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Foods you pronounce incorrectly.

So we were talking about some of the over-enunciation of certain food hosts and food pronunciation. Has there ever been a food you pronounced flat-out wrong. And finally figured it out?

Here's mine. Quinoa.

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  1. Amuse bouche. Finally was corrected by a student of mine who's also a server...he did it in a very nice way. It started when I was in my twenties and was offered an amuse bouche by a lovely young lady who mispronounced it; I believed that pronunciation and ftt, 18 years later I got it right.

    Live and learn.

    8 Replies
    1. re: pinehurst

      And that is a phrase I was always hesitant to use because I was pretty sure I wasn't saying it quite right. Mise en place was another.

      1. re: Firegoat

        Yeah, and you know, part of it is because we're not using the terms everyday. But you know how some folks can mispronounce something and be charming, like a little kid saying "pisghetti?" I'm so not charming. I just sound uninformed, like "Oh, tell me about the rabbits, George"

      2. re: pinehurst

        Courvoisier. I will pronounce it "KOH-vah-see-A" always and don't care what people think of me;]

            1. re: Chinon00

              Sorry, but that's the pronunciation of the hairstyle, chignon, not the charming town in the Loire valley, Chinon, which would be shee-naw (more or less).

          1. re: Chinon00

            Certainly one reason to pronounce any word correctly when dining might be to shield ones self from a quizzical look from server or fellow diners. My main reason for trying to get it right is simply to pronounce the word correctly, I care what I think of me. Unfortunately to spite my efforts I have a large group of words relative to food which I frequently and badly mispronounce.

          2. re: pinehurst

            To me, that sounds too much like "abuse douche" though I have never mistakenly said that.

          3. Chateau d'Yquem. I've read two authoritative wine books that supplied supposedly correct pronunciations, but they were different: "d'kem" and "d'yeem." I still don't know which way to say it, or if there is some third way that is correct.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gfr1111

              "D-kem" is pretty good. As in "I got a _D_ in _chem_ class this semester".

            2. Not a food, but I was never quite sure how to pronounce Le Creuset (crew-zay) until recently. "Mars-capone" (the space mobster) and "chipolte" are like nails on a blackboard to me.

              16 Replies
              1. re: nsenada

                Carp. Add Le Creuset to my list.

                  1. re: monavano

                    You are brave. I wouldn't even try to say Pillivuyt. I'd walk in with a piece of paper, point and smile like Giada.

                    1. re: pinehurst

                      I think I read on Martha Stewart's site (she used to carry some Pillivuyt) that it's pronounced 'pilly-voit'.

                  2. re: nsenada

                    I make it a point to pronounce chipotle correctly, because the right way just sounds wrong.
                    So what is the correct pronunciation of Le Creuset? I always thought it was crew-zay, like you had it, ubtil one day at the store this woman kept saying "crew-shay", so now i'm confused.

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      If Bobby Flay, King of Peppers, can correct his pronunciation of chipotle, anyone can!

                      1. re: TroyTempest

                        Don't feel bad. It is impossible to pronounce it correctly unless you are a fluent French speaker. Announcers on English language television always get it wrong.

                        1. re: mtlcowgirl

                          I'm not a fluent French speaker by any means, but I can pronounce pretty much any word in the romanic languages flawlessly, including Le Creuset.

                          Good hearing and a talent to reproduce sounds accurately are important factors. Even fluent speakers often have accents they cannot shake.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            So, what exactly is the right way? Spell it out phonetically for me.
                            Is it:
                            a. crew-zay
                            b. crew-shay
                            c. something else

                            1. re: TroyTempest

                              Ya know, I reallllly suck at the phonetic spelling (this thread has made that rather clear to me :-)).

                              I guess the "eu" sound is easy for me, because it's basically the "ö" in German. I don't know how I would/could represent that sound in English phonetics......

                              The ending is closer to -eh (think Canada) or -ay.

                              Sorry, I'm not much of a help.

                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                  I guess 'a' would be the closest, as there is def no 'sh' sound. It's a 'z' sound.

                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                      It was. The first part, "crew", is still wrong :-)

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        Right. I know the sound that you are talking about. It would be hard to type it out. I guess the last part was more my concern.

                      2. re: nsenada

                        Crew-zay is a very poor approximation of the actual pronunciation. Anglophones are better off pronouncing the Creu sort of like "Duh"or better yet that "euuuh" sound that people make in disgust; that would be closer to the pronunciation of the eu. Zay is ok, but remember that the vowel is shorter in French.

                      3. Valpolicella wine comes to mind. Used to pronounce it Valapacella.
                        I'm sure I'll think of more ;-)

                        1. Sur la Table also on the list. Although I think I have it correct now. Thanks to South Park.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Firegoat

                            I still garble the "Table"!
                            Tab? Tablah?

                            1. re: monavano

                              Me too :) It usually ends up sounding rather hickish when I say it.

                          2. I have been informed by my daughter that I have been pronouncing the name of the cheese called feta wrong. I say "fay-ta" and she says that everyone (EVERYONE!) else in the world says "feh-ta".

                            I'm so embarrassed (hanging my head in shame).

                            1. Close to Feta... Fage, the Greek yogurt. Been eating it for years but recently viewing commercials, I realize I've been saying it wrong all this time.

                              15 Replies
                              1. re: monavano

                                Let me guess... it isn't pronounced like "FAGE! I'm gonna live forever I'm gonna learn how to fly.. FAGE!"

                                add another to my list...

                                1. re: Firegoat

                                  I thought I was so cosmopolitan calling if "fay-ya", but it's "fie-yay" or something like that.
                                  I give up!

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    It's "fah-yeh" (well, close enough) -- "fie-yay" means "go away". ;-)

                                  2. re: Firegoat

                                    Nor like the herb that loves poultry. Oh no. It's pronounced kinda like people in Boston say "fire".


                                    See? Easy peasy.

                                    Baby remembuh my name
                                    Remembuh, remembuh, remembuh

                                  3. re: monavano

                                    As long as I've been buying Fage, I have known the correct way to pronounce it ('cause it's on the package), and yet I insist on pretending it rhymes with "page." This thread has inspired me to wonder why, and I've come to the conclusion that I just resent the way it's spelled. Doesn't Greek have its own alphabet? Couldn't the manufacturers of Fage have chosen a set of letters that English speakers would intuitively pronounce correctly? I think they're screwing with us, and I don't like it.

                                    1. re: small h

                                      You're right, "Fage" is an unfortunate transliteration, and they could have gone with "Faye" or "Fayé" if they really wanted non-Greeks to pronounce the name halfway correctly. But maybe they really don't care how you say it, as long as you keep buying it.

                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                        Just reassure me that Chobani doesn't start with a hard "ch." Or I'm going to have to stop eating yogurt altogether.

                                          1. re: small h

                                            no need to stop, but it is a 'hard' "Ch"... sorry...

                                          2. re: DeppityDawg

                                            Well, it's a pretty close transliteration of ΦΑΓΕ and they probably felt like people should just cope with one measly little word in someone else's language.

                                            1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                                              As I understand it, the name TOTAL was front and center on the package and it was marketed as TOTAL (brand) Greek yogurt. Fage was the name brand.
                                              Like Cheerios is made by General Mills... Total (Greek {style} yogurt) is made by Fage.

                                              Fage saw the success and switched the labeling around and made the company name Front and Center: FAGE
                                              and total was made diminutive.
                                              it's too bad because a gyro by any other name....

                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                Which reminds me, is it pronounced YEAR-oh? There are lots of different pronunciations. Even Martha Stewart called it a JY-ro, which I'm pretty sure is the most wrong way to say it of all.

                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                  It's closer to "year-oh" than "JY-ro." but if you want to get technical, it's HYear-oh." Definnitely NOT "JY-roe."

                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                    If I am speaking English to order one here in New York I say "JY-ro" as you spell it. (think gyroscope)
                                                    If I am speaking Greek to order one anywhere in the world I would pronounce it in Greek as "Yee-ro"

                                        1. Not a food, but when I was about 17-18, I was reading a book and called out to my mother "Mom? What does TEEtotaler mean?" She said "WHAT?"

                                          I pronounced it again as TEE-toh-TAY-ler. She asked me to read the sentence, and said "Ohhhh! TeeTOtaler. It means someone who doesn't drink alcohol."

                                          I replied "Well, no WONDER I didn't know what it was!" (18 was the drinking age in NJ at the time, and yes, I drank whiskey sours back then.)

                                          So I still say TEE-toh-TAY-ler to my family. :-)

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            That sounds like a fine designer of golfing dungarees.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              I used to pronounce it the same way. In fact, my instinct is still to say "tee-to-TAY-lor" It's a stupid word anyway.

                                            2. When someone asks me if I speak French or Italian, I can honestly say no, except for “food.” But because I don’t actually speak those languages, I’m certain I’ve mispronounced lots of things. I would love it if someone corrected me, but I think most others have no clue either. I do my best.

