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Posted By: probably blue Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 03:29 AM
Might be a dumb thread...

Is it:

Sho-pawn (heard some)

Chop-in (lol-just for the laughs)

Sho-pan??

Sho as in show or is it said cho??

I genuinely can’t find a clear answer...
Posted By: Rubens Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 03:39 AM
Show pain.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 03:49 AM
I have always followed this

Posted By: probably blue Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 04:00 AM
Originally Posted by Rubens
Show pain.
Ah yes, the best composer! Show Pain!


Originally Posted by dogperson
I have always followed this

Sounds like a sho-pawn or something thanks.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 04:11 AM
Everybody appears to say show pan. As in show rhyming with go, and pan rhyming with span.
Posted By: JosephW Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 04:40 AM
Finally, my wife can stop looking at me funny when I say Choppin' grin
Posted By: probably blue Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 05:04 AM
Show-pan is polish or something and
Show-pawn is French??
Posted By: Bart K Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 06:01 AM
Originally Posted by probably blue
Show-pan is polish or something and
Show-pawn is French??
I'm native Polish. We pronounce it Sho-pen, which is not how either the French or English speakers pronounce it.
Posted By: Josephine83 Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 07:08 AM
In the Netherlands I hear people say sho-pan and also sho-peh, like sho-pan but without saying the N.
Posted By: probably blue Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 03:47 PM
Hard to type out pronunciations... lol.
Posted By: thepianoplayer416 Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 04:56 PM
Sayin’ it the American way would be Choppin’ like you’re in the kitchen chopping onions.

in Chinese it’s written as 萧邦/肖邦 and the pronunciation: Xiāobāng. The ch/sh gets substituted with a funny “xi” sound. The “ao” sounds like “owl” than a long “o”. And the 2nd syllable has a “b” sound instead of “p”.
Posted By: BruceD Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 05:23 PM
Originally Posted by probably blue
Hard to type out pronunciations... lol.

Not if you use the IPA ... but I can't reproduce the characters here.

Regards,
Posted By: bennevis Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 06:31 PM
This is how I pronounce his full name:

frɨˈdɛrɨk fraɲˈt͡ɕiʂɛk ˈʂɔpɛn
Posted By: BruceD Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 08:02 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
This is how I pronounce his full name:

frɨˈdɛrɨk fraɲˈt͡ɕiʂɛk ˈʂɔpɛn

I don't pronounce the 'n' at the end; I use the French nasal sound represented by the 'n' in certain contexts in French.

Regards,
Posted By: candela Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 09:13 PM
In French:
https://forvo.com/search/Chopin/fr/

And in Polish:
https://forvo.com/search/Chopin/pl/
Posted By: David-G Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by bennevis
This is how I pronounce his full name:

frɨˈdɛrɨk fraɲˈt͡ɕiʂɛk ˈʂɔpɛn

I don't pronounce the 'n' at the end; I use the French nasal sound represented by the 'n' in certain contexts in French.

Regards,

Yes, precisely. And the first syllable is like "shop", NOT "showp".
Posted By: bennevis Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 10:31 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
This is how I pronounce his full name:

frɨˈdɛrɨk fraɲˈt͡ɕiʂɛk ˈʂɔpɛn
Just to be clear, this is the Polish pronounciation of his name Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (Szopen) from an authorized source.

The French pronunciation of his name (Frédéric François Chopin) is fʁedeʁik fʁɑ̃swa ʃɔpɛ̃......just in case anyone's interested whistle.
Posted By: David-G Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 11:01 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
......just in case anyone's interested whistle.

I would be if I could understand it!
Posted By: Taushi Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/01/22 11:58 PM
Originally Posted by probably blue
Might be a dumb thread...
Is it:
Sho-pawn (heard some)
Chop-in (lol-just for the laughs)
Sho-pan??
Sho as in show or is it said cho??
I genuinely can’t find a clear answer...

I don’t think this is a dumb thread at all. I think it’s a great thread, because Chopin’s name is probably one of the most mispronounced names in history. grin Even in the classical world, there are well known and authoritative people who still mispronounce it, contributing to the issue.

Everyone’s input is great, but I’d say, for me, the best answer is from candela:

Originally Posted by candela

I think this is the best resource: it’s got native French and Polish speakers pronouncing the name AND it acknowledges the cultural duality of the answer to your question.

Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was born to a French father who immigrated to Poland & a Polish mother. Chopin is a French surname; his forename and middle names are Polish. When he fled to France, he adapted French equivalents of his forename and middle name, and because he rose to fame during this time, that is how he is famously known.

As Chopin is a French surname, the French pronunciation is the oldest and, perhaps, linguistically, the “correct” one.

That said, owing to Chopin’s half-Polish ancestry, his personal identification as Polish, & his proud display of Polish culture, he’s become a national icon in his homeland, and Poland has practically adapted his surname, complete with a “Polish pronunciations” as a loan word.

