How do you pronounce Totara?

Bernadette Parry is the Client Support Coordinator at eWorks. Her role involves juggling all sorts of client-focused tasks including start-up TrainingVC training, advanced Moodle training and support desk services. If you have ever wondered how to pronounce Totara, or how it fits into the LMS world, Bernadette might just have the answer.

What is Totara?

Totara is a high quality Learning Management System (LMS) for enterprise organisations. It sort of ‘sits on top of’ Moodle, adding features which are required by the corporate sector such as the ability to:

  • Create individual development plans
  • Manage training events
  • Track learning progress and compliance.

That’s all well and good, but how do you pronounce Totara?

  1. T-TARa – with a bit of a stutter and an emphasis on the ‘TAR’, as one of my colleagues pronounces it
  2. TOW-dera – with emphasis on the ‘tow’ and little emphasis on the ‘dera’. I completed the Totara LMS Administration course in 2014, and an American from TotaraLMS was pronouncing it this way
  3. Towtera – with equal emphasis on the ‘tow’ and the ‘ter’ – as the Irish presenter in the Totara LMS Administration course pronounced it
  4. Tot-ra – as in ‘tow truck’, without the ‘ck’. When I first heard of Totara in 2011, this is how I heard it pronounced.

So far I have gone with option 4… the main reason is that I heard this pronunciation (and that Totara was a New Zealand tree), from Austen Sinclair in an iMoot 2013 session. Being from New Zealand (where Totara was developed), and working with Totara – I’ve taken his word for it. He said ‘Toetra – try to say it in one syllable’.

A Totara tree

The image above is a New Zealand Totara tree. Beautiful isn’t it? It’s a podocarp tree endemic to New Zealand which grows throughout the North Island and northeastern South Island. Prized for its carving properties, the wood from totara trees was the primary wood used in Māori carving and to make waka in traditional Maori boat building.

How will you pronounce Totara?

But more importantly, are you taking advantage of its many great features? Confused and have no idea what Totara is? Struggling to figure out which LMS is best for your organisation? Contact eWorks for some friendly advice.