                                              I had a highly educated boyfriend some years ago, who was German and spoke English and French, who insisted that Le Creuset was pronounced “le kroy-say,” and his insistence was based on an old friend who lived in the town where it is produced. To this day, I’ve never heard anyone in any profession pronounce it other than “le crew-say.”

                                              My 76-year-old father can murder any term in any language. He has 4 daughters that cook and are pretty adventurous, so he wants to add to the conversation, but he has never pronounced a single word correctly – ever. Fortunately, he laughs with us after we giggle. We correct, yet he still hasn’t remembered how to say it since. He knows it – we know it – laughs ensue....

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Terrie H.

                                                My soon to be ex BF was made Quinoa by me. I think his response was WTF is this? And I said... "Quin - Noah"... he just nodded and said oh okay I've heard about this.

                                                1. re: Terrie H.

                                                  Terrie, that is funny, as Oy is the proper pronuciation of the "eu" in German - think Freud. French people persist in mispronouncing it with the same eu as in Le Creuset.

                                                  1. re: Terrie H.

                                                    I've always have said it is really necessary to learn menu language/ French, Spanish, Italian etc. I learn from reading cookbooks.

                                                    We were in a little French bistro in London, My DH asked me what Rognons were. He would been unhappy to have a plate of kidneys served to him.

                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                      But more and more, our culinary repertoire has expanded worldwide. I speak French and Italian as fluently as English, and half-decent Spanish (also more than a modicum of German) but I'm at a loss with East and South Asian languages - a rising tide, as they should be.

                                                  2. Surprised no one has mentioned bruschetta yet! C'mon, I can't be the only one who did a face palm when I realized it's "broosketa"!

                                                    14 Replies
                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                        The director of a classical chorus to which I belong is of Italian heritage, plus he teaches about singing in Italian. Upon correcting us on a "CH" pronunciation a few months back, he offered this bit of advice: "If you are in an Italian restaurant, and the waiter asks if you want some bruschetta, LEAVE. Just go. Get up and LEAVE."

                                                        1. re: monavano

                                                          Agree and "Bolognase" as well. An Italian friend corrected that one.

                                                          1. re: salsailsa

                                                            Uh oh. Bo-lah-naze, correct? Rhymes with maze? Or is it
                                                            bo-lah-nazee, rhymes with crazy?

                                                            1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                              Neither. You are ignoring the GN sound, and the final e is pronounced but unvoiced, sort of like the English schwa.

                                                              Not the typo above: Bolognese, not ase.

                                                              And Jersey Girl, Bo-lo, not bo-lah. However, New Jersey Italian-American pronunciations are part of the lexicon there; I think they should be seen as regional variations, not errors, unless of course you are trying to make yourself understood in Italy

                                                              1. re: lagatta

                                                                I still have no idea how to pronounce it, even after reading your post four times, schwa???


                                                                I do say Cala-mahd, mooz-ah-rell, and ri-gut-uh and
                                                                pruh-zhoot-a (Calamari, mozzerella, ricotta and prosciutto) which I realize stems from my NJ Italian/English speaking family.

                                                                1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                  Jersey Girl, that is perfectly legitimate in NJ; it is practically a regional dialect. But some of your pronunciations would be hard to understand here in Montréal (among trilingual Italian-Montrealers), to say nothing of Italy. The point of standard pronunciations is better communication, not to put down people who speak a given regional or group language. "ri-gut-uh" sounds like the pronuciation in many parts of Southern Italy.

                                                                  The gn sound is similar to the ñ in Spanish: Italian Argentinians spell gnocchi "Ñoqui". Nya Nya is a rough approximation in English.


                                                                  1. re: lagatta

                                                                    The point of standard pronunciations is better communication, not to put down people who speak a given regional or group language.
                                                                    Exactly. No one need change their dialect to pronounce something "correctly". Enjoy the diversity.
                                                                    I'm from Philadelphia and used to say "wooder" for water. I remember being poked fun at, like somehow I was intellectually inferior for saying "wooder", because, well, that's how Philadelphians say it.
                                                                    What that incident said about the a;hole who judged me said way more about him than me.

                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                      I would pronounce Bologna (the food) as Buh-loh-nee. The city in Italy as Boh-lohn-yaa. So then Bolognese becomes
                                                                      boh-lohn-ayz. I understand the gnocchi gn sound.

                                                                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                        Bologna (the meat) is pronounced like the City, as you have it.

                                                                        Baloney (the meat, the hogwash) is pronounced Buh-loh-nee.

                                                                        Bolognese is pronounced with one more syllable than you have it (outside of NJ): either boh-low-nyay-zay or boh-low-nyay-say.

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                            I have never ever heard that when in Bologna.

                                                                            Nevertheless, there are more than one way to say the -ese ending in Italian. Depends on the region, and how natives of that region say it.

                                                                            In and around Bologna, I've heard boh-low-nyay-zay or boh-low-nyay-say and also boh-low-nyay-zəh [the last syllable is de-emphasized, note the schwa].

                                                                            In Tuscany, the -ese in Sangiovese is pronounced most often vay-zay and vay-say, less commonly vay-səh. Never heard the -seh or -zeh ending.

                                                                            Calabrese: bray-zay, bress-say
                                                                            Abbruzzese: tsay-say (regional dialect), tsay-zay
                                                                            Piedmontese: tay-say, tess-say, tay-zay

                                                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                              hmmm, well, our experiences, or our perception of them anyway, are opposite. i lived in Italy for 6 months, and never heard anyone (even in Bologna) pronounce the "LO" in Bolognese as "ow" - but rather "oh" as in the "BO" of Bolognese.

                                                                              and i never heard anyone anywhere in Italy say "zay". i've noticed American language study books say "ay" for the "eh" sound in Spanish as well, but it's wrong. for instance, it's not "buaynos dias", it's "buehnohs" dias. I think people who write those books think Americans can't pronounce that sound, which is ridiculous.



                                                                  2. re: lagatta

                                                                    You don't ignore the gn sound. You roll it off your tongue. sounds kind of like Bolon-yaseh.

                                                            2. I still say marzipaHn instead of -pan. I know the correct pronunciation, but I learned it wrong and I say it wrong.

                                                              On Chopped the other day, every chef and the 3 judges pronounced GYRO differently. I learned year-oh. What's the consensus on the correct pronunciation?

                                                              26 Replies
                                                              1. re: pine time

                                                                omg, that was driving me nuts! I've come to think that it's year-o, but I don't think one contestant or judge said it that way. There were some very strange pronunciations that I'd never heard of.

                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                  +1. They should all be embarrassed.

                                                                    1. re: Alfred G

                                                                      year-oh, that is how I learned to say it in Greektown on Halstead St in Chicago. I cringe every time I hear jiro.

                                                                2. re: pine time

                                                                  I admit that is one food I hate to order. Or I order by pointing. I have heard so many different pronunciations I don't have a clue what is correct.

                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                    It's YEAR-oh. Not a "jay" sound like Jeye-roh or a "hard g" sound like guy-roh.

                                                                    1. re: Jpan99

                                                                      Why can I only think of gyro-scope when I see it? (Jie-roe) Seriously... I've got some sort of mental block on this one. I don't know what it is. I'm fairly intelligent (I think). Have advanced degrees and speak several languages but this one just brain freezes me every time.

                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                        Me, too! And now I'm wondering just how many times I've asked for extra "fay-ta" on my "Jie-roe"

                                                                  2. re: pine time

                                                                    Year-o is correct. Though it's probably the one I mispronounce the most often, because if I order a "year-o" at the work cafeteria they stare at me, but if I order a "gy-ro" I am handed the food object I want. (Which is NOT a gyro anyway, it's a pita-and-falafel sandwich, lol.)

                                                                    That episode of Chopped had me boggling, too. Surprisingly, I didn't catch anyone use the older mis-but-closer-than many pronunciation of "hero".

                                                                    1. re: antimony

                                                                      Depends on how accurate you want to be. There is no English equivalent of the "g" in gyro, but... If you pronounce a really tight "y" from the back of your throat while simultaneously pronouncing an "h" it will be fairly close. Think "hissing" with your uvula. It's yhyheeroh. As if you are going to pronounce the "g", as in "go," but the back of your tongue never quite connects with your soft palate for the full "g" sound.

                                                                      I just spent some time trying to find a website that has an audio of the correct pronunciation with no luck, but I did find one of some woman in a gypsy costume (well, something like that) who was teaching the world how to pronounce it and rolling the "r" like it was a double "rr" in Spanish. In the Greek word, "gyro," the "r" is NOT rolled. <sigh> The bigger the internet gets, the more misinformation we'll find. Anyway, its a sort of "soft guttural" Y-H pronunciation. But no one will misunderstand you if you simply say, "year-oh". Greeks are flexible and tolerant people! They put up with me when I lived there! '-)

                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                        Yeah, I know how to make the correct sound -- I minored in classical Greek, which also has that sound. And I can flap-but-not-trill the R, as would at least be correct classically, but I don't expect people to have taken linguistics classes before ordering food. :)

                                                                        1. re: antimony

                                                                          It doesn't hurt to know this. It's not rocket science.