Thus, the answer to how you pronounce his last name depends on whether you wish to use the French or Polish pronunciation of the surname. The French pronunciation is most often used, but the Polish one is “correct” too.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 12:45 AM
There is a pianist, Steven Massicotte, who uses a very strange French-Canadian pronunciation for Chopin on his teaching vids:



Southern US would be sho, as in sho 'nuff (assuredly enough), and pan as in frying. laugh
Posted By: bennevis Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 01:34 AM
Originally Posted by Taushi
Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was born to a French father who immigrated to Poland & a Polish mother. Chopin is a French surname; his forename and middle names are Polish. When he fled to France, he adapted French equivalents of his forename and middle name, and because he rose to fame during this time, that is how he is famously known.

As Chopin is a French surname, the French pronunciation is the oldest and, perhaps, linguistically, the “correct” one.

That said, owing to Chopin’s half-Polish ancestry, his personal identification as Polish, & his proud display of Polish culture, he’s become a national icon in his homeland, and Poland has practically adapted his surname, complete with a “Polish pronunciations” as a loan word.

Thus, the answer to how you pronounce his last name depends on whether you wish to use the French or Polish pronunciation of the surname. The French pronunciation is most often used, but the Polish one is “correct” too.
I'd say that the Polish pronounciation is the one we should be using - and the 'correct' one -, and not just because Chopin himself never felt comfortable speaking French, and never considered himself as French. His father Nicolas had emigrated to Poland at 16 (not in adulthood), and always insisted on Polish being spoken in the household, being completely devoted to his adopted homeland.

Therefore, unlike the likes of say, Jorge Bolet, who practically disowned his Cuban roots and insisted on Anglicizing his name after emigrating to the US (thus the correct pronunciation would be "George Bolett"), Chopin had always been a reluctant emigré (he originally intended to travel to Italy in 1830 but unrest there changed his plans, and he then couldn't return to Poland after the Polish uprising was crushed by the Russians in 1831) and often joked later that he was in Paris only in passing.

When I visited Poland a few years ago, I saw how much Chopin meant to the Poles (one popular train line there used his Op.9/2 to alert passengers that the train was approaching the next station, and there are 'Chopin benches' on the main street in Warsaw on which, at a press of a button, you can hear various Chopin works), and from then on, used the Polish spelling and pronunciation.
Posted By: Rubens Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 02:05 AM
On the surface the question is simply about pronunciation. But the true question, my friends, is how French was Chopin?
Posted By: Rubens Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 02:53 AM
To expand on that point, I have always thought of Chopin as half-French, perhaps because I appreciate French culture and I like to think that Chopin inherited the best of both the Polish and French spirit. Of course, reading about his life I have to agree with bennevis that he probably felt much more Polish than French, considering that even his father considered himself essentially Polish, and that Fryderyk spent about 99% of his time in France aching to go back to Poland.
Too bad for the French side though... I've always loved french cuisine, french wine, french haute couture. It's a bit sad to realize that Chopin was about as French as a kielbasa.
Posted By: probably blue Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 03:44 AM
Originally Posted by Rubens
Show pain.
@WhoDwaldi
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 04:15 AM
Posted By: Rubens Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 04:44 AM
Wow, what a sherzo! The German would probably call this a Schmerz-o....
Posted By: 13bwl Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 05:09 AM
In Poland my family and people I've met would normally pronounce it sort of like, "sho-pen". I don't know how well that translates through text but I'm sure some people know what I mean. I believe that the Polish pronunciation probably makes the most sense, even though the last name has French origins. My last name also has French origins, but all of us go by the Polish pronunciation.

Originally Posted by bennevis
When I visited Poland a few years ago, I saw how much Chopin meant to the Poles (one popular train line there used his Op.9/2 to alert passengers that the train was approaching the next station, and there are 'Chopin benches' on the main street in Warsaw on which, at a press of a button, you can hear various Chopin works), and from then on, used the Polish spelling and pronunciation.
I've found this to be the case as well. All of the Polish "classic" films would feature Chopin heavy soundtracks and he's still a household name (at least in the towns I've been to, mostly south-east Poland near Tatra mountains). Even if I am not very in touch with my Polish heritage, I like to give the Poles Chopin.

*Edit* I found bennevis cited "Szopen" and this is the pronunciation I'm referring to in my original reply.
Posted By: Bart K Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 05:32 AM
It's funny that you all say the Polish pronunciation is the "correct" one because I personally use the French/English pronunciation when speaking English and the Polish one only when speaking Polish. In fact, I even audiate it using the "wrong" pronunciation right now as I type this.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 09:17 AM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
It's funny that you all say the Polish pronunciation is the "correct" one because I personally use the French/English pronunciation when speaking English and the Polish one only when speaking Polish. In fact, I even audiate it using the "wrong" pronunciation right now as I type this.
That's not surprising if you are fluent in English and speak to English speakers frequently......though when I was in Poland, our guide - who spoke English fluently, albeit with a slight accent - always pronounced Chopin the Polish way.

