Pronunciation tip: German philosophers

For my latest pronunciation tip, I’m focusing on something that has given me some issues over the years: the names of German philosophers. One can’t grow up in Canada without seeing their names just all over the place, of course, and yet no one seems to know how to say many of them. So I called in some help. Now you too can find out the German way to say the names of Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin, Karl Wilhelm Friedrich (von) Schlegel, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, Arthur Schopenhauer, Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach, Jakob Friedrich Fries, Wilhelm Dilthey, Ernst Alfred Cassirer, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege, Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl, Karl Theodor Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and Jürgen Habermas. Sing along, now!

2 responses to “Pronunciation tip: German philosophers

  1. Susan Caney-Peterson

    I’m not great at German pronunciation but I have been helped immensely by learning this tip: when two vowels appear together, like ei or ie, etc., the first is silent and the second is long. So Dieter is pronounced “Deeter” and so forth.

  2. As I took German in high school and consider it my second language (though I’m far from fluent, it came easily to me), yes, I did waltz through that with only a couple missteps! But it did cause me to wonder whether there were many other names in Germany, or whether giving a child one of those names meant he would be a philosopher.

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