Web Applications

Name Out Loud

People have been mispronouncing my last name (Finke, pronounced fink-ee) my whole life. Usually, they make the mistake of dropping the “e” (Fink); I don’t really mind or even notice this anymore, since “Fink” was an obvious nickname bestowed upon me all through elementary and high school, but occasionally there’s a creative soul who goes with a long “i” and says “Fienk” (rhymes with, uh, nothing, but has the same i-sound as “bike”). Since most of my interaction with other people is on the Web and via e-mail (a notoriously silent medium), I wouldn’t doubt it if 95% of the people I communicate with every week aren’t sure how to pronounce my name.

Mike Cassano, a guy I met at the University of Minnesota during the Chipmark project, has come up with a fun solution to this pronunciation problem, and it’s called “Name Out Loud.” Basically, you go to their website, hit “Record” on a little flash app, say your (ahem) name out loud, and their app saves your recording so that your Internet friends can hear exactly how you pronounce your name.

Name Out Loud icon
Here’s how to pronounce my name, Christopher Finke

It’s a neat idea, and it definitely would have saved this guy some trouble.


3 comments on “Name Out Loud

  1. If you were a native German speaker (it’s a very German surname), it would be pronounced differently than you just did it. In German, it’s more like Fink-UH (or Fink-EH), and not Fink-IE.

    Ask me how confusing it’ll ever get for me, if joost.com takes off. They pronounce it ‘Jewst’, the proper Dutch way of saying it is ‘Yohst’ though.

  2. Joost – Mine is a very German family :-). I’m told that Fink-EH is most likely how it was pronounced when my great-great-great-(great?) Finke grandparents lived in Germany, but that apparently changed at some point.

    Good luck with your name ;-)

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