About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

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About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by Lance » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:04 pm

I have heard many people interpret the steens or steins differently or incorrectly from what we know. Rubinstein pronounced his name as STINE, Bernstein as STINE, Milstein as STINE, yet we have DinnerSTEEN. Other than hearing it from the person directly, even people that are not famous, how do we KNOW which is the correct way. And I know other people locally with the name Bernstein who insist it be pronounced bernSTEEN. Then their was conductor William Steinberg whose name was pronounced STINEberg. The Steinway piano is not pronounced STEENway but STINEway. There is the cellist Alisa Weilerstein, but I've heard her name pronounced as STINE and STEEN. I cannot recall what she prefers herself. Beethoven's "Waldstein" piano sonatas is almost always pronounced as the waldSTINE. Left-handed pianist Paul Wittgenstein's name was pronounced STINE. Having worked for pianist Joseph Kalichstein, I know he pronounced it KalichSTINE.

I know many LEVINE and LEVENE families. Normally, Levine could be interested as LeVEEN, but James LeVINE used the latter. Pianist/teachers Rosina and Josef Lhevinne pronounced their names as LEHVEEN.

Any thoughts on this as to the proper determination?
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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by maestrob » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:39 pm

In German, stein is pronounced STINE, because of something called "reverse assimilation." The vowel combination takes its sound from the second vowel. It's the same mechanism that makes someone with a German accents say EKKS, while we say EGGZ.

In musical circles, like you, Lance, I've found that it's more polite to say STINE instead of STEEN, or LevINE, instead of the Americanized LeVEEN.

Thus endeth the linguistical lesson. :wink:

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:03 pm

maestrob wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:39 pm
In German, stein is pronounced STINE, because of something called "reverse assimilation." The vowel combination takes its sound from the second vowel. It's the same mechanism that makes someone with a German accents say EKKS, while we say EGGZ.

In musical circles, like you, Lance, I've found that it's more polite to say STINE instead of STEEN, or LevINE, instead of the Americanized LeVEEN.

Thus endeth the linguistical lesson. 😉
Whereby I will take it up. :) The letter ess (the British actually spell out their letters) is always pronounced as we would pronounce sh if it precedes either t or p at the beginning of a syllable. (Hugo von Hoffmansthal does not count because the syllabic break occurs before "thal," which means valley.) This is never observed in America, so even Bernstein was getting it wrong, though he had more than decent German. (Albert Einstein was probably driven crazy by the failure to observe this in Princeton.) Nevertheless, only English among Indo-European languages using the Latin alphabet is so difficult to figure out from its spelling. The German rules that maestrob and I have recited are ridiculously easy in comparison. Someone who was fanatical about this was George Bernard Shaw, who once asked what ghoti meant. Well, it is gh as in laugh, o as in women, and ti as in notion. So it means fish.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by John F » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:39 pm

Lance wrote:Any thoughts on this as to the proper determination?
For people's names, the correct pronunciation is how the person him/herself pronounced it. James Levine preferred his last name to be pronounced "Levine," while Joseph Levine preferred "Leveen." My Vienna-born boss at Lincoln Center always pronounced the critic's name "Harold Schoenberg," though it should be "Shawnburg." In general, not just with personal names, you have to find out and remember the correct pronunciation, as with countless English words ending in -ough.

In other languages, pronunciation is much more standardized within the language but not between languages. For example, "sz" is pronounced sh in Polish but s in Hungarian, while with "s" it's the other way around. (I've heard George Szell's name pronounced "Shell" on a college radio station, and Georg Solti's name pronounced "Ssolti.") As a radio announcer I learned the pronunciation rules for many languages relevant to classical music, so I can say foreign words correctly even if I've no idea what they mean.

From "My Fair Lady": "The French don't care what they do as long as you pronounce it correctly." :)
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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:15 pm

My own name--Brosseau-- is still pronounced Brah-so by those left in my family who have it. When I went to college I changed it to the closest possible approximation of correct French, which is still not perfect. (In French, the two syllables would be pronounced equivalently with no accent on either one, and of course "r" is always problematic.) Then don't get me started on Germany, where you would think people would know better but people called me Herr Bro-SAY-ow.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by Holden Fourth » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:08 pm

German:

ei as in stein is pronounced as STINE

ie (as in Lieder) pronounced as LEEDER

So Dinnerstein should technically be pronounced as DinnerSTINE but I suppose you can say your name any way you want.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by living_stradivarius » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:48 pm

I have known a Berstein family that uses "Steen" instead of "Stine". So yes, this gets very confusing :)

On a somewhat unrelated topic, I belong to the camp that distinctly remembers the Berenstain Bears as the "Berenstein Bears" for some reason. I blame the Scholastic Book order magazines that must have misprinted the name and given me a false memory.

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/ ... -examples/

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by John F » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:55 am

Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:08 pm
German:

ei as in stein is pronounced as STINE

ie (as in Lieder) pronounced as LEEDER

So Dinnerstein should technically be pronounced as DinnerSTINE but I suppose you can say your name any way you want.
Simone Dinnerstein is not German, she's American and was born in New York. And there's no such German word as "Dinner." (I suspect it's Yiddish for "Diener.") So "technically" the German rules for pronouncing "stein" don't apply any more than the French or Dutch rules which would have it STAIN. Yes, she can say her name any way she wants, and that's how everyone should say it when referring to her.

