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How to pronounce Saveur, as in the magazine

JanRan Jan 26, 2008 01:59 PM

Is it sa-voor' or is it say'-ver, as rhyming with flavor, or maybe something else??

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  1. linguafood RE: JanRan Jan 26, 2008 02:25 PM

    Closer to Savoor, I guess. It's easier for us Germans to make that second syllable sound, but for people who aren't used to French pronounciation it's tough. How do you pronounce the "d'hoeuvre" in 'hors d'oeuvre'? It's about the same sound.

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood
      cayjohan RE: linguafood Jan 26, 2008 09:09 PM

      Good example linguafood.
      I'll add this: Say sa-voor, but when you pronounce the second syllable, allow your lower lip to come forward slightly and the back of your tongue to occupy more of your mouth cavity, thus dimishing the roundness of the "oo." (I believe it's called "shortening" of the vowel; linguists?) Also think how you pronounce: liquer. -Cay

    2. a
      Agent Orange RE: JanRan Jan 26, 2008 09:19 PM

      It would be difficult to render the exact French pronunciation in writing, but I think an Anglophone might correct say "sah-vuhr", with stress on the second syllable. What's tricky in French is the "eur" sound that I personally cannot express in text. I think you have to hear it. Best to use cayjohan's example and think "liqueur."

      Although it would sound pretty pretentious to drop in the word *saveur* into normal conversation using a precise Parisian accent.

      1. r
        RicRios RE: JanRan Jan 27, 2008 09:11 AM

        Click below, and then on "Ecouter la définition".


        1 Reply
        1. re: RicRios
          Delucacheesemonger RE: RicRios Jul 13, 2011 07:56 AM

          Your documentation is always spot on.

        2. alanstotle RE: JanRan Jan 28, 2008 09:59 AM

          Wow. Somewhere I got the impression it was pronounced saav-WAH. Not sure where I got that from. RicRios convinces me otherwise.

          3 Replies
          1. re: alanstotle
            divamon RE: alanstotle Jan 28, 2008 10:15 AM

            actually, there is a french word that is pronounced saav - WAH, but it's spelled savoir and it means "to know". Completely different word!

            1. re: divamon
              alanstotle RE: divamon Jan 29, 2008 06:33 AM

              Ah...that explains a lot. Thanks for the correction.

              1. re: alanstotle
                tjr RE: alanstotle Jul 13, 2011 05:34 PM

                Not really, as there's an "r" on the end of "savoir". "saav-WAH" would be more like Savoie, the French department.

          2. j
            JanRan RE: JanRan Jan 28, 2008 01:59 PM

            Thanks for the feedback. I just came across the audio of a recent NPR broadcast: "Saveur 100:' Favorites From the World of Food" by Michele Norris. You can hear the interviewer's pronunciation: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

            11 Replies
            1. re: JanRan
              idia RE: JanRan Jan 29, 2008 03:45 PM

              How about trying Sah-'VEUR(L) end by ALMOST saying an "L" sound.

              1. re: idia
                JungMann RE: idia Jan 30, 2008 05:59 AM

                Why would you do that?

                1. re: JungMann
                  cayjohan RE: JungMann Jan 30, 2008 03:37 PM

                  JungMann, idia has something here. The way the tongue is brought down in pronouncing the "L" is very close to the closing of the vowels described upthread, although from the front end, rather than the back. The key is that idia says ALMOST an "L." I think it's a good "almost" sound to practice.

                  1. re: cayjohan
                    JungMann RE: cayjohan Jan 31, 2008 05:39 AM

                    I've been saying it at my desk for the past 5 minutes (and probably getting stares) but it doesn't seem like the "L" or even an almost-L modifies the vowel at all. The shape of the vowel is already determined by the "R." And the above still gives no clue as to where to begin in pronouncing the -eu sound. Of course if you can get the correct pronunciation this way, vive la différence!

