What is the correct pronounciation of Gogh, as in the one-eared painter.

I grew up always hearing it pronounced the same as “go,” but nowadays I usually hear it pronounced like “gauf” (sorta like golf but without the L) or like “gau-vague gurgling noises.”

What’s the right way?

According to Wikipedia, it is: [faŋˈxɔx] in IPA.

I take that to mean:
faŋ = fang. Not a Dutch speaker, but I would think pronounce these consonants not so strongly as in English.
x = a chuffing sound roughly like the end of Scottish “loch.” Breathe out while you make a “k” sound to approximate.
ɔ = the o/a sound in “dog.”

Also according to Wikipedia:

That may be the original Dutch pronunciation, but you’d have to be a first-class pedant to consider that the “correct” pronunciation in English. Pronouncing it as “van go” is fine as far as most people are concerned; it will be clear whom you’re referring to.

Van Gogh is a dutch name, so you should pronounce it the way this newsreader does (at 0:11).

or what Shmendrik said

Have you by any chance relocated from America to Britain?

In my experience (having lived many years in both countries) American’s almost always say “Van Go” and British people almost always say “Van Gauf” (perhaps with just a hint of a K before the F). The latter seems to me to be a reasonable attempt to reproduce the proper Dutch pronunciation using phonemes that English speakers are used to pronouncing. It is not hard to say. I can see no justification for “Van Go” at all, except that for some random reason it seems to have caught on in America. Probably many Americans, never having heard anything else, think it is the correct Dutch, or the nearest they could reasonably be expected to get to the correct Dutch, but really it isn’t.

No just watching a lot of BBC.

Because in American English, a gh at the end of a word is usually silent.

As a native Dutch speaker, I’d say this is almost exaggeratedly clear, and a bit “posh”, but still a good example of the pronunciation. In general spoken Dutch, I’d expect a bit more gutteral/rasping Gs and more muted vowels (especially the “a” and “o” sounds).

Either that, or it makes an “f” sound.

“Vincent Van Goff”.

“It’s the same sound as at the end of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.”

someone (not necessarily an expert) said it’s ‘van-hof.’

Here’s a clip from the British TV show QI, where they got the presenter of the Dutch franchise of the same show in to demonstrate the authentic pronunciation:

And it wasn’t the entire ear, just part of the lobe.

The dutch pronunciation is the only way the song “AMSTERDAM”, from the latest Crowded House album, works:

“You and me got the whole day off,
Took a trip to Vincent Van Gogh…”

Neil Finn throws in that dutch/yiddish “gh”, and voila, it rhymes!

But if you’re an “Amurr-kin” from the midwest, like me, just stick with “Van Go”, or you’ll sound pretentious. And don’t say “Paree, Fronce” – or “Boccchhh” for Bach, either.

Yeah, as in “cough”.



Boy if only Eyebrows had included some sort of qualifier like usually in their response.

Inner Stickler was that a whoosh or just a drive through?

Enough words have a sounded ending compared with non-sounded to make Eyebrows Of Doom’s response only a little bit right.

So you’re saying there are more words with it sounded than unsounded? Or are you saying that it’s a 50/50 shot that any given word with gh at the end will be unsounded or sounded? Not to mention words like eight, knight, sight, and freight where it’s unsounded in the middle of the word. It sounds reasonable to me that your average english speaker won’t sound the -gh at first guess for a word they’re unsure of.