I’m sure that at one time or another, two (English speaking) collectors have been talking, and in the course of the conversation one has pronounced a word (usually foreign in origin) differently than what the other collector has heard. Since we have a great resource here of collectors from all over the world, I think it would be great to know how some of these words are correctly pronounced. Off the top of my head I’m wondering about:

“Lapua”. is it “la-POO-ah”? How about “LA-pwah”?

“SAKO”. is it “SOCK-oh”? “SAY-ko”?

How about “Oerlikon”?






Any others?

Please, no language bashing!


Sabot: SAH-bot or suh-BOW?

Maybe this could be an addendum to the Cartridge Collector’s glossary IF there is any consensus on any of these.

I’ll try two Russian-related entries. Tokarev is plain and simple, say it as you see it, “tokar”, by the way, is a lathe worker, quite appropriately. Mosin-Nagant has a Russian and a French components. Russian is again, straight forward, plain and simple. The French Nagant has a silent “t”,

How about “Oerlikon”? = Errlikon

Hispano-Suiza? = Hispanno-sweeza

This is physically hard because I cannot edit your post with additions next to the words, and cannot see them as I type this. I also can’t print out yours to read from because my piece of crap Hewlitt Packard printer hasn’t worked since October 1st, and even the tech that finally came out today spent an hour on the phone arguing with the company he works for.

I will try by going back and forth. If I miss one, forgive me. You understand that this will be what I believe are close pronunciations. There are nuances in languages that cannot be explained in any way I know how to do here.

Lapua - LAP-wa

Sako - SAHH-ko (I am trying to show the sound is like Ahhh! when you express relief.)

Tokarev - even forgetting individual letters, this is usually mispronounced badly in English, as most Americans stress the first syllable of it - TOK-a-rev.
The middle syllable should be stressed and I will give the rest my best try - to-KAR-yeff. Yuri - help us out here. My Russian pronunciation stinks!

Makarov - not on your list but similar. Not MAK-a-rove, but in English Ma-KAR-off is correct, and similar to the Russian pronunciation.

Arisaka - this is a transliteration from Japanese, and is pronounced pretty much, in English, as it is spelled. Are-e-sahkah. Japanese is monotone, without much stress on any syllable, I believe. I have heard this word spoken in Japanese, and it didn’t sound much like all english speakers familiar with the word seem to say it, including me, which is as I wrote it. It sounded more like Ar-is-ka to my untrained ear. A lot of Americans pronounce it with a softer “A” like “air-e-saka,” but that, to me, is even wrong in English. Mind you, where I have used an “e” I mean it to be pronounced as the letter of the alphabet.

Oerlikon - in English, OR-la-kon is the way most pronounce it. In German, it would have a somewhat different sound, as the O is with umlaut, I believe. If I am right, it would be closer to Er-lie-kon but I’m afraid I don’t get any cigar for that one. (I am using “lie” there in english, like to tell a lie - an untruth - not in the German pronunciation of “ie”).

Hispano-Suiza - in English, His-SPA-no SWEE-sa. In other languages, different. “H” is silent in Spanish, for example, and in that language it would sound more like E-spahno Sweesa (with “i” pronounced as we pronounce the letter “E” in the alphabet.

Manurhin - I don’t know the rules of French pronunciation. Most English speakers pronounce it MAN-your-in, with some saying Ma-NUR-in.

Mosin-Nagant - MOE-sin NAH-gant

I have tried to spell these like an American with a little knowledge of at least how the words should be stressed. I do not pretend those sounds approach how they are said by speakers native to the language they come from. Also, speakers of other languages foreign to us and to the words, will say them differently than we would as well as differently than a native speaker would.

I have used capital letters to show which syllable is stressed.

Now, don’t everyone jump on me at once. It is always “dangerous” to try to pronounce foreign words if you don’t speak the language, and I don’t speak any of those languages.

John Moss

I should have waited. The other answers came in while I was typing mine.
I don’t think Russian is quite as straight-forward to Americans as Vlad, who is fluent in both languages, thinks. He didn’t mention that most all of us put the stress on the wrong syllable in these words.

John, I perceived the same problem so copied his post and pasted it into mine without using the “quote” function.

