How to pronounce KATO ?

Tbone Nov 27, 2006

  1. Tbone

    Tbone Permanently dispatched

    How do you pronounce the name Kato? Is it K(A)TO or is it K(AHHH)TO?Please help so I dont sound like a moron anymore.Thanks Guys
  2. SD70BNSF

    SD70BNSF TrainBoard Supporter

    I've heard you could pronounce it both ways, but I say K(AHHH)TO and find it more prevalent with my friends and local modelers.
  3. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    You say potato...

    "KADO" (KAH doe or KAH toe) is correct. :thumbs_up:

    Although about 80% of the modelers (and shop employees) I know say "KAY toe". So even if you say it right, you're still probably gonna sound like a moron to them, relatively speaking. ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2006
  4. Kozmo

    Kozmo TrainBoard Member

    watch "tracks ahead" they pronounce it at the start of every show as kato usa is a sponsor of tracks ahead.
  5. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    I personal pronounce it: "Kay Toe" Long "a" and Long "o"
    I personaly don't care how a word is pronounced. The objective is to communicate and anyone who is not a moron will know from context what you are refering to.
    Most likey only a rivet counter of the worst type would correct you in a negative way.

    My last name is: Goodenough
    There are 16 legitimate phonetic pronunciations of it. Three are prevelent. Any guesses?
  6. Charlie Vlk

    Charlie Vlk TrainBoard Member

    When I started working at Kato they answered the phone KAY-TOE.
    The actual Japanese pronounceation of the name is KAH -TOE.
    With my last name being spelled V L K I am interested a little in linguistics, and knew the correct pronunciation from being introduced to Mr. Kato senior prior to my working at Kato.
    I suggested that we start pronouncing it correctly and from that point on we always used the KAH-TOE pronounciation. It isn't a big deal but
    most people will use the correct form if they are aware of it.
    Charlie Vlk
    (closest I can get to pronouncing my own name correctly is V U L K!)
  7. sp4009

    sp4009 TrainBoard Member

    But are any of them goodenough?:teeth:
  8. Thirdrail

    Thirdrail In Memoriam

    Surname pronunciation

    As another person who experiences widespread mispronunciation of his surname, it is only common politeness to at least attempt to pronounce the surname of Mr. Hiroshi Kato the way he prefers, "kah-toh". To say you are going to ignore his wishes and pronounce his name any way you feel like pronouncing it is beyond rudeness... :angry:

    It is his name and his company, after all. :embarassed:
  9. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

    On the other hand having a name that is mispronounced sure weeds out the telemarketers. Hardly a one gets mine right.

  10. Shelbybla1

    Shelbybla1 TrainBoard Member

    KAH-TOE is correct ... at least that's the way the employees pronounce it when I call there.
  11. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    When I lived in NH, some pronounced it KHAY-DOH! I miss my accent.
  12. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    It's usually Kah-to. Just as the cameras are Nee-kon.
  13. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

    At one of the NTRAK conventons a few years ago, I forget which one, Hiroshi got up to speak at the Manufacturer's Breakfast and introduced himself. "Hello, I am Hiroshi Kay-toe, oops I mean Kah-toe." He about brought the place down with laughter. Even he has fun with it.
  14. Paul Bender

    Paul Bender TrainBoard Member

    I'm always reminded when I see a thread like this about a long standing discussion in the computer world about how to pronounce the name of the operating system "Linux".

    Those in the computer world know that the operating system was named after it's creator, a guy named Linus Torvalds.

    Most Americans pronounce the name Linus like the the character in the peanuts comic strip (i.e. lye-nus), as a result, the word Linux gets a long I.

    Mr. Torvalds actually pronounces his first name "lee-nus", so from his point of view, "Linux" is pronounced "lee-nux".

    But, on the other hand, Mr.Torvalds also is sometimes attributed with saying something along the lines of "I don't care how you say it, as long as everyone knows what you're talking about".

    And so it is with the company called Kato, as long as everyone knows what you're talking about, who cares how you pronounce it.

