Eliade's Name

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Dec 9, 1993, 10:29:28 AM12/9/93
Recently, I heard that Mircea Elide's name is pronounced "Meer-so
El-ee-ah-duh", as it would be in French. But isn't Eliade Polish or Czech?
I'd heard it was pronounced "Meer-cha El-ee-ah-dee".

Not properly shamanism, but troubling me nonetheless.


Dec 13, 1993, 12:01:16 AM12/13/93
------ end quotation -----

Recently someone else wrote:

----------- begin quotation
Mircea Eliade is a household name for all present researchers on
this topic. She has made some significant contributions and will
inevitably be quoted or listed in bibliographies.

She wrote many books; here's one I know of:
"Shamanism: archaic techniques of ecstasy" by Mircea Eliade.
--------- end quotation -----

Responding to this, Richard M. Romanowski recently asked:

>By the way, wasn't Mircea Eliade a guy? There's this picture of
>a guy with a beard in the front of one of Mircea Eliade's books,
--------- end quotation ----

I met Mircea Eliade and heard him lecture when he was still
alive. In the past I offered a pronunciation for the name of this
late writer on comparative religion. The offered pronunciation is
widely current among scholars. It probably became current because
Eliade lived in France at one time. That pronunciation is
approximated as follows.

mer-SEW (as in MERetricious and SEWing) l-e-ADE (as in the
letter "l," long "e" as in "even," and "ade" as in "a-DA-gio"),
accents being placed on the capitalized letters.

However, Peggy Beemer <macgate.csuchico.edu> wrote to another
electronic discussion group to say that Eliade was a "Romanian
refugee who moved to the U.S. around 1952." He subsequently taught
at the University of Chicago, Department of History of Religions,
Federated Theological Faculty.

I recently heard a National Public Radio report which
mentioned his name, and which also featured a regular NPR
commentator who is Romanian in origin. During that program the
following pronunciation of Eliade's name was used. It was not used
by the Romanian commentator, but by the NPR announcer. However, I
would expect that the Romanian had been consulted concerning its
correctness. It may be that this is the Romanian (pre-French
influence) pronunciation of the name:

MIR-cha il-i-AH-de

The first syllable of the first name sounds like the English word
"MIR-ror," with a rolled "r"; the second syllable of the first name
is pronounced like the "cha" in the dance "cha-cha-cha." Both
"i's" in the second name sound like the "i" in the English word
"will"; the last syllable (de) has a pronunciation similar to the
English word ("day", with the "a" sound being a bit shorter, and
closer to the English word "DEPuty"). Accents are placed on the
capitalized syllables.

Perhaps someone who speaks Rumanian can shed further light on the
pronunciation of this name (or perhaps someone will cross-post to

K. D. Forbes

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