                                                                          And just for the record, I think the pronunciation is pretty close to the same in both koine and demotic Greek. For whatever that's worth.

                                                                          In any case, how you say it will have no impact on how good a well made gyro will taste. Except I never eat gyros. I only eat doner kababs. '-)

                                                                    2. re: pine time

                                                                      As others have said, the Greek pronunciation is closest to yeer-oh.

                                                                      But... if you are in a town where everyone pronounces it like they'd pronounce 'gyroscope,' then 'jai-ro' IS a correct pronunciation.

                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                        I was once castigated (in the friendly way Greeks like to yell at you) for my pronunciation of gyros (somewhere between year-os and yeed-os). He said that's a Greek word, and belongs in a Greek sentence. The English word is based on the Greek word, and is pronounced jai-ros. If I'm ordering in English, he said, it's jai-ros. I agree with him. Team brush-etta.

                                                                        1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                          "...once castigated (in the friendly way Greeks like to yell at you)"


                                                                          1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                            That makes a lot of linguistic sense. When a word is in a particular sentence, it makes sense to treat it as part if a phonetic whole, and not some bizarre alien "thing" that has to stick out. There's no reason to try to pronounce "greek" in an English sentence, and vice versa.

                                                                            1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                              Kind of like if you were doing a play that took place in France..you wouldn't have your actors speak with french accents because that would mean to the audience that they were speaking in English ...right?

                                                                              1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                Makes sense to me too. We Americanize the names of the countries from which these wonderful words originate, so what's the big deal about Americanizing the pronunciation of specific words? I am not sure what the French people call themselves in French, but I am guessing it isn't "French." Or to better make my point using languages with which I am familiar, in Norway, food items are not "Norwegian _______," in Sweden, they aren't "Swedish ________," and in Denmark, they aren't "Danish _______." Instead they are "Norsk," "Svenska," and "Dansk."

                                                                                I find it kind of interesting that we completely ignore the way in which people of different countries refer to themself at the highest level and Americanize the name of every other people, as if our pronunciation and spelling is the most valid.

                                                                                1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                  We don't Americanize names and languages. Most of the names, such as German, Spanish, Swiss, are used by the English, and most other English speakers.

                                                                                  But then, most other languages do the same. In Spanish, English is Ingles, Germany is Alemania. They speak of Italiano, Frances, Griego. 'Barbarians' comes from an old Greek term for those that 'bar bar' - can't speak properly.

                                                                                  Many tribal names (American Indian) either mean, 'us the people', or 'them, the savages' - depending on who was first asked by Western explorers.

                                                                                  Most languages, and countries, are xenophobic (xenoos, Greek for 'foreigner').

                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                    Point taken, we don't "Americanize" words, we Anglicize them. Either way, I am still amused that we spend so much effort on the correct pronunciation of specific food words from a country when we don't care about the rest of it. And I get that English-speaking people, including Americans, are not alone in this respect. Doesn't make it right. Barbarians, we all are.

                                                                                    1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                      I get the impression the English intentionally mispronounce French words.

                                                                                      1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                        I do not feel that way, at all.

                                                                                        As I travel to France, I attempt to make my pronunciations, as correct, as I can. However, my wife, who took French in high school and college, usually does a better job of it. That does not dissuade me from trying.

                                                                                        On our recent Burgundy trip, I spent much of the time having our guide pronounce some words, over and over, so that I could pick up the exact pronunciation - I improved, but was still imperfect - not by choice.

                                                                                        Remember, many French sounds do not exist correctly in English, so there can be a handicap, built in.

                                                                                        OTOH, my wife (from New Orleans, but with a Parisian grandfather) had to struggle, yet again, between French pronunciation, and Cajun, which she heard more often. Similar, but with some major differences.

                                                                                        Some Americans (US citizens) do try, but will likely never be perfect.


                                                                                        1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                          What do you base that impression on, Leonardo?

                                                                                          Do you get the same impression that other Britons mispronounce French words or is it only folk from the English part of the UK?

                                                                                      2. re: paulj

                                                                                        I'm glad you beat me to that one!

                                                                                        And French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and no doubt Dutch colonizers "misheard" Indigenous names in different ways.

                                                                                2. re: pine time

                                                                                  Marzipahn is the correct pronunciation. :)

                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                    they were all so off on that one, it made me cringe every time they said it. I say it as year-0h.

                                                                                  2. The correct pronunciation of Le Creuset has not been posted yet. It has the same short vowel sound as the "oeu" in hors d'oeuvres.

                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: almond tree

                                                                                      I hope I'm not the only one who sat here and ran both those word combinations over and over in my head just now.

                                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                        Here's a pronunciation link for hors d'oeuvres:

                                                                                        Wasn't there an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies years ago where Jed was planning to go to a French restaurant for some "or doovers"?

                                                                                        1. re: almond tree

                                                                                          We call 'em Horse doobers down here.

                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                              A friend invited us over via written invite for drinks and appetizers, and since he couldn't figure out how to spell hors d'oeuvres, he said to heck with it and spelled it 'whore's-dee-ovaries'. I still laugh when I think about it, and it's been thirty years!

                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                Your story reminded me of a h.s. friend (totally unrelated to food, sorry!): he wasn't real bright, and struggled mightily in Spanish class. We had a vocabulary test, and one word was Spanish for underwear. He wrote: "fruita de la looma." Teacher gave him some credit for creativity.

                                                                                            2. re: almond tree

                                                                                              Barney Rubble called them horse dovers.

                                                                                          1. re: almond tree

                                                                                            Does knowing the correct pronunciation help when you ask a W&S associate for the latest fromage colored 6.73L rectangular pot?

                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                              Huh? The topic of the thread is pronunciation.
                                                                                              In another context, of course I wouldn't mention it.
                                                                                              Just as when I was working as a hotel desk clerk and young honeymoon couple came in, confetti still in their hair. The groom asked for some cold "can-apes" to be sent to their room. The correct response? "Certainly, sir."

                                                                                            2. re: almond tree

                                                                                              That may not be the best description for me. Up until adulthood I pronounced hors d'oeuvres as "Whores D'Ovors".

                                                                                              1. re: almond tree

                                                                                                Yes, that was clearer than my explanation, almond tree. But I've often heard anglophones mispronounce that too. Nowadays there are a lot of pronunciation tools at wiktionary and other websites. That looks like a great one, thanks!

                                                                                                1. re: almond tree

                                                                                                  Actually, Le Creuset is pronounced with the last syllable -"set." As in Moet. and Perrier-Jouet. all the "et's" are pronounced, in defiance of the general rules of French.

                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                    Actually, Le Creuset follows the general rule for the suffix "-et": the "t" is silent, as in "jouet", "filet", "ballet", etc. Moët and Jouët have a different spelling and pronunciation.

                                                                                                2. I'll go with the OP's quinoa. Never in a month of Sundays would I have guessed correct pronounciation. Still havnt tasted it.

                                                                                                  I speak reasonable food/restaurant French and Spanish so am rarely phased by words in those languages. Then there are the food words that I see written but have never heard spoken, so have no real idea about how to pronounce them.

                                                                                                  Then again, maybe it's me that's right and others who are wrong. There's words in some forms of English that don't even exist in my form of English. And, then again, I eat tom-ar-toes, not tom-ay-toes.

                                                                                                  48 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    You can't imagine my shock when I heard it pronounced. Like you.. I just read it and applied what I thought was a reasonable pronunciation to it.

                                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                      It's all those vowels… What do you think of "bresaola"?

                                                                                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                        What do you think of "bresaola"?

                                                                                                        In Italy, and by those "in the know" here in the US, I've heard it pretty much pronounced "bre-sow-la."

                                                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                          bre-zow-la, I would say, but I was thinking (along the lines of this thread) of people not living in Italy or otherwise in the know, who might have come across this product.

                                                                                                    2. re: Harters


                                                                                                      I speak Spanish pretty well and was drilled so thoroughly in it that I pronounce most unfamiliar foreign words with a Spanish accent. Sometimes it's embarrassing, but most of the time, it works pretty well. If I read arabic lettered Japanese (e.g., "konichiwa Reiko," (ko-neechee-wah Ray-ko), it is understandable to Japanese. So I can read a menu in Japanese and not have a clue what I am saying, but Japanese people will understand me. On the other hand, this technique does not work at all with French . . . As far as I can tell, nothing works with French--except learning French.

                                                                                                      1. re: gfr1111

                                                                                                        Spanish never had a 'Great vowel shift'. So vowel sounds match the letters in the classic pattern. And linguists in devising new orthographies (such as for your Japanese example) followed that pattern. English, on the other hand, altered its vowels after the spelling was on its way toward standardization. French spelling probably has similar fossils.

                                                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                                                        Harters, how do you pronounce 'paella' and 'chorizo'? Brits tend to have a standardised (mis)pronunciation of the two. Do you go for the Spanish pronunciation, or the British one?

