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Commonly mispronounced foods

http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/c...

I've heard bruschetta can go both ways, but that may just have been a rumor from college.

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  1. How did possibly miss hummus, that one is mispronounced almost all the time.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rasputina

      Indeed. An Iraqi coworker and I had a loud (friendly) exchange about how to pronounce this--his h had a lot more kh than mine did: khoomus.

      But another friend said as long as we aren't saying hyoomus, like the ground cover, we're a step ahead.

      1. re: rasputina

        Since I know that 'hounds here love etymology, a little research reveals that ﲪﺺ is the colloquial word for 'chickpea' and for the eponymous chickpea concoction.
        And a cousin (lingusitically, if puzzlingly) to the words for roasting coffee and toasting bread, not to mention the homonym for the Syrian city of Homs.
        You're welcome!

        EDIT: there's not a hint of 'kh' in that word; it's just an aspirated 'h'. Americans can't usually pronounce that initial letter without exposure to native speakers and a lot of practice; ditto for the 'sad' versus 'sin'.

        1. re: Phil Ogelos

          ¡Caramba! Another of these threads, and the new year barely here...

          Phil: "it's just an aspirated 'h'. Americans can't usually pronounce that initial letter without exposure to native speakers and a lot of practice"

          Unless they ever studied Spanish or Russian or Dutch or any of the other languages using the "strongly aspirated H." Or knew many people from Scotland ("Och, aye!")

          It often gets anglicized as "kh" ("Omar Khayyám") as a cue. My region of California has many Slavic expats speaking English as a second language ("Khow are you?"), thus ample "exposure to native speakers." (Remarkable too how some words, like "Khrushchev," SPELL more compactly in the proper alphabet.)

          Or the famous Dutch cheese Gouda. Which people there pronounce "KHOW-da" and if you tell them some distant foreigners mispronounce it "Goo-da," they think you're pulling their leg.

          1. re: eatzalot

            None of the examples you present, eatz -the Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Persian- are in any way the equivalents of the Arabic "ﺡ" but it was sweet of you to give it a shot.

            1. re: Phil Ogelos

              Apologies if irrelevant to the ﺡ .

              I addressed the earlier "kh" and your reply, "there's not a hint of 'kh' in that word; it's just an aspirated 'h'" -- which looked like the famous, international "strongly aspirated H" sound. As in Loch Ness, or van Gogh.

            2. re: eatzalot

              Omar Khayyam has a different letter: خ, not ح. It's a throat-clearing 'kh' versus a punched-in-the-stomach 'h'.

        2. Broo-skeh-tah is absolutely the correct way to say it.
          Years ago while taking a food tour in Boston's North End the Italian-American tour guide said the mispronunciation of that word is her pet peeve.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Annief123

            It's a harder "T" than your phonetic spelling indicates, achieved by the tip of the tongue launching propulsively from the back of the upper incisors.

          2. Correct Italian pronunciation is broos-KET-ta.
            There are lots of threads on mispronunciation:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6008...

            http://www.chow.com/search?q=mispronu...

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious

              Being reasonably certain I'm correct, may I also add that bruschetta refers to the BREAD and not the topping?

            2. Gyro. As a greek I shudder every time I hear someone order a jie-row instead of yee-row.

              15 Replies
                1. re: EWSflash

                  This seems to be a regional thing. If I asked for a yee-row in Pittsburgh, most people would look at me funny.

                  1. re: Rick

                    Has to be where the word hero for a sub/sandwich came from, right?

                2. re: dinobotcommander

                  If my pronunciation of 'gyro' makes you shudder, I'll use 'shawarma' instead.

                  1. re: paulj

                    To be fair most Greeks (at least the ones I know) order a Pita Souvlaki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souvlaki... actually meat versus the ground up meatball abomination they serve in the states.

                    1. re: paulj

                      Also consider someone ordering a bugger at Micky D's...

                      1. re: paulj

                        good reply.

                        nothing more offensive, and correct.

                        it IS gyro as in gyroscope, in American English.

                        gyro is the meat, not the pita wrap sandwich.
                        just like souvlaki is meat on a stick.

                        if you want a pita wrapped sandwich, then order one, gyro, souvlaki or chicken schwarma

                      2. re: dinobotcommander

                        Yeah, maybe, but you don't want to be that guy who holds up the line because the person behind the counter can't understand your oh-so-authentic pronunciation.

                        1. re: dinobotcommander

                          My old greek neighbour... hardly spoke english...distinctively pronounced it with a long G.

                          1. re: dinobotcommander

                            Interestingly, and this is partly wikipedia so sorry if you know better, the ancient Greek word, γύρος, ends in an "s" sound, which we drop in English, probably because we assume it's plural with an "s."
                            Here is a link to a Greek person saying the ancient Greek word:
                            http://www.forvo.com/word/%CE%B3%CF%8...

                            That sounds like a hard "g" to me, but then ancient isn't modern. Here's the modern:
                            http://www.forvo.com/word/%CE%B3%CF%8...

                            I still say "yee-ro"

                            1. re: caganer

                              starting a discussion about the s at the end is a much bigger discussion than this board can handle.

                              his name is James, but I cut the s at the end when I refer to him and call him Jim. modern American standardized spelling aside, he is James, my friend Jim

                              1. re: caganer

                                I was going to point out http://www.forvo.com/word/gyro_%28foo... which is about how I pronounce it. I am pretty sure I picked that pronunciation up from some Greek chefs when I was working in a Greek-owned restaurant on Long Island.

                                1. re: Chris VR

                                  I like it. VERY American english accent, especially on the r.

                                  The Greek r isn't rolled like in Spanish, but it sure ain't like what that female or male sound like either... but close

                              2. re: dinobotcommander

                                As a Greek I shudder every time I hear someone extent the o to owww like in English.

                                it's a short o, not a long dragged out o.

                                and for gyro, like gyroscope, it's pronounced like it is spelled with a j.

                                if you want to speak Greek, then yearo would be closer, but it ends in a short o, not a long owwww

                              3. Where was MAR-scapone instead of MAS-carpone?

                                What about Geer-ows instead of yeross? Or are both of those ok?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: chicgail

                                  Chicgail the G is nearly silent...everyone will understand but its not quite correct...A 'G' sound like giant is absolutely just wrong though. :)

                                  1. re: chicgail

                                    Mars Capone was the little known brother of Al Capone, He often hung around with Vinny Garette and Al Dente down in Tia Juana.

                                  2. Fois gras. I've hears lots of people pronounce the gras and the fois the same - foie GWA

                                    12 Replies
                                          1. re: Harters

                                            Maybe she should have understood that I was spelling incorrectly to indicate how people mispronounce it. Honestly, some people on this site.... And maybe she should have noticed I spelled it correctly.

                                            1. re: wincountrygirl

                                              My bad. No need to get all hot n bothered, hon.

                                              1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                May be correct spelling where you are, but in France and, also, where I am in the world, it's spelled "foie", not "fois".

                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  Good grief.... Can't believe I did that . I know it's foie.... I was trying to figure out how to write the mispronunciation. I stand corrected.

                                                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                    Easy done. I'm hopeless at phonetic writing and so on.

                                                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                      So people where you are pronounce it foo-is? or is it fooz? fo-iz? Your spelling of the pronunciation doesn't make it clear which is the source of the problem

                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                        The say the fwa right (foie) but then they say GWA instead of gra (gras)

                                                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                          Most anglophone people have a pretty hard time pronouncing the French/German/Italian/Spanish/Greek sounds for the letter "r".

                                                          I try not to hold it against them :-)

                                                          Just like the majority of Germans cannot for their life pronounce the word 'squirrel' to the satisfaction of a native English speaker. Although even in that case -- as has been pointed out in this thread, it certainly depends on where you grew up learning English, and your pronunciation of the same word will vary. A lot, sometimes.

                                                          And don't even get me started on the "th" sound which seems damn near impossible for many Germans (which is odd to me... just lisp and you got it).

                                                  2. re: wincountrygirl

                                                    It's just a case of picking nits of off the nit pickers ...

                                          2. Chipotle.

                                            Are you listening Bobby Flay? Not chi-po-ti-lay and not chi-pol-ti

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: sal_acid

                                              Complaining about how he used to say chipotle is as old as complaining about jumping on a cutting board.

