(21 Jan 2004 at 10:22)
|In trying to figure out once and for all how to pronounce "de Bruijn", I discovered that the dutch have a letter 'ij' that is called 'Griekse y,' meaning 'Greek y.' I finally understand why the spanish letter is called 'y griega' (or is it 'i griega'?)--I had always wondered why this one had such a bizarre name. Why don't they teach us this stuff in high school? |
|<em>Why don't they teach us this stuff in high school?</em>
Are you kidding? Teaching kids about evil, alien Europeans and their perverse languages? Why, next you'll be suggesting they learn about evolution.
|I was always a fan of
H: hache (ach-ay)
I: i (eeeee)
J: jota (ho-tah)
K: ka (kah)
in spanish...It sounds like chinese or something.
|I think it goes back to the Romans actually. Ancient Greek had a vowel in it that sounds like the French 'u' or the German u-with-dots-over-it. The Greek letter for it is Upsilon, which is that Y-with-curly-arms that you sometimes see on frat house signs. The Romans borrowed a lot of words from Greek. They used the letter Y to write that vowel, but they pronounced it just like it was an I. So their alphabet had two letters for the same sound -- one (I) for Latin words, and one (Y, the "Greek I") for Greek words.
Or something like that, anyway.
|Does that mean that it's "de-BROIN"? I've always liked that much better than "de-BROWN".|
|That's what it seems to imply, Jeff, though there are other pages on the internet that also claim authoritatively that it is de brown.|
|No no no, it's NOT "de-BROIN", otherwise we dutch would have spelled it that way.
It's something completely different, a sound not known in english.
On www.learndutch.org I found an example where you can hear the sound ui in dutch.
The man says: "Maak de zinnen af. GEBRUIK de woorden van de foto." (which means something like "complete the sentences, use the words shown in the photo")
|Oh, and in pronounciation there is no difference at all between "de Bruin", "de Bruijn" and "de Bruyn". They're all treated like it is an "ui".
The combinations "uij" and "uy" are derelict, only to be found in names, not in nouns or verbs.
Placing an "i" after another vowel originally was a way to specify a longer form of that particular vowel.
For example, there is a dutch surname "Oster" which is pronounced just like in english; but there is a city "Oisterwijk" which is pronounced "Ow-ster-wike". You don't hear the "i" at all, because it's only there to make the "o" longer. This is a relic from medieval times.
|de Bruijn needs to set up a web page like Linux did, with something like "Hi, my name is de Bruijn and I pronounce my name `de Bruijn'".|
|Tuur: From this I guess it should be rather like "de brown." My poor american ears hear 'gebrowk', at least from 8-bit 8khz .au files. If I leave out the j (as you say) then that suggests "brown". Is that close?
Andrew: Except he doesn't say "leenooks" any more (or so they say)...
|It's definitely not meant to sound as "de brown"... Dutch spell the sound "ow" as "ou". So dutch words like oud (old) and hout (wood) are pronounced somewhat like owd and howt.
The idea is something like this: after the sound "u" as in english "us" place a very very very short "ee" as in "tree". It has to be just a hint of an "ee", and then you got it, sort of.
|Yikes, that's tough. OK, I'll try that on my students next week. ;)
I'll bet we sound like Canadians saying "abouyt" when we say "de Broyn"!
|OK, tell you what: I put an mp3 on my site just so you can hear how I pronounce it!
Here it is:
|That totally sounds like "de-brown" to my American ears.|
|I guess it's the same kind of thing as Hindi speaking people in India who hear "satation" or "istation" (depending where they live in India) when British people say "station".|
|I hear the difference but I doubt I'll be able to do it. Anyway, "de brown" is apparently much closer then "de broyn"! Thanks!|