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How should I read "Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind" in German? Please use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for German to show how to read it.

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  • Richard Dedekind was a famous mathematician so I've heard the name said a number of times, at least by English speaking mathematicians. I don't remember ever hearing the name pronounced differently than you'd expect as an English speaker. The pronunciation of "Richard", however, is very different in German compared to English.
    – RDBury
    Nov 23, 2022 at 15:52
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    @RDBury English speakers usually read it as [ˈdɪdkɪnd] which is different from what Hubert Schölnast gives as follows.
    – M. Logic
    Nov 23, 2022 at 16:26
  • Yes, there are some minor difference owing to the German "accent". In particular a 'd' at the end of word in German sounds much like a 't' in English. Different languages have different sounds, and while sounds can be similar between languages, they are rarely exactly the same. IPA is really just an approximation, so it's a matter of how detailed you want to get. We can't teach you to speak like a native German speaker, and it takes a lot of practice just come close.
    – RDBury
    Nov 23, 2022 at 18:21

1 Answer 1

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This name is pronounced [ˈdeːdəˌkɪnt].

His whole name is "Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind", but he became known as "Richard Dedekind" which is pronounced [ˈʁɪçaʁt ˈdeːdəˌkɪnt]

  • Julius = [ˈjuːli̯ʊs]
  • Wilhelm = [ˈvɪlhɛlm]
  • Richard = [ˈʁɪçaʁt]
  • Dedekind = [ˈdeːdəˌkɪnt]

(In souther regions of Germany and even more in Austria you will also hear [ˈʁɪçaʁd] and [ˈdeːdəˌkɪnd], because people in these regions use slightly different pronunciation rules, but Dedekind was born in Braunschweig in Lower Saxony which is in the north of Germany. So only the versions [ˈʁɪçaʁt] and [ˈdeːdəˌkɪnt] are correct.)

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  • This is in IPA for German while not IPA for English?
    – M. Logic
    Nov 23, 2022 at 15:41
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    The letter I in IPA stands for "International" (IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet). There is not a German or an English version of this Alphabet. That's the point of having an international phonetic alphabet. It is explained here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA Nov 23, 2022 at 16:30
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    @M.Logic: No! It's [ˈdeːdəˌkɪnt] everywhere. No matter if your native language is Arabic, Japanese, Suaheli, Navaho, English or German. Maybe you have troubles to pronounce it correctly if you're not a German native speaker, but still only [ˈdeːdəˌkɪnt] is correct. [ˈdeɪdəˌkɪnt] is not. I think what you mean, is that the long vowel [eː] does not exist in English words. ([e] exists only as part of a diphthong in English, like ... Nov 23, 2022 at 17:35
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    ... in "break" = [bɹeɪk/]) And [θ] does not exist in German. So what? The only correct pronunciation of "Smith" is still [smɪθ], also for German native speakers, which causes troubles to many of us (many of us say [smɪs]), but it doesn't change how this name is pronounced correctly. ([smɪs] is wrong. It's as wrong as [ˈdeɪdəˌkɪnt].) And also "Dedekind" is still correctly pronounced [ˈdeːdəˌkɪnt], no matter what your native language is. Nov 23, 2022 at 17:35
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    “Richard” is in practice more likely to be pronounced [ˈʁəçat] in standard and northern German, [ˈrɪçət] in some southern dialects. Only very deliberate pronunciation will bring out the second rhotic. Nov 23, 2022 at 23:25

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