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9071...
                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8113...

                                              1. re: sal_acid

                                                yes, i'm positive that bobby flay is listening to your correction.

                                                1. re: sal_acid

                                                  I am trying to understand why you wrote "ti" to indicate the pronunciation.

                                                  1. re: globocity

                                                    "I am trying to understand why you wrote "ti" to indicate the pronunciation."

                                                    He was showing both common mispronuciations. It's of course chee-POTE-lay.

                                                2. Sake. Usually spelled incorrectly too.

                                                  21 Replies
                                                  1. re: Glicoman

                                                    how is it mispronounced?

                                                    or misspelled (is that with an accent)?

                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      As 1sweetpea responded, pronounced as SACK-ee. And spelled as 'saki.' There are even businesses named such-and-such Sushi and Saki bar

                                                      1. re: Glicoman

                                                        A few years ago I attended the annual sake tasting and lecture at the Japan Society in NYC. John Gaunter, an American who is basically the preeminent non-Japanese expert and advocate of sake, usually gives an hour long lecture, followed by Q&A, followed by a tasting provided by about two dozen sake breweries over from Japan....Anyway, this particular lecture was Sake 101. Covered the origins, process, appreciation, etc.

                                                        In an hour, he must have said the word "sake" (pronounced sah-kay) about 200 times. I mean, you really couldn't have missed it. We go into the Q&A and first guy to ask a question goes: "Why is saki (sa-key) called rice wine?"

                                                        In other mispronounced Japanese food words news, I often hear "omakase" mispronounced as something like "oh-mi-KA-see" or some such. The pronunciation and the accented syllable are usually off. Should be "oh-MAH-kah-say".

                                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                                          Getting the stress right is the first step to correct pronunciation. The same problem comes up with Russian words: Sha-RA-po-va.

                                                    2. re: Glicoman

                                                      My dad butchers that one every time. He says SACK-ee. Horrifying. I can't make eye contact with anybody when he does that. He's referring to the beverage, not the salmon maki, by the way.

                                                      1. re: Glicoman

                                                        Sake (or however you want to write it in the Latin alphabet) is transliterated from Kanji. It can be "spelled" incorrectly in Kanji, but when transliterated there is no necessarily correct spelling.

                                                            1. re: pixelcat

                                                              Sorry pixelcat. Sake is a Japanese word so was originally written in Kanji, the Japanese "pictograms" or "written" language. So when we write sake in our (Latin) alphabet, we are just making up a way to translate the pictograms into a way we can say it. Imagine translating the hieroglyphic for pharaoh - why not fero, or fayro, or pharoe? Hope this clarifies.

                                                              If I were cleverer, I'd be able to put up an image of the word sake in Kanji, but I'm technologically backwards.

                                                              1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                What I'm saying is that there are rules to romanization, people don't just make things up willy nilly. The Hepburn system is the most common romanization system for Japanese though you may see others such as the Kunrei shiki.

                                                                In any case, the usual readings for 酒 are sake (when used alone) shu in 日本酒、saka in 酒場 and zake in 地酒。

                                                                so yes there is a correct spelling

                                                                1. re: pixelcat

                                                                  Thanks for the explanation (and I certainly hope I didn't come across as patronizing in my response - definitely not my intent). I didn't realize Kanji had a normalized transliteration process and was coming more from the background of Chanukah, Hanukah, Chanuka, Hanuka, Channukah, Hannukah, etc etc ad infinitum.

                                                                  1. re: pixelcat

                                                                    Since you seem familiar with such things, can you explain how it is that when words like "feng shui" were translated into English pronunciation, the spelling misdirects the Anglophone? Why not "fung shwae"?

                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                      I've often felt the same way about french words, why aren't they spelled the way they're pronounced?

                                                                      I'm not really familiar with chinese except to know that they have several different romanization systems with huge differences among them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparis....
                                                                      Also it's a tonal language which makes it even more difficult.

                                                                      1. re: pixelcat

                                                                        "I've often felt the same way about french words, why aren't they spelled the way they're pronounced?"

                                                                        Now that's really funny. You could ask the same question about English.

                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          Take a bow, lingua. Or a bough. Or is that too tough. I'm through with this post. Or maybe threw.

                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                            Well, we all know how to spell fish correctly, right?

                                                                            It's ghoti.

                                                                        2. re: pixelcat

                                                                          Looked at that chart, took some dramamine, and spent a leisurely hour on the Fainting Couch! ;-) Where's that Star Trek universal translator hearing aid thingy?

                                                                          French is a different situation. It has its own rules for pronunciation of the Roman alphabet, as do German, Spanish, Italian, etc. IF you know those rules, you can pronounce the words, with few exceptions. But the Chinese alphabet is totally different. If you are picking Roman characters to approximate the correct pronunciation of the Chinese character, why not choose the one that sounds closest? "Is a puzzlement!" to quote Yul Brynner.

                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                            My (thoroughly Anglo) kid is studying Chinese now and she can't even get me to pronounce "please" and "thank you" properly. I swear I can only hear 3 tones rather than 4 and I've decided to give up and leave the Chinese to her. Oh, and I do speak 2 languages aside from English.

                                                                          2. re: pixelcat

                                                                            That's funny because my biggest beef with English is that you can never know from reading the words how they are pronounced which, to me, is the biggest difficulty in learning the language. IT seems to me completely arbitrary. How do you pronounce Leicestershire again? The biggest hurdle in learning French is that you can never tell the gender of a noun from reading it. You have to learn them all by heart, just like you have to learn English pronunciation by heart.

                                                                            French pronunciation may not be as easy as Spanish or Italian, but It seems to me pretty straightforward. The big exception being proper nouns such as place names, many of which I reckon come from neither Latin or Greek and keep their "old" pronunciation for heritage reasons. this is just speculation on my part as I have never studied French linguistics.

                                                                            1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                              Have you read or heard the audio version of David Sedaris's essay on learning French noun gender? Best to put on a diaper first!

                                                                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                Said said he paid eight dollars for Aida's plaid-covered chair in Cairo.

                                                                2. Hummus is commonly mispronounced as humm-mas by Americans. I can't tell you how it enrages me.

                                                                  89 Replies
                                                                  1. re: smoledman

                                                                    my favorite is when it's pronounce with a "hu" that rhymes with human.

                                                                    1. re: smoledman

                                                                      Enrages you? Seriously? That's would be like me, as an American, saying that I am enraged when native Greek or Arabic speaker mispronounces english words. Borrowed words often assume a pronunciation more similar to the language doing the borrowing, that's normal.

                                                                      1. re: kmcarr

                                                                        I know! That is what I was thinking. Don't travel to other countries then. Especially Japan! Every country that adopts a foreign word into their language changes it to fit in their own language. They don't apologize for it.

                                                                        Sometimes the pronunciation changes are interesting in themselves. I was just talking to a Japanese speaker this morning (in my kitchen) about the word crepe.The French pronounce crepe as "krep", Americans as "kr Ape" and when the Japanese embraced the crepe (and they really, really did!) they pronounce it from the American pronunciation, not the French. They say ka rA poo.... not..... ka re poo.

                                                                        For the record, I think it sounds ridiculous to pronounce most foreign food words in a sentence with a difference accent than the other words in the sentence. I think most people are not impressed at the level of sophistication, rather they think it sounds douch-y. That is why Giada gets made fun of so much. She sounds comical. I have traveled a lot and I have not seen people in other countries worry about this.

                                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                                          I really like your comments here. Not only because I agree fundamentally with what you have stated, but because of the real life day-to-day examples you've used to elucidate the clarity of your argument. Bien dicho!

                                                                          I have a relative who insists on pronouncing the word "latina" and "latino" with a Spanish accent whenever she uses these words in English. Similar to Giada, it's pretty douch-y.

                                                                          It sounds condescending to me.

                                                                          For bilingual English speakers, like pretty much all children of immigrant parents in the USA, it sounds weird when someone says a word in English from your "mother tongue" and pronounces it the English way, and not the way you know it should be pronounced in your mother language. It is tempting to correct them when this occurs.

