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The correct pronounciation of de Broglie

  1. Jun 1, 2013 #1
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  3. Jun 1, 2013 #2


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    Only if you speak French. :smile: Note that Wikipedia gives an alternate English pronunciation. Similarly there are two pronunciations for Einstein - the Germans call him "Einshtein".
  4. Jun 2, 2013 #3


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    There's really one pronounciation: the one in the original language. Though this might be difficult for Chinese, Russian or Polish, I consider making this effort to be a matter of respect. In my daily work, I have to speak (in German :biggrin:) to someone of Chinese origin and she has a simple name: Xu. She was pretty upset when I first said <Chu> instead of the original <Shu>.

    So yeah, use wikipedia or google translate to get the right sounds. Knowing how to speak correctly makes a difference.
  5. May 4, 2015 #4


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    It's always hard to tell with the French. They throw away perfectly good letters for no apparent reason. All my life I pronounced "Fresnel" as "Fres nell" only to find out recently that it's "Fre nell" because those damned French have thrown out a perfectly good "s".
  6. May 5, 2015 #5


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  7. May 5, 2015 #6


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    I concur that this is the correct pronunciation. That name is particularly difficult, even for a native francophone, if you haven't heard it before, as it comes from Italian: the de Broglie are descendant from the di Broglia house. The "gli" in Italian is pronounced "lli," and this was passed down to the French version of the name. Normally, "gli" in French would have a hard g sound, like in glycérine (the first syllable sounds like glee), same as in English.
  8. May 6, 2015 #7


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    In this respect, the French are really not much different than native English speakers. :-p

    In all seriousness, the pronunciation of De Broglie is indeed tricky because the surname is in fact of Italian origin, as Louis de Broglie is a descendant of an aristocratic family of northern Italian origin, and the pronunciation is consistent with Italian rules of pronunciation.

  9. May 8, 2015 #8


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    Quite an imbroglio.

    The name is as was said Italian. But then you could say there was not such a thing as Italian when the family got its name. More particularly the family was originally Piedmontese, so it would need a scholar to be sure of how it was originally pronounced. If it was the modern Italian gli sound, that is difficult for French or anyone else to pronounce right - my guess is it had to be made simple for anyone in France and I have heard that it is pronounced De Brouy (or Broowy roughly). For that matter 'de' is pronounced differently in French and Italian - well modern French and Italian that is... difficult. Language spoken in Piedmont might have been nearer to French centuries ago - it was part of the Kingdom of Savoy-Piedmont, and nearly always under strong influence of France with French the language of Court.
  10. Feb 20, 2017 #9
    I listen to French TV from Paris on a regular basis and I finally found out that my pronunciation had been wrong all along, although French is my first language. The correct pronoucviation is de Breuille, which would not help a non-French because the strange sound of "euil" does not exist in English. A close English approximation would be "de Broy" especially if you separate the pronunciation of the o and the y. In other words, less like "boy" and more like bro-y. Apparently the origins are Italian. Every language has its peculiarities, like Leicester Square and many other examples in English.
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