                                                                                                        1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                          Sorry, Lizard, I'm hopeless at writing phonetically so am not sure how to answer your question. I think I use a Spanish pronunciation but am never sure - much of my Spanish comes from visiting Mallorca and, in truth, sometimes I'm not sure whether the word I'm using is Castilian or Mallorcan. And, therefore, what the correct pronunciation is - it can differ. For example, a Castilian speaker may struggle to correctly pronounce my given name of John as the "J" is very different in that language - but a Mallorcan speaker would have no trouble at all. There's also particular differences in the use of the letter "L", where in Castilian it may silent but in Mallorcan it is pronounced - as in the island's capital of Palma de Mallorca. Most Brits would certainly pronounce it as a Castilian speaker would (say as Par-mah), but I pronounce it a a local would (as Pal - ma).

                                                                                                          I've no idea if my compatriots tend to mispronouce a word - but then I don't like to stereotype.

                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                            ooh now i'm confused Mr. H. Castillians as far as i know (i lived in Spain (albeit a long time ago) would also pronounce Palma as "pal-ma"...

                                                                                                            1. re: Googs

                                                                                                              Cho (not cha) ree zoo for the Mexican variety. The Spanish type is cho ree tho (voiceless "th).

                                                                                                              1. re: globocity

                                                                                                                Globocity, wouldn't that depend on the origin of the speaker, not the type of chorizo? The (not excellent) Spanish I speak is mostly Argentine; I chose an Argentine teacher because the sounds are very close to Italian, which I speak fluently, and I have family there. But they wouldn't use the Spanish "th" (you are correct that this sound is not the typical th in English).

                                                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                  you would only use it if you were a Spaniard in Spain, not depending on what kind of chorizo. (and according to Harters, you would not use it if in Mallorca.)

                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                    For me, it is different than what you indicate.
                                                                                                                    Chorizo in Mexico is different than that in Spain and also differs in pronunciation. I grew up and learned Mexican Spanish (where there is no "th" for /s/ or /z/) however when referring to the Spanish meat, I pronounce it "cho ree thoh." But then again...I also use the Vosotros form so perhaps I am an outlier!

                                                                                                                    1. re: globocity

                                                                                                                      Yes, chorizo is different in spain and in mexico, both deliTHioso in their own right, but a spaniard would call them both`choh-ree-tho' because that's how he says that letter. And that 'th' sound is like the 'th' sound in 'with' rather than, well, 'rather'. Or 'than'!

                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                        "Speakers in northern and central Spain, including the variety prevalent on radio and television, have both /θ/ and /s/ (distinción). However, speakers in Latin America and some parts of southern Spain have only /s/ (seseo), and speakers in southernmost Spain have only [s̄] (a consonant similar to /θ/) and not /s/ (ceceo)"


                                                                                                                        Most of the colonial trade with the Americas passed through southern ports like Seville.

                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                          Can you clarify these symbols for the unknowing masses,
                                                                                                                          so that we may understand what it is you're saying?

                                                                                                                          /s/ (seseo)
                                                                                                                          [s̄] (a consonant similar to
                                                                                                                          /θ/) and not /s/ (ceceo)

                                                                                                                          If you would, use American words as examples of the sounds.

                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                            A larger discussion in Wiki article on 'Ceceo'


                                                                                                                            Areas that give 'z' a 'th' like sound pronounce casa "house" and caza "hunt" differently. In some parts of Spain, and most of Latin American they sound the same.

                                                                                                                            The pronunciation of 'll' (as in paella) is another major regional difference. In many areas 'll' and 'y' are pronounced the same. In a few others they remain distinct.

                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                              it's not just the "z", but also the "c", as in, "Valentheea".

                                                                                                                              i used to think it was only Barthelona that did the "th" sound for "zs" and "cs" (I lived there once), but as you and others have mentioned, it's many parts of Spain that do the same, but not all. but no other parts of Latin America that i know of....

                                                                                                                              ok, just read some of that link. i get what you're saying. sort of. jeez (not to be confused with "heeth")... my brain gets fuzzy reading that.

                                                                                                                        2. re: globocity

                                                                                                                          And there's Portuguese chorizo as well.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sr44

                                                                                                                            That would be "chouriço", with still different pronunciations.

                                                                                                                            1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                              From the wiki article:
                                                                                                                              Asturian: chorizu [tʃoˈɾiθu];
                                                                                                                              Basque: txorizo [tʃoˈɾis̻o];
                                                                                                                              Galician: chourizo [tʃowˈɾiθo];
                                                                                                                              Portuguese: chouriço [ʃoˈɾisu];
                                                                                                                              Catalan: xoriço [ʃuˈɾisu]

                                                                                                                              1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                In Rhode Island, people say "chaurice," and there are plenty of people who spell it that way.

                                                                                                                                I worked with a guy at a market in Providence who -- swear to god -- made a sign regarding a special on "bresuit." That's proscuitto. 8<D

                                                                                                                    2. re: Googs

                                                                                                                      whoa, i'm sorry, that could not be more wrong. it's pah-ehl-yah. if you say it fast, it may sound SOMETHING like what the guy is saying. the "pa" sound in Spanish would never sound like "pie". "a" is always "ah" in Spanish - a short sound. the "ll" is not a "y", it's a combo of "l" and "y". i'm not berating you, it's just amazing to me how Spanish is taught to non-native speakers, as if they could not pronounce these very simple sounds.

                                                                                                                      and as for chorizo, there is no "ts" sound, as in "pizza. it's choh-ree-zoh, more like an "s" sound. and yes, as globocity says, in Spain the "z" is pronounced as a "th", as though you were lisping.

                                                                                                                      the people they're using to speak in those youtube segments aren't even native Spanish speakers. why would they do this to people trying to learn?

                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                        http://media.merriam-webster.com/soun... The shift from paw to yah makes it sound pie-ey

                                                                                                                        Pardon me, my phonetics were weird. show-ree-zoh

                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                          "in Spain the "z" is pronounced as a "th", as though you were lisping."

                                                                                                                          Although not in Mallorca, where I don't think they lisp, even when speaking Castilian. I guess it's all about regional accents.

                                                                                                                          I'm reasonably good with the LL - the brother in law's surname starts with LL and he comes from the town of Soller. Now, that town name is one rarely correctly pronounced by Britons visiting the island.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                            Might depend on where the speaker spelling it "pie" is from. There are several regional US accents where "pie" has a short a.

                                                                                                                            That's why there's IPA notation, but everyone has to know it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                              Ah! Leave it to a Chowhound thread to finally help me understand the whole "Jose Maria Olazabal" thing!

                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                Paul, I'm not hearing Jose Andres well enough on this. He is speaking so quickly (and musically, BTW -- love him). At 6:55, Jose Andres says pah-AYY-yuh. (I think.)

                                                                                                                                So, I went over to Forvo, and there are a dozen speakers from Spain pronouncing "paella."


                                                                                                                                Out of the twelve, only one speaker -- the second -- voices the tiniest "l" in the second syllable, something like an pah-AIL-yuh, and closer to what Mariacarmen is saying.

                                                                                                                                Wondered if that second pronunciation was regional, so I looked up the pronunciation of the Castilian double L and it's closer to what mariacarmen is saying.

                                                                                                                                Mariacarmen, Is the "EHL" or "AIL" middle syllable the palatalised Castilian Double L? (Sounds like a barely voiced L to Americans.)

                                                                                                                                Rather than the more popular "yeísta" pronunciation (pronouncing Double L as "Y") heard in Madrid and other big cities? That's what I'm sensing, but I'm not sure.

                                                                                                                                I know the first syllable is not PIE.
                                                                                                                                I've got both pah-AYY-yuh and pah-AYL-yuh. Soft L on the latter.

                                                                                                                                I make this dish fairly often (one of the single greatest party dishes ever), so I want to get it right.

                                                                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                  The first to keep in mind is that Spanish vowels are not diphthongs, in contrast to most of the English long ones.

                                                                                                                                  So the first 'a' in 'paella' has the same quality as the last. The 'e' is like the first part of the English long 'a' ('ei').

                                                                                                                                  The 'll' has regional differences. In some parts of Latin America it is 'dj'. But I think the most common form is like the English 'l', but with the center of the tongue touching the roof of the mouth, not the tip (palatalized). But when spoken between vowels, it can end up sounding, to an English speaker', more like a 'y', a quasi-vowel. In other words, the contact with the roof of the mouth is looser than it would be by itself or at the beginning of a word (llama).

                                                                                                                                  Put these all together rapidly, the transition from one vowel to the next is smooth, 'a - e - y/l - a'

                                                                                                                                  (English long 'i' is a diphthong, 'ai', hence the temptation to describe the first syllable is 'pie'.)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    I want to learn how a Valencian old-timer says paella. That would be the most authentic because the dish is Valencian.


                                                                                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                      In Latin America I've seen a paella like dish referred to as Arroz Valenciana (or a la Valenciana)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                        I think this particular word sounds pretty similar in Valencian and in Castilian. So you won't be able to slip it into a conversation in English and hope that the other person says "Wow, I'm impressed you know the Valencian pronunciation!"