                                                                          But I agree with you, that when words are borrowed, the borrowing language gets some license to modify it to fit their language. That's just normal. Correcting people, or pronouncing words in their language of origin, flipping back and forth in and out of accents of different languages in the same sentence... douch-y is a good description.

                                                                          1. re: sedimental

                                                                            I don't understand this:
                                                                            "I think it sounds ridiculous to pronounce most foreign food words in a sentence with a difference accent than the other words in the sentence. I think most people are not impressed at the level of sophistication, rather they think it sounds douch-y. That is why Giada gets made fun of so much. She sounds comical. I have traveled a lot and I have not seen people in other countries worry about this"

                                                                            I am first-generation American and grew up in an Italian-speaking home. I know how to pronounce Italian words and that is how I will pronounce them even if it's in a sentence where I'm speaking English but the Italian words appear. Why is this considered an attempt at 'sophistication' and 'douch-y' ?

                                                                            1. re: prio girl

                                                                              It isn't, by educated, open-minded people. Only rubes look down on others for using language correctly.

                                                                              1. re: prio girl

                                                                                Maybe it sounds natural from you, but if you sound anything like Giada.....

                                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                                  I have no idea how it would sound to your ears but it most certainly is 'natural.' BTW, that goes both for my Italian accent and Giada's.

                                                                                  1. re: prio girl

                                                                                    http://teamcoco.com/video/giada-de-la...

                                                                                    I like Giada. I think she is cute and her recipes have been decent too. My personal opinion is that she sounds comical.

                                                                                    There is no way, in hell, that I think all Americans wrongly pronounce these (now common) adopted foreign words..and should all adopt her pronunciation style. I don't think she is "wrong", I think she sounds funny.

                                                                                    I think it is "wrong" to believe that Americans are ignorant to not attempt to pronounce foreign words with the corresponding foreign accent.

                                                                                2. re: prio girl

                                                                                  Italian provides an excellent example of the problem in moving words from one language to another, in "gnocchi." An Italian would say "nyaw-kee" (approximately). The initial sound is not normal in English, so the Anglicized pronunciation becomes "no-kee." An Italian (in the US, at least) should understand this and think it an acceptable form. But "no-chee" (as in cheese) isn't an American accent, it's just wrong.

                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                    I don't see why one error is excusable, but the other is not. Neither matches the Italian.

                                                                                    Yes, the phonological error requires more work to overcome. In theory I could switch from 'chee' to 'kee' by just learning something about Italian spelling. But if I am used to hearing and saying 'chee' (not having any Italian friends), even that switch won't be easy.

                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                      Adapting a sound to English-speaking tongues is not an error. The objective is not to learn to speak Italian (or whatever) like a native in order to learn Italian cuisine, but to incorporate the Italian terms into English in a reasonable way. If the error is due only to ignorance rather than to difficulty with the sounds, it is a different situation. Just my opinion.

                                                                                      Some Americans will learn a pronunciation closer to the Italian, of course, and that's good, too.

                                                                                    2. re: GH1618

                                                                                      The " no-Chee"- pronunciation is not a terribly common one that I have heard...although it is often mangled beyond recognition at this point in our language. Most non foodies don't even know what it is, let alone how to pronounce it.

                                                                                      Once a borrowed word becomes common and adopted into the language, the pronunciation changes to fit the language. Gnocchi isn't there yet. Give it 10 or 20 more years to see what settles into as far as a common American pronunciation.

                                                                                      Like espresso....it went through several twists and turns before settling down to common American pronunciation....sans Italian accent.

                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                        "Adapting a sound to English-speaking tongues is not an error. The objective is not to learn to speak Italian (or whatever) like a native in order to learn Italian cuisine, but to incorporate the Italian terms into English in a reasonable way. If the error is due only to ignorance rather than to difficulty with the sounds, it is a different situation."

                                                                                        This makes a great deal of sense to me. But where do you stand on making it into three syllables -- nee-OH-kee? (Or calling Giovanni gee-o-vanni?)

                                                                                      2. re: prio girl

                                                                                        I don't think the virtually bilingual person using original pronunciation is being pretentious, just natural.

                                                                                        What tickles me is the guy - say a native of Pittsburgh - who goes to great pains in the middle of his ordinary English to pronounce a French word as if he was raised in Paris' 6th arrondissement. "I'll have a decaf and a cchhhhwoahsaaanh ("croissant")."

                                                                                        You'll notice the same guy doesn't get all guttural when he comes upon the word "kreplach" or rolls his Rs when he orders "torrrrtillas".

                                                                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                          All Americans I've known who eat croissants can pronounce the word reasonably well without sounding pretentious. It isn't usual for people to try to sound French when they are not, even though trying for a correct pronunciation in an American accent.

                                                                                          Somehow we Americans can all pronounce "pizza" even though few of us speak Italian. Nobody pronounces it the way one might expect by applying English conventions, and nobody thinks that pretentious.

                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                            Good point about the word "pizza." Nor do people seem to be putting on airs when they say "tacos."

                                                                                            I also attempt to give a reasonable French pronunciation of "croissant" or any other word for that matter which I can take a stab at. I happen to love languages.

                                                                                            Let's face it though, French language ability is still considered a mark of sophistication where facility in other languages? Not so much. I knew a woman who was such a Francophile that if there was a dysentery epidemic in Paris she'd start shitting in her pants.

                                                                                            1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                              But I don't think we pronounce those words correctly. Most Americans will pronounce the final "a" in "pizza" as a schwa, which I believe is not correct. Also, we will pronounce the "s" in "tacos" like a "z", whereas it should be a soft "s". Now, you can argue that that's just our American accent, rather than a mispronunciation, but I'm not sure where you draw the line.

                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                Really? The "a" at the end of pizza is not spoken in Italian? I did not know that!

                                                                                                1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                  My Italian-English dictionary shows it as "pē'tsâ, with the "a" sound being close to the "a" in "father." I think the difference in the precise sound of the "a" is hair-splitting. The important point is that nobody pronounces "zz" as in "pizzazz."

                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                    Why is that the important point? Where do we draw the line on hair-splitting? If it is OK to say "pizzuh", why can't one say "crape"?

                                                                                                    And is it OK to say "tamale" instead of "tamal" as the singular of "tamales"?

                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      I'd say that "tamale" is well-established in English. The Tamale Queen herself, Maria Martinez, spelled it that way. But in some contexts, one should use "tamal," e.g. when referring to a dish by its Spanish name: "tamal de cazuela"
                                                                                                      ( a type of meat stew ).

                                                                                                      Edit: She spelled it both ways, it seems. I'm happy to be corrected on the correct singular form of "tamales," by the way:

                                                                                                      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4Uak8T38frI...

                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                        As for the "a" in "pizza," I used to order pizza from Italians in an Italian restaurant and they never had any trouble understanding what I wanted. I never noticed any important difference in their pronunciation, either. If there was one, it was merely a matter of accent. I just listened to an online audio purported to be the authentic Italian pronunciation, and it sounded fine to me. On that basis, my opinion is that the variation in the pronunciation of "pizza" in the final "a" is a mere nuance of accent, not an error. That's how I draw the line. You may draw it where you will.

                                                                                                      2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                        In Philadelpha Pizzazz is a pizza with American cheese.

                                                                                                      3. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                        I'm not saying that it isn't spoken, but it is a "ah" sound rather than the "uh" sound that Americans say.

                                                                                                        1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                          Gotcha. It so happened that my wife was cooking a Bolognese sauce last night, and due to this thread, we looked up a You Tube video that shows the original pronunciation. I knew the G up against the N in BoloGNese would be pronounced "nya (long "a"), but not appreciate the end of the word, Zay. Boh-loh-NYA-zay.

                                                                                                          Love this stuff!

                                                                                                          1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                            Very close - more of a "zeh" than a "zay", though.

                                                                                                            1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                              EarlyBird: "I [did] not appreciate the end of the word, Zay. Boh-loh-NYA-zay. Love this stuff!"

                                                                                                              Then you may also like that there's a regional (Italian-American?) habit of anglicizing some vowels, rendering words like provolone and mascarpone with endings that rhyme with English "cone" rather than the original two syllables.

