Originally Posted by lkwinnipesaukee
Okay so who knows how to pronounce:
FWIW, Voelkl and Stoeckli are the standard spellings in my German experience if you don't have an umlaut handy.
I think it's really hard to describe how to pronounce those umlauts but my German teacher in high school used to explain an o-umlaut this way:
Form your tongue and mouth into the shape you make when you say, "oh". Now, while holding that shape with everything by your lips, form your lips into the shape you make them when you say, "eeee". Combine the two and you'll be close to the o-umlaut sound. It's sort of between "oh" and "uh".
It's a vowel sound most Americans grow up never hearing and some interesting research out there has shown that if you haven't heard a sound by a certain age (I remember it being a few months to a few years of age) you will always have trouble differentiating that sound from one's you're more used to, and you'll have trouble making that sound.
So it's sort of like "Fuhl-kl" and "Schtuhk-lee".
Kneissl is pretty easy, just think "knnnnigets" like from The Holy Grail. Damn...did I just admit to be a Monty Python nerd? Ignore that last...I never said it. Anyway, you're right; "ei" in Germanic languages is a long "i".
As for Lange, when I was growing up everyone I knew seemed to pronounce it to rhyme with "gang". I suspect that it's really a German word though and should be pronounced more like "lahng-uh".
As for the French ones...I don't know, just try to sound like Inspector Clouseau.
Right...how's that for a useless pronunciation lesson?