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Day-lick? Dah-lek?
Doctor Who. As an American, how should I pronounce it?
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Seattle, WA
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I am a huge Doctor Who fan and have a problem. I need to know how to pronounce “Dalek” with an American accent. On the show, it’s pronounced “Dah-lek”, but for the longest time I’ve pronounced it “Day-lick” because I always figured I was correctly taking out the British accent, but now I’m not sure. If the correct American pronunciation is “Dah-lek”, then applying the British accent would make no difference… so now I’m confused! How do I pronounce “Dalek” as an American? Day-lick? Dah-lek? Help!


Ron Draney
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I can see two ways of going with this:
(1) The word “Dalek” doesn’t really exist in American English; the only examples we have of hearing it spoken are from British speakers, so pronounce it the same way they do.
(2) If you really need a distinguishing pronunciation, use the same vowel in the first part that you would use in “Dallas”.

I definitely wouldn’t use a long A sound.

New River, AZ, USA
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I second Ron on this one. Use “Dah-lek” as they do on the show. You gotta remember that:

1. Dahleks are fictional characters, the name for which was created by some science fiction writer.

2. The name is a proper noun, and I have read that simply on the basis of “politeness” one should try to emulate the pronunciation used by the “owner” of that name. Of course, it can sometimes be difficult for a speaker of English to reproduce the exact sounds of some languages, but “Dalek” is not in that category.

3. Unfortunately, I don’t ever recall a Dalek introducing itself … only the human characters used that term.


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