Pronunciation of Automata?

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#1 Posted by mazik765 (2372 posts) -

I've lived my entire life believing this word was pronounced Ah-tom-ah-tah, but since this game has picked up traction I have heard so many educated people insist upon calling the game Ah-tah-mah-tah. From Giantbomb, to IGN and even Austin Walker and Patrick Klepick over on Waypoint, I've heard people say this pronunciation and go uncorrected (with the exception of Vinny correcting Alex).

My question is this: Am I wrong? Is the word Ah-tom-ah-tah or Ah-tah-mah-tah?

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#2 Posted by alwaysbebombing (2439 posts) -

I'm from the Northeast and we tend to turn "t" sounds into "d" sounds. I've been pronouncing it as "Ah-do-ma-dah"

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#3 Posted by JJWeatherman (14931 posts) -

The secret about things like this is that it actually doesn't matter. The two pronunciations you've given here are so similar that I can't possibly imagine how anyone could find this to be something worth putting thought into.

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#4 Edited by Blackout62 (2068 posts) -

Hi. Blackout62, degree in English, just popping by to say this has irked me too. Pronunciations vary by regions but GOD DAMN IT! I have never even heard it said as Ah-toe-maw-tah before and it bugs the crap out of me!

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#5 Edited by Zeik (4522 posts) -

It's a variation of the word "Automaton" (because, you know, machines and androids) and there's only one way I've ever heard that pronounced.

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#6 Edited by Damodar (1998 posts) -

You say tomato, I say automata.

I dunno, I can see a case for both. If I were to say automaton or a similar word like autonomous, it'd be with the same cadence and stresses as your "ah-tom-ah-tah" example, but the second example has the same ending emphasis that I would use on a word like "errata".

I think both are perfectly acceptable and we should just relax and not worry about which one people choose to go with. Hakuna Automata.

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#7 Edited by WhatsHisFace (483 posts) -

I have never even heard it said as Ah-toe-mah-tah before and it bugs the crap out of me!

That's funny because in my native language "automata" is the word for "automatic" in English, and we pronounce it as 'Ah-toe-mah-tah.'

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#8 Posted by Teddie (1538 posts) -

I'm on team "it's supposed to sound like automaton why do you guys keep talking about tomatoes!?".

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#9 Edited by Sinusoidal (3395 posts) -

I agree with this pronunciation:

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Stress on the second syllable. I think you'll be hard pressed to find a dictionary that suggests otherwise. It's not just like "automaton", it's the plural form.

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#10 Posted by mrroach (202 posts) -

It's au-TOM-ah-tah. I too, have no idea why so many otherwise reasonable people are just saying it wrong. This is a real word, and is the plural form of another word that some of those same people pronounce correctly: automaton.

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#11 Edited by Hassun (7977 posts) -

Why not just go straight to the source and get the definitive answer (on how to pronounce the game's title anyway)?

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#12 Posted by FacelessVixen (1805 posts) -

"Auto-mata/Awe-toe-ma-ta" is the one I go with, because why listen to someone else say it when your version sounds good to you?

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#13 Edited by Zeik (4522 posts) -

@hassun: Because Yoko Taro isn't fluent in English while simultaneously being kind of a known troll. (The best kind, of course.) Intentionally mispronouncing it just to mess with people is not out of the question.

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#14 Posted by mazik765 (2372 posts) -

Especially this. I was listening to an episode of Waypoint Radio and Patrick keeps saying ah-toe-mah-ta over and over, then says Automaton flawlessly. IT'S THE SAME WORD. CMON, PATRICK!

@mrroach said:

It's au-TOM-ah-tah. I too, have no idea why so many otherwise reasonable people are just saying it wrong. This is a real word, and is the plural form of another word that some of those same people pronounce correctly: automaton.

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#15 Posted by audioBusting (2523 posts) -

I've been saying "near a tomato" in a fake, almost-offensively-thick Boston accent.

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#16 Posted by Gaff (2627 posts) -

@hassun: if we were to listen to any creators, we would be stuck with "jif" instead of "gif".

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#17 Edited by Cirdain (3774 posts) -

Jamiroquai has seen fit to bless us with an answer: use what ever sounds coolest in the moment, switch it up, have fun. Add syllables - whatever.

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#18 Posted by Rodin (260 posts) -

If I'm not mistaken I believe that yoko taro has said the title is pronounced Au-tom-a-ta

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#19 Posted by RinNowaru (935 posts) -
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#20 Edited by combustion_man (261 posts) -

In German, "Automat" is a word. Ow - toe - mott.

So I say Ow - toe - mah - tuh.

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#21 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5170 posts) -

I say it "old tomato."

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#22 Posted by Hassun (7977 posts) -

@zeik:I mean, I did include one that wasn't him saying it.

@gaff: You have a point there. But then even the creator has to accept the word is "graphics" and not "jraphics".

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#23 Posted by Mystyr_E (1462 posts) -

Ah-tah-mah-dah

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#24 Posted by RetroMetal (482 posts) -

@mazik765: Without even looking at any of the posts in this thread, it's "auto" as in like a car, and "mata" as in mah-ta.