If you go to Vienna or Munich, you'll find that the natives will use the Anglicized version of their home cities rather than "Wien" (pronounced 'Veen') or "München" when chatting in English to tourists. It saves a lot of confusion.......I was pretty confused when I visited Wien for the first time as an impoverished young man (meaning that I wasn't doing the touristy musical stuff with people who're used to dealing with ignorant tourists who can only speak one Western language which isn't the language of 'their' greats - Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven, J.Strauss, Bruckner....) and I couldn't understand why the Viennese people I spoke to kept talking about a place called Veen cry.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 01:25 PM
In the U.S. I've never heard any reasonably knowledgeable person say it in any way other than Show pan. I was surprised there is even any discussion about this for those living in the U.S, Obviously, other countries might pronounce the name differently.
Posted By: SouthPark Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 03:30 PM
Originally Posted by JosephW
Finally, my wife can stop looking at me funny when I say Choppin' grin

LINK
Posted By: Taushi Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 07:20 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
I'd say that the Polish pronounciation is the one we should be using - and the 'correct' one -, and not just because Chopin himself never felt comfortable speaking French, and never considered himself as French. His father Nicolas had emigrated to Poland at 16 (not in adulthood), and always insisted on Polish being spoken in the household, being completely devoted to his adopted homeland. Therefore, unlike the likes of say, Jorge Bolet, who practically disowned his Cuban roots and insisted on Anglicizing his name after emigrating to the US (thus the correct pronunciation would be "George Bolett"), Chopin had always been a reluctant emigré (he originally intended to travel to Italy in 1830 but unrest there changed his plans, and he then couldn't return to Poland after the Polish uprising was crushed by the Russians in 1831) and often joked later that he was in Paris only in passing. When I visited Poland a few years ago, I saw how much Chopin meant to the Poles (one popular train line there used his Op.9/2 to alert passengers that the train was approaching the next station, and there are 'Chopin benches' on the main street in Warsaw on which, at a press of a button, you can hear various Chopin works), and from then on, used the Polish spelling and pronunciation.

I disagree. I’d say the feelings of the composer, his particular birthplace, and the feelings of his father do not change the etymological origins of a word that was around long before either of them were even thought of, and a word that still exists autonomously of them.

“Chopin” is a French surname. It existed before Fryderyk & his father Nicolas were born. Chopin’s paternal family bore the name going back at least six generations that we’re aware of.

Thus, a.)Fryderyk Chopin being born in Poland & being half-Polish, b.) having spent the first half of his life there, c.) feeling more comfortable in the Polish language and culture, and d.) even becoming a Polish national icon…does not alter the history or etymological origins of his French surname. And Chopin’s father Nicolas was not a Polish immigrant because he wished to divorce himself from his French heritage. He knew a Polish businessman who immigrated to France, and that man offered him a job in Poland. He followed the best path in life for himself, not some desire to erase his French ancestry. Also, there’s no evidence that Nicolas’ insistence on Polish being spoken in their household was anything more than him ensuring that his children were fully immersed in their homeland, for his own mastery of the language, and so that he displayed the loyalty that was a requisite of the nationalism that pervaded most European countries at that time. But none of that changes the French history or origins of his surname that go all the way back to his great-great-great-great-great grandfather and beyond.

Even more, despite this Polish episode in the history of the family Chopin, when Fryderyk was forced back to his ancestral homeland, he took French equivalents of his Polish forenames, & upheld the original pronunciations of his French surname. Thus, throughout the extent of his career, he used the French pronunciation, even while extolling the culture of his homeland.

Further, the name exists autonomous of the composer and his family. It is not a unique family name. There were many other people in France with the surname Chopin even during his time. Per Ancestry, there are at least 6,000 people with the surname now, who trace their lineage back to Chopin families that were not immediately or directly related to the composer’s.

“Chopin” is a French surname. Because of the fame of one particular person who bore the surname, it became a loan word in Poland, when that man, half-Polish and born in Poland, achieved success internationally and became a Polish icon. That doesn’t alter the etymological & historical origins of the surname. That adds a secondary pronunciation: the Polish pronunciation of it. Language evolves and there’s space for that, but it doesn’t erase history. Thus, both versions are “correct” with the French being the authentic & original pronunciation, and the Polish being a loan word pronunciation.

(I’d also say the comparison to Bolet’s circumstance is incongruent. Chopin was forced to move to the country of his family’s origin, and chose to adapt the original ancestral etymological pronunciation of his last name and French equivalent of his forenames. Bolet had to anglicize his name to a completely different pronunciation because of cultural & racial animosity during a very dark & ugly chapter in American history. The same way Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez gave himself the completely different name of “Martin Sheen” to achieve success as an actor. There were notable exceptions like Desi Arnaz who maintained their name & culture, but that was very few & far between and in large part because his culture was the main feature of his act & he played up the dichotomy between he and Lucille Ball. For many others, that was not an option.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In the U.S. I've never heard any reasonably knowledgeable person say it in any way other than Show pan. I was surprised there is even any discussion about this for those living in the U.S, Obviously, other countries might pronounce the name differently.

