Before I became interested in the uke, I didn’t even question the way that I was pronouncing the word. Living in Southern Indiana (Columbus), I’d always heard it pronounced as: yoo-ka-lay-lee. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I have been saying it wrong all these years The correct Hawaiian pronunciation is actually: oo-koo-lay-lay. Who knew right? I do have to admit that it’s been really hard for me to retrain how I say it. Saying it the correct way makes me feel a little silly and almost pretentious. I’m also finding that I tend to merge my old way of saying it with the right way, coming up my own hybrid version as: yoo-koo-lay-lee.
So I’m posing this question to all that would like to answer: How do you pronounce the word ukulele and does it bother you when you hear other people pronounce it incorrectly?