When we get into Jewish/Yiddish names, it can be even more confusing. I've heard people named "Levi" or "Levy" pronounce their name LEH-vee, LEE-vee, and LEE-VIE, as in Levi Strauss, and yes, they do want us to get it right.

But if we really don't know and can't get out of saying it, Bern-stine is thought to be more classy by some, including Leonard Bernstein, so that's what I say. And Leh-vee too, for the same reason.
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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by david johnson » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:15 am

I will go with how the name's wearer prefers. If not available, it's my bad luck.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by Ricordanza » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:21 am

As some of you know, my last name is Maurer. Like Stein, it's a German word; it means Mason. The correct (German) pronunciation is Mowrer (as in the exclamation "Ow!).

But growing up, my parents pronounced it Mawrer. It was not until I moved to the Philadelphia area that I encountered other Maurers, all of whom used the German pronunciation. So that's the way I say it.

When people ask me how its pronounced, I give them both choices.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by jserraglio » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:11 am

Rod Rosen-steen or Rosen-stine?
Robert Mule-ler or Muh-ler?

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by maestrob » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:22 am

jserraglio wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:11 am
Rod Rosen-steen or Rosen-stine?
Robert Mule-ler or Muh-ler?
ON CNN I hear Muhler and RosenstINE.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:09 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:11 am
Robert Mule-ler or Muh-ler?
Some names just have to be Americanized. Neither of those pronunciations is correct in German. When John Boehner was Speaker of the House, I made the incredibly stupid mistake of asking an Academic Bowl question and pronouncing it Boner. (Fortunately, kids forget things really fast.) But Bayner is also wrong, and most Americans could not accomplish the actual sound created by what is the equivalent of o-umlaut.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by John F » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:24 pm

Nor the French u, as in "Zut alors!"
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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by jserraglio » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:05 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:09 pm
When John Boehner was Speaker of the House, I made the incredibly stupid mistake of asking an Academic Bowl question and pronouncing it Boner.
My left-leaning spouse has pronounced it BONER for many years now, with an added dollop of contempt. But that started long before supersize genitals qualified a candidate to fill the most powerful office in the world.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by Lance » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:57 am

How beautifully put! I am still rolling on the floor.
jserraglio wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:05 pm
jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:09 pm
When John Boehner was Speaker of the House, I made the incredibly stupid mistake of asking an Academic Bowl question and pronouncing it Boner.
My left-leaning spouse has pronounced it BONER for many years now, with an added dollop of contempt. But that started long before supersize genitals qualified a candidate to fill the most powerful office in the world.
Lance G. Hill
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______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by barney » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:50 am

I entirely agree about pronouncing names as their owners wish.
Some of you may not realise that B-a-r-n-e-y is actually pronounced Y-o-u-r-(pause)-L-o-r-d-s-h-i-p. So I am glad to take this opportunity of correcting you.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by maestrob » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:13 am

:shock:

Why, Barney! I never realized....... :wink:

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:07 pm

barney wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:50 am
I entirely agree about pronouncing names as their owners wish.
Some of you may not realise that B-a-r-n-e-y is actually pronounced Y-o-u-r-(pause)-L-o-r-d-s-h-i-p. So I am glad to take this opportunity of correcting you.
I thought you were going to say Bernie, just as Derby is pronounced Darby and a clerk is a clark. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by barney » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:56 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:07 pm
barney wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:50 am
I entirely agree about pronouncing names as their owners wish.
Some of you may not realise that B-a-r-n-e-y is actually pronounced Y-o-u-r-(pause)-L-o-r-d-s-h-i-p. So I am glad to take this opportunity of correcting you.
I thought you were going to say Bernie, just as Derby is pronounced Darby and a clerk is a clark. :)
Well, I learned to speak in England, where your pronunciations are correct. But there are parts of Australia, let alone the US, where derby is durby. The Victorian country town of Castlemaine is - according to the locals - Casselmane. Really, as they say in Yorkshire, there's nowt so queer as folk.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by Belle » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:46 pm

In my neck of the woods "barney" is fisticuffs, a right old punch-up!!

And I pronounce Leonard Bernstein as "STYNE" because of Gertrude Stein. So there.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by barney » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:31 pm

Belle wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:46 pm
In my neck of the woods "barney" is fisticuffs, a right old punch-up!!

And I pronounce Leonard Bernstein as "STYNE" because of Gertrude Stein. So there.
Yes, in my neck of the woods too. I pronounce Bernstein as styne because I did German at school. But I more often pronounce it Lennie, as in my border collie-whippet cross, now nearly 14, who is named in his honour.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by barney » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:33 pm

Although I bow to John B, who rightly says it should be shtyne. Which I don't say.

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by Belle » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:42 pm

barney wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:33 pm
Although I bow to John B, who rightly says it should be shtyne. Which I don't say.
As in schtick? :P Schticks and stynes.... sorry!!

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by Lance » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:37 am

Steinweg SHTINEVEG = Steinway SHTINEVAY

Steinweg was the original German name of the Steinway family.
The Grotrian Steinweg piano is still being made today but no longer associated with
the German/American Steinway facilities.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: About pronouncing "steen" or "stine" ...

Post by barney » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:00 am

Belle wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:42 pm
barney wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:33 pm
Although I bow to John B, who rightly says it should be shtyne. Which I don't say.
As in schtick? :P Schticks and stynes.... sorry!!
Ooooooh! And you say words can never hurt me? Ouch!

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