how do you pronounce kefir? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Stupid question I know but I've never heard it pronounced! Is it KEH-fur or keh-FEER? Or something else?
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#2 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 09:10 PM
 
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It depends on the language of the people who are brewing. I've heard lots of variants for English speakers. I say "KEE-fur."

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#3 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 09:28 PM
 
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I have been wondering the same thing. I have tended towards keh-FEER because the other way makes me think that I am talking about Kiefer Sutherland.
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#4 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 10:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale Force
It depends on the language of the people who are brewing. I've heard lots of variants for English speakers. I say "KEE-fur."
:
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#5 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 10:19 PM
 
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I say keh-FEER... that's how I always heard it... DH is from Russia and drank it as a child and that's pretty much how he says it, too. I'm sure both ways are fine though.

The other day I was in the store and there was a guy there at a table handing out samples of some kind of fancy kombucha and we got to talking and I said something about kefir... and he gave me a very superior look, and said, "Oh, I think you mean KEE-fur. It's pronounced KEE-fur." I was a bit irritated at that and didn't buy any of his kombucha wares
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#6 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 10:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamagotchi
"Oh, I think you mean KEE-fur. It's pronounced KEE-fur." I was a bit irritated at that and didn't buy any of his kombucha wares
Someone did that to me with "hummus." Geez, it just depends on the language and since the food is not native to any English cultures, it depends on which culture you learn about it.

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#7 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale Force
Someone did that to me with "hummus." Geez, it just depends on the language and since the food is not native to any English cultures, it depends on which culture you learn about it.
It's hum (like singing with your mouth closed) -mus right? Now I'm worried I'm saying it wrong!
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#8 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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That's how I pronounce hummus. Hum (singing with your mouth closed) and mus (like no fuss, no muss).
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#9 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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When I try to copy and paste the symbols don't come out right. But according to disctionary.com

ke·fir ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kĕ-fîr)
n.
ĕ as in pet
îr as in pier

So keh-feer.


Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

A lot of people I know say Kee-fur, though.
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#10 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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Alice is a goody goody!!

I have also seen it written Kephir, shouldn't change the pronunciation, but just wanted to add.

I have always said KEY-fur, and have heard KEH-fur, but never keh-feer. I can see why it would be pronounced that way, though.


Hmmm....
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#11 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boadicea
That's how I pronounce hummus. Hum (singing with your mouth closed) and mus (like no fuss, no muss).
That's how I say it. She corrected me with something like "hoom-oase"

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#12 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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this thread echoes of my experience with trying to figure out the pronounciation.
When I first saw kefir in the hfs, I thought it was keh-fur, so that's what I called it. Then someone I knew called it kee-fur, so I started calling it that, then I heard someone else say keh-feer...: ...at which point I went to dom's kefir-in website and they had the pronounciation written as keh-fear (or something like that)...so that is what I've been calling it ever since.
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#13 of 25 Old 05-31-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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From Dom's Kefir in-site, here's an audio of the pronounciation, http://users.chariot.net.au/%7Edna/audio/kefir.wav

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#14 of 25 Old 06-01-2006, 12:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gale Force
She corrected me with something like "hoom-oase"
Well, I don't know about all languages, but hebrew & arabic speakers say, roughly, "KHOOM-us" (where the sound KH is a guttural like the CH in Bach) for both the prepared stuff and the chickpea itself. Maybe that was what she was saying. That can't be considered to be the proper americanized pronunciation though, because that sound isn't part of english When I'm in the US, I say "HUM-mus" as in hum...

Edited to add: Maybe it isn't the same word in arabic, I don't speak arabic so my datapoint is arabic speakers talking to me in hebrew or english
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#15 of 25 Old 06-01-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyCelia111
From Dom's Kefir in-site, here's an audio of the pronounciation, http://users.chariot.net.au/%7Edna/audio/kefir.wav

myCelia
That was very ... interesting. That disembodied voice gave me the heebes. I'm so used to the way I pronounce it, I'm not sure I could change it now.
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#16 of 25 Old 06-01-2006, 12:21 AM
 
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Well, the symbols are too hard to copy. But going to dictionary.com again, they have two options for humus.

the first vowel can be like "cut" or like the word "took"

People around me use both, but somehow hoomus seems a bit affected.
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#17 of 25 Old 06-01-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamagotchi
Edited to add: Maybe it isn't the same word in arabic, I don't speak arabic so my datapoint is arabic speakers talking to me in hebrew or english
Now that I am thinking about her background, I think it was Arabic, but that doesn't really help me now. Perhaps someone will come along who can help.

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#18 of 25 Old 06-01-2006, 08:42 AM
 
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THis is so funny. I have always pronounced it KEY-FUR until I was talking to an herbalist friend who teaches fermenting classes & she pronounced it KEH-FUR, I've been questioning myself ever since.
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#19 of 25 Old 06-01-2006, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well since there seems to be a lot of variations on how to pronounce it, and I like my current pronunciation best (KEH-fur) I think I'll keep using it!
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#20 of 25 Old 06-01-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamagotchi
I say keh-FEER... that's how I always heard it... DH is from Russia and drank it as a child and that's pretty much how he says it, too. I'm sure both ways are fine though.

The other day I was in the store and there was a guy there at a table handing out samples of some kind of fancy kombucha and we got to talking and I said something about kefir... and he gave me a very superior look, and said, "Oh, I think you mean KEE-fur. It's pronounced KEE-fur." I was a bit irritated at that and didn't buy any of his kombucha wares
I have also been told "keh-FEER" by a person who was familiar with it from overseas...I imagine that high-n-might kombucha waresman had only heard the Americanized pronunciation and that he was being so smart!! :
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#21 of 25 Old 06-01-2006, 11:13 AM
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Well since it's a foreign word it's natural to anglicize (sp?) it. So in English you would pronounce it key-fur and it's not incorrect. In my native language which is Hungarian it's prounounced Keh-feer and I think most Europeans would say it like that. So both are correct, IMHO.


Talking about kefir, what cultures/grains are you all using? I'm a newbie to kefir and haven't decided yet. Is the yogourmet kefir starter any good? I noticed it doesn't have saccharomyces yeast. But it's the cheapest one for a trial batch.
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#22 of 25 Old 06-02-2006, 12:57 AM
 
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I said Keh-FEAR until I had 4-5 people tell me it was KEE-fur. Whatever!!
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#23 of 25 Old 06-02-2006, 02:11 AM
 
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I thought it was meant to be keh-fear but I pronounce it keh-fur because it is easier, and I am so used to saying it that way I feel silly if I say it keh-fear. Like I am putting on an accent. The only person I have actually heard say it (since no one I know has even heard of it) is Dom and he says keh-fear
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#24 of 25 Old 06-02-2006, 10:23 AM
 
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My husband calls it "Jack Bauer". No, really.

Mama to : '05, '08, '10 and expecting our 3rd homebirth.jpgJanuary '13

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#25 of 25 Old 06-03-2006, 04:05 PM
 
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my assistant (with a linguistic background) told me that it is keh-fear but that it was the Body Ecology folks who took kefir into the mainstream and pronounced it kee-fur.

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