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I say talEggio, Giada says talAggio...

Over and over and over.

Not that this really matters in the grand scheme of things, but I know I'm bound to find another Hound who gives a crap.

I always thought it was the first, but Giada is always so precise with her enunciation of Italian words. Did I sleep through the Cheeses lecture when I took Italian in college?

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  1. Eh, I always say it the way you say it. Not claiming I'm correct but I'd hardly look to Giada as being the authority on all things Italian.

    1. I too studied Italian and have traveled quite a bit in Italy. I have always heard taleggio. Perhaps Giada's pronunciation of taleggio as talaggio is a regional difference. There are certainly a lot of those in Italy!

      7 Replies
      1. re: jmnewel

        "Perhaps Giada's pronunciation of taleggio as talaggio is a regional difference. There are certainly a lot of those in Italy!"

        If you were to pronounce the word the way Italian is taught, it would sound something like tah-lay-gyo.

        Exactly. And for someone to pick on this is pretty desperate just to pick on someone. Come on, how many different ways do people pronounce things in this country? What about the word "eggs?" I say AYggs while others say EHggs. About what about tomAYto tomAHto?

        Let's call the whole thing off.

        1. re: ttoommyy

          Who's picking on Giada? I'm just trying to clarify something here.

          1. re: inaplasticcup

            Sorry. I thought your "Over and over and over" comment was meant to say she's like a broken record. I just took it the wrong way.

            1. re: ttoommyy

              Now that you mention it I can totally see how it came across that way, but it was actually a preemptive comment in case someone might question if I misheard her. :)

              1. re: inaplasticcup

                It's so easy to misinterpret comments on a web board. This new Internet thingy is going to be the end of civilization!

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Hell in a handbasket, I tell ya... ;)

          2. re: ttoommyy

            The only people I know who say AYggs are Italian, so kinda funny that little difference would pop up here. ;) And by now, you may know I am (Italian), too so no offense intended. I wonder where it comes from (do you know?). I'm an EHgg lady myself. But I'm geeky like this--I enjoy these "Why do they say it that way" discussions--especially so I know how to say something the right way. Though as you said--there IS no one right way.
            --Ms. ManiGAWT!

        2. When we were traveling in Italy, every time my husband would order bresaola, the wait would correct his pronunciation. Then he'd use that with the next waiter, who wold correct his new pronunciation. And so on and so on. We ate a lot of bresaola, and even when we said it "wrong" it tasted good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123

            But it tastes so much better when you pronounce it the right way! :)

          2. "E" in Italian often has an "a" sound, I have never heard Giada pronounce "tallegio," but I find that she frequently over-enunciates, and that her pronunciations come off sounding weird. Ttoommy is correct, I believe.

            26 Replies
            1. re: roxlet

              Well, from what I've learned/heard, the double g would make the 'e' short, more like tah LEH jjyoh, but the way Giada said it today was definitely tah LAH jjyoh, and I wondered if maybe there was some regional/dialectical thing going on there.

              But I'm a dork like that. I care about these things. :/

              I should go see if they have a life on sale at Tuesday Morning or Cost Plus or somewhere fun like that...

              1. re: inaplasticcup

                No, I think she pronounced it Spagheeti.

                1. re: inaplasticcup

                  The ‹e› can be either "long" or "short" (actually "closed" or "open") before double ‹gg›, so for example "peggio" (PEHJ-jo) and "arpeggio" (ar-PAYJ-jo) don't rhyme exactly, according to the dictionary. And "taleggio" should have a "closed" ‹e›, ta-LAYJ-jo (which is the case for most words ending in -eggio).

                  There are many varieties of Italian where this closed ‹e› becomes an open ‹e›, but I don't know any where it would go all the way to an AH sound. This is not the case, for example, in Lombardy (where taleggio is made). So Giada just seems to have picked up a non-standard pronunciation. It happens.

