Escher: pronunciation

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by Linnets, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Linnets

    Linnets Senior Member

    what is the correct pronunciation in Dutch of the surname Escher?
    I've found different transcriptions:
    (Duden) [ˈɛsər];
    (Wikipedia) [ˈɛsjər];
    (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) [ˈɛsxər]; this would be the expected Dutch pronunciation if Escher was a native Dutch surname, since sch in non-final position should represent /sx/.
    Also, the final r should be a tap [ɾ] rather than a trill.
    The recordings I've found on the web show a pronuncation similar to [ˈɛʃəɾ].
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  2. Lopes

    Lopes Senior Member

    Dutch (Amsterdam)
    From what I understand of phonetic transcription, that would be the right pronunciation yes. So that means indeed that it's not the "normal" Dutch pronounciation of Escher.
  3. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)

    I agree with Lopes on the pronunciation [ˈɛʃəɾ]. The original German pronunciation seems to have survived.
    "Escher: Persoon afkomstig uit Esch, in duitstalig gebied op verschillende plaatsen voorkomende plaatsnaam." (Nederlandse familienamen databank)
    (+/- Person from Esch, German toponym).

    One minor addition, though:
    No, not necessarily so. If we'd assume that Escher is a native Dutch name (just for the sake of the debate and regardless the possible history of the word), then this wouldn't automatically mean that -sch- is to be pronounced as /sx/.
    Names are often written in a very obselete way, and word final <-sch> is pronounced as /s/ (already since the Middle Ages). Up to the 1940s, words as mens and mensen were written as mensch, menschen, but normally pronounced as /s/. We still have this abberation in words as fantastisch and Russisch and hence in fantastischer, Russische. Family and other names as De Visscher and Vermeersch are normally pronounced with /s/, though some family traditions demand the pronunciation /-sx-).



    PS 1. The on line version of the AHDEL also gives /eshər/ (which I guess is to be pronounced as /ˈɛʃəɾ/.
    PS 2. Other Dutch names in the AHDEL are transcribed in very un-Dutch ways :), cf. Van Gogh :).
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  4. Linnets

    Linnets Senior Member

    Thanks a lot, this confirms my idea.

    Should it be "Gogh, Vincent van"?

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