How do you pronounce NIKON?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by paul_coffin, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. I have often wondered if I properly pronounce NIKON. The confusion was made more evident when I heard Chase Jarvis in an interview from Photokina. So I'd be interested in hearing from you. Is it
    1) Nigh con (this is the way I have always pronounced it)
    2) Knee con
    3) Nick con
    Appreciate anyone sharing their thoughts and japanese expertise. :)
  2. The factory reps use #1, good enough for me. Pronouncing it any other way is being pretentious, even if it is the right way.
  3. Knigh Khan.
  4. 2), 3)
    In Japan, do what japanese do...
  5. It's Japanese, so actually it's pronounced more like number 2. Unlike the English language, the Japanese language does not have multiple sounds for each letter. Therefore the letter i always makes the same sound as opposed to three different sounds depending on what's around it like the English language.
    That said, most English speaking people (myself included) will pronounce it like you do in number 1, because that's how we've learned to pronounce the letter i when it's in that position.
  6. When the Nikon ads here start using either 2 or 3 I might change but until then I call it Nikon, just like Nikon does.
  7. Nikon USA will pronounce it like number 1, and I admit I've always said it that way too. But if you go to Japan, be aware they'll say it like number 2.
  8. When I was doing weddings, I had a bride who was born in Japan, say, when she saw my Nikon FE camera, say "Oh, Nekon camera, very good cameras."
  9. most English speaking people (myself included) will pronounce it like you do in number 1​
    Actually in my experience real English-speaking people (Britain, Australia for sure) pronounce it as 2,3. Only American- speakers (as myself) pronounce it as 1.
  10. Knee-Con is the correct pronunciation in Japanese. We all say Nigh-Con in the USA. Me too.
  11. Only American- speakers (as myself) pronounce it as 1.​
    My bad, American-English speakers then. (I know it's not right to say "I speak American" but sometimes it sure would clear things up easier if we could lol)
  12. NEED-munny
  13. My TA in my first photography class was from Japan. He laughed at us when we said Nikon. But I was shooting Minolta so it wasn't a problem.
  14. You say nuculer, I say nuclear. -;)
  15. That's so funny because I've always pronounced it CAN-NON ;-)
  16. I pronounce it either D100, or D200. :^)
  17. I used to wonder the same about Leica.
  18. Even in the USA you can get confused.
    At Canoga Camera I wanted a specific "NIKKOR" lens, but owner of the camera store corrected me that I needed a "NIKON" lens. Both were pronunced correctly and differently, as per USA grammar/pronounciation rules, that is if one should use any grammar for foreign names?
  19. "I speak American"
    there are lots of countries in America, so which language would you choose? spanish, english, portuguese.......?
  20. For that matter, is Minolta pronounced as 'my-noltaah' or 'mee-noltaah' land Fuji as 'fyu-djee' or 'foo-djee'?
  21. As Curt says, in the US its mostly pronounced as #1 way, but for the most of Asia (at least in India & many other), and countries using English/British/original English its as #2/3. Its on par on with many general differences b/w American & British English - pronunce "Tomato". I learnt many of these differences in pronunciations & spellings when I moved from India to US many years ago... Now, leave alone what Aussies say (will hv chk wth a fr) ;-)
    BTW - I've no Japanese fr, but 'm fairly sure its #2/3 way....
  22. Who cares? As long as you just get out and shoot with your Naaiken... Nighkin... Nikahn... Neekun... your camera!
  23. Yes but how does one pronounce Nikkormat? Nick-or-matt or Nike-or-matt? I used the former since high school c 1970.
    On USA TV commercials, Ny-con refers to their fabulous "knee-cor" lenses. I've always called them Ni-Cor lenses. You say pot ta toe, I say po tat to.
  24. So how do you pronounce Nikkor?
  25. Number 2, only American use number 1 (British use number 2)
  26. *North Americans pronounce it as number 1, not just Americans. Canadians may be part of the commonwealth, but we certainly don't say it like the others.
