Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Jul 8, 2011 10:55 AM

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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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. :)