‘Bokeh’ or ‘Bokeh’? Photographers Share Their Personal Pronunciation

How the heck do you pronounce the word ‘Bokeh’? It’s a question new and seasoned photographers alike struggle with, argue about, and make fun of each other over, so the folks at Photo Gear News decided to clear it one up once and for all.

Inspired by some Internet trolling he received when he asked for the right pronunciation on camera (“This guy works for a photography company pretends not to know how to pronounce bokah [sic]? Embarrassing.”), Photo Gear News editor Richard Sibley decided to walk around The Photography Show in the UK and ask attendees and big name photographers how THEY pronounced it.

The face we all make when we’re trying to pronounce “bokeh”…

Finally, at the end of the video, they clear up the Japanese pronunciation problem once and for all by asking… a Japanese person. Specifically, they tracked down Ryu Nagase, Product Management Director for Canon’s Consumer Imaging Group, to explain how it’s supposed to be pronounced. Bok-Eh, not Bok-Ai, or Book-Ai, Bok-Uh.

The kicker? Not even he could give a definitive, one-Bokeh-to-rule-them-all answer. It turns out the pronunciation is a slightly different in different regions of Japan. Oh well… I guess we can all go back to trolling each other. And if you need some proof that everyone pronounces it differently, just check out the video up top.

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