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If this were my name, I'd learn how to properly pronounce the o-umlaut. I'm not sure where the "-ane" pronunciation came from in words like "shoen," but to a German speaker, it sounds utterly wrong (at least the "-owen" makes sense from an English viewpoint).

Of course, it's your name, and you should pronounce it however you want without regard for how others want you to say it.

Pronounce it "Smith" if you like :)


wade koba

Dear Sir,

The English pronounciation
of Wilhelm Roetgen and spelling I believe to be incorrect? In English the last name is pronounced (rent-gen), with a hard sounding "g" as in "guy", but I know there are really two dots over the "o" and no "e". The English language had also butchered my last name really "Kober" now spelled "Koba". I am from a German heritage. I have been pronouncing the name (vil-helm)(ren-chen).Please let me know if I am correct in my prounciation in Duetche and/or tell me how it sounds in English so I can pass the word along so his name will actually be prounounced in German correctly in the English language. Thank you for your time to review my question. Truly yours, Wade Koba


I am learning german in college right now, maybe I can help a little. As for Schoengarth, I would pronounce it "sh-own-garth" with a long o, because that is what the umlaut means, that the verb is long.

As for Roetgen, I am not so sure, but I would pronounce it either like "rot-gen", kinda like rot in english, if you are unfamiliar with that word, try rot like rope with a t, and gen with kind of a jen sound, like the name.

My last name is also a german name that is a victim of the english language, it is Schley, derived from Schleh, pronounced kind of like sch-lay, but it was changed by my great grandfather, and is properly pronounced scha-lie. Sadly, I have only met one person in my life that pronounced it correctly the first time.

Oliver Roth

Dear Russ,
I think, you are very close to the right pronounciation of your family-name. It is almost like "shaneguard". the oe is originally an o with two points on it, but this kind of sound does not exist in english. Schoen means pretty and garth comes from garten, the same word you find in the word "Kindergarten" Schoengarth is also the girls name of my mother. The family is original from Breslau, former Germany, today Poland (Wroclaw). contact me if you want to know more about the Schoengarths! oldanroth@hotmail.com
Best regards from Cologne/ Germany
Oliver-Daniel Roth


Hallo Russ,

the "ö" is pronounced similar to the English "ur" in 'murder', but without any r-sound.
Try to round your lips as if you'd wanna kiss somebody and say 'ur' as in murder, but drop the r.
'schön' therefore should sound like "shu(r)n".

Best wishes from Germany


Hello Wade Koba,

there are actually 2 ways of pronouncing "Röntgen":

It can be either "Rönt-gen" with g as in "guy" or
"Rönt-gen" with g like a ch-sound as in German "ich" [c].
(The latter one is the usual pronunciation, even though the first one might be grammatically more correct).

The "ö" is pronounced similar to the way I explained it for 'schön', but is a short sound in this case.

Best wishes

Kris Koba

Jut as a comment on Koba. My name is Koba and it is directly from Poland. Maybe Wade is one country off.

Terry Gilliam

All my life I have pronounced my last "Gillum", giving the "ia" a soft "u" sound, as did everyone in my family. But, in the past few years I heard it pronounced several different ways. Is there a proper way to pronounce it? Thanks

Crawford Kilian

I'm not even sure how to pronounce my own name, Terry, so I can't help you with yours! Am I KIL-ee-un or KIL-yun? I usually go for the second version, but not always. Interestingly enough, many people who read my name without hearing it will pronounce it "Killun," very much as you pronounce "Gilliam."

If that's the way you've pronounced it, and that's the way everyone in your family spells it, all is well.

Ed Vedder

I'm trying to figure out some geneology information for my mother's side of the family. Her last name is Greubel, but I haven't been able to find anything about that surname. Do you have any ideas if it sounds like something you know in German? I'm wondering about the meaning and pronunciation of you know them. I can't find a direct translation. Thank you.


How do you say "Thank you" in German? Is Donke Shane correct and what is the correct spelling?

Thank you,

Christopher Schuler

This is very interesting information...
Could you show me how my last name "Schuler" looks written in German (Dutch)?

Merab Gzirishvili

I have one question. As I know german in German is der Deutsche(male) and die Deutsche(female). But I found in one book, that german in German is der Deutscher(male) and die Deutsche(female). Can you explain me which is the correct form, der Deutsche(male) or der Deutscher(male)?

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