How is Hagia Sophia pronounced in English?

How is Hagia Sophia pronounced in English?

Any clearly discernible audio or video clips would also be helpful.

My history teachers always pronounced it “ah-ee-ah Sophia”, but I would double check

Or Eye’ Yah Sow Fee’ Yah


That is the middle-eastern way of pronouncing it, correct?

Because I think it is even spelled differently to the Turks (Aya vs Hagiah)

To the best of my knowledge it’s pronounced a-YEE-ah soh-FEE-ah

I’ve been studying modern greek for a few months. If that’s wrong, someone please correct me.

Pace e Bene

The third letter of the Greek alphabet does not have the hard G sound as in English, and becomes a Y before I or E.

Furthermore, the H is silent, as it’s a breathing mark.

So you get

ah YEE ah so FEE ah

or… eye EE ah

How sure are you of the accent on the EE? I have normally heard it dipthonged in the Y of eye, where the ey- of eye is accented, and slides over the -Ye, just as you do when you pronounce the word eye…

My call to Papadopolis went unanswered!

So my theory of AH-Yah remains in question!


Like this: “Holy Wisdom”. :wink:

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


When I was in Turkey (or rather Turkiye) a few years ago, I recall the natives pronouncing it “eye-yah so-fee-yah.” I’m 99% sure, at least, but I can’t be 100% sure. My father concurs…:wink:

Prayers and petitions,

The other way to pronounce it in English:

How ever it looks like it should be pronounced (phonetically)

I and my venerable ancestors (my parents) have typically pronounced it HAh-gi-a so-PHI-a.

That’s how I was shown too…

Of course, that pesky OP asks us how to pronounce it in ENGLISH!!




The DOG!

He didn’t ask how it was pronounced in GREEK!


This is SO humiliating!

How can we go on??

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Looks like I failed…again.:frowning: :smiley:


If an American came across the name Mr. Schwartz, he would pronounce it like shorts and warts combined: Shworts, with the second half being swallowed. If an Austrian saw the name, he would pronounce the w as a v, say the a as in argue, and emphasize the second half: Shvarts. If someone said Scvorts in either language people would be confused, at best.

Any comparable expectations in English for saying Hagia Sophia?

Obviously Austrians don’t know Schnartz about Schvarts…

I would bet that they haven’t even MET Schnartz!


Well, I got ahold of Leonides finally this morning when he returned my call, and BpBasilPhx is correct, it is properly, in Greek, pronounced
ah YEE ah sew FEE ah…

So much for my theories…

I tell ya, my theories get wrecked on the rocks of reality 9 times out of 10 any more…

Glory to God!


… say something like, “Ach du lieber, doesn’t he know it should be spelled ‘Schwarz’!” :smiley:

:slight_smile: Now he does.

Do you know those people who are speaking in unaccented English then all of a sudden switch accents for one or two words which are borrowed into English and generally don’t retain their accents? Words like adobe, iguana, and walkabout. Do you know how most people look at them like they are crazy?

If someone were reading aloud or giving a lecture or otherwise holding a conversation and came across Hagia Sophia and said “ah YEE ah sew FEE ah” with a Greek accent, wouldn’t people give them the same look?

I think the pronunciation of English is Ayasofya
For more information, please visit:
Hagia Sophia