How to pronounce Huygens – come on, you know you’ve worried about it…. :-)
Yay! Thank you, Deana. We were just talking about it this weekend. BBC America’s reporter on NPR pronounced it “Hoygens”, too. Ah, well. We can’t all speak Dutch. But we can try!
OK, so how would we transliterate that? Hau-heunss, with a bit of phlegm in the second h?
Reminds me of the “lee-noox”, “lie-nix”, “lih-nux” issue from the last decade. Linus pronounced it “lee-noox” in a much-shared “authoritative audio file”:http://www.safalra.com/science/linguistics/linux.html, but years later it turned out he’d gotten used to calling it “lih-nux” because most people around him did, and he didn’t even mind people calling it “lie-nix”.
I still can’t say it, but I’ve cleared my throat out a bit and brought my girlfriend into the room to see what the hell I was doing.
Oh, Steve. (Eh, Steve!) Hoygens himself would be so proud! I’m laughing because I’m teaching a culture and language class and last Wednesday afternoon I had about 35 students making similarly throat-clearing sounds, all at the same time… :-)
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