    Now, If I were talking to Mr. Kato, then pronouncing his name as he wants to hear it pronounced IS important.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2006
  15. milwaukeerailroader

    milwaukeerailroader TrainBoard Member

    I vote for KAY-TOE
  16. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member


    Someone ought to post a FAQ on manufacturer names:

    Athearn: ATH-urn or AH-thurn?
    Dremel: DREM-el or drem-EL?
    Marklin: MAR-klin or MER-klin?
    Heljan: HEL-JIN or HEL-YAN?
    Shinohara: SHEE-nohara or SHY-NO-hara?
    Tomix: TOM-mix or TOE-mix?
  17. jaythespoon

    jaythespoon Permanently dispatched

    There was a girl named Penelope;
    Who rode upon an antelope;
    You say her name's Penelope;
    Then it must have been an antelope!

    - Ogden Nash

    Years ago I was TDY to Keesler AFB, Miss and there were several ANG trainees (almost all of Japanese extraction I might mention) from Hawaii on the same floor as I; one of these young airmen was introduced to me as Kay-Toe and that is how I have always pronounced it.

    During the winter Olympics from Japan a couple of years back they kept referring to NAW-GUH-TOE. I always heard it pronounced as NAW-GAW-TOE - that was the name of a Japanese Battleship which was sunk in the Operation Crossroads Atomic Bomb Tests in 1946. Finally the announcers tackled the issue with the explanation that either way was correct; like most nations with a large population spread out across a relatively large distance Japanese experiences dialect and Nagato could be pronounced as NAW-GUH-TOE or NAW-GAW-TOE. Whatever's your bag!!!

    In Germany WALTHERS is pronounced WALTHERS if you are from Hannover; however it is pronounce WALTERS if you are from Bavaria - or maybe I have that backasswards!!!

    The Tucson, Cornelia, and Gila Bend ran from Gila Bend to Ajo. The first time I went through the latter location I stopped for some refreshment and enquired of the girl behind the counter as to the proper pronunciation of the place. She looked incredulous that I did not know how to pronounce the name "DAY-REE-KWEEN".

    For those of you familiar with the British comedy Keeping Up Appearances, Hyacinth is quick to correct anyone who mispronounces her last neme: BOO-KAY; forget the fact that it is spelled BUCKET!!!

    So long from DAY-REE-KWEEN!!!!
  18. Rossford Yard

    Rossford Yard TrainBoard Member

    My understanding is that the whole English spelling of Japanese words was imposed on Japan by the US after WWII. Kato or any other Japanese word spelled with our alphabet is a phonetic approximation of a traditional Japanese sound.

    I also understood that spoken Japanese has no sounds that are long "A" vowel sounds, so KAH-TOE is probably technically correct. However, I am sure Mr. Kato has heard more than one American change his name. It may bother him, but I'm glad he makes light of it.
  19. grande5771

    grande5771 TrainBoard Supporter In Memoriam

    Japanese pronunciations

    This is from my college Eastern Civics class.

    A- ah as in bravo
    E- ay as in May
    I- ee as in sheep
    O- oh as in home
    U- oo as in food

    So the correct Japanese pronunciation is Kah-toe.
  20. bryan9

    bryan9 TrainBoard Member

    Honoring those we value is nice but don't fry the newbies, please

    I can sympathize with Charlie, albeit for a different reason: my surname is one of the longer ones you'll encounter: Pfaffenberger. Count 'em. 13 letters.

    Properly (that is, by German speakers), it's something like 'foff-en-BEARGHHHHHH-er' (with the HHHHH standing for a glottal fricative, basically the sound you make when you hawk up some spit).

    Within my family, however, it's pronounced:

    * PAFF - enberger (Indiana)
    * FOFF - enberger (California)

    The following, however, is generally frowned upon:

    * Pee-FAFF-en-berger

    And, of course, at school, I was constantly called

    * CHEESE burger

    Which I took as a complement, actually. It could have been HAM-burger.

    All this is to say that it's a big, diverse world. I'm partial to the idea of honoring Mr. Kato by pronouncing his name correctly. At the same time, those who know better should not belittle or correct those who are just learning. We want to welcome people into N-Scale, not turn them off. As newcomers learn of Mr. Kato's history and the incredible contributions Kato has made to our hobby, they will take an interest in pronouncing his name (and his company's name) correctly -- to show our respect and to honor his contribution.

    --Bryan Pfaffenberger (I'm from the California branch, so, please, FOFF - enberger).

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