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I have worked in the IT (Information Technology) industry in Germany for over 15 years. I have always heard the acronym "IT" pronounced as in English [eye-tee], even when speaking in German.

My daughter is now in an "IT Grundkurs" at school and the teacher pronounces it with the German pronunciation [ee-tay].

  1. Has anyone ever heard the German pronunciation of IT actually used?

  2. Is there any definitive source where I could "prove" that the English pronunciation is standard, e.g. is there some kind of German linguistic association (such as in France the Académie française) which decides which pronunciation and spelling of even borrowed words is standard?

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We have an german term for "IT", but it is oldfashioned and therefore rarely used: It is "EDV" (elektronische Daten-Verarbeitung) –  Hubert Schölnast Jun 13 at 5:46
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And I always thought EDV meant "Erfahrung durch Verlust"... :-) –  Thorsten Dittmar Jun 13 at 6:49
    
In German you don't usually use IT, you say "Informatik". IT you pronounce like you do in English [eye-tee]. –  Quandary Jun 13 at 13:34
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Well, the term "Informatik" has some intersection with what is considered IT, but it doesn't cover all of it. Definitions vary, but hardware-related IT topics may possibly be closer to "Nachrichtentechnik". –  Hulk Jun 13 at 22:07
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I have never heard "ee-tay" (Germanised: eh-täi). That's a weird one. –  Raphael Jun 14 at 11:11

6 Answers 6

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I never heard Germans (including myself) pronounce it other than eye-tee. I also think that this is the correct way to pronounce it since Information Technology is an English term and therefore should be pronounced English, not German.

However if IT would refer to Informationstechnologie it is a German word and should be pronounced German. Though Informationstechnologie is a correct German word I never heard it.

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But I don't hear "Information Technology" either. It's always the abbreviation that's used, either pronounced in German or English. –  stevenvh Jun 12 at 15:28
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I read information technology in english some times but never did so with Informationstechnologie. Instead, germans often use Informatik to refer to the same field. –  marstato Jun 12 at 15:32
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Did you ever hear Informationstechnik instead, perhaps? I’ve heard and read both. –  Crissov Jun 12 at 21:14
    
I do hear and read Informationstechnik every now and then, yes. –  marstato Jun 12 at 21:43
    
Although on the German Wikipedia page for "Informationstechnik", it suggests only the English pronunciation of "IT": de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informationstechnik –  Edward Tanguay Jun 12 at 22:09

There is no organisation that decides how words are to be pronounced in German, but the Duden agrees with you, and that would be good enough for many people.

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I think both are used and both are correct. It's not like it's an exclusively English term; "IT" in German is also the abbreviation of "Informationstechnologie" (Information Technology, rather than Internet Technology).

You're likely to hear the English "eye-tee" more in international companies.

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The German equivalent for IT, which is pronounced 'eye tea' as previous answers suggest, is EDV Elektronische Datenverarbeitung. Depending on context of course but often you can use that to circumnavigate the issue.

Before the computing geeks go crazy: Yes they are not the same thing, but often used as synonyms, especially in a professional environment.

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The German word "Informationstechnologie" in its abbreviated version is pronounced "eye-tee", i.e. English pronunciation.

A German pronunciation would be rather awkward. The non-abbreviated version is almost always German, however.

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The pronounciation of foreign-language abbreviations is an interesting topic, and of course, there is no right or wrong.

One abbrevation that, in my experience, has two "valid" pronounciations is IBM. Some say i-beh-äm, and others ei-bie-äm.

With IT, the odds are 9:1 for ei-tie vs. i-teh, IMHO (Stuttgart area)

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