Neue?

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jfproulx's picture
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Neue?
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A quick one...
How do you pronounce Neue? Like in Helvetica Neue?

Is it à la German: [noy]
Or something like that?

Dan Reynolds's picture
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Joined: 20 Jul 2002 - 11:00am
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It IS German. It means "new", and is pronounced something like "noy-a"

TG's picture
TG
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Joined: 8 May 2003 - 2:39pm
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Are German designers careful to pronounce U.S. font names exactly the same way we do in the U.S? I kind of doubt it.

We pronounce it like our “standard English” we have learned. So we don’t try to simulate how someone in Texas or Georgia or New York would say it, but we would say it in English of course. We will certainly NOT apply German pronunciation rules to English names. (As some of you do it the other way around.)

I certainly agree that common usage also dictates the right usage and that can mean that proper names can take on slightly different pronunciation or for very common foreign words even completely new pronunciations. (The names of famous cities are a typical example of that.)
But where does that “common usage” for font names come from? What if some say it this way and some say it another way? What is the right way then? What happens, when in each and every language the font name is pronounced as if it were a word of that local language? THIS would cause endless confusion when people from different countries talk to each other. The best common denominator is then to stick close to the original pronunciation. Neue Helvetica will then certainly still sound different when Matthew Carter, J.F. Porchez or Erik Spiekermann say it, but at least it will be more understandable then when every nation has “invented” a unique pronunciation.

So I see some benefit in trying to stick close to the original pronunciation. That collection of pronunciations in my blog is more about getting to know the original pronunciations. It’s up to you what you make of it.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Karl, I've actually been wanting to use Typophile, but it's now like a zombie-infested ghost-town. BTW, I've been pronouncing your name (if only in my head :-) something like "stahnj".

Ralf: I think your last paragraph encapsulates the ideal position.

hhp

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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Just to toss a word in the bag, I say "noye".

Chris Lozos's picture
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Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
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Nope, merely the closest transliteration I could come up with. Mind, the 'o' is as in 'foreign', which German is to most Anglophones, I suppose.

Karl Stange's picture
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It has been a sad place with the odd glimmer of hope. It is still the most stimulating place for discussion on these matters and I am glad to see Ralf here after he felt the need to leave forumzilla.

I've been pronouncing your name (if only in my head :-) something like "stahnj"

People most often pronounce it something like "strange" without the "r", which helps in telling them how to spell it as well. However it is more like "scthang-eh", the emphasis at the end is not unlike that at the end of "neue".

TG's picture
TG
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How do you pronounce Neue? Like in Helvetica Neue?

Mind the order of the words. It’s Neue Helvetica and you can listen to a recording of the correct German pronunciation here:
http://opentype.info/blog/2013/08/01/the-pronunciation-of-european-typef...

Incognito's picture
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Thanks ralf h. for that link.

The Typophile pronunciation FAQ is helpful, too: http://typophile.com/node/28051 .

Chris Rugen wrote "Unfortunately most U.S. designers call it Helvetica New (in a more French pronunciation)."

I'm an American academic (nothing to do with design), and in professional contexts I try to pronounce non-English words and names as correctly as I can. But I also believe that natural languages are created by the people who use them, and that the ultimate standard is common usage. So outside of academia, I often end up pronouncing non-English words ... "incorrectly". (Growing up in Chicago, I referred to a couple of streets named after two famous Europeans artists as Go-thie and Mo-zart, even though I knew how to pronounce their names. It bothers me to refer to my favorite Baroque composer without pronouncing the gutteral kh at the end of his spoken name, but in most conversations in the U.S. it sounds pretentious to say anything but Bahk.)

So I still don't know how to say Helvectica Neue.
It might depend on how successful sites like typophile.com are.

Maxim Zhukov's picture
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In Russian there is no glottal fricative [h] sound (it is used in Ukrainian, though). So ‘Helvetica Neue’ is pronounced, alternatively, either as Гельветика Нойе (Ghelvetika Noyeh), or as Хельветика Нойе (Khelvetika Noyeh). Ghelvetika should be more correct: the Latin name of Switzerland is spelled/pronounced Гельвеция (Ghelvetsiya) in Russian and Гельвеція (Helvetsiya) in Ukrainian.

James Michaels's picture
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> the ultimate standard is common usage

Yep, as any dictionary editor will confirm. Common usage ultimately dictates how words are pronounced and used. (Except in a school or business setting where the teacher/manager can set the standards.)

Right or wrong, I've always pronounced it "new", as does every other designer I know.

And I think it's pretty common all over the world to modify how some foreign words are pronounced. Are German designers careful to pronounce U.S. font names exactly the same way we do in the U.S? I kind of doubt it.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I also sometimes intentionally pronounce a foreign word (but not a name) in a "localized" way, simply to avoid being seen as a pedant.

hhp

John Savard's picture
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When facing an audience of people likely to be unfamiliar with the specific foreign language involved, I will pronounce a word according to common English practice rather than correctly so that the people hearing me will have a fighting chance of guessing the correct spelling.

Karl Stange's picture
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@hrant, good to see you on here, though to be perfectly honest you may well have been posting a lot and I could have missed it with recent performance issues! John Hudson has corrected my pronunciation of your name more than once.

Most people I meet do not have the faintest idea how to pronounce my surname, which might explain why I go to such pains to pronounce, "Neue" correctly and place it before "Helvetica" in usage.

jfproulx's picture
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Great ! That's what i thought.
My german isn't what it use to be...