                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                    where are people (even the italians!) getting this "ay" for "eh" pronunciation? I lived in Italy, traveled all through it, studied Italian, got pretty fluent at it, and never heard anyone say "ay" for words like taleggio and arpeggio - despite what you're saying the dictionary says. i'm not disputing that you are right - if that's what the dictionary says, and that's what some of the Italians here are saying, but i've never heard that, and it makes me think it's from pronunciation guides similar to the one they use to teach people Spanish. I've railed about this here before: bueno. english speaking people are taught (and i've seen it in textbooks) to say "bway-noh". I was told many years ago that it's because americans can't make that "eh" sound. what? they can't say EH--lephant? that's the way "bueno" is pronounced: "bweh-noh." In Spanish, each vowel has only one way to pronounce it - and I thought it was the same in Italian, but it sounds like i'm wrong......

                    aaaand scene!

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      Is Giada Italian or Italian American? The two groups pronounce things differently.

                      1. re: escondido123

                        I think she was born in Italy, and the way she enunciates Italian words leads me to think that she speaks it with some fluency. Sometimes she talks the way I imagine someone would talk if they were a cross between a native Italian speaker and a Valley girl. :P

                        It's definitely not a case of Americanized Sicilian dialect or anything like that.

                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                          I thought she was Italian American. I know she's the daughter of director of Dino de Laurentis.... ok so Wikipedia says she's Italian American, but then says she was born in Rome.... how does that work?

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            My brother in law was born in Cyprus but that does make him Cypriot. It was simply where his mother was when it was time for him to pop out.

                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              Well, I was born in Seoul, but my family emigrated to the States when I was 5. My US citizenship aside, I consider myself culturally Korean/Vietnamese (my mom's side) American. :)

                        2. re: mariacarmen

                          There are two ways to pronounce ‹e› and ‹o› in Italian, so there are 7 vowel sounds in all (whereas Spanish has only 5). "ay" and "eh" are just approximations to describe the two sounds for ‹e›. The vowel in "taleggio" (and in Spanish "bueno") is phonetically closer to (the first part of) the "ay" sound in FACE than to the "eh" sound in DRESS.

                          1. re: DeppityDawg

                            My grasp of Spanish is a bit stronger than Italian, but I think I'm more in agreement with mariacarmen when I say the vowel sound created by the ue in "bueno" is MUCH closer to "EH" than "AY". Among the native Spanish speakers I know well - from Mexico, Cuba, Spain, Argentina, Nicaragua and Ecuador - not a single one of them pronounces "bueno" "bwaynoh". "Bwaynoh", in my experience, is the way a 10 gallon hat wearing Texan would say the word in the Pace Picante sauce commercial in my mind.

                            I think I understand what you're saying because that short 'e' sound in Italian, which is called for in "taleggio" due to the E being followed by 2 Gs and not 1, is somewhat closed. You say "EH" with an "EE" face, and the sound accordingly comes out sounding like a hybrid between those two (someone made a comment about the way Giada says "spaghetti" as "spagheetti" - this is probably why).

                            But I think if the word were spelled talegio, with only 1 G, it would be closer to this long "AY" sound to which you're referring - this time a cross between saying "EH" and "AY", but it's still not a full "AY".

                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                              I live in Texas and can't remember anyone wearing a ten gallon hat. Just another stereotype that we are tired of. We pronounce it bueno, and frankly, I can't believe all the hate for Giada, this topic, her speech has been beaten to death before.

                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                I'm not sure why you're reading hate for Giada into this post. As I stated elsewhere on this thread, I really am trying to clarify. It's probably the same hypersensitivity that's keeping you from seeing how completely and purposely ridiculous the whole ten gallon scenario is (though it was taken from an actual Pace Picante commercial from the late 80s).

                                All this indignation must be exhausting. *SIGH*

                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                  "I'm not sure why you're reading hate for Giada into this post"

                                  Maybe you can start with; "please. her giant head far outweighs those cheeseballs."