                                                                                                              Thing is, that's far from universal in the US. I grew up in the US without any nearby Italian or ethnic-Italian influences, yet scarcely heard the "loan" pronunciation of those words until I was an adult -- though the cheeses themselves were common. My American Heritage Dictionary lists the more Italian, two-syllable ending as preferred for mascarpone, and doesn't even list the "pro-və-LOAN" pronunc. of provolone at all.

                                                                                                        2. re: MelMM

                                                                                                          True--and the /t/ and /c/ in Spanish aren't aspirated as they are in English--and the vowel sounds are shorter--so to a native Spanish speaker, an English speaker throwing "tacos" into a sentense would still sound very foreign/different.

                                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                            The usual way to make a noun plural in American English is to add an 'es' after a consonent and an 's' after a vowel with the resulting pronunciation most often sounding like a 'z'. How is the plural for taco pronounced by people in Mexico?

                                                                                                            Edit: After further thought on this I have realized that yes, the 's' in the plural for taco is with a soft 's' for native speakers.

                                                                                                            Frankly, I do not see it as all that important to pronounce foreign words like a native speaker in whatever language the word/noun is from. I know several people for whom Ameeican English is not their first language and they butcher lots of American English food terms.

                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                              I actually agree with you, that it is a bit much to expect of ourselves.

                                                                                                              We're all going to mispronounce something. We can't know every single language.

                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                Absolutely. What I meant to say is that it seems to me that most people who look down on less "sophisticated" pronunciations of foreign words probably aren't pronouncing them right, either. The moment an English speaker says a t/c/p/b sound, a Spanish speaker will have their number, because these consonants sound very different in Spanish.

                                                                                                                (The final s is *almost* always a soft /s/ sound in Spanish, except in some positions when it disappears and in certain dialects where it is aspirated as an /h/ sound.)

                                                                                                                Having lived in Spain for 10 years, I have a really hard time remembering how to mispronounce Spanish words in English and get a lot of laughs when I mess things up back in the US (and I do consider that messing things up), especially with town names in California.

                                                                                                                1. re: butterfly

                                                                                                                  "I have a really hard time remembering how to mispronounce Spanish words in English"

                                                                                                                  In Minneapolis, one of the main streets is Nicollet Avenue - pronounced "nick-o-lett" or even sometimes "nick-litt", but NEVER "nee-ko-lay".

                                                                                                                  Newbies are always puzzled by this one.

                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                    Nicolet HS and Nicolet National Forest here in Wisconsin are always pronounce "nee-ko-lay". Wacky Minnesooooohtans. :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: mse924

                                                                                                                      Yes, they are. I'm a transplant, fortunately!!!

                                                                                                                      1. re: mse924

                                                                                                                        The Minnesota places are named after Joseph Nicolas Nicollet, a French geographer who mapped much of the area. http://www.sissetonmuseums.org/tower_...

                                                                                                                        Jean Nicolet was an earlier French explorer, who thought he found a way to China via Green Bay.
                                                                                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Nic...

                                                                                                                      2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                        I grew up in St. Louis we have tons of French streets and surrounding towns that have really interesting pronunciations. But it makes sense. That's what happens when different waves of people speaking different languages arrive in a spot and make it their own. I really doubt any of us are pronouncing the thousands of Native American place names correctly (including 26 of 50 state names).

                                                                                                                        1. re: butterfly

                                                                                                                          Some of the Indigenous names of the Americas have different "mispronunciations" between French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and other European languages, including Dutch.

                                                                                                                          The river that flows by Canada's national capital is mispronounced "Ottawa" in English and "Outaouais" in French (the original was somewhere in between, something close to Odaweh).

                                                                                                                          The final t being sounded can have a different origin, as 400 years ago it was sounded in French, at least in some dialects. I lived on rue Chabot in Montréal and the people (almost all of French origin, a few Italians, a few Portuguese, a few Haitians) pronounced the name of the street as Chabotte, not as Chabo. This is irregular, not done with all names by any means.

                                                                                                                          1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                            If you're simply stating the derivation of the name then fine, lagatta, but you wrote "mispronounced". I can't let that pass without commenting.

                                                                                                                            "Mispronounced" implies that 30 million Canadians today, both Franco and Anglo, and everyone else from Sir John A. down, as well as the world at large has been mispronouncing "Ottawa" lo these centuries. We should be using "Odaweh"? Let's shift to "Kanata" as well then.

                                                                                                                2. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                  "I knew a woman who was such a Francophile that if there was a dysentery epidemic in Paris she'd start shitting in her pants."

                                                                                                                  HA! That's the funniest thing I've read all week!

                                                                                                          2. re: sedimental

                                                                                                            Mispronouncing "crêpe" in American English isn't a matter of adapting a foreign word to fit into the language, it is just simple ignorance. It isn't a matter of accent.

                                                                                                            Some words from other languages are harder to incorporate into English, because they use unfamiliar sounds which are difficult for native English speakers, such as "gyro," so they necessarily get adapted. "Crêpe" isn't one of them.

                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                              I completely disagree. My family is from Canada. Have you heard Canadians pronounce pasta? All Canadians are ignorant too? English speaking Canadians pronounce many foreign words differently than English speaking Americans.

                                                                                                              It is not just that some foreign are too difficult to pronounce, sometimes the adaptation simply "sounds better" to the adopting cultures "ear", flows better in a sentence, and gains the popular pronunciation -loses the foreign pronunciation. The same way Americans don't adopt the tildes and other graphemes either. It is not "wrong", Not ignorance. This happens everywhere. All countries.

                                                                                                              When I pronounce crepe like an American English speaker, I know that is not how a native French speaker would pronounce it. I am not trying to speak French. If I were in France ordering a crepe, I would pronounce it in french, in japan, I would pronounce it like the Japanese.

                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                  :)

                                                                                                                  I keep trying to get off this thread..but like a car accident.....

                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt '-D

                                                                                                                2. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                  I know what a Canadian accent is, and I'm not buying it.  I expect there are a few Canadians (not only in Quebec) who say crêpe, because it isn't a matter of accent, but correctness.

                                                                                                                  But to put it in an American context, we are poor at diacritical marks (as they rarely come up in English), and an alarming number of Americans can't even get ordinary punctuation right, especially the apostrophe.  But publishers understand them, and careful writers and editors get them right.  

                                                                                                                  Consider James Beard, who was as American as apple pie.  He was knowledgable about French cuisine and food around the world, but was equally interested in humble American food, properly done.  There was nothing snobbish in his approach.  But in his cookbooks, written for Americans, you will find "crêpe," "sauté," and "jalapeño," for example, because those are the correct forms of the words.  In his classic book Hors d'Oeuvre and Canapés, he included a paragraph from André Simon on the correct spelling and usage of the first term.  He was not putting on airs, but merely assuming, I think, that his readers would want to know.

                                                                                                                  My view is the same.  Educated, open-minded people are interested in the correct spelling, pronunciation, and usage of culinary terms as well as the proper cooking and, ultimately, eating of food.  If most people are not interested in that aspect of food, that is no reason for Beard and those who have come after him and who care about such things to dumb down their cookbooks for the masses.  Call me elitist (or worse) if you like.  It is eau off a canards back.   

                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                    My husband is Canadian, and has a very Americanized accent. But man, you hear him say the word pasta and you want to drop on the floor in a fit of giggles.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                      I assume he pronounces pasta to rhyme to 'mad'?

                                                                                                                    2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                      Wow, GH1618. You can't possibly think that a country as large (geographically) as Canada would produce a single "Canadian" accent. Regional pronunciations vary as much in Canada as they do throughout the US ... and any other country in the world, English speaking or otherwise.

                                                                                                                      I say paw-sta, but many say past-a. I want to pronounce crepe as the French do, but I'd get looks from others, who know it as craype. Bay-gull vs. baggle. That one makes me laugh, but the people in my small town just haven't heard the word enough to know that baggle isn't correct. I can't blame them. I grew up in a Jewish community where we argue bitterly about Toronto bagels, vs. Montreal, New York and L.A.

                                                                                                                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                        Hubby is from Wisconsin. I tease him about "begs of baggles".

                                                                                                                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                          No, I don't think there is a uniform Canadian accent. But there are certainly some accents one hears that are distinctly acanadian. Robert MacNeil comes to mind.

