School Bukel

School Bukel
English Pronunciation Reeducation

This is my so-called little analysis on what’s the correct pronunciation of the word “oracle.”

Let me start it with a short story of a man from the Visayas.

His name is Chris, who proficiently speaks three Filipino dialects: Ilonggo, Cebuano or traditionally known as Bisaya, and Tagalog, but formally called as Filipino. He grew up in Ilo-ilo and went to Cebu for his collegiate education.

Chris has a good academic background and an admirable working ethics. In his recent work he is one of its team leaders. His company mainly renders programming for various companies abroad. Adept in English as he is, part of his job is to train people and thus talking is a necessity.

In one of his talks, he mentioned the word “oracle” in a sentence. But right after he spoke that very word, laughter echoed in the room from the mouths of the tagalog-speaking individuals. Chris knew it was the way he pronounced “oracle,” but he just humbly kept quiet because he was sure he pronounced it correctly. Then his American superior’s turn to speak, he also had the chance to include the word “oracle” in his sentences. The American pronounced the word “oracle” the way Chris did. The superior just continued on with his discussion, a deafening shame reverberated in the ears and minds of those jeering tagalog-speaking creatures.

Apologies for the disintegration of your excitement, but the story about Chris has now end.

Now let’s do a little investigation. Let’s dissect the word “oracle.”

According to Random House Dictionary:
Oracle – a divine utterance made by a God through a priest or a priestess in response to an inquiry.

Correct pronunciation:

It’s an inverted e and not e!

What is an inverted e?
Occurs in unaccented syllables before l preceded by t, d, or n, or before n, preceded by t or d to show syllabic quality, as in:

Let’s compare it with words that has an e pronunciation:
Bell (bel)
Smell (smel)

I therefore conclude “oracle” is pronounced as / orakal / orakoal and NOT orakel !!! I therefore conclude that our Filipino brothers in Luzon have been fed with some erroneous English pronunciations all along.


  1. As if naman tama pronunciation nyo no, narinig ko yung isang bisayang kilala ko. He pronounced oracle…orakol! Malamang ikaw ganun din! KAKATAWA LOL!

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  4. I find it odd that you feel insulted that some other people mimic your accent but you do the same? Also, yopur hasty generalization towards people living in Luzon. I do not mean to offend you but I’m trying to share my thoughts. Some Visayans, like some Tagalogs mispronouce a LOT of English words. I bet most Filipinos(regardless of ethnic background) pronouce hippopotamus is hippopoTAmus when, according to my e-dictionary installed in my PC, it is hippoPOtamus.

    The inverted e, as far as I know(I can’t be too sure) is called schwa.

    I don’t really think that it’s a matter of ethnicity. More of like… quality of education

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