                                  1. re: melo7

                                    Maybe you can take that up with the person who said her head outweighs her fabulous cheeseballs.


                                    1. re: melo7

                                      yeah, that was a joke. maybe not a good one, but nonetheless, a joke. sense of humor, heard of it?

                                2. re: inaplasticcup

                                  Again, the "ay" and "eh" business is just an approximation based on English spelling, because most people aren't familiar with phonetic transcription ([e] vs. [ɛ]) or terms like "close-mid" vs "open-mid front unrounded vowel". Unfortunately, without this kind of precise terminology, we end up going in circles (I think it sounds more like "EH". No, it's closer to "AY".) when we probably all pretty much have the same pronunciation of "bueno" and "taleggio" in mind (i.e. [e]). And it doesn't sound anything like what Giada says (i.e. [a]).

                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                    Regarding the Spanish 'bueno', the problem may lie more with imprecision of the English 'ay' and 'eh' than with variability in Spanish. Trained linguists have precise notation for transcribing sounds, but these mean little to regular English speakers.

                                    How do you pronounce the English 'ay'? Is it a diphthong (like the long 'a'), or as a pure vowel, like, say the Spanish 'e'? You could find fault with most written pronunciation guides aimed at people without a formal linguistics training.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      thank you for this, i didn't know how to express this.

                                  2. re: DeppityDawg

                                    no,sorry, "bueno" is pronounced JUST LIKE "dress". no "ay" sound whatsoever. i'm not making an approximation. i learned Spanish at the same time growing up as English, Spanish was the predominant language in my household, i was surrounded by Spanish speakers. there is NO "ay" sound in the pronunciation of the letter "e" in Spanish. It's "EH."

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      Again, if you want to argue at this level of phonetic detail, you need to use specialized notation/terminology. Not everyone pronounces "dress" the same way in English, and unless I know how you say it, telling me that you pronounce "bueno" the same way is at best an approximation. Even if you type it in all caps.

                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                        I suppose you could pretend that there isn't a generally standard and prevailing way in American English diction to pronounce the word "dress". The way Paula Deen would say it, in two syllables, is not that. ;)

                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                          Well, OK, let's stop pretending... The prevailing pronunciation of "dress" in General American English uses the mid-open vowel [ɛ]. Standard varieties of Spanish do not have this vowel. So if you pronounce "bueno" with the vowel that most Americans use in "dress", then you are pronouncing "bueno" in a non-native way.

                                          Also, why all the hate for Paula Deen? :D

                                          1. re: DeppityDawg

                                            LOL, DD.

                                            As evidenced all up and down this thread, I am an equal opportunity hater - Texans, Georgians, Joisey Italians, Californitalians...

                                            Shoot. I hate myself some days. :|

                                    2. re: DeppityDawg

                                      Yes DD, like grave and aigu in French. Hallelujah someone gets it.

                                    3. re: mariacarmen

                                      I have only studied Italian for a few years and travelled there for a few weeks, but the native Italian teachers have always said the vowels always have the same sound in all cases. I think it can be a very subtle difference and has to do with the amount of emphasis the letter is given in the common way the word is pronounced. The "e" in Taleggio is said very quickly and the difference between ay and eh would/could be very difficult to distinguish. A good example is the word Firenze. The first e is given little time and can sound like eh, but the second has more time and always comes out ay. Of course there are regional differences and Rome has it's own very mushy pronounciation. All of that aside Giada is just dead cat wrong on her pronounciation.


                              2. I've only ever heard it pronounced Aggio.

                                So I agree with Giada - but I have absolutely no idea who she is.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Harters

                                  HA HA HA! You crack me up Harters!

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    So I agree with Giada - but I have absolutely no idea who she is.


                                    She's a hot looking Food Network personality with big taleggios.