                                                                                                                                        But you might try it with "caçolet" or "boulhabaisso" or "xocolātl"…

                                                                                                                                      2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                        paulj, you are correct, no diphthongs. But no, the 'e' in paella is NOT like the English long 'a' - or ever. It is always "eh". It is always like the first 'e' in elephant. as i said earlier, it's not "buay-nohs" dias, it's "bueh-nohs" dias, tho Americans (and maybe others) are not taught this. The vowels in Spanish always have the same sound. When combined with other letters, though there are no diphthongs, and spoken rapidly, they may sound like they are creating a diphthong. But the correct way to say a vowel is to enunciate it as it always sounds: ah (a), eh (e), ee (i), oh (o) (and this is not the English long 'o' but more like the first 'o' in forgot) and ooh (u). these are short sounds.

                                                                                                                                        maria lorraine, pah-EHL-yuh is the closest i can get to it. The 'l' sound should always be there, even if it is barely discernible.

                                                                                                                                        I'm sorry I don't know enough about phonetics to explain myself better.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                          Where do you get all these 'h's?

                                                                                                                                          When I say the letter 'a', I say start with a sound that is close to the Spanish 'e', and transition to the Spanish 'i'.

                                                                                                                                          " Note that what in English are called "long vowels", A, E, I, O, U, are in the IPA transcribed with two letters apiece: /eɪ/, /iː/, /aɪ/, /oʊ/, and /juː/."

                                                                                                                                          I don't think we differ in how the Spanish should sound, but in how to describe this to English speakers.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                            i'm very confused. are you trying to teach Spanish speakers how to say the English long 'a'? if so, then yes, "ei" is how you would do that. and the reason you would do that is because 'e' is 'eh' in Spanish, and 'i' is ee in Spanish, and when you have them next to each other, and save them fast, they sound like the English long 'a'. eh-ee. say it fast, it sounds like the long 'a'.

                                                                                                                                            but the letter 'a' in SPANISH always sounds as if you're saying "ahh", only very shortly. in any word. AH. like the reverse of HA. the letter 'a' in Spanish will always sound like this. it will never sound like a long A in English.

                                                                                                                                            i do think we're going in circles!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                              Pronunciations in Spanish for paella do little good, when the word is Valencian, and not Spanish or even Catalan.

                                                                                                                                              Valencia and Catalonia/Catalunya have had a looooong conflict, and Valencia stands by its separateness and sovereignty. Valencia has its own language/dialect, with its own pronunciation. Some Valencian pronunciations are the same as Catalan, but there is also a good deal of difference. Northern Valencian is closer to Catalan, while Southern Valencian is more its own separate animal (to split the hair even finer).

                                                                                                                                              Best as I can surmise, after reading about the Valencian language and watching a few videos, the Double L in paella sounds like the Double L in "million." Or, a short "l" sound followed by a "y."

                                                                                                                                              Where are the native Valencians to weigh in??

                                                                                                                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                The Diccionari català-valencià-balear from the IEC gives "paéʎa" as the Valencian pronunciation. In other words, the same as in lleísta Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                  But the Valencian-only language websites (I've checked about six of them) say the "million" pronunciation. The Valencian pronunciation is different, I'm telling ya.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                    the "million" pronunciation is the way to say the "ll" in Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                      "paéʎa" _is_ the "million" pronunciation. "ʎ" represents an alveolo-palatal lateral approximant.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                        Well, as long as it's an alveolo-palatal lateral approximant.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                          Yup. Everyone always thinks that the key to an authentic paella is the saffron, but it's really all about where you put your tongue.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                            "alveolo-palatal lateral approximant."

                                                                                                                                                            That's easy for you to say.

                                                                                                                                      3. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                        Googs, why are you telling me how they are pronounced? My question was directed to Harters, mostly because everyone in these parts says 'Choritso' (as if spelled Chorizzo) and pai-ella-- with the 'ells' pronounced.
                                                                                                                                        And yes, this is a generalisation based on the number of cookery programmes (especially 'Come Dine with Me') and living here.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                          Sorry, I thought it was an open question. I can see how your location would be key.

                                                                                                                                  2. Once had a friend call Merlot, MER LOT! Also Charcuterie is a good one. Ten there's Amuse Bush!

                                                                                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: treb


                                                                                                                                      I cant get this one...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                        I practiced this before I went to the restaurant that I planned on ordering it. I say Shar-koo-tree.

                                                                                                                                        Sadly I still say en-dive instead of ahn-deeve. Also sher-bert instead of sher-bet as others have mentioned.

                                                                                                                                        I have no idea how to pronounce Char siu...Shar zoo?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                          Thank you! Shar- Koo -tree! seeing it like that makes it so clear.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                            its char like char the meat or charlie and sue like the person. at least thats how we pronounce it here in hawaii where we eat char siu pretty regularly!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mag454

                                                                                                                                              Thank you for responding. I had given up on getting an answer!
                                                                                                                                              Char-sue. I'll be there in one year to try your Char siu!

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                                                                              I could be wrong, but I believe "shar-koo-tuh-ree" is the more common anglicized pronunciation. "Shar-koo-tree" is more similar to the French pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                But the u in French is not at all the same sound as the English oo. Forvo has a Canadian speaker: http://fr.forvo.com/word/charcuterie/ French speakers would be even more rapid. Remember, you have to purse your lips - make a kissy mouth.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                  "shar-koo-tree" is admittedly a pretty rough translation of French pronunciation. Not even sure how I would spell out the French syllables (I studied French once - my pronunciation is passable at best).

                                                                                                                                                  But that's kind of the point. "Shar-KOO-tuh-ree" without any French accent is the most common anglicized pronunciation that I've heard. "Shar-ku-tree" with French pronunciation is how French speakers would say the word. "Shar-koo-tree" with English pronunciation... is not really anything. It might be regionally acceptable or preferred, I guess. My point was just that there's seldom a reason to mimic French pronunciation of a word that's been anglicized when conversing in English.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                                                    How about avoiding the trouble and using the English term: cold cuts? ;)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mtlcowgirl

                                                                                                                                                      there is a marked difference between the two

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mtlcowgirl

                                                                                                                                                        Charcuterie involves many more items, and presumably of a different style, than cold cuts.

                                                                                                                                                        <<"Shar-ku-tree" with French pronunciation is how French speakers would say the word.>>

                                                                                                                                                        My sense is that you're not hearing the two final syllables ("təh-ree") that are there, because they're being said quickly.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                          The standard French pronunciation only has three syllables: [ʃaʀkytʀi] (pretty much the way cowboyardee described it).


                                                                                                                                            3. re: treb

                                                                                                                                              I've heard "Riesling" pronounced as "RYEzling".

                                                                                                                                              1. re: globocity

                                                                                                                                                Well, anglophones seem to have a problem with the whole "ie" vs. "ei" sounds in German words.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                  There'd a simple rule that takes all of the guess work out of the German ie and ei combinations. It is ALWAYS the second letter of the combination that is pronounced like that letter is pronounced when reciting the English alphabet. Therefore "ie" is pronounced "eeee," and "ei" is pronounced "eye". Hope this helps. '-)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                      Its wut I wuz taut in collidge... '-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                    That is very, very close to the pronunciations by those, producing the Riesling wines in GR. Now, there are tiny "local" variations, but not something that most would pick up.


                                                                                                                                              2. After my trip to Key West, I regaled my sister with my food stories. I told her that I had tried fried conch. Which I pronounced with a hard "ch". She told me it's pronounced like "konk". She's my younger sister...I don't know if I believe her or not! But it's another food I decided I don't have to order again!

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

                                                                                                                                                  Its worth knowing how to say it so you can order conch fritters. And yes it's "conk" like the sound of a blow to the head.

                                                                                                                                                2. My brother once ordered steak with a shit take mushroom sauce.

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                                      Catherine Tate's immortal sketch on this (IIRC, the characters are striving folk from the Midlands):


                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                                                                                                        Oh wow, thank you for this! I love Catherine Tate from The Office and this was so funny.

                                                                                                                                                    2. anything French , on purpose

                                                                                                                                                      1. Shallots, shaw-lot not shalets. Mozzerella, mot sa rella, no muse a rel. Tamal, if it's one it's a tamal, two or more, tamales. Alcoholic, no I'm a drunkard (just kidding).

                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                                                                                                                                          Oof, I have to say that I do the shalets thing.
                                                                                                                                                          (slinks away).

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                                                              Ooh, I was feeling pretty good about myself until I got to "shaw-lot." *hangs head in shame* And I do use "tamale" as the singular.

                                                                                                                                                              There are honest mispronunciations and then there are affectations. For example, I hate it when people on Top Chef say "Swis-shard" instead of "Swiss chard" -- apparently what they are doing is copying the way French chefs pronounce the English name. Eric Ripert gets to say "Swis-shard" but Tom Colicchio doesn't!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                And of course it isn't the name in French... Also, many vegetables have extremely regional names. It has MANY names in English, French, Italian and no doubt countless other languages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_c...