This is true, but I’m not sure we should consider that a point to be proud of. Historically, Americans have tended to eschew bilingualism, mispronounce anything that was non-English, and adapt those ill-informed, inaccurate pronunciations as fact. If a newer generations of scholars, musicologists, and artists are choosing to honor the proper pronunciations of foreign name & words, I’d say that’s a good thing.
Posted By: David-G Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 07:41 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In the U.S. I've never heard any reasonably knowledgeable person say it in any way other than Show pan. I was surprised there is even any discussion about this for those living in the U.S, Obviously, other countries might pronounce the name differently.

I would hope to be considered reasonably knowledgeable. But of course, I do not live in the US. Nevertheless for me, if I hear the pronunciation "Show pan", it just sounds wrong. Nobody in the UK would call him "Show pan".

This difference is really interesting.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 07:41 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C

Bless their hearts! laugh
Posted By: WhoDwaldi Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 07:46 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
In the U.S. I've never heard any reasonably knowledgeable person say it in any way other than Show pan. I was surprised there is even any discussion about this for those living in the U.S, Obviously, other countries might pronounce the name differently.

It's funny how American pronunciations of musical terms and composers' names can sound bizarre to native speakers. An Italian friend of mine is horrified at standard music-school speak, which lacks the proper rhythm and emphasis, or so he tells me. laugh
Posted By: bennevis Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 09:50 PM
Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
It's funny how American pronunciations of musical terms and composers' names can sound bizarre to native speakers.
I do have to admit that I find the American pronunciation of Chopin rather quaint. Here in the UK, most people are still using the French pronunciation (and spelling his name in French - well, France is only a hop & a skip across the sea from us....), but - perhaps with the war and the rush in the media to use Ukrainian names and pronunciations for their cities rather than the previous Russian ones - I detect that musicians are also starting to use the Polish pronunciation of Chopin. In fact, I just heard one such in a radio interview a few hours ago.

I also - still - sometimes have to suppress a chuckle when I hear an American musician pronounce Baroque as "Broke" which initially confused me when I first heard it (- in the UK, we say: "Bar-rock"). After all, the best period orchestra today is the Freiburger Barockorchester.

Let's rock! thumb

While on this topic about pronounciations, I remember that the first time I went climbing with Americans on a dangerous mountain in the Himalaya, I was totally nonplussed when they kept mentioning "blay" (or maybe that was "bray"?), and I wondered whether they had a super-duper new climbing gadget that could save my life, and demanded that they lend me one. They looked at me as if I was from Mars (or maybe Venus), and said I had a couple of them dangling from my harness. Surprised, I looked down at all the bits dangling off me, but didn't notice anything special.
Then I realized that they meant "belay" (device). Yep, another case of two nations divided by a common language. (BTW, in the UK, we say: "bee-lay")

Luckily, everyone survived....(and even summited smirk ).
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/02/22 10:34 PM
About the "American" pronunciation:

It varies. smile

It varies somewhat by region, perhaps also somewhat by "sophistication," and also by whatever one feels like.

There's SHOW-pan.
Then there's show-PAN.
Maybe other things too, but mostly those -- the same basic thing but with different accenting.

I usually say the latter, but I think I sometimes say the other, according to either (maybe) how the person/people I'm talking with just said it, and maybe according to the 'phrasing' of whatever the sentence is -- which is a thing that I think most people do with all kinds of words and sounds, without necessarily knowing it.

Like.....let's see, what's an example....

Take the word "the."
I think most people might say it as either "thuh" or thee," depending on what sound follows it or what degree of emphasis they want to give it.

A more analogous thing would be 2-syllable words on which we variously emphasize one syllable or the other, depending on context.
I know that I have such words (and I think most people do) but I can't think of any....

BTW I don't mean words like "produce" which me might accent differently depending on part of speech; I mean the same usage.....
Posted By: maucycy Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/03/22 09:19 PM
ok let me tell you guys how you should pronounce it. it's no show pan (enterteining pan?), show pain (what kind of pain?)

In Poland we spell as we read: Fryderyk Szopen.
while many nations cannot spell "r" letter properly, let us concentrate on his surmane. All of the above told methods are relly pain to read.

How to correct spell Szopen is you need two words: SHOP (a place where you buy things) and a PEN (writing instrument). Now to correctly say it in Polish you need to say SHOP-PEN. But there is too much of P, so all you need to do is to CUT the last P from the SHOP word - just say SHO now (like Shop without P) and connect it with PEN (writing instrument) SHOPEN - this is how to you should say it.


There are of course various reasons why to cut the P from the SHOP, and not from the PEN, but just use it as it is smile

Here you can check how to spell it - use the one by CH1mp and Sanma
https://pl.forvo.com/word/chopin/
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/03/22 10:18 PM
My parents were Polish and said the name in what they knew as the pronunciation of "Szopen" and it was quite different from that....
Posted By: probably blue Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 01:27 AM
Thanks for the clear answer 👍
Posted By: 13bwl Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 02:48 AM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
My parents were Polish and said the name in what they knew as the pronunciation of "Szopen" and it was quite different from that....
How did you parents pronounce it? I'm familiar with the pronunciation maucycy gave but I know different regions of Poland slightly differ in pronunciation.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 03:55 AM
OK, let's see how to describe it....
(It takes a lot shorter time to say it than to describe it.) ha

Two syllables (of course) grin
Accent on the 2nd syllable (no surprise there either)

The first syllable is sort of "shaw," but with a shorter vowel sound than how you'd say it in English.
Kind of a short uttered "aw" with the mouth less open then when you say aw.

