[XeTeX] Pronunciation of "XeTeX" in various languages

Nikola Lecic nlecic at EUnet.yu
Thu Feb 22 15:44:18 CET 2007

A solution from Cyrillic world: Two X's from XeTeX are different 
letters! And their mirroring perfectly reflects XeTeX's multilingual power.

Cyrillic letter Х is equivalent of Latin H. So, every TeX user in Serbia 
(and they are countless here) pronounce TeX as 'тех', i.e. 'teh' with 
short 'e', so Knuth would be very pleased to hear our pronunciation. 
Knuth also says that we should think 'technology'. In Serbian, 
technology = ТЕХнологија (TEHnologija when we use Latin script). And 
that fits perfectly to what Knuth wanted.

Latin X *is not* Greek Chi (Χ/χ). Latin X is Greek Xi (Ξ/ξ), which 
actually consists of *two* letters, Κ/κ and Σ/σ (Kappa and Sigma), and 
should sound like Latin 'ks'. The similar case is that of Psi -- Ψ/ψ 
(consisting of Π/π and Σ/σ), but Latin scripts converted it using two 
letters, P and S, and so we have 'ψυχολογία = psychology'.

If you pronounce Greek χ like 'h' from English 'hand', you are close to 
the right pronunciation and every Greek will understand you. The truth 
is that Greek χ is a bit harsher (being the aspirated version of Kappa 

Now, Jonathan said that first X of XeTeX stands for X from Mac OS X. And 
that means that two X's from that word are not the same thing! First X 
is the real 'KS' combination and should therefore be pronounced the way 
people pronounce Mac's 'X' in their languages. I would therefore 
pronounce XeTeX as /kseteh/ (or /zi:teh/).

To sum up, I vote for Ziteh or Kseteh, but always -teH, 'h' as in 'hand' :)

Nikola Lečić

More information about the XeTeX mailing list