Pronunciation of PechaKucha


PechaKucha is an international event series, organized locally, where presenters provide twenty slides that are automatically cycled through, twenty seconds each. It is a short, fun, casual environment, with a “contractually obligated Beer Break”. I have presented three times at the Providence chapter (which, according to local organizers, may be the only chapter to hold an event every month.)

The Providence organizers always pronounce the name of the series (which is Japanese for “chit chat”) by stressing the second syllable, the “cha”. However, Rhode Islanders do pronounce things in strange ways sometimes, and it is unsurprising that Americans also often pronounce the word by stressing the third syllable, “ku”.

I did some internet sleuthing, and quite quickly found this page, which has audio of a number of native Japanese speakers pronouncing the word. Of the seven samples that were posted at the time of writing, one could plausibly be interpreted as stressing “ku” while the other six all stressed “cha”. Another distinction from default American pronunciation of the word, though, is that the clips mostly de-stress the third syllable, essentially pronouncing it as three syllables: “PechaK’cha”.