  27. When I took my Nikomat for CLA to a local repair shop the lady who was Asian pronounced KNEE KON" and then turned to her husband and started talking in their language. In Poland they pronounce KNEE KON as well.
  28. Interesting thread....
    I've always pronounced it Caaaaa...Nunnnn....
    But thanks for the info... :)
  29. Up until the time I got into photography it was Nighkon, now I say Nickon. Wish i hadn't of changed but i did.
    But yes I'm Canon.
  30. In Norway we say the correct no. 2 for Nikon - might be just dumb luck. Interestingly, as Japanese words get longer, people tend to mess them up, though. Lots of Norwegians say Mitsu-bitchy instead of Mitsubishi for the car. And I suppose only Japanese people pronounce Tokyo correctly. I know how to do it, but I just get funny looks if I do it in general conversation.
    Canon we pronounce as in English, Leica, we pronounce Lay-ca rather than the correct Lie-ca - perhaps it's to avoid confusion with the first dog in space.
    Interestingly, many Japanese people would struggle with pronouncing "Olympus". Konnichi wa Orimpusu-san.
  31. In Denmark: "nickon" with two short wovels
  32. Yes, indeed... it was a full-moon last night!
  33. Daniel Lee Taylor , Sep 24, 2010; 12:25 a.m.
    That's so funny because I've always pronounced it CAN-NON ;-)​
    Wait, I have always thought that was "CANNOT" ?
  34. When I bought my used Nikon F in 1962; they used 1) Nigh con
    I have heard in pronounced many different ways.
    I have folks who where born after 1962 "correct me" if I use 1) Nigh con; thus folks with an agenda or new to photography can attempt to change history. It just you as a newbie or dunce if you think that only 1,2, 3 or 4 etc is the only why. It just means your world is narrow.
  35. For what it's worth, everyone I've heard in the UK (I'm English) uses 3, although I'm vaguely aware that 1 is popular in the US. I'll gladly use 2 (and presumably knee-core) if that's more official, though. Linux stopped worrying about it (although it *used* to care). I'll still slap anyone who pronounces "GIF" with a hard "G". Frankly, it's not worth worrying about when there are issues between English dialects about bumming a fag, what a fanny pack is, wearing pants for a walk along the pavement, and whether a pedophile is a foot-fetishist.

    Speaking of pronunciation, if I may lower the tone: My subconscious is clearly getting so worried about accent corruption from all the US TV shows I watch that I recently described a Nikkor to my other half as meaning "I won't be able to bath in arse's milk". I believe she went off to the urban dictionary when she eventually stopped laughing.
  36. Since it's a portmanteau of Nippon gaku, #2 is correct, but that gets 'corrected' to Nigh-kahn here in the States. In the South I also get 'nah-kown'. When in Philistia... :)
    Thank goodness they rebranded Kwanon to Canon or we might try to put one in gin. At least most of us say Lye-kah (Leitz kamera) right.
    Lots of Norwegians say Mitsu-bitchy instead of Mitsubishi for the car.​
    Same for detractors and disgruntled owners here.
    My subconscious is clearly getting so worried about accent corruption from all the US TV shows I watch..​
    I can imagine Hugh Laurie having nightmares about it.
  37. Those crazy folk at Nippon Kogaku don't care how you say it as long as you buy one. But for the record all my attempts to get fellow Americans to say Knee-con have failed. We truly are the most stubborn people.
    Just try suggesting that Detroit should start making small, efficient diesel engines for our cars, too. That'll get you no where fast.
  38. Since it's a portmanteau of Nippon Kōgaku, #2 is correct

    Huh. I've always assumed that the "i" was short in Nippon (i.e. #3), as in - at the risk of lowering the tone again - nipples. At least, that's how I've heard it pronounced. I'm sure I'd have registered if it was pronounced "neap-on".