                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                            One word represents Canada for me: aboot

                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                              I've lived in 3 provinces and if I want to hear someone say "aboot", I guess I'd have to travel to the far reaches of Newfoundland. It's like saying some obscure Cajun pronunciation from Louisiana represents America.

                                                                                                                              1. re: hal2010

                                                                                                                                Really? I live in Minnesota and hear it fairly often - I also hear it on TV - I've heard Chuck Hughes say it.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                  My dad's cousin (I guess she's my cousin too, but she's about 75) says aboot, ay (or is it eh?) and bean instead of been (bin).

                                                                                                                                  For our Canadian 'hounds, she lives in Moosejaw, if that makes a difference.

                                                                                                                                  (I still don't get the last letter of the Canadian alphabet.)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                    That is simply the way z (zed) is pronounced in all other English-speaking countries. Moreover, it is how it is pronounced in French, reinforcing it here.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                      lagatta is exactly right. "Zee" as the name of the last letter in the _US_ alphabet is what's exceptional, worldwide.

                                                                                                                                      We in the US are a relatively large and self-sufficient region, long isolated by oceans from both the "Old World" and parts of the "New," and have tended to go our own way despite the rest of the English-speaking world -- not only with pronunciations (CORollary, harASS, laMENTable, skedule), but word choice ("beet" for beetroot; "corn" for maize rather than general grain; "zucchini," borrowed from Italian, for courgettes or vegetable marrows; "eggplant" for what everyone else in English calls aubergines; etc. etc. etc.); but more to the point here, we have tended not to KNOW that these were departures from worldwide norms.

                                                                                                                                      How ever the Canadians have coped so graciously with all this is my constant amazement.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: eatzalot

                                                                                                                                        Because (English-speaking) Canadians use a mish-mash of Commonwealth and US terms. For example, legal and parliamentary parlance is Commonwealth, but terms relating to automobiles tend to be US, because of longstanding trade ties.

                                                                                                                                        Having to know and be able to use these subsets of English is an advantage as translators, editors, English-language (ESL/ELT) teachers and so forth...

                                                                                                                                    2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                      Maybe it's all around me and I'm just not hearing it. I worked in Northern Ontario for some time and didn't notice it there. What I hear most often is "abowt" with bow as in the front of a ship, maybe not so hard on the w.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: hal2010

                                                                                                                                        I think your phonetics are better than mine - I should have spelled it "aboat"....

                                                                                                                                    3. re: hal2010

                                                                                                                                      In my experience, it has been more like "abutt." When I have tried to explain to certain Ontarian friends that they say "abutt" rather than "about" (but never "aboot"), they say, "I can't tell the difference." That's what I consider a true regional accent - when you actually can't hear how your version is different from the others.

                                                                                                                                      My cousin married a hard-core Wisconsinite, and she only knows how weird her pronunciation of "bag" ("baig") and "gag" ("gaig") are because she has been ragged on for it for so long by her husband and other outsiders. But he's from Chicago, so what does he know about talking funny?

                                                                                                                                      I consider accents different from straight-up mispronunciation. While I cringe at how some of my neighbors use a hooked-on-phonics approach to chiles rellenos, I have to admit that I always thought habanero had a tilde. Only one of those is within my power to correct, and so I'll concentrate my efforts there.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                    You've seen "Do You Speak American?", that great special he hosted on the dialects of North American English, right? http://www.pbs.org/speak/about/guide/

                                                                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                      No — I no longer have television — but I've heard of it.

                                                                                                                                  3. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                    Fantastic! I've never heard baggle. I kind of love it just for how wrong it is.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                                                                                                      You are absolutely correct that there are as many regional accents in Canada as there are in the US. Apart from three years in NJ, I was born here and lived here all my 62 years, so I should know.

                                                                                                                                2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                  Very, very few non-French speakers actually pronounce "crêpe" correctly. (or any other French word with a prominent r sound).
                                                                                                                                  Is it "simple ignorance" to mispronounce the French "r" sound or is it less important to understand consonants than than vowels?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: caganer

                                                                                                                                    I know it feels foolish sometimes to (try) to pronounce the French "r" in an English-speaking environment. It just sounds strange and feels strange...I'm not sure if I feel embarrassed or snobbish or a little of both when I make that phlegm-y sound to my Minnesota neighbors.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: caganer

                                                                                                                                      The difference between speaking French (or anything else) like a native vs. Non-native speaker is one of accent (assuming that the non-native knows what a word should sound like). Putting in the wrong vowel sound entirely through ignorance is not a matter of accent, it is an error.

                                                                                                                                      Are there any native speakers of English who pronounce "pep" as if it had a long "a"?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                        Vowel sounds are dependent upon accent in the same way that consonant sounds are.
                                                                                                                                        I write with a pen. I pin the tail the the donkey. I say both the same way. Others, with different accents, use distinct pronunciations for the two words. I have friends who squeeze two syllables from single vowels that I pronounce as one. All because of accent.
                                                                                                                                        Regardless, your point seems to be that vowels are more important than consonants. I disagree.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: caganer

                                                                                                                                          Ha. I have known many people who pronounce "pin" and "pen" the same way; sometimes with two syllables.

                                                                                                                                          Accents are fascinating.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                            Mine varies based upon company and booze, also.
                                                                                                                                            (meaning if I'm back home in the South and I've been drinking with friends I sound a lot more southern than I do when sober in Philadelphia)

                                                                                                                                          2. re: caganer

                                                                                                                                            No, it isn't that they are more important. There are certainly consonants which are mishandled by English-speakers through mere error rather than accent. An example which has been raised is the "c" in Italian or Spanish.

                                                                                                                                            I am still interested in knowing whether there is any native English speaker who pronounces "pep" as if it had a long "a."

                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                              I haven't heard one do so!!!

                                                                                                                                              I am willing to bet that Sofia Vergara does, though!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                I don't believe a negative answer to your question, logically speaking, necessarily proves your point.
                                                                                                                                                In any event, it doesn't have much bearing on how they pronounce anything else - words are not just collections of letters to be parsed according to rigid rules like computer code. There are all sorts of historical and cultural factors at play in pronunciation and accent.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: caganer

                                                                                                                                                  I don't disagree with that, but nevertheless am sticking with my position that pronouncing "crêpe" as "crape" to rhyme with "grape" is due to nothing but ignorance of the proper pronunciation, not accent. An accent is more subtle and is distinguishable even when the speaker knows and is attempting the correct pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                  The error is no doubt reinforced by the laziness of American writers and publishers, who often omit the circumflex. Beard and Child wrote it correctly, but I have a cookbook devoted only to crêpes which does not. Perhaps they thought that because the word appears a few hundred times, it would look fussy. They could have put a short note at the front explaining the simplification. I think they were just being sloppy.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                    Why should the English word match the French?

                                                                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cr%C3%AA...
                                                                                                                                                    Most of the other European languages use words that look nothing like the French. A lot look like a variation on 'pancake'.

                                                                                                                                                    In fact in England 'pancake' is more like a crepe than fluffy American pancake. I suspect the use of 'crepe' in the USA is part of our attempt to sound sophisticated by using French (or Italian) culinary terms, even though we don't need to.
                                                                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancake

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                      "Crêpe" is useful because it means a French-style pancake. "Pancake" means something else in the US. We use a lot of French culinary terms without any trouble, such as sauté or soufflé. We say "crème brûlé" because it's a French dish, but "cream" because cream is not specifically French. Anyone who said "cream de la cream" would be (rightly) ridiculed.

                                                                                                                                                      French "bleu" is Anglicized as "blue" because it's an everyday term and the French pronunciation is an awkward fit in English. But we also say "cordon-bleu" because it's specifically French. (There is at least one maker of bottled blue cheese dressing which labels it "bleu cheese." This is pretentious.)

                                                                                                                                                      We do often need to use foreign terms to denote something particular from a foreign cuisine. If you are offered "chicken in a wine sauce'" do you know what to expect? If it's "coq au vin," you do. It isn't a matter of attempting to sound sophisticated, but of actually being more sophisticated and, especially, precise.

