unfortunately, it seems as though my English level remains to be that of a foreigner, as was exemplified by me misapprehending the pronunciation of the word "divisor". Somehow, my instincts (which were, perhaps, misguided by my upbringing in the German language) told me to pronounce this word "deeveesor" (the first two syllables being, of course, speaken quickly), which would be closer to the German pronunciation customs. However, I checked it on the internet and I wasn't able to find this pronunciation anywhere. Hence, I'd like to ask you whether it is, in fact, a false pronunciation, or whether it is permitted.

(Of course, when I say "permitted", I mean permitted in the English language as spoken in the UK.)

  • 3
    Try "d'weis'r," as if German – J. Taylor Feb 15 '19 at 21:08
  • Sounds like a job for youglish! As a native, I would say your pronunciation marks you as non-native, but that’s ok. I’d probably understand the word and not comment on it. – Pam Feb 15 '19 at 21:10
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    I've certainly heard it pronounced that way, and while it's non-standard it's not too jarring when coming from someone who has other pronunciation quirks. – Hot Licks Feb 15 '19 at 21:17
  • Let me clarify: I was well aware of the standard pronunciation, yet a gut feeling told me that my way to pronounce that word was better. As I said, I may have been mistaken. Primarily, I want to know whether my pronunciation is only "non-standard", or whether it simply wouldn't be used by an Englishman. – AlgebraicsAnonymous Feb 15 '19 at 21:25
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    "deeveesor" sounds like a character from a Dickens novel. I would not pronounce it that way. – J. Taylor Feb 15 '19 at 21:34

Thanks to Wiktionary, you can see the universal phonetic description of how it sounds to pronounce "divisor" in both British and American English.


(UK) IPA(key): /dɪ.ˈvaɪ.zə(ɹ)/

(US) enPR: dĭ-vīʹ-zər, IPA(key): /dɨ.ˈvaɪ.zɚ/

You're in luck because it also has a homophone. :)

Homophone: diviser

Wiktionary also provides a recording of the two styles of pronunciation in a sound file

Here's another web site that uses sound files to demonstrate the pronunciation of divisor so you can get some variation.

  • I find the “you’re in luck” sentence misleading. How is this lucky for the OP? – Jim Feb 15 '19 at 22:30
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    Two words pronounced the same way. Just an attempt at humor. Once you know how to say divisor you will also know how to say diviser. – Karlomanio Feb 15 '19 at 22:32
  • Ok..., but none of the pronunciations you provide, nor the homophone is pronounced like OP would like to pronounce it, so in that respect he’s out of luck. – Jim Feb 15 '19 at 22:34
  • @Jim Thanks for your feedback. I do think this answers the question because it provides the correct pronunciation. – Karlomanio Feb 15 '19 at 22:39

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