Originally Posted by seanchai
Sha-vee-air, like Xabi Alonso. Although I find this "you can only say it like the Basque (or the French or the Spanish)" a little stupid, as by this logic you could ONLY say it with the original pronunciation. It was absorbed into French and Spanish lexicons, why not American English?
because when you say it in spanish, it sounds like a spanish word. it flows, and does not sound foreign. if you say it in english, it is an awkward, ugly name. and it is obviously foreign. like when americans name their son 'andre', and the kid goes around his whole life calling himself andre, and it just sounds like he can't pronounce his own name. another example is the central americans who give their kids names like richard, or washington, and of course they say it with a thick accent. it sounds ridiculous.
Originally Posted by yachtie
I always heard it pronounced ha-vee-air or ha-bee air. Pronouncing it zay-vee-air sounds pretty bizarre to my ear.
'zah-vee-eh' is the french pronunciation, which is likely the source of the english one.