Thursday, March 7, 2013


I don't know about you all, but I am struggling with the names in Things Fall Apart. When I see them in the novel I've realized I only identify them visually, considering I was clueless as to how to pronounce them. I also think this is the reason that I find it so difficult to remember the characters and to differentiate between them. This pronunciation guide helped me, I thought it could be of use to you all as well!

Okonkwo (Oh-kawn-kwoh) 
Unoka (Ooh-no-kah) 
Nwoye (Nuh-woh-yeh) 
Ikemefuna (Ee-keh-meh-foo-nah) 
Ekwefi (Eh-kweh-fee) 
Ezinma (Eh-zeen-mah) 
Ojiubo (Oh-jee-ooh-boh) 
Obierika (Oh-bee-air-ee-kah) 
Chielo (Chee-eh-loh) 
Agbala (Ahg-bah-lah) 


Michell D said...

Thanks for posting this, I think we can collectively agree that it is difficult to understand their names because we are not used to seeing them. But I was thinking what makes it hard to remember? Is it because its an entirely different language, is it because we haven't seen names like this before, or is it because we are unable to pronounce the word so our brains have trouble solidifying the connection in our minds? I really do think its a combination of all three reasons, but I just think it's funny that I know the characters when I am reding because I know what the word looks like, but when I have to say it out loud my brain ceases to function.

Linz A said...

I get confused with all the O names. I think part of the reason is that I'm not familiar with the language and these types of names. However, when reading Crime and Punishment (my independent study) I was able to pick up on the Russian names and remember them pretty well. I have more trouble with the Igbo names than the Russian ones. I think Things Fall Apart is more difficult because the characters (other than Okonkwo, Ezinma, Ikemefuma, Ekwefi, whose names are repeated over and over and over again)are more the come and go type. They appear briefly to demonstrate an aspect of Igbo society and then leave. Maybe to be mentioned a little later, maybe not. I don't know. That's how I feel.