    At least most of us say Lye-kah (Leitz kamera) right.

    Oops. I tend to say Ley-car, since I apparently have friends with bad pronunciation. Given the pronunciation of Leitz, I'm guessing I should start confusing cameras with cosmonaut dogs.
  39. Noht Kannan
  40. "But for the record all my attempts to get fellow Americans to say Knee-con have failed. We truly are the most stubborn people."
    Perhaps you have the dreaded Don Quixote Disease?
    Incidentally, if the correct pronunciation in America is Nee-Kon, why when one calls the Nikon US telephone lines, do they say "Welcome to Nigh-Kon?"
  41. Nowadays, they pronounce it "Made in China."
  42. Just today, I was watching the second of the Jurassic Park trilogy, "The Lost World" , where the Jeff Goldblum and Vince Vaughn characters first find Jullianne Moore on the dinosaur island as she is taking photos of the dinosaurs. Jullianne looks at the camera hanging around Vince Vaughns' neck and says: "is that a NIGH...CON ?" , before taking the camera and proceeding to take photos. 'Nigh-kon' must have paid a small fortune for advertisment they got out of this movie. Here is a still with Julliane Moore holding her 'Nigh-con', an F5 or F6 ?
  43. Eric, as I said they don't care that Americans say Nigh-kon, the US distribution usage has been the same for as long as I can remember, they just want you to buy the product. But if you spend any time in Japan, people do look at you funny when you don't say Knee-con.
    Let's not forget that the Canon company has long dropped Kwanon.
  44. Since 1974 when I saw my first Nikon SLR I have said "nigh-kon".
    I've heard Brits say "Nik-kon".
  45. My son who does Karate, and is used to pronouncing Japanese words, says ni is pronounced knee, and in Japanese there is only one way to pronounce an i and it's ee. As a koi keeper, and thinking about it, I now realise what he says is probably true. Koi is short for Nishikigoi, pronounced as kneesh-kee-goy. I'm English and have always said Kneekon, but the American English version is creeping into our language.
  46. Andrew: since someone's bound to say: I'm pretty sure that's an F5 - all-in-one large body (the F6 has a separate battery pack), replacable viewfinder and a lever for the rear release. I hesitate only because mine's quite beaten up, so it doesn't look quite like that.
  47. jbg


    Second option. And it's never pretentious to pronounce it the right way (@ Sanford Gerald).
    Americans tend to pronounce things as there's no other language, in my experience. Curt Wiler is spot-on - most of the world is pronouncing it as it should be pronounced: "nee-kawn" (or "knee-con").
  48. Second option. And it's never pretentious to pronounce it the right way (@ Sanford Gerald).
    Perhaps not pretentious if you just say it that way yourself...but start correcting people about something as trivial as this will make you come across as an a-hole.
    How many Americans try to pronounce Volkswagen like a German would?
  49. When I hear someone say "knee-con" it sort of reminds me of the people who pronounce Target stores as Tar-jay. You just want to roll your eyes.
  50. Agreed Ivan. There is no pretension in correct pronunciation. It's #2
    Some other common ones:
    Konica is Ko-nee-ka, not Con-na-ka
    Sinar is See-nar, not Sigh-nar
    You don't have to go around correcting people, but if someone, like the OP asks, then the correct pronunciation is the proper response.
  51. jbg


    I don't know how to quote someone here (sorry for that).
    Andrew Gilchrist wrote: "Perhaps not pretentious if you just say it that way yourself...but start correcting people about something as trivial as this will make you come across as an a-hole.
    How many Americans try to pronounce Volkswagen like a German would?"
    I never said anything about correcting people all the time, because I'd definitely look like an a-hole. Agreed. Just that saying it right can never be pretentious. Doing something right doesn't say much about you (most of the time, when it comes to trivial things as this is, at least), unlike when you do things the wrong way - ;).