                                                                                                                                                      I think if you don't want to say "crêpe," you should just make a pancake instead. Call me a snob if you like.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                        I grew up with Swedish pancakes. Never heard them called pannkakor.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                          I think if you don't want to say crepe, and don't know how to say "crêpe" you should just say palachinki and then commence to argue with every Slav within earshot about how to pronounce and spell it.
                                                                                                                                                          I just think "ignorance" is a harsh descriptor given the fact that universal understanding of pronunciation is a completely unrealistic goal.
                                                                                                                                                          I rarely hear a museum docent correctly pronounce Amadeo Modigliani's name, or Joan Miró's name - but I don't think any less of them and I still assume they know more about art than I do.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                          I try to remember to use "flapjack" when I mean the type of pancake served in stacks, with maple syrup. I use crepe (pronounced crepp) for the thin, eggy French version, and potato pancake when I'm talking to people who may not be familiar with the term, "latke", buckwheat pancake for "blini".

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                            But crepes may also be served in stacks. :) Mille crêpes is a multilayer cake made from crepes.

                                                                                                                                                            And in the UK, flapjack means a sweet oat junkfood, similar to the USA granola bar - only more dangerous
                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/895672

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                              The word "flapjack" conjures up images of cartoon prospectors whipping up breakfast over the campfire!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                    Once I was in France, hiking on my own. I had learned a little French and went to the bus driver (between daily hikes) and asked her something. She had no idea what I was saying. I tried again. Nope - no understanding. The very kind couple from Montreal who were sitting in front of me understood what I had said and asked if they'd could help by talking to her. I happily said yes. The male of the couple went to the French bus driver and said (in his native Montreal French - he was a Francophone) what I had been saying and once again she said she couldn't understand what he was saying. He tried again and again she couldn't understand. He tried a third time and finally gave up. I think this means accents matter.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                      True, accents do matter. I have just hung up with customer service at my bank, and even though I generally understand all sorts of accented English, I struggled with both individuals' accents and had to ask them to repeat themselves several times.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                        Man, that happens so much to me. And I worked at an international organization for over 10 years! And I feel *so* bad when I have to keep saying "I'm sorry, but I really cannot understand what you are saying." I try, I really do!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                        It's not just accents. Countries like Italy, France, Germany are all looser confederations of languages as opposed to one unified language. The official language is the dialect of the center of power from when modern nations were founded. Paris in the case of the French. As you travel most people know the official dialect but not all. Even smaller countries like Albania have distinct dialects that are not always mutually understood.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                          Sure, I get that. But my English speaking husband can't understand some of our southern neighbors. I mean he really can. not. understand what they are saying. That part is accent.

                                                                                                                                                          Meanwhile, when we go to Scotland to visit his relatives, I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with the conversation.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                            That's how dialects and languages form and diverge. It's more than accents, it's colloquialisms as well. Different words for the same things based on slang becoming commonplace, loan words from foreign languages, etc

                                                                                                                                            2. re: smoledman

                                                                                                                                              my lebanese law partner pronounces it "hummus" -- like a cross between who and huh as the first syllable, then "mus" as in must.

                                                                                                                                            3. Sake doesn't rhyme with hockey.
                                                                                                                                              Provelone & minestrone don't rhyme with stone.

                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                                                Minestrone - rhymes with stone - makes me cringe everytime.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                  Here in Canada I call it "Harper Soup" because the man is our Prime Minister.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                    Someone at a drive-thru once pronounced it mine-strone, as in a strone that is mine. It took all my strength not to explode in laughter. When I got to the window, someone else was waiting to take my money. I wanted to quietly correct her, because someone else might not be so polite. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                                                    Can you please do the correct phonetic spelling of Sake?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                                                      Oh thank God! I thought I was the only Italian in the Philly area to cringe when the locals say (with a funny pretend accent) mineSTRONE or provoLONE or proSHUTE (prosciutto).

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bugablue13

                                                                                                                                                        Rigat (ricotta), mortadel, and my favorite:Gabagool" slang for "capicola" (thank you Tony Soprano!)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: missclaudy

                                                                                                                                                          As spoken by the same folks who bring us the word "youse".

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                                                        These pronunciations - dropping the final vowel, cutting off the last syllable - are typical of Americanized Italian and often Southern Italian. So yeah they aren't Tuscan Italian but I can't agree they're mispronounced. I think calzone has 3 syllables but most of the Italian speakers near me on the east coast say it with 2. Same with pronouncing cc as ch. These are more dialect differences than mispronunciations.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lergnom

                                                                                                                                                          And, "the Italian speakers near me on the east coast say it" with 3 syllables. Boston and environs into VT, NH, and ME. All my life.

                                                                                                                                                      3. Pronouncing "fillet" as if it were "filet." Also "crêpes" as if it had a long "a" instead of "ê".

                                                                                                                                                        13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                          So who gets it right, the Brits, the Americans, French or the mechanics?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                            "Fillet of sole" is correct in English. "Filet du sole" is correct in French. "Filet mignon" is correct. I don't know the British usage, but when spelled "fillet" it does not have a long "a" sound.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                              "Filet mignon" is correct in French, to describe a pork dish. I've never seen it in France describing beef.

                                                                                                                                                              It is correct in American to describe a beef dish. In British English, I would call it a "beef fillet" (the "t" pronounced)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                'fillet', with the pronounced 't', is a well established word, going back to Middle English (and to French and Latin before that). 'filet' is an alternative spelling. The pronunciation without the 't' appears to be a recent borrowing from French, and even in affected American speech, applies only to the food items. The nonculinary meanings still get the final 't'.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                  However the French use the term, they are French words which mean "dainty slice" (more or less). Americans understand the term to apply to a particular cut of beef, and pronounce it correctly in French. The problem is the English word "fillet," which is often pronounced "fee-lay" as if it were "filet" instead of "fill-it."

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                    Where I am in the world, "fillet" is not a problem word.

                                                                                                                                                                    It is never pronounced "fee-lay" - it is always "fill-it" as I posted earlier. So, I would fillet a fish and I would eat a fillet steak.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                  If I may correct you, it is filet de sole. I am a native French speaker.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mtlcowgirl

                                                                                                                                                                      in the word "fillet," where does the double l come from?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                        I assume just an anglicisation of the French word.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                          in the u.k., dont you say fill-it (with accent on first syllable)?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                            If anything, the emphasis is on the first syllable with, in my northern accent, the second being something of a mumble, that doesnt really sound the "t". Can't really do phonetics, even for "proper" English, let alone my accent.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                          My dictionary lists a ME form, which means the word has been around since before spelling was standardized. So we might as well be asking where the double 'l' in 'spell' comes from.

                                                                                                                                                                          It is probably easier to trace where the single 'l' comes from - a recent reborrowing of the French word for culinary purposes.

                                                                                                                                                                3. Not too long ago there was an attempt to get posters to admit their own mistakes, rather than complain about those made by others.

                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/907133
                                                                                                                                                                  Foods you pronounce incorrectly.

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                    For myself, from the list it would be gyro, which someone told me long ago was pronounced hero. Also apparently I've been wrong every time I mentally corrected someone who said "seeracha".

                                                                                                                                                                    Also Wooster sauce, but that's because I'm lazy.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                      The problem with "gyro" is that the proper sound is not in normal spoken English.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                        I'm getting that impression from what was said upthread about the g being there but not there. Is it like, gnYEERO or something?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ennuisans

                                                                                                                                                                          gyro as in gyroscope in American English. if you want to speak Greek, then yearo would be fine and it sounds like hero but with a y instead of an h

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                      LOL- the reverse break up line, "its not me; its you."

                                                                                                                                                                    3. Oh gods above, if they would only stop mispronouncing mascarpone, jalapeno, and habanero. There's no enye over the n in habanero, think of it as being from Habana, aka Havana, as in Cuba.

                                                                                                                                                                      39 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                        There is one in jalapeño, however.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you! I have been putting the ñ in habanero and will now curtail my tilde.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                              I think "hyperforeignism" is at work with the plural of octopus. The most common usage is octopuses. Because the word is of Greek origin, some people use the Greek plural form octopodes. But many people think the -us suffix implies a Latin origin and so use octopi -- which obviously an incorrect construction, but employed widely enough that it probably has now become acceptable.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                We're just all trying not to resort to "octopussies".

