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Pronunciation of 'Feynman'

  1. Oct 30, 2005 #1
    How is it pronounced?

    The Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman) says it is pronounced like "Fine-man".

    This has been bugging me for some time.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 30, 2005 #2
    That tallies with everything I've read. FINEman, accent on the first syllable. Why is this bugging you? You think he pronounced it differently? Call Cal-Tech and ask how it's pronounced.
     
  4. Oct 30, 2005 #3

    It's bugging me because I wouldn't read it that way, and could find nothing else on the internet concerning its pronunciation.
     
  5. Oct 30, 2005 #4
    Say it out loud very loudly, a dozen or more times. Yell it at a friend or passerby. Then it'll be second nature, and you'll hear it correctly when you read it.
     
  6. Oct 30, 2005 #5

    Pengwuino

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    Yah it doesn't look like how its spoken. When I originally saw it, i thought "fayn man"
     
  7. Oct 30, 2005 #6
    I was unsure how it was pronounced when I first saw it as well, and I settled on FAYNman, untill someone corrected me. I've read three biographies of him, and all concur that it's FINEman. Feynman is probably a poorly chosen spelling of the German/Yiddish Feinman.
     
  8. Oct 30, 2005 #7

    ZapperZ

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    Then you might pop a vein when you realize that "Einstein", "Brillouin", etc. are not pronounced the way they are spelled.

    Zz.
     
  9. Oct 30, 2005 #8

    EL

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    You should now how funny english sounds if I would pronounce it like it is spelled...:wink:
     
  10. Oct 30, 2005 #9

    selfAdjoint

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    How about Goethe?

    In Chicago there is a Goethe Avenue; the locals pronounce it Go-eth. But then they have also a Devon Avenue, which they pronounce Dee-Von.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2005
  11. Oct 30, 2005 #10

    ZapperZ

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    In Texas, there's "Houston" prounced as "Hius-ton". In NYC, there's Houston St, pronounced as "House-ton". That's how the New Yorkers can tell if you're an out-of-towner.

    Zz.
     
  12. Oct 31, 2005 #11

    FredGarvin

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    The first level was pronouncing Houston St. properly. The second level was knowing what Soho stood for.

    I always thought Einstein sounded just like it was spelled...
     
  13. Oct 31, 2005 #12

    ZapperZ

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    Or Tribeca, etc... But New Yorkers, especially those living in Manhattan, do pronouce it as "Hous-ton".

    It's "Ein-Schtein".

    Zz.
     
  14. Oct 31, 2005 #13
    Diffirent People Pronounce It Difiirently (wish I Cud Spell)
     
  15. Oct 31, 2005 #14
    I think it's like Ein-shtein.:tongue2: I may be wrong, but that's how I heard it on a German TV channel we receive.

    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,8495,00.html [Broken]

    (Don't forget to take part in the quiz and win an Einstein action figure! :biggrin: )
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  16. Oct 31, 2005 #15
    Looks like I type too slow.:blushing:
     
  17. Oct 31, 2005 #16
    I'm reading "Don't You Have Time To Think?" at the moment and in a letter from someone from his childhood the pronunciation of Feynman as "FINE-man" on a radio programme is mocked. However, there was no reply printed from the man himself. Make of that what you will.
     
  18. Oct 31, 2005 #17
    German speakers pronounce the second syllable as "shtine" but no one in the US or UK or Canada or Australia does. It's "stine" in all those places.
     
  19. Oct 31, 2005 #18

    ZapperZ

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    That's besides the point. People bastardizes pronouciations all the time. It is how the person's name is pronouced either by his/her immediately family, or by him/herself that matters. Einstein spoke German, and grew up German. That is how his name was pronounced if one wants to be accurate.

    Zz.
     
  20. Oct 31, 2005 #19
    I don't think it necessary to adopt a faux German accent every time you want to say a German name. In fact, I think it's a tad pretentious to do so.
     
  21. Oct 31, 2005 #20
    Matters of correct pronounciation aren't established that way in the uniquely ecclectic English language. It is a matter of the majority rules when it comes to pronounciation of any word. For English speaking peoples "stine" is correct. It is a bastardization, and it is not the way Einstein himself pronounced it, but it is how it happened to evolve. English is well known to be the least logical language there is. "Einstein" came into our language incorrectly, but "Mozart" did not.
     
  22. Oct 31, 2005 #21

    ZapperZ

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    I don't want to get into a debate on this, but notice that I never mentioned anything about being correct.

    It is more of a matter of respect in trying to get the pronounciation accurate. I work with many people from all over the world, and regardless of how that person's name is spelled, I always ask how he or she WISH his/her name to be pronounced. I may not get it completely right, but I certainly don't want to be THAT far off.

    You also don't want to hear loud snickering when you pronounce "Auger" the way it is spelled, no matter what the standard English pronounciation says.

    Zz.
     
  23. Oct 31, 2005 #22

    Moonbear

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    I can't agree on that when it comes to people's names. Their name is their name, and we don't get to vote to change the pronunciation of it. It really makes me cringe when someone makes no attempt at all to correctly pronounce someone's name even after being told the correct pronunciation. It can be difficult, especially if it involves unfamiliar sounds not found in the English language, but it's always worth a best effort. As Zz said, it's something done out of respect to show you care enough to get their name right.
     
  24. Nov 1, 2005 #23

    Galileo

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    By the way. Do you guys know why Einstein could never build a wall?

    ...He only had 'ein stein'.


    crawls back to the hole he came from
     
  25. Nov 1, 2005 #24
    In any case of a foreign pronounciation it boils down to how easy a pronounciation is to pick up on. Apparently the way it worked out for Einstein is that too many people balked at, as El Hombre Invisible pointed out, sounding like they were affecting a German accent. The fact is that the vast majority of English speakers have taken to pronouncing it more or less as it seems to be spelt. That being the case, "stine" and not "shtine" has become the "correct" i.e.standard, English pronounciation. Simply put, if you go around calling him "Einshtine" people are going to think you're affected, odd, or otherwise off. There's obviously no disrespect involved.
     
  26. Nov 1, 2005 #25

    ZapperZ

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    Sorry, that last part is not true.

    I have presented MANY talks, and in my line of work involving photoemission and photocathodes, the name "Einstein" appeared many times in my presentation. I have never had people thinking that I'm "affected, odd, or otherwise off". In fact, on the contrary, I've even had a few members of the audience followed suit in pronoucing his name that way. And considering that the audience were made up of an international conglomerate of people, I have seen a few approving nods especially from those who do speak German.

    The same is true with "Brillouin". While almost everyone here in the US pronounced it as "Bree-lou-in", I have always tried to pronounce it the way it should sound in French, even when I am illiterate in French. One of my thesis committee during my defense even complimented on the fact that I found out the "correct" way to pronounce Brillouin's name.

    From my perspective, anyone who pronounced someone's name the way it should be pronounced shows that the person cared enough to make an effort and a sign of respect. I see nothing negative at all about this.

    Zz.
     
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