    It's not the question "how many Americans (or I'd rather try not to pick a nation as a whole, but people in general if I may) pronounce something the right way, but rather why don't they start pronouncing things the right way?". It really isn't that hard. You just need to want to learn something the right way! Education doesn't fall from the sky just like that, sadly.

    I hope we agree that educating yourself to understand different cultures and things in general should be the goal. Why that doesn't happen IS the right question if you ask me.
    Defending the lack of knowledge can't be the way, however you put it.
  52. "Americans tend to pronounce things as there's no other language, in my experience."​
    Ivan, I'm guessing your experience doesn't include having actually spent much time in America. This country is so large and diverse there is no single "typical" American in any sense, including pronunciations.
    Here in Texas alone there are separate and distinct accents, pronunciations and idiomatic expressions divided not only along racial, linguistic and nationalistic lines but along regional lines. Even among a limited sampling group of my own extended family I hear different vocal inflections and pronunciations of common phrases and words, depending on which part of Texas they're from.
    "I hope we agree that educating yourself to understand different cultures and things in general should be the goal."​
    I do appreciate irony. Especially considering how predictably divisive these "How do you pronounce 'Nikon'" threads have proven to be over the years. It ranks high in the Top Ten list of predictably divisive discussions, just below "Film vs. Digital" and other popular bones of contention in the "Oh, look, it's this thread again" genre of the webscape. It would be easier to count the number of such pronunciation threads that *didn't* digress into generalizations about culture, nationalism, education, etc.
  53. Although the Japanese and Europeans pronounce it NEE-kon, the ads in the US pronounce is as I always have, i.e.
    rhymes with HIGH-con. Ashton Kutcher can't be wrong! ;-)
  54. Funny that many say nigh- con camera and knee-cor lens!
  55. >> there are lots of countries in America, so which language would you choose? spanish, english, portuguese.......?

    Not to forget quebequois and a few hundred native languages. I wonder what the correct pronunciation for Nikon is in
    Navajo. ;-)
  56. I do remember way back in 2007 Nikon itself began to use the number 2 Pronunciation when they began advertising to English speaking, and Non-English speaking countries including E.U outside Japan and Asia, until then it had been number 1, though.
  57. It is kind of funny that I would have learned to say "Neek-core" and "Nigh-conn" even though they have the same origin.
    How about the popular sneaker company...Nigh-key or Nick-key? -key or -keh? Different of course since the origin is Greek. But easy to see how we get bombarded with words with similar spelling that might properly be pronounced differently.
    Ivan, I did agree with you that it's not pretentious in and of itself. Given the choice between right and wrong, generally better to be right. And some people will pick up on right answers and right behavior without being told. So by all means in most cases, if one knows better, no need to do it wrong just to fit in unless there's an obvious disadvantage in doing so.
    The issue becomes when people start thinking of this sort of correctness as some sort of badge of honor and looking down on those who aren't 'in-the-know'...perish the thought that internet forums might attract any such participants. For many folks its not enough to just be right--they need to evangelize! I know quite a few people (family members included) who take a little too much pleasure in correcting spelling, grammar, etc.--one supposed it makes them feel superior.
    When I mentioned 'Americans', it's only because I am one and thought the particular example I provided was somewhat similar, a case where Americans learned to pronounce it the way that came naturally rather than trying to cough out sounds that aren't part of their normal speech. I was not trying to say that American behavior is to be singled out.
    People can appear pretentious when they unnecessarily throw use foreign words in place of perfectly good native-language equivalents to make themselves appear better-educated. It is often the habit to unnaturally exaggerate the foreign-sounding pronunciation when doing so. I suspect however that most of the time people who know the speaker would gauge pretentiousness based on more than just a single delivery of one word. Another example that comes to mind is how most Americans would pronounce Paris, France. Many Americans know that the French would say "Pah-ree, Frahnse", rather than "Pair-riss, Frannce"...people will make a big deal about the country name but allow the city name to remain Anglicized.