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                  Garner writes that "octopi" is not correct, so that settles it for me. "Octopodes" is correct, according to its Greek origin, but pedantic. "Octopuses" it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octopus#...
                                                                                                                                                                                    cites various sources.

                                                                                                                                                                                    If we use the Greek plural, shouldn't we pay attention to how the form changes when its case changes? With the Greek based plural what is the correct genitive form? How does it change when I talk about eating the creatures (accusative), as opposed to what they eat?

                                                                                                                                                                                    We English speakers have a curiously parochial focus on getting the plural of borrowed words correct. Is that sad vestige from the time when an educated person could recite all the Greek and Latin declension tables?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a fascinating aspect of the English language. In French, we just pick a form of the word and apply French grammar. Ex: un panini (singular), des paninis (plural). I believe many languages work this way. In English, people insist on using latin, greek or other foreign grammar. People will correct you and say it's "one cannolo, two cannoli" even though the word cannolo isn't in the dictionary and the accepted singular form is cannoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't get bothered much by this kind of pedantry, but I find it very interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                        Neither "cannolo" nor "cannoli" appear in my New Shorter Oxford or Neuveau Petit LaRousse, but "cannolo" is, in fact, in my World-Wide Italian Dictionary (Italian-English, English-Italian, New Win Publishing, 1967) — "cylindrical pastry filled with sweet cream."

                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps it's different in real Italian dictionaries — I don't have one.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                          My reference is Merriam-Webster online.

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictio...

                                                                                                                                                                                          Neither Oxford British or American nor Collins British or Amercian dictionaries have an entry for cannolo, but they do have ones for cannoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                            I have an Oxford, so it depends on the edition. Clearly there is some variation. The question is, does an actual Italian dictionary recognize the singular form?

                                                                                                                                                                                            Here it is in an online Dizionario Italiano:

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.dizionario-italiano.it/def...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                              Of course an Italian dictionary will recognize the singular form. Why is that even an issue? We are talking about using the word in English.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                As a foreign word, the rules of its own language apply. English rules only apply when a foreign word has been incorporated into English. Whether a particular form of a foreign word is listed or not is no guide. An English-language dictionary cannot contain all foreign words.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                  So even though cannoli is the accepted form for both singular and plural, we should use "cannolo" for the singular? That makes no sense to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    At what point does a word adopted from another language into English become an English word, no longer subject to rules applied in its native language? Looking at the octopus example mentioned above, the most common accepted plural is octopuses rather than octopodes, so clearly octopus is now considered (by English speakers) to be an English word rather than a Greek word. So the question is whether the word cannoli has become so integrated into the English language that we can ignore its origin? (I'd say yes, but I'm a barbarian).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, that is the source of the difference of opinion in this thread. Reasonable people can disagree on this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      IMHO, I believe it becomes English when it becomes part of the common English language. The foreign pronunciation converts to an English pronunciation over time. It is not ignorant, it is not an error. It is English.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will forever say Paris (pear iss) not "pare-ee"...and crepes will be Krapes not kreps when I am not in France. I fully understand the french pronunciation, however, I am not in France.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's a nonsensical rule.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you also say "Horse dee overs" when you're ordering "hors d'oeuvres" in a restaurant not in a French speaking country?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's a logical rule. Words often go through a phonetic adaptation to fit the language, but in some cases the words are learned, taught, and used as is. I can't think of an english rule that could explain how to pronounce hors d'oeuvres, so I'm not sure there is a phonetic conversion for it. In such cases, the word is either spoken in a way that somewhat resembles its origin or it is not used at all in lieu of another word. In this case... Apps, Appetizers, etc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We're not alone. Other languages do it with English words.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                            No. I pronounce it like an American English speaker, not as a native french speaker. It is not about phonics, but about common pronunciation in the country you are in -and about being understood.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do you really think American English speakers commonly pronounce hors d'oeuvres as "horse dee overs" ? I have only heard that as a cutsie joke. We have adopted that word and pronounce it closer to "ore derves".....the french say it with much more flair:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I remember trying order crème brulée in a relatively fancy Portland OR restaurant in the late nineties. Being a native French speaker I pronounced it in French. The waiter had no idea what I was saying even after making me repeat myself three times. I finally gave up and pronounced it with an English accent and he understood me perfectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't believe people should feel compelled to pronounce words in their original language. If a word is to be assimilated into English, it needs to go through a process where spelling and/or pronunciation will be adapted. From the perspective of a French speaker, the idea of using foreign grammar and phonemes is just weird, and it comes off as elitist. Especially when it concerns "lifestyle" items such as food. I fully understand that most English speakers don't see it that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I honestly don't think I've heard an American pronunciation for crème brulee...(hm-mm...don't know how to put the accent mark there, oh well...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Can you show this phonetically for me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just pronounced it with a hard 'R' an english 'U' and I stressed the 'È' and 'É'. It came out like krem broolay. That's how I've always heard it pronounced by English speakers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But that is VERY much like the French pronunciation, isn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, as I stated above, I just said it with an anglo accent and it made all the difference. I think some people just can't understand certain sounds they've never been exposed to. I guess it's something like when we Canadians say about and Americans hear aboot when it's obviously (to us, anyway) not the same sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Actually, it's "hors d'oeuvre" for any amount.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Oxford dictionary does not agree. It gives OR /ˈDƏːVZ/ as an optional pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/def...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I rely on James Beard in culinary matters. Dictionaries, even Oxford, tend to document whatever people are saying, even when incorrect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I never realized that James Beard was also a prominent lexicographer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Beard was someone who studied food in France. Besides, Oxford is an English authority. The term is French. The French authority is Larousse. My Larousse has it as invariable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you want an English term, use "appetizers."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Obviously, we are never going to agree on this. I believe in adapting words and bowing to the majority consensus. You can disagree with this all you want, but I don't think you can say someone is "saying it wrong" if it's in the Oxford dictionary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I was a child, educated society was attempting to stamp out the non-word "ain't". It was widely claimed that this was not a word and should not be used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, "ain't" persisted and it is now in the Oxford Dictionary. Oddly, I rarely hear the word used these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just random thoughts about dictionaries and the validity of words included in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Again, that's a matter of personal opinion. Languages evolve in ways the elites might not always like. Ain't may not be considered proper English, bit it is still used by many English speakers and if, one day, it goes out of use, it will eventually disappear from dictionaries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            New words are added to English all the time, but they only stick if enough people use them for enough time. If a majority of people start saying ain't or put an 's' at the end of hors d'œuvre, then that becomes canon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's not impossible that, one day, it might be perfectly acceptable to say 'irregardless'. People can kick and scream about it all they want, but it's not going to change anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ha, irregardless. How about "unthaw"? Or "I could care less?" These all seem to belong to the same type of speaker category.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The New Shorter Oxford has "ain't" as "slang" or "jocular." It ain't standard English. I don't have a problem with commonly used slang being put in the dictionary, and identified as such. I even use that form myself occasionally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is no "point," because we do not have an official body to decide such things. We may choose whatever authority we please. For "octopus" I rely on Garner. For what words are considered standard English, I rely on The New Shorter Oxford (1993), which does not have "cannoli" in any form.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Of course some words have come into general use since 1993, and if I learn them and find them useful, I'll use them, whether they are considered "standard English" or not. Others are free to do as they please. I'm not going to object to the usage of "canolli" outside of a forum on language. It isn't that important — I don't think I've ordered it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. re: SnackHappy

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't accept "cannoli" as singular. You may accept what you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Is this related to that slogan "betcha can't eat just one"?? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: CapreseStacy

                                                                                                                                                                                          i think you need a medical license to curtail someone's tilde.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CapreseStacy

                                                                                                                                                                                            As an editor, I try to be hyper-aware of spelling, punctuation and grammar, but somehow, I've never noticed that habanero doesn't have a tilde over the n. I buy and eat them reguarly. I wonder how many times I've buggered that up while speaking my hack Spanish in Mexico? Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Acai is an interesting one: ah-sigh-ee
                                                                                                                                                                                          It's easier to figure out how to pronounce when it's written as açaí

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. How about scallop....

                                                                                                                                                                                            Being close to Boston we say skawl-up
                                                                                                                                                                                            When I hear it pronounced skal-lup it sounds weird to be, but I know we're in the wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Annief123

                                                                                                                                                                                              Some parts of the English speaking world have a "long a", others a "short a".

