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So, how exactly do you pronounce ‘Xubuntu’?

March 28, 2007

That was the question du jour today: While caught in traffic on my way to pick up Mirano at school and with the thought of what is on my computer planted firmly on my radar, it occurred to me that I don’t really know how to pronounce the operating system I now have on the iMac.

Is it eks-ubuntu? Eks-buntu? Zoo-buntu? Zhoo-buntu?

I find when I return home that it’s been a significant discussion in the Ubuntu forum, and while everyone seems to be right — or, at least, everyone has an excellent point in pronouncing it the way they do — pronouncing it zoo-buntu as I had been doing all this time is currently the most popular and might be the correct pronunciation.

Might is the key word here. You see, in the international scheme of things, where — oh, I don’t know — English is not the only language spoken, there seems to be some alternatives; alternatives that deserve strong consideration, rather than just attaching my own native language’s rules when it comes to “x” in front of a vowel (think “Xerox, Xanax,” etc.).

According to one post, from RaiSuli: “I pronounce it Zoobuntu but I know that in German it would be pronounced as Ksubuntu.”

Or then there’s the Spanish version, where the “x” like in Oaxaca is pronounced like an “H,” making it hoo-buntu, and I could go for that (thanks, pdxuser).

Says pdxuser: “I did some research, and it turns out that in Xhosa and Zulu, an X is a clicking sound. And you thought people look at you weird when you say Ubuntu….”

Very true.

But then again, Xubuntu — however it’s pronounced — is based on the Xfce desktop, and that’s really pronounced Eks-eff-see-ee. All of which is to say eks-ubuntu or eks-buntu also has a considerable amount of merit.

If it interests you, take a look and see what you think.

[FSF Associate Member](Larry Cafiero, editor/publisher of Open Source Reporter, is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

Categories: Ubuntu, Xubuntu
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