Beeminder Forum

How do you pronounce "akrasia"?

I was explaining something about Beeminder to my 8yo son and realized I did not actually know how to pronounce the word “akrasia”. I had to look it up and found that according to the OED there are two pronunciations in common usage. (Incidentally, both are different from the way you would pronounce it in ancient Greek.) So I am curious to know how others around here pronounce it.


In German it is pronounced following the usual rules of the language: [aˈkrasja]

In regards to English, I found three examples (No IPA, just audio):

  • US turning the “s” into a “sh”
  • UK #1 leaving the “s” an “s”
  • UK #2 which is labeled as Australian but it’s Allain de Botton who is a swiss-born British philosopher

How it sounded in ancient Greek however is very much impossible to say not only because we obviously don’t have voice recordings from that time but even more important is that the language was so widely used it sounded different in every place and the language changed over time in pronunciation. E.g. there was the Byzantium and the Mycenaean flavour together with many dialects and it changed roughly every 200 years.
Source (DE).


uh-KRAY-zhuh – rhymes with Asia.


For what it’s worth, the modern Greek equivalent word is “akratia” , but it’s main current use is in regards to lack of control of one’s bodily functions (due to old age) :smiley:
In terms of willpower, the opposite εγκρατεια word is being used.

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For what it’s worth #2 , a modern Greek pronounces this with a s-EE-uh, not a “Z” :slight_smile:

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