Steve Heiner about the NEW Nikon D700 !!

Started Jul 19, 2008 | Discussions thread
Eamon Hickey
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,170
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"Nikon" is a made up word with several "correct" pronounciations
In reply to Juergen, Jul 25, 2008

Juergen wrote:

But one thing is to criticise: It's not "Nay-kon" but "Knee-kon" -
although Mr. Heiner seems to be a nice guy and talks slow and clear
so us not having English as native language can understand him very
well it's disappointing he doesn't know how to pronounce "Nikon"...

"Nikon" is a made up word, created as a brand name in the 1920s or 30s (can't remember) by the marketing department at Nippon Kogaku, K.K, the original name of the company now called Nikon Corporation. (Nippon Kogaku translates more or less as Japan Optical.)

Nikon themselves get to decide the correct pronunciation of the marketing word they created, and they have decided that, as with thousands of other words, several pronunciations are equally correct. The Japanese do indeed say Knee-cone, and the Americans say Neye-kon, and the British say Nick-on, and Nikon Corporation (i.e. Nikon Japan) has informally endorsed them all. I heard this explained to me by the Vice President of Nikon Inc. (that's Nikon USA) at a sales meeting when I was working for Nikon Inc. in the 1990s. The Neye-kon pronounciation was established in the 1950s by the American employees of Ehrenreich Photo Optical, Inc., the original distributors of Nikon in the U.S., when they introduced Nikon products to the American market.

So my friend Steve Heiner, who has worked for Nikon since the mid-1980s, was most definitely not mispronouncing his own company's name; he was using the standard American pronounciation, as he properly should have been. If you noticed, he also said the lens brand name--Nikkor--as "nick-oar", which is paradoxically the standard American pronounciation, according to Nikon Inc. I never could get used to that and would say "neye-koar", by mistake, continually throughout my eight years working there. These things were, in fact, discussed quite a bit at the company.

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