I think that enables it pretty well: say "shaw" quickly with the mouth less open than when you say shaw.
It'll be a pretty familiar European sounding vowel, very similar to the "o" in Spanish or Italian, but I think a little shorter.

Now for the 2nd syllable:

The "e" is like a short "ehh." Very short.
As for the "n": It doesn't sound like an English n at all.
It's very similar to the French "en" ending, just a little "twangy"-er.


BTW, that means they said it as though the "n" wasn't a simple n, but one of these: ń

Were they right about that?
Maybe not.
Why I have some doubt:
I don't find any online mentions where Szopen is spelled with that special Polish kind of n.

Except for one mention: my own, on here last year. blush
Posted By: Sidokar Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 07:44 AM
Simple enough use IPA:

In french: Frédéric François Chopin: fʁedeʁik fʁɑ̃swa ʃɔpɛ̃

In Polish, Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin: frɨdɛrɨk frant͡ɕiʂɛk xɔpʲin

Chopin UK: ʃə́wpan

Chopin American: ˈʃoʊpæn
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 04:52 PM
I have doubts that 1 person in 10 gets "IPA." grin

(I sure don't)
Posted By: probably blue Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 05:08 PM
Lol.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 06:10 PM
To paraphrase Wanda L., you can pronounce Chopin your way, and I'll pronounce him his way. cool

ˈʂɔpɛn
Posted By: BruceD Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 08:47 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
I have doubts that 1 person in 10 gets "IPA." grin

(I sure don't)

Those who want to "get" the IPA need only to do a little Google research where tables of the IPA symbols can be found with pronunciation examples (often audio) and explanations are given. Otherwise, short of a sound bite (which can often be found in Wikipedia entries by the way), there are few other ways to approximate "correct" pronunciation of certain words and terms.

Regards,
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 09:32 PM
Originally Posted by BruceD
Those who want to "get" the IPA need only to do a little Google research where tables of the IPA symbols can be found with pronunciation examples (often audio) and explanations are given.

That's certainly not true for everyone.

How I know?
Because it's not true for me.

I've done what you say, and it does nothing.
Maybe part of it is that the explanations I've seen aren't fully clear (to me), but I suspect that the main thing is that those IPA things are not at all intuitive, which in turn is because those symbols are as though they're a new and different language.

So: You want me to learn a new and different language? grin

Quote
Otherwise, short of a sound bite (which can often be found in Wikipedia entries by the way), there are few other ways to approximate "correct" pronunciation of certain words and terms.

I don't consider that true either.

Like, what about the methods of indicating pronunciation that we had when we (you and I) were kids, and what was shown in all the standard dictionaries?
I never felt I had any problem with those, and I don't think I would now either.
Posted By: Sidokar Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/04/22 11:12 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
I have doubts that 1 person in 10 gets "IPA." grin

(I sure don't)

International phonetic alphabet. It supports the worldwide community of scientists studying phonetics. The IPA allows to phonetically notate any word in any language instead of writing long imprecise sentances which are rather vague. Most modern dictionnary would give the phonetic transcription of the word. The International phonetic association is publishing a journal in english notated in IPA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journal_of_the_International_Phonetic_Association
Posted By: WhoDwaldi Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 12:14 AM
World Book Encyclopedia gives shaw PAN.

Mind you, that is published in Chicago (if they are still in business), and everybody has a gangster accent there. grin
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 05:35 AM
Mild prediction:
Before long, IPA will go the way of Esperanto (which also seemed like "a good idea at the time").

And faster. grin


I see that some of you like it, and believe in it.
In my little opinion smile it's just weird, and there are easier and better ways to indicate pronunciations -- for example, all the ways I know of that existed before.
Posted By: MRC Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 06:41 AM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Mild prediction:
Before long, IPA will go the way of Esperanto (which also seemed like "a good idea at the time").

And faster. grin


I see that some of you like it, and believe in it.
In my little opinion smile it's just weird, and there are easier and better ways to indicate pronunciations -- for example, all the ways I know of that existed before.
Could you give some examples of what you consider to be better ways?
Posted By: Ferdinand Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 06:55 AM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
About the "American" pronunciation:

It varies. smile

It varies somewhat by region, perhaps also somewhat by "sophistication," and also by whatever one feels like.

There's SHOW-pan.
Then there's show-PAN.
Maybe other things too, but mostly those -- the same basic thing but with different accenting.

I usually say the latter, but I think I sometimes say the other, according to either (maybe) how the person/people I'm talking with just said it, and maybe according to the 'phrasing' of whatever the sentence is -- which is a thing that I think most people do with all kinds of words and sounds, without necessarily knowing it.

Like.....let's see, what's an example....

Take the word "the."
I think most people might say it as either "thuh" or thee," depending on what sound follows it or what degree of emphasis they want to give it.

