You can pronounce antifascist any number of ways according to national dialect and idiolect. I use a nasal alveolar flap, hence [ˌæɾ᷈iˈfæʃɪst].
A shortened form now in common use is antifa. How do you pronounce it?
Logically you’d use your native pronunciation of antifascist and knock off the last syllable. But that’s a complete non-starter. It would leave me with [ˌæɾ᷈iˈfæ] – strong stress at the end of the word and the same vowel as in cat. Like a teenager leaving the nest, albeit with purple hair and no ability to bench-press, you have to look at antifa as a creature unto itself.
The problem here is the variability of words that begin with anti‑ (in various senses): antidote, anti-inflammatory, antigen, antithesis. I’ve heard antifa pronounced about half a dozen different ways. There seems to be a convergence on this pronunciation:
- an·TEE·fa – Strong stress on middle syllable; start that syllable with T; end vowel is the same as in hut and is not [a:] or schwa†
- IPA: [ˌænˈtiːfʌ]
Evidence from recordings
I trimmed each clip down to a few seconds before the utterance and a few seconds after. Some clips contain two utterances; two utterances span two clips in one case. All clips are
I’m giving colloquial phonetic transcriptions (a joke – you saw how much explanation I needed above [see daggered† section]) and International Phonetic Alphabet.
As ever, there are more right-wing sources than left-wing. Both sides’ pronunciations are converging nonetheless.
|Brooke Gladstone||en-US||an·TEE·fa||[ˌænˈtiːfʌ] ✔|
|Central PA Antifa||an·TEE·fə||[ˌænˈtiːfə], [ˌænˈtiːfʌ] ✔||First with schwa, second with [ʌ]|
|Mike Cernovich||an·tye·fa||[ˈænˌta͜ifa]||Stress on first syllable, different vowel|
|Katrina||an·TEE·fa||[ˌænˈtsiːfʌ]||Assibilation on T|
|Louie Bee||an·TEE·fa||[ˌænˈtiːfʌ] ✔||Possible assibiliation (masked by lousy audio quality)|
|Mark Bray||an·TEE·fa||[ˌænˈtiːfʌ] ✔|
|Joe Rogan & Gavin McInnes||an·TEE·fa||[ˌænˈtiːfʌ] ✔||They even discussed the pronunciation|
|Virgil Edwards||en-US-KY||an·TEE·fa||[ˈæːnˌtifʌ]||Stress on first syllable (drawled)|
|Christopher Wilson||en-CA||an·TEE·fa||[ˌænˈtiːfə], [ˌænˈtəːfʌ]||First with [iː], second with schwa|
|Milo||en-UK||an·TEE·fa||[ˌænˈtsiːfʌ]||Assibilation on T|
|Party for Freedom||en-AU||ãn·tee·faa||[ˈæ᷈nˌtifɐː], [ˈæ᷈ˌɾ᷈ifɐː]||Nasal vowel at front, different at end. Second pronunciation uses nasal alveolar flap||Oz 1|
|Gary Orsum||an·tee·faa||[ˈæ᷈ntiˌfɐː]||Long nasal vowel, secondary stress at end||Oz 2|