                                    1. re: Samalicious

                                      please. her giant head far outweighs those cheeseballs.

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        so perhaps we should refer to them as bocconcini instead?

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          Nawww. They're at least full fledged regular sized balls of mozzarella di bufala. I'd say her super pearly whites are more like bocconcini cut in thirds or fourths. :)

                                  2. I have never heard Giada speak, but I know taleggio, and you are right. Many young (is she young?) Italian women have this annoying vowel thing, so that a word like "sei", correctly pronounced as though it rhymed with "say" but drawn out because it is technically two syllables (say-ee, but not quite so explicit), comes out sort of sounding as though it rhymes with "rye". The speakers who do that are entirely capable of saying talahggio. But, as I said, I don't know how Giada speaks either in English or Italian. The E should be the E of egg. Can you be more precise about the A sound?
                                    And to anyone who doesn’t recognize "aig" as an American variant (dialect?) of egg should go back and look at Li'l Abner comics. One of the characters was always talking about her "butter and aig" money, phonetically spelled just like that.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mbfant

                                      mbfant, I just posted a link to the clip at the end of the thread, where Giada seems to be saying tehLAHjjyoh, the A sound definitely something like an "AH".

                                    2. My three producers of Taleggio when visiting, always said it your way, l am stupid enough not to realize there was even an option, oh well.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                        Maybe you're just smart enough not to watch Food Network?

                                      2. Well waddaya know - I found just the clip I was watching that inspired me to post this!


                                        So all my fellow diction freaks can have the same reference point, the first instance of what sounds like "tElAggio" comes in around 2:25, and she says it the same way a few more times.

                                        And then for comparison, the way I say it and have heard it said on this clip at 0:32:


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                          Unfortunately the first clip won't play in Italy (where I live). The other clip was absolutely standard pronunciation, but I thought the recipe was pretty vile.

                                        2. You say po tay to, I say po tah to.........

                                          1. I don't mean to tout myself as an authority here, but I do speak fluent Italian and have lived and traveled throughout Italy rather extensively. While it is true that there are regional differences in how certain words and letter combinations can be pronounced, this is not the case when it comes to Giada's pronunciation. She has some very odd-and incorrect- ways of pronouncing certain words (my biggest peeve being the way she always says "spaghitti") that don't make sense at all. They certainly do not reflect speech habits in the Rome area, where her family is from. I am pretty sure that Giada was born in Italy and raised in California. To me, she is much more a 'California girl' who likes to make pretty-looking simple Italian-inspired dishes than an 'Italian chef'.
                                            But still, her mother and aunt, whom she has had on her show, are Roman. They must know better.

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: vvvindaloo

                                              Yeah. She does have a bit of a Cali girl accent to her speech, whether in English or Italian. I apparently have one, too, of which I was unaware until someone I worked with in New York told me so.

                                              1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                She moved to the US--So Cal--when she was 8. The fact that she doesn't have a "classic" Italian accent should come as no surprise. I have friends who grew up speaking Italian at home in the US and they say "prozhoot" for proscuitto. But the whole neighborhood understands one another, even grandma born in Italy.

                                                1. re: escondido123

                                                  well... yeah, we americans all know what "prozhoot" means. ethnoculturally speaking (i may have just invented that word, not sure), "prozhoot" represents a sort of evolution of americanized southern italian dialect. it is used both by people who don't know better and/or are simply used to hearing the word pronounced that way and saying that way, themselves.
                                                  however, americans born in rome and raised by italians from rome (not american parents) don't say "prozhoot".
                                                  with regard to giada's kind of odd pronunciation of words, such as "spaghitti" and "talayggio", i really think it is due to a combination of laziness and "californian"accent.
                                                  she does not speak italian like a native, which i think is weird. she speaks italian with a western american vowel emphasis trying to sound european.
                                                  i don't say this because i want to hate on giada- i just think that, for a girl who probably learned italian as a first language, she ought to speak much better. i don't get it.

