Pronounciation: "stein" #general


Sue Martin
 

The correct German pronunciation is 'shtine'.

Obviously, the American pronunciation is 's' rather than 'sh'.
'Stine' is definitely correct. I've also heard people say 'steen,'
but to my mind that's incorrect, or at least a mutation of the
correct/original pronunciation.

Sue Martin

- Original Message -
From: David Rafky
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 12:10pm
Subject: Pronounciation: "stein"

A gentile friend pointed out that some names ending in "stein" are
pronounced "stine" while others are pronounced "steen." What can
I tell him?


Roger Lustig
 

Dave:

Tell your friend that all of these names were originally in Germanic
languages - generally German or Yiddish. Funny things happen to
pronunciations when spelling (or, in the case of Yiddish,
transliteration for reading as German) is retained even in the
environment of a different language.

In modern German the 'ei' combination has the vowel sound you get in
"fine." The 'ie' combination has the sound you get in "seen."

Of course, both vowels and consonants change >from dialect to dialect and
also shift over time. Yiddish having evolved >from an earlier form of
German, the vowels don't exactly correspond even if the Yiddish word is
recognizably the same as the one in modern German. In some regions, the
sound in Yiddish that corresponds to the 'ei' of 'stein' sounds closer
to the one in 'brain'.

German has its dialects too. Up north (Low German) the 'st' at the
beginning of a syllable is pronounced as we have it in English: the
initial sound in 'stop.' Elsewhere (and in standard school German) it's
pronounced 'sht.'

The 'sht' pronunciation is evident in the transliteration of Jewish
names into languages other than German. In Polish, what we'd write as
STEIN is SZTAJN. Pronounce that Polish-style and it sounds like
"shtine." And >from Russian - well, think of the author Gary SHTEYNGART.

Accordingly, the "original" pronunciation of 'stein' is always (more or
less) 'shtine.'

The 'steen' version comes >from English-speaking people reading the
letters as though they'd always been in English. Which is why many
immigrants changed the spelling of their name when they got to a country
with a different language - to keep the sound, which mattered more to them.

But others were more interested in keeping the spelling...

Roger Lustig
Princeton, NJ USA

On 8/23/2014 12:10 PM, David Mayer Rafky dave15851585@... wrote:
A gentile friend pointed out that some names ending in "stein" are
pronounced "stine" while others are pronounced "steen." What can
I tell him?


Evertjan. <exxjxw.hannivoort@...>
 

jewishgen@... (David Mayer Rafky dave15851585@...)
wrote on 23 aug 2014 in soc.genealogy.jewish:

A gentile friend pointed out that some names ending in "stein" are
pronounced "stine" while others are pronounced "steen." What can
I tell him?
You gently tell him his gentileness does not matter in this case.

They all *should be* pronounced "-stayn", being the German for "stone".

cf: Einstein: "Aynstayn".

However, how they *are* pronounced in the USA, [which perhaps was
what you meant, though did not specify] *could* be beyond logic,
I *would* not know.

Evertjan Hannivoort.
The Netherlands.
exjxwxhannivoortATinterxnlxnet
(Please change the x'es to dots)


Jules Levin
 

On 8/23/2014 11:07 AM, Susan K Martin martin@... wrote:
The correct German pronunciation is 'shtine'.

Obviously, the American pronunciation is 's' rather than 'sh'.
'Stine' is definitely correct. I've also heard people say 'steen,'
but to my mind that's incorrect, or at least a mutation of the
correct/original pronunciation.
steen is probably strictly an American invention, and shtine would be
the correct literary German pronunciation. However, German was also
spoken in the Baltic area, including East Prussia of course, and in the
German dialect used in that area (as well as in Yiddish I believe) the
older pronunciation shtain (as in English pain, Spain, rain) was still
used. So in fact if someone brought a Stein name >from that area, they
could have heard -shtain.

Jules Levin
Los Angeles


david rafky
 

A gentile friend pointed out that some names ending in "stein" are
pronounced "stine" while others are pronounced "steen." What can
I tell him?

Dave Rafky in Miami

[MODERATOR NOTE: JGDG guidelines require that all messages sent to
us for posting must be signed with the full name of the submitter.]


Nicole Heymans <Nicole.Heymans@...>
 

Remember "Young Frankenstein" where on being addressed as Frankenstein
he says "That's Fronkensteen".

Nicole Heymans, near Brussels, Belgium

MODERATOR: And with that, this thread officially comes to a close.

At 08:04 24/08/2014, you wrote:

A gentile friend pointed out that some names ending in "stein" are
pronounced "stine" while others are pronounced "steen." What can
I tell him?

Dave Rafky in Miami