    One of the other posters mentioned the eye-roll-inducing French-i-fying of 'Tarj-ay'. I don't think this is the same thing at all. Everyone I've heard do this was doing it in good humor--taking something decidedly ordinary and making it sound exotic, all in good fun. I don't think it has anything to do with proper pronunciation or not.
  58. jbg


    Lex Jenkins, you actually guessed wrong. :) But, that is what usually happens when people are guessing for the sake of their argument. I have spent quite enough time in America and I know what I'm talking about. I've even lived in Texas for two years. I've traveled quite a bit actually all around the world and know how things have their names which should be pronounced right. Now, if you can't accept that, that's cool. I don't care how are you going to say something - whatever you say reflects on you, not me.
    Talking about education and culture isn't generalization - it's essential if you're going to talk about anything meaningful.
    I'm sure you can appreciate the difference between knowing how to say something right and having different accents, pronunciations, languages, lingual expressions and what not. Right? Diversity is a good thing, but using that as an excuse for the lack of knowledge and understanding is nothing more than a flawed reasoning, I'm afraid.
    There is the right way of saying Nikon. It isn't hard to say it the right way - lol. No matter how many countries there are in the world, how many languages people speak in Texas, whether there are aliens among us or not... company with the name "Ford" should be pronounced as "Ford" - lol.
    It has nothing to do with Americans nor Aliens, it has to do with common sense and education (motivation to learn).
    Also, there's nothing ironic in understanding other cultures, Lex. It's a matter of respect and a basis for any kind of communication. That is the whole point of this debate so to speak. Respect and a possibility for communication. You can't have either if you view the world only through your way.
    If you can't take the time to learn to say my name right (for example), how can you be my friend and respect me? There can't be communication without the desire to understand and learn about "others". It's the same with poor Nikon.
    Andrew Gilchrist, you're explaining the obvious. Of course there are all sorts of people out there: some are killers, some take themselves too seriously, some are a-holes, some are smart, some are not so smart... some like to correct others every chance they have and look down on others, some don't... some like to eat a lot, some like to climb mountains... What is your point here? lol
    You're taking a hypothetical situation "what if" and arguing with that, when the whole thing is fairly simple: pronouncing something the right way is NOT pretentious per se. What some people might do or not, is completely irrelevant here, unless you think I'm one of those? Even then, there is the correct way of pronouncing "Nikon" - lol.
    I'm not sure if you're saying, that because SOME people might take every chance to correct someone and pretend to be smart cause of it, we should all say things the wrong way? LOL You know, if some are pretentious, doesn't mean we should all stop to do the right thing in fear of not becoming one of them - LOL.
  59. adidas = ah-dee-dah
    porsche = por-sha
    niche = neesh
    cabrolet = cab-ro-lay
    aluminium = al-u-min-ee-um
  60. Ivan, perhaps way too much of what I'm saying should be obvious to most. Was not actually trying to argue against your point--and explicitly made a point of agreeing with it. I've already spouted more than most will care to read so will stop now.
    Ty, it's my understanding that "aluminum" is accepted usage alongside with the UK-favored "aluminium" -- not just a pronunciation difference but spelled differently as well. Think this may be a case where scientists might have zigged while commercial market zagged. And the dictionary I checked had cabriolet = ca-bree-o-lay. Not sure if there are regional differences on that one.
  61. "If you can't take the time to learn to say my name right (for example), how can you be my friend and respect me?"​
    If your personal standards can't accommodate variations in pronunciations of names without your feathers getting ruffled then you should probably avoid Rio Vista and Joshua, Texas. Or talking to anyone in Texas named Beauchamp. But who knows, they might actually appreciate your correcting them on their ignorance.
    While you're busy conforming the language to a particular standard you might also want to put an end to the abominable practice some Texans (mostly the older generation along the Gulf and Piney Woods) have of pronouncing the word shrimp as s'rimp. That one still makes me wince, but I've learned to ignore it.