Thanks Dan.

Chris Rugen's picture
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Yeah. Unfortunately most U.S. designers call it Helvetica New (in a more French pronunciation).

Norbert Florendo's picture
Joined: 9 Jun 2005 - 2:21pm
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Guess you don't own a noy-uh Porsh-uh!

jfproulx's picture
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Yeah. It's nice to see a font not having it's name translated to English.
But since i'm french, it's sounds more like "Helvetica noeud".

Chris Lozos's picture
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I don't even have an old 356c Norbert :-)

ChrisL

Norbert Florendo's picture
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What I drive is more like a box than a Boxster.

Chris Lozos's picture
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You mean you drive a Cab instead of a Cabriolet:-)

ChrisL

Norbert Florendo's picture
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Chris, that's no fare! :(

Daniel Weaver's picture
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I don't drive at all but I ride my bike and I don't consume $4 a gallon fuel.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Dan, you're lucky. In LA if you don't have a car, you're scum. Not that I don't enjoy driving per se - I love it. Except that there's no real point in this environment these days.

hhp

Daniel Weaver's picture
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Joined: 26 Aug 2003 - 4:14pm
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Hrant I haven't had to drive a car since I moved into NYC 12 1/2 years ago. Subways, trains and my bikes and of course walking are the best ways to get around the metropolitian area. When do you think oil futures will hit $100 a barrel (Christmas?).

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Whenever the oil companies think is a good time.

hhp

Daniel Weaver's picture
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Hrant, Oil Futures are set by Wall St. Its their guess on what the oil companies think.

Chris Lozos's picture
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All is fare in this brave neue world :-)

ChrisL

Eric West's picture
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I looked up on this :

http://dict.leo.org/?lp=ende&lang=en&searchLoc=0&cmpType=relaxed&relink=...

1st listing, click on the speaker. It says 'noy' ?

Norbert Florendo's picture
Joined: 9 Jun 2005 - 2:21pm
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It says ‘noy’ ?

Now that's a-noy-ing!

Yoon Seoungkown's picture
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KKK

Chris Lozos's picture
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Good thing it isn't Elliot Noyes:-)

ChrisL

jfproulx's picture
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Thanks Eric! That website is great!
And at least, it solves the problem of trying to write the sound phonetically.

--

No + Oil = Noil
It's pretty close to Neu.

Regarding the gas price, I just don't understand this :
when the price of the oil barrel goes up, the price at the gas station goes up THE SAME DAY. Hey, the fuel I'm putting in my car right now has been refined many days/weeks ago.

I don't own a car, but I know there are pretty cool hybrid cars coming from Honda and Toyota. And I'm sure many european companies will offer these soon.
We have to think green!

Tim Daly's picture
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Joined: 11 Sep 2003 - 9:04am
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Because Helvetica is a feminine word the adjective takes the feminine case, neue. And is therefore pronounced noya. This is stretching the limits of my remembered german, so I hope this is correct and please don't ask me to say why Helvetica is feminine.
Tim

Daniel Weaver's picture
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Chevy is also developing hybreds using hydogen and the park police here have been using the Toyota gas/electric hybreds for the last couple of years. The taxi commission (geniuses) have decided to let taxi companies the option of purchasing hybreds rather than the gas guzzlers they now drive. One other thing about hybreds is they make almost no noise. That electricity is stealthy quiet.

Tim Daly's picture
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http://www.dtu.dk/English/About_DTU/News.aspx?guid={E6FF7D39-1EDD-41A4-BC9A-20455C2CF1A7}

Don't let oil companies know about this.
Tim

Dan Reynolds's picture
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Helvetica could be feminine in German for three reasons:

1. The word for writing and/or a typeface (Schrift) is feminine: die Schrift. In German, Helvetica (or any other typeface name) is often used in context, i.e., die Helvetica Schrift

2. Helvetica is derived from the Latin name of Switzerland, Confederatio Helvetia. In Latin, I think I can remember that Helvetia is a first declention noun, and therefore feminine. So Helvetica would be feminine because the Latin Helvetia is feminine.

3. Switzerland in German is also feminine, die Schweiz, maybe because of the Latin root? Not all nation-names are feminine in German, though. Germany and France are both neutral (Deutschland and Frankreich) because their suffixes (Land and Reich) are also neutral nouns (das Land and das Reich… country and empire, respectively).

Lastly, at Linotype (where German in spoken), all typeface names are feminine. This must be because of reason number 1, I guess.

I do not know what the gender of Font is, however.

Eric West's picture
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Tim,

Yeah, they'd probably send their best assassins/suicide bombers to take care of that.

jfproulx's picture
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Thanks again Dan! You're the best.

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Thierry Blancpain's picture
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the only thing id add here is that "neue" isnt really pronounced noya, but noye with the e like in "feminist".

timd: you mixed something up. something is "neu" (new), but its the "neue" (new one). this has nothing to do with feminine or masculine - there are no cases for adjectives in german.

Tim Daly's picture
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Thierry Blancpain's picture
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well, yes. i played this through in the train today and there are some adjectives that change, and some dont. neu is one that doesnt. "die neue schrift", "der neue baum", "das neue buch" (the new font, the new tree, the new book, all three cases are the same). i just didnt think about any other adjectives, thats why i wrote that (wrong) thing about no cases for adjectives in german.