Are You Correctly Pronouncing Bokeh?

What is Bokeh? How do you pronounce it? Sound it out and you will likely not get it correct. Here is a very short and cute video on how NOT to say “Bokeh,”¬†followed up by the correct pronunciation:

Simply enough, if you are not familiar, Bokeh means fuzzy or out of focus. It is an effect in photography used to optimize the aesthetic quality of the blur.

How NOT to pronounce “Bokeh”:

  1. Bo-Kay
  2. Bo-Kuh

The correct way to pronounce “Bokeh”, is Bo-Ke. Firstly, the ‘bo’ is like bow, as in ‘bow and arrow’, not ‘take a bow’. Now, you’re probably saying wait, what? You just said it is not pronounced Bo-Kay! Isn’t Bo-Ke the same thing? No, it’s not! The “ke” is like the sound at the beginning of the word “kettle”. Ke-ttle. Not “kay”. The “H” is completely silent and serves no purpose, least of all to create a long “eh” at the end. We’re not in Canada anymore, eh?

Now that is cleared up, have fun with your bo-ke!

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6 responses to “Are You Correctly Pronouncing Bokeh?”

  1. Frank says:

    OMG! Seriously? We’re gonna start nit-picking about bow-kay vs bo-keh?

    a) it’s not even a word of English origin. I do not speak Japanese and don’t much care about the proper way to pronounce Japanese terms. I can damn well pronounce it “blowfish” if I please.

    b) there are so many different English accents within North America alone, any one of them could slightly change the way “bokeh” sounds. Good luck trying to get a southern American to pronounce it in this hoity-toity “proper” way.

    c) I guarantee you that if I pronounce it “bow-kuh”, “bow-kay” or “bo-keh”, any photographer will know very well what I’m referring to. The first one who tries to correct me will receive my infamous “look of duh”, thereby making him/her feel unbelievably stupid.

    And on that note, I’m now giving the author of this article my infamous “look of duh”

  2. Ken Mason says:

    What a pile of useless nonsense, who gives a crap how it should be pronounced. I read this email to try and learn something usefull. If you give me that much space I’m sure I can come up with something worth reading!

  3. CHARLIE says:

    I have to agree with Frank and Ken.

  4. David says:

    If that beau-key training is so boring as this stupid video… Good luck!

  5. Lee says:

    I pronounce it “circles of confusion”

  6. Deirdre says:

    The H on the end of the word is probably to differentiate it from “boke” which in British (Scottish) English is both a noun and a verb meaning vomit. e..g “They chips are minging – that pure makes me want tae boke, man”

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