    After you've repaired that offense to the language you can start on the redundant rhotics some Texans employ by adding an 'uh' after words like "car", "far" or simply the letter R. It would make communication far'uh more efficient if folks didn't have to waste time looking for the car'uh in the parking lot outside the bar'uh.
    Finally, you might convince my ex-spouse that a single layer cake baked in a flat pan is a sheet cake, not a sheath cake. But it may require a conquest of the northeastern Oklahoma region to root out the source of that particular inflection.
  62. IMO regardless of how people say it, how has Nikon authorized it's pronunciation in its training/advertising campaigns?
    If in North American a decision was made on a corporate level to use nigh-con rather than knee-con, wouldn't then Nikon have encouraged and even trained the N.A. market to pronounce the name of their company based on regions and what was more acceptable to the particular market they are serving.
    Intelligent advertising and marketing if you ask me.
  63. It's nee-kon in most of the world, including Germany and other parts of Europe. It's nee-kor for the lenses, too.
  64. Brand X
  65. Most large companies take a great deal of care to use names for their products which are acceptable in the target countries for the product. Hence products in America may well have different names to products in Europe or Asia. I am sure that Nikon will be happy to trade in America under whatever pronunciation is easiest for the American people to say and recognise and will not be trying to correct pronunciation. Indeed from the evidence of previous posts this is obviously the case. If Nikon are happy with it why should we bother about 'correcting' others pronunciation?
    The globalisation of the English language has meant that English is used in many different ways - go to India, Singapore, Australia etc etc and see how the language varies. The trick is to go with the attitude of trying to fit in wherever you go and not export your own little ideas of what things should be. My own countrymen (UK) are the worst at this, trying to correct everyone as to what 'proper' English is, but other are guilty too..... A little bit of cultural awareness, humility and give and take goes a long way.
    Let's not worry about the pronunciation, I'm sure that Nikon don't!
  66. Now I know why I can't understand what the hell all those customer service people are talking about even though they are speaking English.
  67. Like from the song by Paul Simon, Kodachrome. The USA/Canadian way.

    Nikon is from Ikon, and it's "eye-khan."
    The Japanese mispronounce it.
    Just like Nikon screwed up the mount on their rangefinder when they stole it
    from Contax.

    But that's just my opinion, even though its right.
  68. In Russia everybody pronounces [nikon].
  69. Since someone mentioned Nikkor...
    Nikon = NIGH-kahn
    Nikkor = nik-CORE
    At least that's my humble interpretation.
  70. I know what improper english sounds like! Trust me, I've been speaking it for a while ;-)
    In spanish, by the way, there are no short vowels and long vowels, just vowels. Thus, everybody in Spain says Nick-on. And Casio is using the short a as in cat, i as in nick, o as in dog vowels. So I was shocked when an english officemate said "Car-sye-oh". Shocking!. The funniest example in spain is perhaps Nike. It's mostly the posh and pretentious say "Naiki". Well, maybe people that have lived long enough in english-speaking countries do so. Most of the people say "Naik", in part because they don't know the name comes from the greek goddess of victory... in which case it should be Nick-eh.
  71. Hi,
    We pronounce "nee-kawn" in Finland. Very short and solid almost hard word.
    Esa Kivivuori
  72. You supposed to pronounce as the Japans pronounce it, because it is a japan is name and as any name is a privet property. You are not supposed to twisted all over a non english name as you usually doing, because you don't like to be twisted out your name too. If everybody can learn how to pronounce a foreign name, like Shakespeare, then you, whom an english or english speaking person, you too, has to learn those foreign names. Not very difficult, even for an english. You just have to do it. Like the name; Shakespeare is pronounced in the same way as you doing it at home in England. Being it in Italy, Hungary, German, China, Japan or maybe a Martian speaking you mother-tongue, but pronouncing a foreign name in the proper way. It is so obvious, I don't understand why people don't get it. To learn the proper English grammar, it is an other mated. Sorry.