                                                                                                                                                                Bietola in Italian, at least in many regions, but there are no doubt other names.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, bieta, bieda, and, around Parma, erbetta. Here in Rome erbetta is parsley (= prezzemolo).

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                  In French, Swiss Chard would be "blettes." :)

                                                                                                                                                            2. I don't do this, but I have people pronounce the word "soy" as "so-ee." is that correct? I always thought it rhymed with "boy."

                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                I think "so-ee" is from the Southeastern U.S., at least according to Alton Brown it is.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                  For seeming like such a picky guy, Alton can sure mangle some words.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                  Soy rhymes with Boy. Even in the Southeast.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                    I think some regional dialects vary. I've seen it spelled in old cookbooks as "soya" and that's sort of how my Midwestern Grandparents said it. See above for "not correct but valid" arguments.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                                                                                                      soya is a common UK spelling.

                                                                                                                                                                3. Sherbet. I am well aware that there is no second "r" but it will always be "rainbow sher-BERT" to me.

                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ItalGreyHound

                                                                                                                                                                    I know that it's supposed to be SHERBET, but I've never heard anyone in my entire life pronouce it other that sherbert.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                                      I know! Me neither. Even my mom, who was an English teacher, used to say sherBERT, and then laugh and say, "I know it's wrong, but I can't pronounce it any other way!"

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                        Sing it, sister :)

                                                                                                                                                                        And, I just realized that my response to Terrie is very past-tense, like my mom is no longer with us. Happily, she very much is, and is still pronouncing it "bert!"

                                                                                                                                                                      1. The whole "gyro" thing on Chopped the other night drove me
                                                                                                                                                                        nuts, too.

                                                                                                                                                                        When I was much younger, I was guilty of the "marscapone"
                                                                                                                                                                        mistake - and I grew up in northeast NJ. Amazed I wasn't
                                                                                                                                                                        called on it much earlier!

                                                                                                                                                                        Still not sure about Viognier.

                                                                                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                          Did you say 'marscapone' because you misread the word, or because everyone around you was saying it that way? I haven't figured out where the 'mar...' form came from, but apparently it is quite common, both in the USA and the UK.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                            Not really sure because I started "pronouncing" it long
                                                                                                                                                                            before I started cooking with it. We never had it in our
                                                                                                                                                                            house because my dad disliked any thing that resembled
                                                                                                                                                                            cheese so I didn't misread it there but might have seen
                                                                                                                                                                            it on a menu. I'm assuming I picked up from other
                                                                                                                                                                            people saying it but I might have misheard - although I
                                                                                                                                                                            still hear it mispronounced.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                              The Splendid Table, 1992, p211

                                                                                                                                                                              "Rice of the Princes
                                                                                                                                                                              ... this rice, with its nuts and spice, is served on a bed of roasted greens and topped with marscapone [sic]. ... Dolloping a little mascarpone on each serving ..."

                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting that even in a book on Italian cooking, the 'mar' spelling sneaks its way past the author and editors.

                                                                                                                                                                              I found this doing a Google ngram search on 'marscapone'. The 'mar' spelling is clearly in a minority in published items, still it does persist (from 1980 on).

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                            My brother has a friend who's a wine maker. He was lamenting the fact that no one will purchase Viognier, because everyone is embarassed about the pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                            We advocated marketing it as "Vogner".

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: 512window

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think the "vio" is the problem, it's the "gn" part… If you really have to adjust the spelling to accommodate the least French-savvy clients (while still staying approximately faithful to the original name), I would have suggested "Vionier".

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, your suggestion is better, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                    Exactly. English-speaking brain transposes the "gn" and thinks, "vinegar?" (Or maybe that's just me...)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, the gn is a sound that simply doesn't exist in English, idem the "cu" in charcuterie.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Offhand, i'd say the gn is a bit like the English "nya nya" sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeppers -- Viognier does very well here in Virginia so we know how to pronounce it. Very nice grape.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. My biggest challenges are wines - gruner veltliner, viognier, gewurztraminer . . . and then there are the Hungarian and Greek ones where I don't even try . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                      45 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                                                                                                        A colleague who is quite proficient in both German and wines told me that gewürztraminer is pronounced ge-wurs-TRA-min-er

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, the emphasis is on the second syllable.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thta's what I thought. But i still usually mumble it in case I'm wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, those umlaute are difficult for most non-native speakers. And never mind trying to figure out where the emphasis goes on any of those looooong German words '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                If he really told you to say "ge-wurs-TRA-min-er", then _you_ can tell _him_ otherwise. As linguafood said, the primary stress is on the second syllable: guh-WUERTS-tra-mi-ner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Danke. As a native speaker, I feel fairly proficient in my mother tongue '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am not sure if I am supposed to apologize now, for saying something about German in a thread where a native German speaker was already active, so just in case: Sorry. If it helps (me), I was replying to AmyH, not to you. Fortunately, we seem to be in agreement, no? I will respectfully yield the rest of this sub-thread entirely to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, yea, I was totally agreeing with you. I know your reply was aimed at AmyH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      No pasa nada, DD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then perhaps you will settle this once and for all. The main stress of the word is clearly on the second syllable, but what about the secondary stress? I always had it in my head that it was TRA-min-er, but here in Italy it is tra-MI-ner. I think I looked it up once and found the Italians were right, but the doubt lingers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This was for Linguafood. Sometimes the replies go where you want them, sometimes they don't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, you are correct, the second stress is on the MI.


                                                                                                                                                                                                        I realize this is, indeed, not the easiest word in the world to pronounce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                                                                                                                      You are absolutely right and I'm sorry that I was misinformed. Please add gewürztraminer to the list of words I pronounce incorrectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't you mean the second sy-LAH-bul? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                      and of course the w is pronounced like a v...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Right. It's actually closer to Ge-VERTS-tra-ME-ner (since the "w" is pronounced like a "v" and the "i" is pronounced like a long "e" and giving up on trying to capture the ü sound in English).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, the Ü is the equivalent of English "ee" with the lips rounded. Voilà, the "Ü" sound will come out if you do this. So it is more of a Ge-VEERTS-truh-meen-air

                                                                                                                                                                                                          As an aside, there are German dialects that pronounce the Ü as "ee" unrounded. But, it is not the standard pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just like the "gn" sound in Viognier, talked about upthread, "Ü" is also difficult to write phonetically.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            EER, even rounded, doesn't quite get it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Might be too difficult to write or describe; one must probably hear it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Actually the word gewürz takes a short ü. The rounded "ee" is a good description of how to pronounce long ü, whereas the short version of the vowel is closer to a rounded "ih." And as you point out an Austrian might pronounce it closer to an "ee" unrounded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              As long as someone is not pronouncing it "Hey drunkie!" I'm not terribly particular about how its spoken to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Asking for "Gevurts" makes you sound like you know all about it and are just too cool to pronounce all those syllables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with you. Calling it Gewuerz strikes my ears as cutesy much like people who order "margs" at happy hour. But be that as it may, Gewuerztraminer is a compound word and the first word, Gewuerz, has a short vowel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You might also get some funny looks ordering "gewürz", which means spice in German. Context would help, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I asked my German friend who lives in the Allgau (sorry I don't know how to put umlauts in comments) region about the pronunciation and why my colleague would have told me the emphasis is in the third syllable. She said:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "The pronounciation of Gewurztraminer may vary according to different regions. In Northern Italy (South Tyrolia) emphasize might be on the 3.sillable."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So perhaps it depends on where you heard the word first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Perhaps. There are many regional dialects in Germany, and Bavarian in particular is so different from most other dialects I wouldn't even try to guess how these particular folks pronounce anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That said, the common pronounciation in "high" German is as I've pointed out upthread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Obviously the Südtirol dialect would be closer to Bavarian than anything else spoken in Germany, but even more particular, given its geographical location and political status. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bairisch... http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%BCd...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              They sure make some lovely wines!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Boy do I miss me some good, affordable German/Austrian white wines over here..... ah, next year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I most often hear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Guh-VUHRZ (tiny pause) TRAH-mih-ner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                when I'm in Germany, Austria and the Sud-Tirol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Traminer (TRAH-mih-ner)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                is an often-used word all by itself, so its pronunciation wouldn't change
                                                                                                                                                                                                                to truh-MEE-ner simply because an adjective -- Gewurz --
                                                                                                                                                                                                                is placed in front of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Traminer refers to a family of wine grapes,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                and in this family are several traminer grapes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's White Traminer, Red Traminer, and Spicy Traminer,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Gewurz Traminer). An adjective modifying a noun in each case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So when people say Gewurz Traminer, they are simply specifying which type of Traminer they mean (white, red or spicy, just like specifying Red or White Zinfandel).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You pronounce Gewurztraminer like two separate words, with a tiny pause in-between Gewurz and Traminer. Each word has its own emphasis: the second syllable of Gewurz; the first syllable of Traminer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Geh-VUHRZ (tiny pause)TRAH-mih-ner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Because TRAH-mih-ner is a separate established word, this sounds incorrect to me:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Geh-VUHRZ truh-MEE-ner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, just goes to show that there isn't *always* just one way to pronounce things "correctly". It is subject to regional dialects.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've only heard it pronounced GeWÜRZtraMIner. So what. As long as they bring me the wine I ordered, I honestly couldn't care less.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just to be equal-handed, listen to these pronunciations of Gewurztraminer:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Right. Which is exactly how I pronounce it, and how I have heard it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a feeling that the lack of Trockenbeerenauslese wines in the US is due as much to the difficulty in pronunciation as it is to it's rarity in general.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA)-weight German wines at least ARE inherently rare, an exotic niche wine class -- so likely uncommon under any name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          However, I have seen serious wine writers advance this same point over the international marketing difficulty of some Burgundian wine village names, even though the wines are much more mainstream on their home soil than TBA wines are on theirs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Auxey-Duresses and Pernand-Vergelesses, to name a couple. It being an old-world wine region, the wines are identified mainly by these place names of course (not by grape type), and the name itself can be a mouthful for foreigners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A friend did once report great difficulty getting a large US wine shop, over the phone, to check their stock of a Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg spätlese #45 (AP 10-02).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now that we've exhausted Gewürtztraminer, perhaps we can graduate onto the pronunciation of Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              German is actually pretty easy to pronounce once you understand the rules, since the pronunciation is much more regular than English. In this case, it's all about figuring out where the breaks are, since this is just a bunch of words strung together.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Take pity on me. My German teacher of 3 years in Gymnasium was from Vienna. I lived in an area of Bavaria that had a lot of Hebrew in the dialect. The Star of David is still on the local beer. While living 5 years in Hesse, my Prussian landlord and Wurttemburger landlady would argue between themselves on the proper pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                While my glottals and rolling rrrs received praise in Hesse, it leaves my immigrant friends from South Africa screaming with laughter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After reading jjw's post below, I checked the pronunciation at another site, and it is (more clearly) the pronunciation I'm trying to describe:



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd take that pronunciation more seriously if that man were a native German or even Austrian speaker. He is clearly anglophone, so it's not the greatest examples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The other links you posted were spot on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Independent of the nationality of the person who is doing the pronunciation at

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it is the closest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -- with an accent also on the TRAH of Traminer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    instead of on the MEE --
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to the way the word is actually said by people in the wine industry in Germany, Austria and the Sud-Tirol/Alto Adige.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The pronunciation at the other two links is different from what you actually hear when the wine is being discussed where it's grown. I'm telling ya.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Should be "gevurtz..." A "w" in German is a "v" in English. And a "v" in German is like an "f" in English. The list goes on.... Here's a quick guide:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: cookie monster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gruner Veltliner is pronounced pretty much the way it looks, except the "liner" part is "leener."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Again, just what I hear in Austria, from most of the producers.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I heard some marketing trying to get people to ask for "gru-v" (groovie), again...if you can't pronounce it, shorten it to a nickname and pretend you're too cool for the whole name!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ChefJune: 'Gruner Veltliner is pronounced pretty much the way it looks, except the "liner" part is "leener."'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And also except that the U is nasalated, a sound not normally used in English. (The word is written "Gruener" in the absence of an umlaut mark.) Not that an English long U sound would be misunderstood...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I got to know and love that wine in Austria in the 1980s, and later visits, I came away with a slight pronunciation error, only corrected later by people in the Austrian wine biz. Was accustomed to hearing many people around Vienna ordering it in wine bars or restaurants, and I wrongly stressed the 1st syllable of Veltliner. As they pointed out, the usual pronunc. in Austria stresses, albeit mildly, the second syllable (for the Valtellina region the grape is named for).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is nothing to the problems of English speakers attempting some Dutch words. The first time I ignorantly repeated my international pronunciation of Gouda cheese as "GOO-da" while in the Netherlands, it brought guffaws and a summoning of others who "must hear this." They use a soft G (known generically as a strongly-aspirated H, as in Omar Hayyam etc.) and the ou vowel is like English "OW."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Back in the US, this came up over the famous painter's name (van) Gogh, which properly sounds like a protracted cough -- to which a friend (a distinguished comparative-literatures scholar) proclaimed that it's unreasonable to expect native English speakers to accurately render that Dutch name "if they're in good health."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I had a boss who could not just order the vegetable tray and dip for working lunches, it had to be crudités...except she pronounced it crew-dites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Samalicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Should have called it crew-bites! Food for the crew!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. When I'm in China and craving fried mantou, I usually have to whip out a pencil nub to write the character for fried. There seem to be a couple of ways to say "fried" regarding mantou, We've got 炸+馒头 (zha "fried"...or "explode" mantou), and also 金色+馒头 (jinse "gold color" mantou) and I've heard 金+馒头 (jin "gold" mantou) too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If I screw up, well, I can't stand the steamed version (with condensed milk, that is), so it's good to try to know every way to say/read it.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you order 炸馒头, I can't imagine that anyone would serve you steamed mantou (except by "mistake").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Gewürztraminer and Worcestershire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: globocity

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Had an English co-worker who shortened it to "worst-er". Been grateful to her ever since!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: applgrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spanish speakers have taken the easy way out. They call it 'salsa inglesa', English sauce.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: applgrl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like that! Thank you for the shortcut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My English rellies lose the sure part -- just Wooster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "wus-ter" will be the city. "wus-ter-shy-er", the county.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's "shy-er" to rhyme with hire, buyer, flyer, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And the same in the States with Worcester, MA. It's Wuh-ster, not "Wor-chest-er".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That would "Wuss-tah"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Where ya from?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Wusstah, Mass." 8<D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good point. Forgot they drop the ending letter "r" up here. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Then put them back in the wrong places:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Whaddya drinkin?"


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm surprised you pronounce it "shy-er". Coming, I believe, from south and east of you, I pronounce it "shuh", as in "wus-ter-shuh", "York-shuh", etc. (I'm from Derbyshire - as in Dah-be-shuh!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I was raised in the UK and have lived in the US for over 20 years but still have to ask my children to ask for water because apparantly I can't pronounce it properly and I'm never understood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Was once at a restaurant and (around the time of "Real Men Eat Quiche") heard a guy ask for "kwitchee."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you gloss over the 't', and make sure to include the 'r' you might be get closer to the American 'water'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bet a lot of the posters who complain about the missing syllable or letter in 'caramel' and 'turmeric' are unaware of how they really pronounce words like 'water'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know, I just can't bring myself to do it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some years ago, I helped a British woman get change for a dollar in a Manhattan bodega. She kept asking for "kwawtahs," which the counter guy didn't understand at all, because the word is pronounced "corders."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Chatsworth


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've been visiting the States (from the UK) since 1980. It is only in the last few years that my accent has been recognised as being British. Before that, I was always being asked where I came from - "New Zealand, at a guess", people would say. And my north west accent is nothing like a Kiwi's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I still catch myself saying "sal-mon" because that's how my mom and dad have always pronounced it (English isn't their first language).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hauckpdx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which raises the interesting question of why the pronunciation police don't complain about the missing 'l' in the common English pronunciation. It was present in Latin, still there in Spanish (salmo), but not in the French saumon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hauckpdx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              but you'll get "Salmonella" right, since it was named for Dr. Salmon, who pronounced the L!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: enhF94

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of my favorite ever restaurants is a little hole in the wall in downtown Tahlequah, Oklahoma called "Sam & Ellas Chicken Palace"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It doesn't serve chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. My entire family says "weter," except for me since I wasn't raised in the Mid-Atlantic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Pho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is a great pho place near my office and for a couple years I though it was pho (foe) and all of my coworkers pronounce it as such. Once I found out it was pronounced "fuh" I was set in my ways and it is hard to turn back. Sometimes I catch myself but usually I pronounce it wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm with you on this one. I know how to pronounce it, but when I see it in my head I immediately think foe. I usually catch myself before I open my mouth and embarrass myself... usually.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is one I will deliberately mispronounce around some people, because if I say it correctly they have no idea what I'm talking about. Sometimes the need to communicate efficiently trumps the need to be correct. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just ignore it when friends request faux. It's not worth an argument.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And how do you pronounce this (well, the first two words)?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One thing about knowing the correct pronunciation is that I'm finally able to get the humor in all those punny restaurant names.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had to LOL.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There is a place near me named "Pho-shiki"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So OF COURSE I pronounce it "foe" More like "fooooe shiki!!!!". It's funny and just works that way. I picture the penguins from Ice Age. "Fuh" ---not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agree- Russell Peters corrected that one for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mels

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                apparently there's a tonal shift in there too - like "fuh?" - but this can get one into pretentiousness trouble. Still, fun with restaurants like "what the pho" (Seattle).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: enhF94

