# Thread: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

1. ## pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

I am wondering how the professor pronounced the partial derivative symbol ∂ in the video (at 36:37). Is it doh, del or der?

2. ## Re: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

Originally Posted by anhnha
doh
To me, it sounds closest to that one.

Me too.

4. ## Re: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

Thanks. Is "doh" the correct pronunciation of that symbol?

5. ## Re: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

It was pronounced "delta" when I went to university.

6. ## Re: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

My research showed only that it's called "the curved d" or sometimes "the curly d."

It is not the lower case delta (the Greek letter).

7. ## Re: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

Delta is the name of the Greek letter used in mathematics to represent "the change in". The partial derivative symbol is an invented symbol which, according to this Wikipedia article, is variously pronounced "del", "dee", "partial dee", "partial", "curly dee", or "dabba". The professor in the video pronounces it yet another way, doh.

8. ## Re: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

The lower-case form of delta can be written with that vertical leg either curving back to the left, or with a kind of sharp 's' curve to the right.

I picked up the habit of curving my lower-case d's to the left when I took a biblical Greek class, because it was easier for me to distinguish my own written Greek from a lower-case sigma (σ). I still write my English d's this way, for absolutely no valid reason.

You can see some examples of both delta shapes here.

9. ## Re: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

The partial derivative symbol is not a lower-case delta.

10. ## Re: pronunciation of partial derivative symbol

Here are the BrE pronunciations of mathematical and scientific symols, etc:
http://www.uefap.com/speaking/symbols/symbols.htm

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