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Hwý 'Cænada'?Adiht

Hwý áwrítst þú Cænada? I agree that this is the way modern anglophone Canadians and Americans say it, but it's not the way German or French speakers would say it: for them, the first 'a' is a real IPA /a/.

I guess the question is, do we base the OE spelling on Modern English pronunciation, or Modern English spelling? I would favour going with Modern English spelling, when there is at least one existing related language which uses the same spelling but pronounces that spelling approximately the way an Anglo-Saxon speaker would. In the case of Canada, Canada would be acceptable because the Anglo-Saxon pronunciation of Canada resembles modern German Kanada.

Maybe that rule is overly complicated. Feel free to comment. --Saforrest 4 Mǽdmónaþ 2005 18:34 (UTC)
In the new landbox, I wrote "Canada" in the heading. --Walda 02:53, 15 Mǽdmónaþ 2005 (UTC)

I'd guess at saying 'Kanada' will get you closer to the pronunciation an Anglo-Saxon would use. Darned Yanks' pronunciation...oh, wait, I am one. :)
I agree with Stephen that the spelling is fine. If it were an actual OE word, it'd probably be declined like nama and guma would. But, how would we say 'Canadian' (noun or adjective)? --James 4 Mǽdmónaþ 2005 21:53 (UTC)
I've been using 'Canadisc' for the adjective. In Dutch it's Canadees and in German kanadisch. --Saforrest 06:18, 15 Mǽdmónaþ 2005 (UTC)
A very likely Old English pronunciation of Canada is /kæ n^ d^/. "Canada" is a loan word by way of French. As far as anyone can tell, it has always been pronounced as it is today in anglophone Canada. To deduce how it may have been pronounced in Old English, we can take a look at loan words in Old English with a similar structure as "Canada." The pronunciation of some loan-words stayed the same as the original foreign word, but very many were Anglicized. Remember that Latin has no /æ/. There are many examples of Anglicization, and here are just a few:
cæfester [] n (-es/-) halter, head-stall [L capistrum]; see gecafstrian.
cæppe [] f (-an/-an) cap; cape, cope, hood [L].
cæpse [] f (-an/-an) box [L capsa].
There are many examples, and they are telling, since they show that many loan words were quickly Anglicized -- from an /a/ to an ash.
Further, these strongly suggest that the ash was not only a more natural pronunciation than /a/ (or NO words would have changed from /a/ to /æ/), but also that Old English was spelled as it was pronounced.
Also, I don't think the pronunciation of either French or German is relevant. Neither is descended from Old English. Modern English is, and unlike either French or German, it has an ash-sound like Old English had.
Therefore, rather than to spell words based on a spelling in a foreign language, I think it best to keep it simple: spell words as they are pronounced.
In this case, it is Cænada.
--Walda 7 Mǽdmónaþ 2005 02:34 (UTC)

Actually... The examples given are bad, because they all have a frontal vowel following the first vowel - this alone was what caused Anglo-Frisian brightening (vowel fronting from a to æ). Better, more relevant examples would be: Faran, waru (wara), faru, talu, wana, hama, hara, nama... and swā forþ. I think these all point to it being more precedented to go with "Canada".    Ƿes hāl!     22:54, 29 Ēastermōnaþ 2013 (UTC)

The latter sounds compelling to me: back to "Canada" then. Hogweard (talk) 12:59, 30 Ēastermōnaþ 2013 (UTC)


Fana Cænades
Cynelic gecwide:A Mari Usque Ad Mare
(Læden: Of sæ tó sæ)
Þénunglice geþéode:Níwe Englisc and Frencisc
Cynesetles hǽraród:45°24′ N 75°40′ W
Rícesang:O Cænada
Feoh:Cænadisc doler ($) (CAD)

Canada, oþþe Cænada, is land in þǽm Norþamerican. Þis land hæfþ 32 millionen léoda.

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Rīcu American

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Canada: werlic oþðe wiflic?Adiht

Is se nama "Canada" werlic oþðe wiflic?

The name ends in "-a" which makes it look masculine, and on several pages it has been declined as a weak masculine, like "nama" (though in places editors have turned it into a strong masculine, so gen. sing. "Canadas" not "Canadan").

However, countries ending in an "-a", usually Latin-derived, are feminine: Germania, Italia etc are feminine, taking "-e" in oblique cases (so dative "Germanie", for example).

I think "Canada" is feminine with dat. & gen. sing. "Canade".

Hogweard 12:11, 9 Hāligmōnaþ 2008 (UTC)

As far as I have seen, country names in OE that ended in -a (the Latin ones, anyway) were regarded as feminine, but they varied greatly on how to treat them: irregular weak feminine (irregular because the nominative ended with -a), irregular strong feminine (because the the nominative ended with -a), indeclinable (I'm not 100% sure on that, but I think I've seen it somewhere), Latin declensions. I prefer the first two ways to treat them. Gott wisst (talk) 08:52, 9 Hrēþmōnaþ 2013 (UTC)
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