  73. I can not believe how much discussion this question has caused.
    The TV ads in the USA say Nigh - kon and Nick - core. It's obviously the way Nikon USA wants us to pronounce it in this country.
  74. Nikon's TV ads in the USA say "nigh-con", and 100% of the photographers that I've ever known over 45 years called them that. And when you call Nikon's repair facility they pronounce it that way. End of story. But the TV ads do suggest trying their line of wonderful "knee cor" lenses. I've always called them "nigh-cor" lenses.
  75. Some of this discussion is historically rooted in what has been called the "great vowel shift" in the development of the English language. While English has always used the Roman alphabet, the pronunciation of English vowels has departed from their original form in that alphabet, and from the way those vowels are sounded in other languages that use the Roman alphabet.
    See, for instance,
    There have been currents within the English speaking world about pronunciation, for generations, and of course differing elements even within England itself, which is now finds itself a minority of those who speak the language. It's a bit amusing to watch those who think they know what "authority" should command correctness or obedience in the pronunciation of English. Some even suggested that the alphabet should be changed, to reflect actual usage, or to coordinate with other languages.
    To me, I prefer to think of it as part of the richness of the history of the language and a reflection of the variances among its speakers on every continent of the planet.
  76. Here, in Italy, we pronunce Nikon it as it is written: Ni-kon.
    Easy, no doubt!
  77. Vincenzo,
    That is exactly the point.
    In English, unlike the continental languages, words are not necessarily pronounced as they are written in the Roman alphabet, and very often not as that printed word would be pronounced, say, in Italy. By a quirk of history, the pronunciations in English of vowels in the alphabet changed while the alphabet used to represent those sounds did not change. One would have to go back in time several centuries to find pronunciations in that alphabet in Britain to match what is still heard on the continent. This is true throughout the English speaking world, but it varies some in various locations by the dates of emmigration from England and by the speech patterns in different locations in England, say two or three hundred years ago, from which people left. To complicate things, some pronunciations and usage in England also have changed while its language was being exported over a few centuries.
    In English, more than one pronunciation can be possible if only going by the written word. And, in this case, by common usage, in English there are several pronunciations found for the written word "Nikon."
    So, when an English speaker sees "Ni-kon" in print, one can only guess at what it will sound like unless knowing what part of the world one is in, more or less. If you mean the Italian pronunciation of that printed word, then most of us know pretty much what you mean.
    Fun, eh?
  78. Ty, as native german speaker I can assure you that the german names adidas and porsche are not pronounced as you suggest.
    Adidas = both 'a' as in 'past', and the 's' at the end is pronounced, as in 'gas'
    Porsche = 'e' at end is short and as in 'test', not as in 'knee'. Amphasize is on first syllable.
  79. As a native Japanese, we call it Ni-Kon, as Vincenzo says. That's the correct answer, if the question is what the "right" pronunciation is.
    Used to be "Nippon Ko-gaku (Japan Optical Technologies - if it has to be translated)", so "Ni" came from "Nippon (the other name of the country)" and "Ko" came from "Ko-gaku" and the last "n" came from nowhere :). So, there is no way "Ni" becomes "nai", from the origin standpoint, but each language has its rule and custom and I think it is okay to pronounce it however people like. When it's written, Nikon is Nikon :)
  80. and I think it is okay to pronounce it however people like.​
    In the international school here in Singapore, we face this all the time, with kids coming from as many as 30 countries.
    Although the popular notion is that proper nouns can be pronounced in any way - IMO that logic is faulty.
    A name has been assigned by the name-giver to give it a unique identity. The name has either a meaning attached or an association or an origin attached to it. If the phonetics change, it may no longer communicate the identity we are referring to.