                                                  1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                    Do we know that it was her first language? I have friends who speak Spanish and the kids don't.

                                                    1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                      In her defense, I think she came to the States fairly early in life, and while one language can be your first, another language acquired in youth and spoken most of the time can easily become the dominant.

                                                      I came to the States when I was 5, and while I am careful of my diction when speaking Korean, which isn't too often these days, I a little of my California accent still manages to come through from time to time.

                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                        The way we've learned as children to pronounce vowels is very hard to overcome as adults. One of my Italian teachers would not say the english word beach because it sounded to much like the way he would pronounce another english word that has a rather deraugatroy conotation.

                                                        I am also sensing a bit too much Giada love in this thread. Perhaps if we focus on her insanely white teeth...


                                                        1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                          BAH. LUV SCHMUV!!!

                                                          Hate. It's what's for dinner. :)

                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                            I agree - Giada was born in Italy, but moved to the US early on. As far as I know, Italian is her first language, but primary and secondary education was in English. Her parents speak both Italian and English - they may have used Italian around the house while Giada was growing up, but English was probably still the dominant language for most of her childhood.

                                                            I'm a native English speaker, but have a similar experience with American-English dialects. I'm originally from a fairly remote area that has a very distinctive accent. I lived there until I was four, then we moved away but stayed in the Southeast. My grandparents and parents have the accent, I do not. My natural accent is somewhere in the middle - I sound generically Southern to people who aren't from the South, but something sounds slightly off to other Southerners.

                                                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                          As someone who grew up in an Italian household (my mother was first generation, my father second), I find Giada's attempts at pulling off that Italian flourish cringe-worthy. To those who don't know better, I'm sure she sounds all sorts of authentic. To those who do, she's an embarrassment.

                                                        2. If you want to argue about Italian words being corrupted, how about the use of 'panini' being used to indicate a single sandwich? Then there's all kinds of misspellings for 'capocollo', the most frequent one being 'capicola', and the ever mispronounced 'gabagool.' Then there's the addition of an 's' to cannoli, spaghetti, ravioli, and other Italian words that are already plural.

                                                          BTW, i miei antenati non erano italiani.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: ChiliDude

                                                            People have discussed that on other threads. But I think the only one of the examples you site on this particular comment that is relevant to the particular issue being discussed is the pronunciation of capocollo.

                                                            Even then, that really isn't the same thing because here we're talking about a person who usually tends to be very precise in her enunciation of Italian words and generally follows the rules of Italian diction and phonetics, notwithstanding what some people feel to be a slightly weird accent doing it, saying a word in a way that doesn't seem to follow those rules.

                                                            Pronunciations like *gabagool* and *prozhoot* totally disregard these rules and furthermore sound like Tony Soprano who we all know for sure didn't speak a lick of Italian. :P

                                                            I hope no one pounces on me for stereotyping Italian Americans now...

                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                              I accessed your blog. WOW! My kinda cuisine. Affamato! (Italian for "I'm starving.")

                                                              I started learning to speak Italian at the tender age of 70 because our oldest grandson was taking a course in the language in the summer between his junior and senior high school years, and I thought he needed someone with whom to speak. As you have noticed, I get on my soapbox about correct usage to the point of going off on a tangent.

                                                              Now I have become a purist. Maybe that's because I like other people's languages and hate to see them butchered.

                                                              Had you included an email address, I would have privately sent this message.

                                                              1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                The only problem is no language is "pure." In every country the same language is spoken in different ways. My father was from St. Louis so he said the word "iron" as "ahrn" whereas I say the equivalent of "eye-earn." We are both native speakers of American English, we just say words differently. Unless you can go back to the beginning of a word's pronunciation, you really can't say definitively what is correct. My dog is "dawg", my aunt is "ant" and when I want to buy something individually, one at a time, I ask if they are for sale "by the each." It's all English, just with a regional twist. (I am a writer by trade, so in print I focus on spelling words correctly and let people say them in their head as they wish.)