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that it depends what part of Vietnam you're in as well. I've hear it pronounced like the pelt of an animal: fu-ur. Could be a northern/southern variation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don;t know anyone who pronounces fur in two syllables... or pho in two syllables for that matter..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's how I've heard it pronounced in a couple of Viet restos in Vancouver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Although the more common pronunciation of pho is “fuh,” some regions pronounce it more as “foe,” and others in two syllables, Cu says, with a rising tone on the first syllable and a falling tone on the second. " http://www.chow.com/food-news/55268/h...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      See also Trang Nguyen's response here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/ind...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kpaxonite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i do. it's a very slight pause. almost like fuh-uh, but much quicker, and the second "syllable" is much more subdued.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Piri piri. Not because I don't know how. Just because i feel like a snobby idiot saying it in a churrascaria.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    coming back late to say “wait, how _do_ we pronounce piri piri?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I came to Massachusetts saying SKAH-lup and left saying SKAW-lup. Still do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My dad, a Taunton native and a proto-chowhound, called them SKOLL-ups, as if they were spelled scollops. Growing up in RI, we said SKAH-lups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. This reminds me of the MasterChef episode this season where Graham Elliott and Joe Bastianich made fun of Gordon Ramsay's pronunciation of "basil."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Basil is pronounced very differently by English-speakers, and it is more complicated than British vs US (and the rest of us scrambling about somewhere)...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyone who's watched Fawtly Towers knows how to pronounce it ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Not really a mispronunciation because apparently both are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        accepted but when we were kids, my friend and I argued
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        over the word scone. We are both of Scottish heritage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but her family said it like stone and mine like gone. It
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wasn't until much more recently (and we're both in our 60s)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that we realized our relatives immigrated from the same
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        town, so it probably wasn't a regional difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I asked the maid in dulcet tone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          To order me a buttered scone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The silly girl has been and gone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And ordered me a buttered scone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          discusses the patterns of those two pronunciations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the link - love the poem!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Depends on the region. Could be scon, scone, or scoone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Scone. One of the words I took the trouble to learn to say the way it is said where the food item originated. SCAHN. And people in DC - an area full of highly educated people - correct me and tell me it is SKONE. Same thing with GYRO. ROOIBOS. Which admittedly depends on whether the drinker in question is an Afrikaaner (Ruy-boss, with a very short Ruy that almost sounds like Wry) or British (Roy-boss). It is an Afrikaans word but my husband's family is British so that was how I first learned it. Not that it matters. No one in the U.S. has any clue what I am saying anyway. Then there is the "y" in yucca which is sort of "j" sound. And it is NOT Jucka, but jooka. And again, except in certain restaurants, no one has a clue. So I just give up. It still makes me crazy when national TV news anchors say things like junta instead of "hunta" or llama instead of "yama" because they are paid enough to know better. No wonder Americans butcher the languages of other countries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ordering a pomegranate and cranberry SCAHN at Starbucks would be, IMO, the height of pretentiousness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There are dialectical variations in the pronunciation of 'y' and 'll'. We discussed this a month ago in this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And here I thought I was being respectful of other languages. Not pretentious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You wouldn't want to be pretentious by ordering a SCAHN along with your Venti Latte from your barrista. Gimme a cuppajoe Joe, buddy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is it pretentious to order FREET instead of FRIGHTS? Fwah grah instead of foy grass? Then why is it pretentious to order a SCAHN?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, there are variations in the pronunciation of "y" and "ll" - as it is often said, South American countries are divided by a common language. My friends in Colombia sternly instruct me to pronounce both as a "j" while those in Ecuador laugh at me if I do that. However, in no South American country that I've been in - and I've been in almost all of them multiple times - is "ll" pronounced as the letter L. Oddly, people who know enough to say "Me llamo..." with the y or j sound - to introduce themselves - I've NEVER heard "Me lamo" with the l sound - will still call the animal a "lama" with the L sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My husband is an English-speaker from South Africa where the word is scahn. Is he being pretentious by saying the word they way he said it for 30 plus years before moving to the U.S.? He also says packet (of chips, for instance), tomahto sauce (for catsup), and car park for parking lot. He pronounces filet (feelay) as phil-it. Sometimes in restaurants or stores I have to "translate" for him - particularly if we are in the South.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm confused. Why is it okay for your husband to pronounce filet the way he learned it, but it's not okay for me to pronounce llama the way I learned it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Someone taught you to pronounce the word llama with an "l" and not a "y" or "jh" sound? In a Spanish-speaking country? Really? Well, that's a new one on me. Well, then by all means, pronounce it that way. As I said, I've been all over South American and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, took years of Spanish classes, and have never once heard anyone pronounce the double L as an L. What country was it where you learned this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I learned to pronounce a word of Spanish origin in a non-Spanish-speaking country. And your husband learned to pronounce a word of French origin in a non-French-speaking country. So both me and your husband pronounce these words differently than they would be pronounced in their language of origin. Yet your earlier post seems to imply that I pronounce llama "wrong," but your husband pronounces filet "right." And I don't understand why you think this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: small h

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think that. Sorry if you got that impression. You are right - the word "filet" was a poor example. It is a word of French derivation and the British pronunciation, picked up by English-speaking South Africans, is not correct if it is your goal (as it is mine) to try to say words the way they are said in the country of origin. And actually, in my view, they are saying it incorrectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you are saying llama with an L, then yes, it is incorrect. Would you say "me Lamo (Small)?" or "me yamo/djamo (Small)?" The latter, I hope! At least when in a Spanish-speaking country!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry for choosing a poor example.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Got it, thanks for clarifying. I'm not confident enough in my Spanish skills to do much beyond asking directions or ordering food, so it's unlikely I'd ever have to mention llamas. But if the situation arises, I'll try to get it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              'me llamo ...' (llama if you are female) means 'I am called ...' (my name is ...).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              'llama' also means the animal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While 'lamo' with a distinctly English 'l' would mark you as foreign, 'yamo' and 'djamo' are equally good regional uses. I would advise using the 'y' unless to locals prefer 'dj'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some times 'yo', 'I' is added, as in 'yo me llamo' ('yo' and 'me' both refer to 1st person). Whether the 'y' and 'll' are pronounced the same or not is another (but related) regional difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just looking at your last message: "impression", "pronunciation", "derivation", "poor", "example", "correct", "origin", "country", … All of these words come from French (or directly from Latin), but no one worries about saying them the way they are said in their country of origin. You have to draw the line somewhere, I think, and accept that at some point, a word can become plain old English, and its pronunciation is determined by English speakers, without reference to the pronunciation in the original language.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's like if someone did some research on me and found out my family originally came from some other country, and tried to tell me to stop pretending to be American and told everyone I knew that it was incorrect to treat me like an American. I wouldn't exactly consider that respectful…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, you might be horribly surprised. The creature is often called a "Lama," in many areas of the US. That is just how it is, correct, or incorrect.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Waaaaiiit isnt it a "L.ah.ma"? how am supouse to be saying it? poor little animal..we allllll say "lahma" nooo wonder they spit at me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lots of talk about llamas, but no recipes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    'llamas' - as in the animal, or the flames?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    'como se llama la parrillada de llama a la llama?' - what's flame grilled llama called?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Just Visiting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the UK, scone is either SKON (to rhyme with gone) or SCOWN (to rhyme with grown or groan)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for the other pronounciations, I think South African English generally follows British English (as does Australian and New Zealand English).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TMT1977

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I came late to the wonder that is the macaron. The first time I saw it in print I thought it was a typo for macaroon (which BTW I have always hated as a sweet). So I was kind of taken aback when Gordon, Graham and Joe were all banging on about "macaroons" in a recent Masterchef US elimination challenge which was to make great macarons. Serves me right for watching Masterchef, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One is an early borrowing from French, the other a recent borrowing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          " Recipes for macaroons (also spelled "mackaroon," "maccaroon" and "mackaroom") appear in recipe books at least as early as 1725 (Robert Smith's Court Cookery, or the Complete English Cook)."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          'macaroni' has the same Italian roots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "The -oon ending was conventional in 15c.-17c. English to add emphasis to borrowings of French nouns ending in stressed -on."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Pronounced Moet wrong (mo-AY) for the longest time. Finally went on a tour of Chandon where they corrected us. It's mwet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, there's one I didn't know. I've always pronounced it mo-AY. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What's funny is when I order it in a restaurant/bar. Sometimes they look at me like I'm crazy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You just totally wrecked a Queen song for me. I think I'll practice the Wahooty theory on this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Can't believe no one has mentioned Pinot Noir. Hurts my ears hearing "Nwah". Why do people assume that all French consonants are silent? The "r" is there, just not the hard American "r".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Digging around a bit, I find that that final 'r' is called a ' rhotic'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "^5 The French rhotic has a wide range of realizations: the uvular fricatives [χ] and [ʁ] (the latter also realized as an approximant), the uvular trill [ʀ], the alveolar trill [r], and the alveolar tap [ɾ]. These are all recognized as the phoneme /r/,[6] but most of them (all except [ʁ] and [χ]) are considered dialectal."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                English has the alveolar tap [ɾ], but not ʁ . We can't help but trip over unfamiliar phonemes like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My rule of thumb for pronouncing unfamiliar French is to drop the last half of the letters, and mangle the rest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Finally learned how to pronounce my favorite bubbly while touring the cellars. Tit on Jay.