Any other way is wrong.

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#25 Posted by Coolarman (1326 posts) -

The word automata comes from a theory in computer science called "automata theory." Reading up on this the proper pronunciation is "uhh-tom-uh-tah."

Fun fact

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#26 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10305 posts) -
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#27 Edited by Uhtaree (786 posts) -

I read that as "Near: aw-duh-MA-duh". The way most TV sounding americans say automatic (aw-duh-MA-dic) but duh instead of dic. ahem.

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#28 Posted by AlisterCat (7455 posts) -

@alwaysbebombing said:

I'm from the Northeast and we tend to turn "t" sounds into "d" sounds. I've been pronouncing it as "Ah-do-ma-dah"

All american accents sound like they make Ts in to Ds to me. It digs away at my mind.

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#29 Posted by Shadow (5321 posts) -

auto-mah-dah

since that's how the guy what made it pronounces the name

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#30 Posted by ajamafalous (13490 posts) -

aw doh maw duh

I mean, automobile and automotive don't even have the stress on the same syllable; English is a nightmare. Let's not even get into moving the stress based on the part of speech that the word is in the current sentence.

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#31 Posted by Uhtaree (786 posts) -

(At Walmart)

"Yeah, Hi. I need a game out of the case."

"Okay, which one sir?"

"That one there: Near: Odda-Madda"

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#32 Edited by cmblasko (2419 posts) -

"Ah, Toe Maeda!"

"Ah, Tom oughta!"

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#33 Posted by teaoverlord (591 posts) -

Every dictionary seems to say /ɔːˈtɒməˌtə/, so like "automaton" but ending in "-uh" instead of "-on".

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#34 Posted by thomasnash (1048 posts) -

@uhtaree said:

(At Walmart)

"Yeah, Hi. I need a game out of the case."

"Okay, which one sir?"

"That one there: Near: Odda-Madda"

"Sorry, I've never heard of odda-madda. Is it near anything else?"

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#35 Posted by afabs515 (1771 posts) -

"aw-TAH-ma-tah"

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#36 Posted by korwin (3846 posts) -

Awe-Tom-Muhtuh

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#37 Posted by Spoonman671 (5780 posts) -

I pronounce it like it's pronounced in English.

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#38 Edited by alphasquid (133 posts) -
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#39 Posted by BisonHero (10558 posts) -

If you guys are just giving your pronunciation in all lowercase, you're a monster and not actually explaining your pronunciation.

At least one syllable should be in italics, bold, or all caps or something; if you're not indicating the syllable that is stressed within the word, you're not painting a very clear picture. If I were to say "aw-tom-uh-tuh", it would sound different from "aw-tom-uh-tuh", which would sound different from "aw-tuh-muh-tuh", which would sound different from "aw-tuh-mah-tuh" and so on.

I know actual linguists have a more elaborate system to indicate inflection, but at least give some indication of what syllable you're stressing.

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#40 Edited by ArbitraryWater (14742 posts) -

"A Quality Video Game"

Oh, alright. I've been saying Aw-to-Mah-Tah (essentially how Alex pronounces it on the Beastcast), though I fully acknowledge that Aw-tom-uh-tuh, as in Automaton, is probably a more correct way to say it. English is a goofy language.

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#41 Posted by Ezekiel (1780 posts) -

My first language is German, so I pronounce it ah-ooh-toh-ma-ta.

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#42 Posted by Captain_Insano (2749 posts) -

Or-toh-mah-ta

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#43 Posted by Sticky_Pennies (2074 posts) -

"Auto Toemahtoe" or "Auto Poetahtoe" if you ask me.

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#44 Posted by flatblack (42 posts) -

@mazik765: this exact thing bugged the shit out of me

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#45 Posted by Rejizzle (724 posts) -

It's pronounced ah-tom-ah-ta. For some reason the director of Nier deliberately mispronounces the word ah-tow-mah-ta. Maybe it sounds better in Japanese, maybe it's some kind of pun, either way, the gaming community just kind of rolled with it.

I guess it's kind of how Horizon's main character is really just Alloy (like a metal), but for some reason they pronounce it Ai-lloy.

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#46 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7098 posts) -

I prefer ah-tom-ah-ta myself, but I think both are valid pronunciations.

I will point out one thing though; ask yourself how you pronounce the auto then say it again. Words are weird.

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#47 Posted by MeierTheRed (5363 posts) -

@zeik said:

It's a variation of the word "Automaton" (because, you know, machines and androids) and there's only one way I've ever heard that pronounced.

This right here, nothing more needs to be said about this subject now.

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#48 Posted by Uhtaree (786 posts) -

EP-uh-nuh: (from Latin): Horse that Zelda rides

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#49 Posted by BisonHero (10558 posts) -

@uhtaree: Must - resist - urge - to - throttle - Dan.

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#50 Edited by RonGalaxy (4707 posts) -

It's awe-tom-ah-tah not auto-mah-tah

Also, this word has existed before nier. The director of the game is pronouncing it wrong... Unless cars become an integral part of the story.

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