Szpinski. Just SZPIN, pure and simple, but not simple enough for many people in Canada.
I hear “zzzpin,” “pzzzin” and “ssssszzzzpin.” Amazing, just five letters stump the nation.
For the sake of teaching people, too lazy, too uncaring, or too ignorant to learn the correct pronunciation, I try to make things easier for them. “Just ignore the ‘Z’ but people are still too incapable of understanding what I am telling them.
The “Z” is silent. Do not pronounce the ‘Z.’ Ignore the ‘Z.’ Get some liquid paper and white out the ‘Z.’
When I was a secondary school administrator, I took great pride in learning the correct pronunciation of students names. When I called out their name on the school’s PA system, you knew it was pronounced correctly as I made a point of learning to pronounce it properly right from the student him/herself. They liked that sort of effort. So did I.
But over the years, my name has been incredibly butchered when it comes to pronunciation. There is no point in explaining to “English-as-a-first-language-speaking-persons” that the SZ is a common occurence in Slavic languages and easily pronounced by one who is familiar with any one those languages. But Canadians seem quite apathetic about another culture’s pronunciation. A regrettable situation.
So for the last time, if you are going to use my surname, I will dumb it down for you. The Z is silent, forget about it, overlook it, skip it, ignore it….just say SPIN. I won’t even know you do not know how to pronounce it properly. More importantly, I won’t care that you dont care.