                                                                1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                  Grazie, Signore Dude! Thank you for reading.

                                                                  It's fairly awesome that you took up Italian to support your grandson. What a lovely thing for your family to do together. :)

                                                            2. I have no idea, in the English speaking world as a whole to include the UK, Eire, USA, Canada, Oz, NZ, S Africa, Carib islands and anywhere else where English is a first language, which dialect and accent within all those countries pronounces anything correctly. Is there such a thing as a true original English accent? Of course not. The whole point about language is that it is a means of communication. If we can understand words and sentences then it doesn't really matter who is right.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: smartie

                                                                ...if you want a real laugh, just look at Japan for advertising or naming food products (especially candy) sometimes using English words. They truly win the award for the funniest word "mistakes" in food product labeling- or just funny pronunciations. My friend from Japan visits every year and brings me bags of candy and snacks. I love getting my packages of: sperm sugar, cream collon, asse chocolate, notime gum, homo sausage and kowpis. Yum! I love it.

                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                  Thanks for the chuckle, sedimental. I personally love the chicken anuses at the Korean market otherwise known as gizzards.

                                                                2. Maybe she's a little dyslexic and thinks it's spelled telaggio. In that case, she's pronouncing it perfectly!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: babette feasts

                                                                    in that case, she's just stupid! learn to spell and pronounce food words if you're in the food biz! (i know, i know, soooo much hatred in this thread....)

                                                                    again - KIDDING.

                                                                  2. I don't know who Giada is either but looked her up on youtube. In the one clip for Carbonara (which she pronounced in a strictly American way), I keep hearing her saying "puhn-chay-tta". From what little Italian I know there is no unstressed vowel -uh <ə>. I would not take her Italian pronunciation seriously.


                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. What sounds do the 'E' and 'A' in your subject line represent?

                                                                      As an English speaker without any knowledge of Italian, I would guess you are trying to make the distinction between an English 'long E', and the English 'long A'. One is closer to the Spanish 'i', and the second a diphthong (phonetically eɪ). But you probably have some Italian distinction, not the English one.

                                                                      What do you think of the pronunciation given in the Wiki article?
                                                                      Taleggio (IPA: [taˈleddʒo])

                                                                      Digging a bit more at the Wiki IPA tables, it looks like the Italian 'e' is a close-mid front unrounded vowel, where as the Spanish that I am more familiar with is mid front unrounded. I don't find either in General American dialect
                                                                      Look at bit that that English dialect page, and then tell me how we can meaningfully discuss vowels in another language, when we have such a diversity among English speakers.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                        The E in this word in Italian is usually pronounced "eh", and the A "ah", and the wiki pronunciation looks about right to me (if I remember the phonetic symbols correctly).

                                                                      2. Her Wiki article refers to " her 'trademark' over enunciation of foreign words within English sentences."

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                          LOL. It's really more Italian and Spanish where I notice she does that, but, discussions of funny accent aside, assuming she does speak Italian with her family, I can relate.

                                                                          I speak limited conversational Italian, so if I happen to throw an Italian word into an otherwise English sentence, I'll probably say it like the cali girl I am - I'll generally hit the vowel sounds, but I'm not going to put stops and fricatives and whatnots into my pronunciation that I would if I were speaking Italian completely.

                                                                          However, Korean being my first language, if I am saying a Korean word in the middle of an otherwise English sentence, I will say it as it is meant to be said in Korean, which might make it sound overenunciated to someone who doesn't speak Korean. (Which is not to say that I don't understand why people think Giada overenunciates. She does exaggerate a little.)

                                                                          When speaking Spanish, I fluctuate between the levels of precision that I employ for Italian and Korean, respectively. I guess my personal determination of how clearly to enunciate non-English words when speaking English is correlated to my familiarity with the language.