Arsenal just announced new signing Granit Xhaka a little bit ago, but unless you're familiar with the Tosk dialect of the Albanian language you might be wondering, exactly, how to pronounce his full name. Well, wonder no more:
Wondering how to pronounce Xhaka? Wonder no more, as the man himself shows you here: #arsenal #afc #gunnergranit https://t.co/bPB4QtFsJ8— The Short Fuse (@TheShortFuse) May 25, 2016
If you're a pronunciation nerd and would like the long explanation, we found a good one elsewhere on the internet that may also be of use:
There's been a lot of discussion on the subject of Granit Xhaka's transfer lately, and a lot of speculation about how exactly his name should be pronounced, almost entirely by people with no knowledge of Albanian whatsoever. The digraph 'xh' especially seems particularly confusing to many people - I've seen speculation from 'Sh' to 'Ch' to 'Djh'. The problem with such transcriptions is that they are ambiguous, and depend on how one interprets them, and ones dialect or accent. Therefore, I'll be using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which is a group of characters which correspond to different place and modes of articulation of a specific sound, or phone. Its primary benefit is its lack of ambiguity; in English the letter 'e' is pronounced differently in 'pet' and 'evil', but always represents the same sound in IPA.
The Albanian pronunciation of 'Granit Xhaka' in IPA is [gɾanit d͡ʒaka], which may look slightly perplexing at first but is quite simple to understand. The /g/, /n/, /t/, and /k/ in IPA are all pronounced identically as they would be in English, whereas the /i/ is the vowel in 'fEEt' (albeit shorter in this case), and the /a/ is a sound in between the 'a' in 'cAt' and 'fAther' (which are /æ/ and /ɑ/ respectively). The /ɾ/ is a flapped 'r' similar to the 'r' sound in Italian or Spanish. As for the scary-looking 'd͡ʒ', that's simply pronounced the same as the 'j' in 'Jack' or the 'g' in 'Gin'. If you string that all together, you roughly get 'GRAHneet JAHkah', which isn't nearly as hard to say as the bizarre-looking 'xh' digraph would have you assume.
Armed with this knowledge, you can feel confident that you'll be the first in your friend group to pronounce his name correctly, and you'll be able to laugh and point at your TV this fall as the various play-by-play broadcasters on Arsenal matches display their own, unique variations of his name.