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Thread: Layla or Leila

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I actually like the look of Leila better, as I find Layla looks too phonetic to me, but I think if you want to enforce pronunciation, Layla would always get Lay-la while Leila would possibly get Lay-la, Lie-la and Lee-la. So basically it's down to how much you want to be correcting people: I find Leila nicer but more problematic.

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  2. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by renrose View Post
    Laila/Layla/Leila is a funny one x_x It seems to have two separate roots, one Arabic and one Nordic. There's also the Hawaiian Leilani (lay-lah-nee) but I'm leaving that one for now.

    This is what I've found so far on Forvo when I checked spelling against pronunciation:

    Swedish/Norwegian/Finnish LAILA: 'lie-la'
    Swedish/Norwegian/Finnish LEILA: 'lay-la'

    German LEILA: 'lee-la'

    Hebrew LAILA: 'lie-la'

    Azerbaijani LAYLA: 'lie-la'

    I then went hunting down a classical Arabic pronunciation and found a (beautiful) reading of a Qu'ran passage in which the speaker says the word 'night'. There it's been transcribed as 'laylati/u'. Click on LAYLA below to hear it for yourselves:

    Classical Arabic LAYLA: 'lay-la'


    In conclusion it seems that (not counting changes in dialect as there are some modern Arabic based languages who use 'lie-la') that:

    Classical Arabic pronunciation = 'lay-la' (with Layla or Laila as the spellings)
    Nordic pronunciation = 'lie-la' (as Laila) and 'lay-la' (as Leila).

    Neither root uses the 'lee-la' pronunciation.

    The Germans seem to be the only anomaly, pronouncing Leila as 'lee-la' which I find very odd (since nein is 'n-eye-n' and Liesl is 'lee-zl') Of course, that gentleman could be an anomaly himself as his was the only German entry.


    My personal preference is the Arabic pronunciation with Laila as the spelling.
    Wow this is very detailed. I'm becoming more partial to Laila than Leila. As much as I love Layla, the seemingly trendy spelling kind of puts me off.

  3. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    I prefer Layla! Leila doesn't look as nice and confuses me.
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  4. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    1 Leila - pretty and delicate
    2 Laila - more Arabic than the Leila spelling but still fine
    3 Layla - just looks like a trendy, phonetic spelling to me

    I pronounce all of these names the same (lay-luh).
    All the best,

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    I prefer Leila.

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