Manurhin is an abbreviation of Manufacture d’Armes du Haut Rhin, I think it is pronounced as "Manuurh


The term “correctly pronounced” is relative, don’t you think? Wouldn’t it be more correct to ask how those terms are conventionally pronounced? Four that come to my mind, as a shooter, are LAPUA, SAKO, SABOT, and LEUPOLD. Amongst all my shooting friends and acquaintences they are:

La PU ah
SAY ko
SAY bo
LOU pold

Maybe those pronunciations are correct , but maybe not. In other parts of the world they may be completely different. But, in the end it really doesn’t matter does it?

ADD e os :) :)


Ray - I agree with you on all of those words except Lapua. It is not correct in any language to pronounce it LA-pu-a. You are dead on though, that every language group will pronounce these differently. It is a difficult subject and one that would take a thousand pages to make a comprehenisve guide or study of even the correct pronunciation as determined by common usage in any given language group, not to even mention the correct pronunciation as determined by the native language of the specific word or a company’s pronunciation of their own name. It certainly is not a subject that IAA could tangle with.

Having lived half of my adult life in the Southwest US of A, with it’s mix of Hispanic, Native American, Anglo, and now the newest, Yuppie Intellectual, I’m here to tell you that, when it comes to word pronunciation, you ain’t seen nothing yet.!!!


While we’re at it, I seem to recall that Carcano is pronunced properly as CARcano, stress on the first syllable, rather than the usually heard carCANO. Can anyone confirm this? JG

Doc Av could probably answer the question on the word “Carcano” better than I, since he is fluent in Italian, and I simply speak basic social Italian, and rather poorly at that. However, for “Carcano” to be pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, it would have to be an irregular pronunciation. Those are certainly not unknown in Italian. Some words and names are stressed on the first syllable, or even the last. They are often written with an accent mark above the vowel of the stressed syllable, such as the word for city - "citt

John: After the horse was out of the barn I thought to check Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. It doesn’t list the arms designer, but it does have Giulio Carcano, a 19th cent. Italian writer. His surname is marked to indicate stress on the first syllable. JG

I guess I should have asked what the correct pronunciation of these words are in their native language.

As for “Sabot”, in the U.S. military, it is pronounced “SAY-bow”. Up here in Vermont, the locals call it a “SA-but”. The original word is French and refers to a shoe or boot right? It is also the root word in “Sabotage”, refering to workers protesting by throwing their shoes or boots into machinery to stop it from working, or so I have been told…


I’ve always known sabot as SAH-bo

Are the Cs in Carcano hard, soft, or something in between?

Tony: According to Webster, both of the “c” sounds in Carcano are pronounced as the English “k” in “keep.” JG

Given the speed with which posts on the subject are piling up on this IAA Forum, I’d say that horse is already out of the barn ;)

Stress on Italian Words varies according to the Area of Italy where the word or name originated.

The Old rule of the stress on the second syllable of a multi-syllabic word or name might have held tru for “Standard” Italian…a clean up of Tuscan and Florentine, by about the late 1700s… BUT a lot of Dialectical variations still exist, especially in Family names, due to the different Language origins of the district of origin.

Salvatore Carcano was a Northern Italian ( Milanese, if my memory serves me), who spent most of his life at Turin Artillery Arsenal and relative factories in Turin. Stresses in Northern dialects sometimes are different from standard Italian.

CAR-ca-no is the normal (Northern) pronunciation of the Name.

As to the ethymological origin of the name, the only relationship I can see is to “Carcare”, meaning “to press”, ( medieval) is the most likely origin…but I don’t have any definite proof. Like English and French, Many Italian names originated in a trade or occupation description.

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

Interesting. I have never heard it pronounced stressed on the front syllable, even from my Italian friends (all from Northern Italy) although I have never discussed weapons with my wife’s family in Sestre Levante. It is hard enough for me to get them to speak “proprio Italiano” instead of Genovese dialect, in which I inderstand exactly one thing - it’s raining - which was a private joke between my mother-in-law and I prior to her death. She was American born, but spoke no English until she started school… I had not thought of dialects, but was only referring to the National Language, which as you say, is primarily Toscano. Of course, speaking to Italian friends in Italian, for my poor command of the language, they speak very rapidly and my ear may be hearing the word in a preconceived manner. As you know, that happens.