FACIT Trivia?


Facitman.jpg (3464 bytes)From: Mark Glusker
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 11, 1998

Can anyone enlighten me on the preferred pronounciation of the manufacturer "Facit"? So far, I've tried fake it, face it, faucet, facet, but there are probably many others. Which one is right?


Mark Glusker

From: Don Bryant
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 11, 1998

In North Texas we called it" fast it" or fas-it the t on fast was silent.

From: Nicholas Bodley
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 13, 1998

Being a dilettante linguist, I'd definitely go with "fassit". That seems quite reasonable for all of the USA. (Here, around Boston, we pronounce "pass" with the broad British "a".   However, that doesn't affect my recommendation.)

I'd really and truly love to know how most Europeans pronounce it, though!  My guess would be "fahs-eet".

My best to all,

Nicholas Bodley
Waltham, Mass.

From: Anders Ransheim
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 13, 1998

"FACIT" is the Swedish word for "result" or "answer". The correct pronounication of "FACIT" using phonetic symbols is [ fa:sit]. The "A" is pronounced like in "father".

Best regards

Anders Ransheim

From: James Redin
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 13, 1998

In Spanish we pronounce FACIT in the same way as indicated by Anders.

James Redin

From: Adrian Godwin
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 13, 1998

Don Bryant <aplayr@AIRMAIL.NET> wrote :

> In North Texas we called it" fast it" or fas-it the t on fast was   silent.

My father used to sell Facit and Odhner machines in Britain while working for a main dealer, so he was probably taught to say it correctly. He used the same pronounciation as you - 'fass-it' : like 'faucet' but with a short 'a' (as in 'hat') instead of the 'au'.


From: Peter Holland
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 14, 1998

Hi Nicholas, James, and Adrian

You know that FACIT is Swedish, and for me as a German it is easy to pronounce it. But it is difficult to tell you how to do it. But I try:

Take the 'fa' from the E n g l i s h, not the American 'fast'. Say 'ci' like 'cigarette'. And then add a quite normal 't' like 'it' So you get 'FA-CIT', not 'FAC-IT'.

Good luck,


From: Enrico Tedeschi
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 14, 1998

In my view FACIT is a Latin word and should be pronunced as in the Italian language. Incidentally FACIT means "done" as when you have something to do and you do it.



From: Nicholas Bodley
Subject: Pronounciation of Facit?
Date: June 15, 1998


Although I try to be an "internationalist", I was atypically thinking like many typical natives of the USA, who know nothing about any other language (to be fair, keep in mind that they don't need to!).

Thank you for taking such care to define the sounds.

Peter, do I take it correctly that the "i" in "Facit", as pronounced in  Swedish, is a vowel not found (more or less exactly) in German or Spanish, or most other Romance languages? I understand that there are quite a few vowels in Swedish (more than in English). I was going to suggest "fah-seet", in which the "ee" represents the sound of "i" in "pico" or "machine/maschine", but thinking about "cigarette" and Swedish, I had second thoughts!

Some day, when most e-mail is Unicoded, we can call up the correct character in the International Phonetic Alphabet!

I think I should say, however, that the question of how to pronounce a foreign company's name isn't always resolved in the most educated fashion in the USA, and I was thinking locally, not globally.

Unfortunately, there is an anti-intellectual streak in US society that regards a correct pronunciation of a foreign word with some dismay, if not hostility; it might mystify.

I'm still wondering about the "y" in "Hyundai", btw.

From: Nils Bongue
Subject: Bits of Facit History
Date: August 31, 2001

Dear Mr. Redin,

I would like to pass a couple of facts of Facit history of which I have first hand knowledge - just in case you did no have them before.

In the 40's and 50's, the Facit calculators were probably the most popular in Colombia, South America, and the sole agent for their sale and service was Carvajal & Cia.(later Carvajal S.A.) with central offices in Cali, and branches in Bogotá, Medellín and Barranquilla, and dealers in several other cities. One of my first jobs with Carvajal was to organize a centralized supply of spare parts to consolidate the smaller stocks kept by the four maintenance shops, and also a cross-reference register of serial numbers with ownership of the machines. Ours being the only shops able to repair them, stolen units would sooner or later come to these shops, and the first operation performed on them was checking the legitimate ownership of the unit. Of course,  in many cases a stolen machine would have the serial number removed or altered. But the machines also had a secret serial number, which in fact was a totally different figure that would pass for the reference of one of the components. So we had to take the cover off, note the number and ask Sweden for the corresponding serial. They would never give us a table or a formula to find out by ourselves.

The Colombian government, with the aim to promote local industry, decreed very hard import restrictions, and it was practically impossible to keep bringing them legally, so after long negotiations, we were able to set up an assembly plant in Cali, with a Swedish Facit-trained head mechanic and some ten workers doing the sub-assemblies. I was in charge of the plant, the first Swedish was Roland Petterson, who later was sent to Brazil to run a similar operation and was replaced by Sven Panzar. So far as I remember, we made some 100 C1-13 a month, some 50 Facit typewriters, a few Plentograf fluid duplicators (we also mixed and bottled the fluid)  and also check protectors and copying machines of other brands.

I believe this was the first time Facit calculators and typewriters were assembled out of Sweden. Some bureaucratic problems had to be dealt with, like having to put a value on every single part, screw and washer (I think they were some 2000 in a machine) and count the dust cover and the shell paint as "national" components, but somehow the Colombian demand for these calculators and typewriters - many of them still working - was taken care of.

Nils Bongue



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