A more analogous thing would be 2-syllable words on which we variously emphasize one syllable or the other, depending on context.
I know that I have such words (and I think most people do) but I can't think of any....

BTW I don't mean words like "produce" which me might accent differently depending on part of speech; I mean the same usage.....

Former president: I experimented with marijuana a time or two. I didn't inHALE it.
Patient, to doctor: It only hurts when I INhale.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 07:11 AM
Originally Posted by Ferdinand
Former president: I experimented with marijuana a time or two. I didn't inHALE it.
Patient, to doctor: It only hurts when I INhale.

Great example -- including because at the Oscars ceremony which happened to be just a few days after that, Billy Crystal riffed on it, and (as I remember), while Clinton had said "inHale," Crystal said "INhale."

(....which I'd guess was related to those things of 'context' and 'emphasis.' Clinton said it as part of a sentence -- actually maybe his wording was "never inhaled" -- and had no wish to emphasize anything in it.
Crystal said it just as the 2 words, "Didn't inhale" -- and the delivery was helped by giving 'inhale' the same rhythm as "Didn't.)
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 07:16 AM
Originally Posted by MRC
Could you give some examples of what you consider to be better ways?

I was surprised that I was able readily to find this detailed thing that describes the exact method that was the standard thing during my school years and which seemed to be the main thing that was ever used until recent years when I started seeing that weird stuff online.

link:
vintage Merriam-Webster
Posted By: Sidokar Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 07:52 AM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Mild prediction:
Before long, IPA will go the way of Esperanto (which also seemed like "a good idea at the time").

And faster. grin


I see that some of you like it, and believe in it.
In my little opinion smile it's just weird, and there are easier and better ways to indicate pronunciations -- for example, all the ways I know of that existed before.

It is not a language but a phonetic notation. Just like you use math notation to describe physical laws. It is used by scientists who study phonetic. The phonetic association (IPA) exists since 1886 ....

If you look at a dictionnary, you will find the phonetic notation of a word that supports the proper proununciation, for example in merriam webster:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phonetic

I dont know if the below is 100% correct but at least for the languages that I master it is.

Posted By: MRC Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 12:16 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by MRC
Could you give some examples of what you consider to be better ways?

I was surprised that I was able readily to find this detailed thing that describes the exact method that was the standard thing during my school years and which seemed to be the main thing that was ever used until recent years when I started seeing that weird stuff online.

link:
vintage Merriam-Webster
That looks like a pronunciation respelling for English. There are many of these systems, but they are not useful for non-English speakers. Even as an English speaker, you need to learn the particular conventions of the system you are using: as that Merriam-Webster guide itself states, "No system of indicating pronunciation is self explanatory".

The International Phonetic Alphabet is not "weird stuff" that appeared in recent years, it is the most commonly used phonetic notation system in the world and has been around (see Sidokar's post above) for well over a century. It's an invaluable tool for linguists and a boon to opera singers: when I am teaching a French role to a singer from any other country, things go much faster and smoother if the singer knows IPA.

If you've been seeing more of it online recently, it's probably because it's becoming more widely-used.
Posted By: BruceD Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 04:16 PM
While I think that no one implied that the IPA was "intuitive," it nevertheless is a useful tool, for the "I" in IPA: International. To anyone who has studied and learned it (yes, it's not intuitive and has to be studied), it can help to determine the pronunciation of words and names in multiple languages, even if the user speaks only one language.

Most likely it is of more use to the language student and linguist, but once learned it is an efficient way to determine fairly accurate pronunciation. In this regard, it can be particularly helpful to singers who sing in languages not their own.

As mentioned above, it is not a new or different language but a pronunciation tool that can be applied to the pronunciation of words in many languages.

Regards,
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 04:57 PM
I don't understand what ever made anyone think there was a need to create a single system that would work for all people of all languages, or that it would be preferable to each language indicating it in its own way, which I'm not aware was a problem.

Subset question: Does anyone here think it was a problem in English before?
I'm not aware that it was.
I never had trouble understanding what was being indicated by that method that I linked.
Never, at all, whatsoever.
Posted By: Sidokar Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 05:14 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
I don't understand what ever made anyone think there was a need to create a single system that would work for all people of all languages, or that it would be preferable to each language indicating it in its own way, which I'm not aware was a problem.

Subset question: Does anyone here think it was a problem in English before?
I'm not aware that it was.
I never had trouble understanding what was being indicated by that method that I linked.
Never, at all, whatsoever.

I dont think you understand the objectives of scientists who study linguistic and use phonetic notation. It is like saying that you dont understand what can the usage of mathematical notation since you are not using it in every day life.
Posted By: BruceD Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by MRC
Could you give some examples of what you consider to be better ways?

I was surprised that I was able readily to find this detailed thing that describes the exact method that was the standard thing during my school years and which seemed to be the main thing that was ever used until recent years when I started seeing that weird stuff online.

link:
vintage Merriam-Webster

"... never used until recent years..."

From the link that Marc_C provided:

Those characters which have corresponding symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are shown with their IPA equivalents.


Merriam-Webster was acknowledging ithe use of the IPA even as their "vintage" dictionary was being published.

