllable is emphasised).
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2007, 05:42:53 PM »
Sandy Fallon from NT says it is not to rhyme with "reefer".  But it is so much easier to pronounce it that way for some reason.  So, to be correct we pronounce it Ke(where is that upside down 'e' when you need it)f-er. But I have heard it pronounced three different ways. I won't make fun of you if you pronounce it incorrectly....<snicker>.  ;D

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2007, 05:48:09 PM »
You can listen to the propper pronunciation by clicking HERE
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Offline Becky in WV

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2007, 05:09:59 AM »
Thanks!  This helps alot.  I was putting all the emphasis on the first syllable.  I guess I had that part right, it was the 2cd syllable I was messing up on.  I was saying it "ke (as in kettle) fir (as in fir tree).  So I will try to retrain myself to say ke-fear now   :)


Offline healthybratt

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2007, 05:45:40 AM »
I know how to pronounce it, but everyone I know calls it Keefur.  Works for me.  ;)
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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2007, 06:10:09 AM »
I've never heard anyone say keh-FEAR.  :-\ Always either KEE-fer or KEH-fer.  I say the latter b/c that's how it looks to me and I'm used to it now and I ain't changin'.  ;D

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2007, 07:23:30 AM »
That guy sounds like he has a Brittish accent.  I suppose if you say Mum instead of Mom and THE-uh-tuh instead of THEE-ay-tur (for theater) then you might say Keh-FEAR.   ;D  I actually have a few friends who say Keh-FEAR.  I don't really think it matters, though.
That's Shabby SHEIK not Shabby CHICK.  Hee-hee.

Offline SC

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2007, 09:08:22 AM »
Here's another audio file you can hear by clicking on the speaker icon. Sounds the same as the previous.
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/kefir

But, at our house, we bumpkins pronounce it "KEE fer".  :-\
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Offline Daniel's Cousin

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2007, 11:47:51 AM »
We say KEE-fur.  Like Keifer Sutherland.  Course we also say tuh-MAY-tuhs (tomatoes) and puh-TAY-tuhs (potatoes).   ;D

 What's wrong with that?!  ::)
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Offline Becky in WV

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2007, 04:41:25 AM »
Ok, maybe I should just pronounce it the way I always have since no one else seems to care about pronouncing it correctly  :)  That'll be easier than trying to change from saying keh-fur to keh-fear.  I only know one person in real life who talks about kefir and I've heard her pronounce it both kee-fur and keh-fur.  Thanks for all the help!

Offline Kati*did

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2007, 05:00:45 AM »
Ok, maybe I should just pronounce it the way I always have since no one else seems to care about pronouncing it correctly  :) 

That's what I do!  My SIL calls it keh-FEER because that's what they call it in Israel, where she first heard of it.  My DH calls it KEH-feer because that's what they call it in Poland, where he knows it from.  And I call it KEE-fur, because I'm American, and if it were an english word, that's how it would be pronounced according to the "rules" of english.  (...."rules" of english?  what rules?   ;D ;D ;D  hee hee...).
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Offline hacinta

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2010, 09:04:06 AM »
I met a woman from "the Ukraine" as she said. They pronounce it "Key-fair
I guess it all depends on where you are from. When I asked her if she drinks Key-fer, she didnt know what I was talking about.  She said it was my accent,  we figured it out. And yes she does.

Offline motherhen7

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2010, 01:50:21 PM »
Dom's Kefir website says it is pronounced "ke-fear".  They have a little video with his daughter pronouncing it.  I believe it is the correct Caucaus pronunciation.

Offline MrsUkraineBible

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2010, 07:07:45 AM »
I met a woman from "the Ukraine" as she said. They pronounce it "Key-fair
I guess it all depends on where you are from. When I asked her if she drinks Key-fer, she didnt know what I was talking about.  She said it was my accent,  we figured it out. And yes she does.

I don't know part of Ukraine (NOT "the Ukraine".... it is no longer a part of the Soviet Union) this woman is from, but I have lived here for over 10 years and NOBODY says it any way other than "ke-FEAR". My kids laugh at the Americans perversion: KEE-fur...  ;D Come on, people, be consistent. Are you going to start pronouncing "cafe" with a long 'a' and a silent 'e'? Or "filet" to rhyme with "millet"? Or "chalet" and "ballet" to rhyme with "mallet"? Now, be brave, take a long swig of ke-FEAR, and go show the world that you aren't afraid to speak correctly, even if nobody else has the sense to!  :o
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Offline RunAmokFarm

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2010, 10:06:55 AM »
MrsUkraineBible,

<GASP!>  "KEE-fur"... "American perversion"... Are you insulting the inconsistancies of our American tongue?!   :D 

OK... so you are right.  Our language is becoming more "fuddled" by the day.  I DO wish we would get it together and either spell things phonetically, or fix our "rules"...  Trying to teach kids to spell and pronounce correctly is difficult enough, and then we throw in a bunch of exceptions to the rules?!   ::)

Why, I can't even say "Kombucha" correctly, and now you want me to pronounce "Kefir" right too?!
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Offline motherhen7

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2010, 03:41:48 PM »
Hilarious!  Mrs Ukraine. 
We love you Americans, but you often do change the way things are pronounced and spelled or is it spelt :o)

Offline mommyjen

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2010, 10:10:26 AM »
Quote
Kefir is pronounced keh f é-er [as in keh in kettle, and fear]. Click here to hear our daughter Shedea pronouncing Kefir at 20 months of age.
http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html


This helped me with the correct pronunciation.
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Offline allforHim

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2010, 05:43:58 PM »
I called it kefur for a while until I read on Dom's how to say it. Took a bit of reconditioning of the tongue, lol. I don't feel so much like a dummy now that I see most of you were doing the same  :P

Offline hacinta

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Re: Pronouncing "kefir"
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2010, 06:47:18 AM »
I met a woman from "the Ukraine" as she said. They pronounce it "Key-fair
I guess it all depends on where you are from. When I asked her if she drinks Key-fer, she didnt know what I was talking about.  She said it was my accent,  we figured it out. And yes she does.

I don't know part of Ukraine (NOT "the Ukraine".... it is no longer a part of the Soviet Union) this woman is from, but I have lived here for over 10 years and NOBODY says it any way other than "ke-FEAR".

I guess that will teach me to repeat what I am told   :o  Nobody can slaughter a language the way us Americans can.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 06:50:24 AM by hacinta »