Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How do YOU pronounce Joachim?

From the combox below, Bev asks:

Question for you: What is the correct way to pronounce Joachim? (I fear we've been butchering it for years! :)

That's a good question. I had always heard his name pronounced JOE-uh-kim but recently I have heard it pronounced wah-KEEM. That sounds too Spanish to my ear. This website indicates that it is pronounced JOE-uh-keem. But a person familiar with Aramaic says here that it is properly pronounced yo-a-CHIM with a hard, gutteral ch sound. In German, it would be yo-AHK-im so it really depends on what language you are considering. I remember thinking that the name Giselle (zhee-SELL) sounded so beautiful in French but was shocked to hear it pronounced GEE-suh-luh in German. Most historians agree that Our Lord and also his mother would have spoken Aramaic (along with Hebrew and maybe even Kione Greek) and since I have a SIL who speaks Aramaic, I can ask her to pronounce it for me and get back to you.


  1. The Righteous Joachim and Anna are commemorated at the end of every Divine Liturgy and yo-ah-keem is the way we pronounce it.

    Have you read the 2nd century Protoevangelium of St. James? Our ancient hymnology for both the feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God and her Presentation in the Temple are derived from this text. I look forward to hearing them each year. The Gospel of St. James goes into great detail about the lives of Joachim and Anna. You may find it useful for your plans. Also, there is a children's book that I'm using for my lesson plans for August-September that is based on the Protoevangelium. It's beautifully illustrated and I've put it away to surprise my younger children. Perfect reading in anticipation of her Nativity in September.

    Here are the links:

    The Story of Mary the Mother of God

  2. Interesting! I have only ever heard it pronounced wah-KEEM, for both Mary's father and for the actor Joachim Phoenix. verification word below the combox is "satan". Creepy.

  3. Joaquin is Wah-KEEN. It is a Spanish version of Joachim. Like the San Joaquin Valley. I've always said Joachim as YO-a-kim.

    And if you go here:
    you can see this is the "correct" pronunciation according to the "Baby Name Wizard."

  4. The actor is Joaquin Phoenix, not Joachim.

  5. We say Yo-ah-keem. But, like a lot of names, I can see how there'd be different version, depending on your language. Does his name have an actual English derivative? Is it a form of Joseph, you suppose?

  6. I think it is one of those names that doesn't have an English translation. Some people associate it with the name Jacob or Joshua but I don't think that's right. The Spanish version "Joaquin" can sometimes be shortened to Quin or Quinn, but that is as close to an English variant that I could find.

    Just because names sound alike doesn't mean they are variants. My grandfather's name was Vaclav which translates to Winceslas so I assumed that translated to Vincent. It doesn't. Winceslas is the English translation even though it still sounds foreign.

  7. We say yo-ah-chim with the gutteral "ch" sound because we lived in Germany and we know people by that name. Our priest's name is Joachim and he goes by Jack. Funny?!? I don't know the story behind that or how he really pronouces his name.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!