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Ole Gunnar Solskjær: How to pronounce Manchester United manager's name correctly

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's return to Manchester United raises the issue of how to pronounce his name
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United return means more people have to learn to say his name.

This article has been updated since it was originally published on Dec. 20 2018

Manchester United's permanent appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager raises some immediate questions about how -- after an excellent three-month stint as caretaker -- the Norwegian will cope with being in charge of one of the world's biggest clubs in a full-time basis.

It also raises another, perhaps even more pressing, question: How exactly do you pronounce "Solskjaer"?

That's an issue that football fans, pundits and commentators struggled with during the 11 years that the "Baby-Faced Assassin" was playing at Old Trafford, and it's sure to trip up a few tongues now he is in the dugout.

When he took over at Cardiff in 2014, Solskjaer offered the simple solution of just calling him "Ollie."

But for those who want to master the last name as well, here's a brief guide: Solskjaer can basically be divided into two syllables: "Sol" and "skjaer."

The "Sol" part isn't that difficult -- if you say it the way you would say Sol Campbell's first name, you're not too far off (though Norwegians use a longer "oo" sound).

"Skjaer" is where it gets tricky for many. In Norwegian, the "skj" combination of letters is basically the same as the English "shh" sound. The "ae" comes from the Norwegian/Danish letter "æ," which symbolises the vowel sound in words such as "chair" or "bare."

If you just pronounce it like "chair" but with "sh" in front, you've got it: Sool-shair. Sort of.

Perhaps it's easier to listen to a Norwegian say it (courtesy of Forvo, "the largest pronunciation dictionary in the world" which provides "all the words in all the languages pronounced by native speakers," it says here).

Now you know. But if still in doubt, then any variation of "Boss," "Gaffer" or "Ole" are also acceptable.


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