How to pronounce Disney, Wembley, and volley

Today, I want to cover a topic that has been suggested by Gerrit, a follower of my blog on FB. He pointed out that German native speakers (and quite likely also people with other native languages) sometimes have difficulties getting the pronunciation of the syllable ‘ey’ right. For example, in the words Disney, Kinsey, hockey, volley or Wembley, one can frequently hear ‘ey’ pronounced as [eɪ] as in hey instead of [i] as in key. You can compare the incorrect and the correct pronunciation here. The problem is that there is no clear rule, so you have to learn and remember the correct pronunciation for each word.

Some words with ‘ey’ pronounced as [eɪ]:
hey
grey
survey
they
prey
convey
prey
obey
whey

Some words with ‘ey’ pronounced as [i]:
key
Sidney
Disney
Mickey
hockey
volley
Wembley
monkey
money
kidney
honey
alley
chimney
Ridley
Whitney
Britney
Presley
Lindsey

Interestingly, most names (for people and places) ending in ‘ey’ fall into the second category, but are very often mispronounced on TV and radio.

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One thought on “How to pronounce Disney, Wembley, and volley

  1. The silent w – painfulenglish

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