Originally Posted by Ayn R Key
When I go out in meatspace (also known as the real world) and I describe this case to people, is "Mocek" pronounced "Mosek" or "Mokek"?
Short answer: it's the former.
Accurate answer: That depends on whose pronunciation you prefer. Likely candidates are mine and my parents', and they're not the same.
- My ancestors in the Czech Republic, distant family, and Polish Mocek friends pronounce it something like MOE-tseck, MUT-seck, or MOOT-seck (with "oo" like in "foot"). The "o" sound is a foreign sound somewhere between a hard "o" (like in "flow") and the vowel sound in "foot". The "e" may be more of a shwa sound over there.
- My American relatives (great-grandparents emigrated from Czechoslovakia to Texas) pronounce it like MAH-sick.
- English-centric people who read the name but haven't heard it tend, in my experience, to say MOE-seck or MOE-check.
- As of about two years ago (during a time at which most people with whom I had regular contact knew me primarily as just "Phil"), I pronounce it MOE-seck or MOE-səck (with a barely-audible shwa). I think it's the closest Englishification of the Czech name, and causes less confusion between eyes and ears.
I don't have a strong preference.
Changing the way I pronounce my name has been kind of strange. Sometimes I introduce myself and noticeably "mispronounce" my own name before correcting myself. Saying it the new way still feels rather awkward, but I'm pressing on. "Mossick" was always strange, though familiar.