I'm hardly a linguist, but it's impossible to not notice.

Throughout the show, Major Kira refers to Bajor and Bajoran with a hard J, while everyone else (it seems) uses a soft J. Is there any in-universe explanation for this? Perhaps a dialectical thing from the province she was from? Or was it just something that Nana Visitor did--in which case, why?

  • 3
    I'd be interested to see if anyone can find and interview with cast and crew that explains this, but the most likely explanation is the scripts didn't come with a defined pronunciation and the actors just did the best they could with what they had.
    – K Mo
    Jul 22, 2020 at 20:03
  • 6
    st-minutiae.com/resources/scripts/402.txt - "BAJOR = BAY-jor". So she's pronouncing it the right way, according to the script notes
    – Valorum
    Jul 22, 2020 at 20:08
  • 6
    @Valorum, but due to the...interesting...properties of English, BAY-jor could still end up being pronounced either BAY-djor or BAY-zhor depending on the person reading it: that's why a IPA is necessary if you want something pronounced precisely. Jul 22, 2020 at 20:52
  • 7
    @Valorum, incidentally, Sudanese-born English actor Alexander Siddig, Irish actor Colm Meaney, and Canadian actor Nicole de Boer wave hello. Jul 22, 2020 at 21:24
  • 18
    I asked Garak, and he assured me the correct pronunciation is "Cardassia Minor". Jul 22, 2020 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


Due to the nature of English spelling, someone reading Bajor could end up being pronounced either BAY-djor or BAY-zhor depending on the person reading it, because of the way the letter "j" can represent multiple sounds: that's why an IPA spelling is necessary if you want something pronounced precisely ('be d͡ʒɔɹ) or ('be ʒɔɹ) would be the case.

If someone saw the "j" and assumed it was pronounced like in June, there's your "hard j". If someone thought "Aha, foreign word like bonjour", then "soft-J". English speakers often do that even if the word should have a sound more like the "hard-j". Note how you'll usually hear "Bay-zhing" for the capital of China when it more accurately should be "Bay-dzhing", and how the Indian word raj ends up being "razh" instead of the more accurate "radzh".

So it might simply been different cast members interpreting it in different ways.

  • 1
    This seems to be more of an elucidation of the question than an answer in and of itself.
    – Yehuda
    Jul 23, 2020 at 15:02
  • It puts forward the possibility that "it was just something Nana Visitor did" compared to other cast members and the reason why. Thus, an answer. Jul 23, 2020 at 15:35
  • 1
    Anecdotally, I pronounce my own last name differently depending on how fully I'm using my first and middle names. When I'm using the shortened version of my first name, my last name "a" that I pronounce like "anne". When I'm using the full version of my first name, or including my middle name, or using my first two initials in lieu of a name, I pronounce that same letter more like "ahn". (Sorry, I don't know the IPA.)
    – T.J.L.
    Jul 24, 2020 at 12:44
  • @T.J.L. wow, I was pronouncing it tuh-jul. I had it totally wrong, my apologies!
    – FreeMan
    Sep 17, 2020 at 16:50

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