                    1. re: JungMann
                      idia RE: JungMann Jan 31, 2008 05:44 AM

                      The French (unlike the Italians who delight in any kind of Italian spoken to them), disdain improper or sloppy pronunciation of their language.
                      If it sounds strange to you, perhaps you might ask a French person to say it and listen for that "silent L" which is definitely there if one knows how to speak "good" French.

                      1. re: idia
                        JungMann RE: idia Jan 31, 2008 07:04 AM

                        J'ai beaucoup d'amis francophones. Je parle français et je l'entends souvent. And still have never encountered a "silent L." Are you perhaps confusing the Northern pronunciation of the guttural "R" with an "L" sound. If one exagerrates the French "R," the sound could be confused with a sort-of "L" sound.

                        1. re: JungMann
                          idia RE: JungMann Jan 31, 2008 07:31 AM

                          That just might work too!
                          By George, I think you've got it!

                          1. re: idia
                            JungMann RE: idia Jan 31, 2008 10:25 AM

                            Just to be clear, that pronunciation would still be improper, not to mention vaguely offensive in its caricature of a French accent if someone is unaccustomed to using a guttural R (which can also be interpreted as pretentious in Standard American).

                            Cay and linguafood both had good, simple initial instructions. It might be best to save the uvular trills for when buying the magazine at Orly.

                            1. re: JungMann
                              Meltemi RE: JungMann Dec 14, 2011 06:25 PM

                              I want to partake in uvular thrills but, alas, I am Greek. But I can pronounce "chutzpah, challah, Hanukkah..." like an angry settler on the West Bank.

                              That silent L is almost as cacophonous as the R in Sade or Florid-er, Canad-er, Chin-er. Blech, I just got goose bumps!

                          2. re: JungMann
                            inaplasticcup RE: JungMann Jul 13, 2011 07:34 AM

                            I don't hear the silent L either. If anything, I think of it the way Agent Orange put it (sah-VUHR) with the lightly gutteral R sound as if you were just, JUST beginning to aspirate to hock a loogie.

                            1. re: inaplasticcup
                              Gizmology RE: inaplasticcup Nov 24, 2011 05:37 PM

                              "Well, MY family used to live in a box in the middle of the road and we would duck into the pothole when cars drove over us." ...You know, I think I'll skip the aspiration and just go with the hock. I don't hear JUST the silent L, but I do hear the silent Laughter. ;) This pronunciation thread is just so... so... *cough* Cheers! :)

              2. pikawicca RE: JanRan Jan 30, 2008 04:12 PM

                sah-VUR, with a very "soft" r.

                1. Will Owen RE: JanRan Jan 31, 2008 10:21 AM

                  Oh, my, it's complicated. I don't speak French beyond asking where the potties are or ordering from a menu, but I learned how to do the Parisian "R" many years ago (even before marrying into a family of Francophones), and now I'm damned if I can put down in so many words just how you do it. To me, the elusive not-pronounced sound is closer to a G than an L - say RRRR and then move it back into your throat towards GGG. Clumsy as hell for a Midwestern boy, at least at first, but a little practice (and a French-speaking helper to coach you) will get ya going.

                  Then, just when you think you've got it knocked, try pronouncing "croix"....

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Will Owen
                    cayjohan RE: Will Owen Feb 2, 2008 09:19 PM

                    Welcome to Minnesota, Will...where we have to pronounce "croix" as either "croy" or another alliteration thererof. Try a thoat-clearing sound (cwwrrr), with the "aw" sound after.(Crrwwaw...all in one syllable!) Gotta love the river through our state, the Saint Croix!

                  2. d
                    dbracht RE: JanRan Jul 8, 2011 04:16 PM

                    I guess this would be the definitive answer, from the editor himself. And a bit of fun:

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: dbracht
                      Delucacheesemonger RE: dbracht Jul 13, 2011 07:55 AM

                      Poifect, thanks

                      1. re: dbracht
                        The Dairy Queen RE: dbracht Jul 13, 2011 05:03 PM

                        Wow. Rhymes with "cat fur."


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