    So in a native language of some place I might say Dhaaaveed and be calling out to David - or Maaath for Matt - but would that elicit a response from the person I would be calling out to?
    IMO there is a right way to pronounce a name and the rest are wrong ways even if they are accepted and used by large numbers.
    And in the case of Nikon - it has got to be the way intended by its makers : Ni-kon.
  81. I can't watch anything on the internet where an American accent says "nigh-con". It's like a nail scraping down a chalkboard or a wire brush on concrete. Sorry to say, there are other Americanisms which have the same effect on me.
    A mate once made me endure some awful Star Trek film where Kirk makes egg-something for Picard and says "pass me the orrrr-egg-ann-owe" at which point I fell on the floor laughing and made him play it back. Now I suspect we get it wrong in England too and that Italians cringe when we say "ori-gaaan-owe".
    Always a tough one accepting the language of others when our own pronunciations are ingrained for many years. At idle moments I find myself speculating whether Americans say "Peeentax", "Pine-tax", "Pennax" and so on.
    However, American accents have a rightness about them in rock and pop music whereas English misses the mark, just to balance things up.
    As cutely observed earlier though, I don't think these companies care if we are getting our wallets out, lots of laughs!
  82. Ok, my first answer was just for fun, but it's true that we italian pronunce word as they're written.
    In any case, I use to say Ni-kon talking to an italian, but to an American I say Nai-kon. I'm trying to find words that I do know the pronunciation which still apply to the word Nikon and "pine" or "time" should work. Do they apply?
  83. Americans are challenged when it comes to pronouncing foreign words and the corporations know it, so they make it easy on us.
    Hyundai doesn't even pronounce the "y" here in their ads.
  84. Heres how they say it in Japan:
  85. Hyundai doesn't even pronounce the "y" here in their ads.​
    that remnided me of an example that may be relevant here. i used to work with a company that had direct dealings with hyundai australia, and we would often entertain and be entertained by hydundai execs from korea. in australia, hyundai is pronounced "hi-oon-di", however we were instructed by hyundai australia to always say "he-oon-day" as they do in korea. now all of the television commercials will pronouce it in the same way they do in korea, even though the incorrect pronounciation is firmly established here in oz
  86. bmm


    This is not an important issue, indeed one of the least I've ever read on this site.
    For the record, I'm in the 2/3 camp - definitely not 1 anyway - and that comes from Aussie, England, continental Europe, and Asia experience including Japan. And yes I do believe one should try to pronounce things right, with the country of origin as the reference. (Though again there are a million things that are more important to try to do than this in life).
    But as long as I'm talking photography with someone - even if their pronunciation of a camera brand makes me giggle and/or cringe just a touch - I'm happy.
  87. Sorry couldn't wade thru 10 pages of this but the automobile is pronounced (in USA) knee-sahn. Nissan. So Nikon should be pronounced........
  88. John - Nissan is, I believe ubiquitously, "nih-san" (short "i", as in "miss") in the UK. I think I've detected the US pronunciation on television. This may be why everyone I know says "nih-con" (or "nick-on", if you prefer) rather than "knee-con" or the apparently (according to this thread) Americanised "nigh-con".
  89. If it was spelled in Japanese as I pronounce it and as most pronounce it here in the states, it would be Naikan.
    Nikon = knee cone
    Nikkor = kneek core
    Chevrolet = Chev oh ray :)
  90. Nigh Khan
  91. Well, as a Brit, here's my 2 pennorth ("pence worth" for non-Brits) -
    I lived 5 years in Japan and 12 years all told in Asia. Everywhere, with the exception of Philippines
    used #2. Philippines, probably cos of heavy American influence used #1
    And we Brits for some weird reason seem to prefer Nikon as in Knickers.
    I now live in Brazil where the portuguese speaking camera bugs use #2 Knee Kon
    Who cares - in any language it is highly regarded stuff!
  92. Ask the Nights who say Ni!

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