Regards,
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 07:07 PM
Originally Posted by Sidokar
I dont think you understand the objectives of scientists who study linguistic and use phonetic notation.....

That's not so. I understand it very well.

Things that are useful for scientists who study stuff aren't necessarily the best tools for the general public. In fact, if anything I'd suggest that usually they are not -- they're usually needlessly cumbersome, which IMO is the case for this.
Posted By: Bart K Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 08:12 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Sidokar
I dont think you understand the objectives of scientists who study linguistic and use phonetic notation.....

That's not so. I understand it very well.

Things that are useful for scientists who study stuff aren't necessarily the best tools for the general public. In fact, if anything I'd suggest that usually they are not -- they're usually needlessly cumbersome, which IMO is the case for this.
I think the way you are suggesting is actually more cumbersome (and less precise) than IPA for someone who knows IPA. Sounds in other languages don't correspond directly to sounds in English and describing them is verbose and very approximate, sometimes factually incorrect.

Since your parents spoke Polish you probably know that Polish has two different 'sh' sounds. The descriptive way is to say that ś = 'sh' as in 'sheet' and 'sz' = 'sh' as in 'shop', but that's actually only a vague approximation and both sounds are very different than the English 'sh' sound. If you wanted to be more precise you would have to make a very complicated description like "like a 'sh' sound but you have to move your tongue back and make contact with the sides of the tongue rather than the tip". Instead of that you can use the IPA phoneme or it's description "voiceless retroflex fricative". It's a very concise and precise way of describing sounds in foreign languages.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/05/22 09:21 PM
I can't possibly disagree, since you're talking about people who know IPA!

I'm talking only about people who don't, and who see it "from scratch."


On the other hand:
Great example about those different "sh" sounds in Polish.
And yes indeed, that would be very hard if not impossible to show by the methods that I know.

So -- indeed there are things IPA can do that some or most other methods can't.
What it leaves us with, IMO, is whether we think such things outweigh the negatives. I do realize that some of you might feel there aren't any negatives.
Posted By: dolce sfogato Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/11/22 10:03 PM
in general, methinks one has to pronounce any given name the way it is pronounced in the language it is in, thus: Proust (French) like proost (Am), Beethoven (German) like batehofen (Am), Chopin (French!) not to be transcribed but emphasis on the last syllable please, Maurice Ravel (French) like moríss ravéll, emphasis likewise, Bach (German) like Bach, Claude Debussy, a joy forever: clode debussí, and now for the last name: Skrjabin or Scriabin or Scriabine: only 2 syllables, Skrjá-bin, emphasis on the first horrible 4 letters.
Posted By: David-G Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 12:13 AM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Since your parents spoke Polish you probably know that Polish has two different 'sh' sounds. The descriptive way is to say that ś = 'sh' as in 'sheet' and 'sz' = 'sh' as in 'shop', but that's actually only a vague approximation and both sounds are very different than the English 'sh' sound.

What is the difference between the "sh" in "sheet" and the "sh" in "shop"?

I can't hear any.
Posted By: MrSh4nkly Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 12:42 AM
Everybody knows it's Choppin', as in choppin' broccoli:

Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 01:11 AM
Originally Posted by David-G
What is the difference between the "sh" in "sheet" and the "sh" in "shop"?

I can't hear any.

You're right -- but it depends on how you say those words.
I didn't realize it at the time, but when I saw his post, I automatically imagined "sheet" being said in a way that shows it.

How about this: Try already having your mouth sort of in position for the "ee" when you start the word.
That ought to do it...
Posted By: Bart K Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 09:06 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by David-G
What is the difference between the "sh" in "sheet" and the "sh" in "shop"?

I can't hear any.

You're right -- but it depends on how you say those words.
I didn't realize it at the time, but when I saw his post, I automatically imagined "sheet" being said in a way that shows it.

How about this: Try already having your mouth sort of in position for the "ee" when you start the word.
That ought to do it...
This is one reason why explaining things this way doesn't work. English has only one 'sh' phoneme (voiceless post-alveolar fricative) but what happens is that some speakers raise their tongue toward the palate while pronouncing some words and this is what you describe above. The technical term for this is palatization. Another example is how some speakers will say "piano" with the 'i' being barely discernible, like it forms one vowel with 'a'. In that situation the 'p' is said to be palatized.

The problem is that not all speakers pronounce it that way, so it might not make sense to them.

Can you tell languages are my other hobby? grin
Posted By: Rubens Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 09:27 PM
May this thread never die. Never ever ever ever. Somebody please just pin it to the top of the forum already.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 09:34 PM
Originally Posted by Rubens
May this thread never die. Never ever ever ever. Somebody please just pin it to the top of the forum already.
Wot??

Despite Chopin being the world's favorite (and most greatest) composer, and all of us having played his music for longer than we have lived, we're still unable to pronounce his name as he expected himself to be pronounced??

Let us start the Chopin Pronunciation Society to clarify matters (and to keep debating this important and pressing issue). After all, there's already a Chopin Appreciation Society (as if we still don't appreciate him enough.......).
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
This is one reason why explaining things this way doesn't work....

You mean why it doesn't work perfectly.

I gave my view on why that 3-letter thing isn't perfect either. grin

Quote
Can you tell languages are my other hobby? grin

Pretty much. ha

(and in a darn good way)
Posted By: probably blue Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 09:48 PM
This thread just keeps on going!
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/12/22 10:35 PM
Why does this thread bother people....




(Discuss amongst yourselves.) grin
Posted By: sandalholme Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/13/22 09:41 AM
it bothers me somewhat, bearing in mind the number of people paying attention to how to pronounce Chopin's name and the relatively few people being engaged - me included, so far - with the thread about performances of one of his greatest works. I'm now off to listen to Cziffra's performance. The extract in the BBC reviews - which I didn't have time to finish listening to, so I don't know the winner - intrigued me. I can't believe i had pretty well forgotten about Cziffra.

There I am, another adding to this thread.
Posted By: probably blue Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/13/22 05:47 PM
Sorry for this thread!! I just wanted to know ways to say it!

Didn’t think it would turn into this LOL.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/13/22 06:19 PM
Originally Posted by probably blue
Sorry for this thread!! I just wanted to know ways to say it!

Didn’t think it would turn into this LOL.

Don’t apologize for the thread! There is absolutely nothing wrong with the topic. Threads have a life of their own and live as long as there is an interest. They may go dormant for even years and be resuscitated. 🤪
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/13/22 08:49 PM
Originally Posted by sandalholme
it bothers me somewhat, bearing in mind the number of people paying attention to how to pronounce Chopin's name and the relatively few people being engaged - me included, so far - with the thread about performances of one of his greatest works....

(Hello!!) smile


Well it's not like there's any competition between the threads! grin

I'm reminded of when two females were candidates for the two open Senate seats in California, and the campaigns put out buttons that said "You can vote for both."


The thing about that other thread is an issue of its own, actually I think a more general issue: The activity on this site is way down in general.
Posted By: 13bwl Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/14/22 01:11 AM
This thread has offered many interesting ideas on names and language. How we should pronounce names in foreign languages and when to differ from their origins. I've personally found it really interesting.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/14/22 01:54 AM
Originally Posted by 13bwl
This thread has offered many interesting ideas on names and language. How we should pronounce names in foreign languages and when to differ from their origins. I've personally found it really interesting.

Me too.
And, I think 'tangential' things like this can be a big part of how people on a discussion site can get to 'know' one another, and therefore how there can be more bonding and how it can feel more and more interesting to be on the site.
I think similarly about various kinds of off-topic subjects which are hugely discouraged by this site, for which I think it suffers.
Posted By: 13bwl Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/14/22 02:27 AM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
And, I think 'tangential' things like this can be a big part of how people on a discussion site can get to 'know' one another, and therefore how there can be more bonding and how it can feel more and more interesting to be on the site.
I think similarly about various kinds of off-topic subjects which are hugely discouraged by this site, for which I think it suffers.
Definitely! I'm still new to forums but it's really fun to get familiar with the personalities behind the username. Even though the internet has moved past forum sites, the more intimate nature of the ones that are still active makes me feel like I'm experiencing the internet in a far different way.

I've grown up with some form of decent speed wireless internet and it often doesn't really click that people on social media or instant messaging sites are real people. The environment on these sites is a lot more like how I see people describing the internet when it first started to become accessible.
Posted By: David-G Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/14/22 09:17 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by David-G
What is the difference between the "sh" in "sheet" and the "sh" in "shop"?

I can't hear any.

You're right -- but it depends on how you say those words.
I didn't realize it at the time, but when I saw his post, I automatically imagined "sheet" being said in a way that shows it.

How about this: Try already having your mouth sort of in position for the "ee" when you start the word.
That ought to do it...

I have tried and tried ... I can't hear any difference!
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/14/22 10:22 PM
OK, let's try this....

Get ready to say "sh" but don't say it yet....
Great ready to say it two different ways.

1. Pucker your lips. As though you're going to kiss. Or if you're not in a kissing mood grin ....as though you're going to say "Shhhhh!" -- y'know, like when you're demanding quiet -- y'know, like if you're a librarian, or an usher at a golf tournament. ha

ln fact, forget all that.
Just say "Shhhh!" like you're demanding quiet.

That's the first "sh" sound, the common English kind.

2. SMILE.
Real wide.

Keep the smile.

Now say "sh," keeping the smile to the fullest extent you can. You'll probably have to constrict it some, but as little as possible.

That's the other "sh" sound.
(I don't mean that's what's actually done to say it; this is just an exaggerated way to produce the sound.)

If you can't hear the difference, either you're not really doing what I described, or for whatever reason you just don't hear it.


I'll also try to describe the way that the second "sh" is different:
It has more air. smile

It's like adding some hiss to the 'sh.'
Posted By: 13bwl Re: Chopin pronunciation... - 05/15/22 12:38 AM

The "Shop" sh is the one we're used to in English, "sz". This is a video demonstrating how to pronounce "ś"
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