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Guacamole. No hard "G". Drives me nuts here in Texas to hear it pronounced that way. It starts with a sound resembling "wha" as in the word "what". Thank yew as they would say in Dallas!

                                                                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: singlemalt

                                                                                                                                                                                                And please don't get me started on neologisms like "gwak" or "zza" or "shrooms". But maybe it's just a birth cohort thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Weird,I realize, but it bothers me to hear "get a slice" re: pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: singlemalt

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Times change, of course. Back in my Brooklyn yout', "let's go get a slice" meant only one thing: pizza. It was also when "pizzerias" were "pizza parlors." But how much time or breath does it take to utter 2 small syllables? Just askin.' :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: singlemalt

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I experienced a frisson of anticipation when I heard that a business called something like "Perfect Pies" was opening nearby, envisioning fruit pies and savory tarts whole and by the slice. But - sigh - it's just another pizza place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bob96

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My skin crawls when I hear "gwak".

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: singlemalt

                                                                                                                                                                                                        As a student of Spanish phonetics the hard g is the correct sound but some speakers aspirate it. G followed by E or I is the softer H sounds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: singlemalt

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just heard IC Jose Garces use 'gwakamole'. Not a strong 'g' but still harder than a 'wha'. He's American/Ecuadorian, grew up in Chicago. 'aguacate' is common enough in Ecuador, but 'guacamole' is a Mexican dish and name (from náhuatl "Ahuacatlmolli").

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There are regional variations in the pronunciation of the Spanish 'g'
                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://spanish.about.com/od/spanishpr...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                            i studied spanish (mexican spanish, not castilian spanish) from middle school through grad school. we learned a soft -- but not a silent -- g with the gua. it originates from the middle of the palate, almost like the french "quoi" -- with the lips forming a o shape rather than a little pursed and upturned. <geesh, i don't know how linguists can deal with describing all these minute fluctuations in the mouth, tongue lips! LOL>

                                                                                                                                                                                                            and i never thought i'd write a small paragraph about the first syllable of guacamole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: singlemalt

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here in Spain we would say gw-acamole. The 'g' is pronounced. As I remember, nahuatl did not have a "g" sound in that context (ahuacamulli>guacamole; uaxin>guajín; ahuacatl>aguacate; Quauhtlemallan>Guatemala), which is why Mexican Spanish tends to soften or not pronounce the g in certain word positions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. I'm glad they had quinoa on the list. It makes my spine curl when I hear people misprounounce it. And now that it's becoming more popular, I hear it much more often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                              How would you pronounce it - if you only saw the written form?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Many mis-pronunciations arise because we first see the written form, and apply the usual English rules. Is the problem with ignorant fellow Americans, or with inaccurate transliterations from one language to another to another? Instead of being upset over pronunciation, shouldn't we just be happy that people's culinary horizons are broadening?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then explain nook-yuh-lar for "nuclear".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ferret

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Linguist Geoff Nunberg explains it in his book, "Going Nucular". If memory serves, he says people who say nucular do not hear a difference between their pronunciation and the correct one. I can believe that, because my German-born mother perceived no difference between "solid" and "salad". She'd worked hard to speak good English and had only the slightest vaguely European accent. She came to America in her early 20's and this was 35 yrs later. She got very frustrated whenever I pointed out that she said potato solid. She was not sure if she was saying it incorrectly or if I was trying to gaslight her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wiki has a page devoted to this pronunciation. It mentions Nunberg's explanation among others (including a 'deliberate choice').
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucular

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My sense is that professionals, scientists and engineers, couldn't care less about this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Amy I think you nailed it with popularity. I think there is definitely a correlation between how popular a dish/saying/whatever is pronounced and the amount of disdain a mispronunciation elicits from those "in the know".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm surprised nobody has chimed in about their local gourmet chain coffee shop yet :) ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AmyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The spelling of 'quinoa' almost guarantees mispronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's a Spanish borrowing from Quechua. A more modern rendering of the Quechua is 'kinwa'. Spanish doesn't have the letter 'k', thus many borrowings use 'qu' - e.g. Quechua, Quito (kwito???).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And where does the 'oa' ending come from? The usual Spanish is spelling 'quinua'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's controversy among Quechua speakers regarding what orthography to use. Should they stick with the old Spanish derived one, or a newer one that fits the language better. Two relevant differences:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - [new] uses w instead of hu for the /w/ sound.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - [new] distinguishes velar k from uvular q, where both were spelled c or qu in the traditional system. [none of this silly 'u' after 'q' business :) ]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quechua_...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In a Quechua dictionary I found this entry:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      kiwina. s. Bot. (Chenopodium quinoa Willd). Quínua.... sinón: kinua, kiwna, kinuwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then there's the question of what it's called in Aymara.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. "Let me get on of those bacon egg & cheese "Crew-Sonts". In my lifetime I've witnessed the rise & fall (pun intended) of the croissant in America to the point where they are now just a crescent shaped roll with very little fat content and what fat there is, is not real butter, so I guess they should have a different name. I blame Burger King

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are you sure you wouldn't rather have a scone/scahn/scawn for breakfast?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rockycat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think scone rhyming with con or cone is a Britain & Commonwealth vs elsewhere variation. (And I think the scone in the Stone of Scone rhymes with moon rather than either con or cone.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My Oxford gives both, without denoting the second as an Americanism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              quoted from Wiki scone article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hey, I didn't say America! Ugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, but the United States is the principal English-speaking country which was never a part of the Commonwealth, and my edition of Oxford indicates American variations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, since you mention Oxford dictionaries, here's an interesting article: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                scone rhyming with con is what i heard from the cafe server at blenheim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  when I was growing up, it was scone (cone) in London and scone (con) in Manchester.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Generally speaking, people from the south of the UK speak with long vowels, whilst we northerners use short ones. So the cone/con fits that, although I think there are more detailed regional, and possibly class, differences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It can lead to some examples of Cockney rhyming slang being meaningless to folk outside the south as we just don't pronounce the word in the same way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I find it fascinating that such a relatively small place can harbor so many diverse ways of speaking. Similarly in Dublin, when my son lived there he said he could tell which part of the city someone was from by their speech.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Same in my area, sandylc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        British accents can be very specific to a small area. Our metro area has an accent which impressionists will use. But, in fact, it's pretty much confined to the working class areas to the north of the city centre. I live to the south and have a different accent and I used to work to the east where they speak differently again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Combine that with the use of different words and it's pretty easy to spot where someone comes from - and often you can make a good guess at social class.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Different words? Oh, yes. Think of the simple bread roll which you might turn into a sandwich. Now, to me, that's a barmcake. and, within a few miles within or just outside the metro area, it's a cob, batch, bap or muffin. And I don't mean a muffin as Americans would understand an "English muffin" - I mean one of these - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barm_cake. That said, we all agree that, if there's a burger stuffed into it, then it;s always a bun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Very, very, interesting! We have these types of things in the US, too, but since we are so much more spread out geographically it is less surprising...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Back in the early 80s, we had a serial killer who was dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper. At one point, someone claiming to be him sent a recording to the police. They had it analysed by a voice expert who pinned it down to a very small community of maybe 1000 properties .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the event, it was not the murderer but, years later, a man was arrested for sending the tape and it turned out the voice expert had been pretty much right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Love that. I took one linguistics class and wish I'd taken more of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Both my cousins grew up in Manchester. One went to the local comprehensive & has a perfect Mancunian accent; the other went to a public school (in the English sense) & has a completely different accent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ahha - a co-incidental post that meets my point. Manchester is the city at the centre of my metro area. And Kalivs highlights the differences we can have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On a related matter, my wife was born locally but spent her first few years away as he rfather was a regular amry soldier. When she returned to live in the area, aged 11 or 12, she was subject to some "teasing" form other children for having a "posh" accent, rather than the working class Manchester accent she might have been expected to have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I suppose folk adjust their speech to their environment - to fit in, if you will. My brother in law and his family lived in New York state for some years. We went to visit them. My niece, then in her early teens, seemed to have developed an American accent - until she came home and immediately dropped back into her "classic" Mancunian accent when she was talking to us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Pasta all'amatriciana. I can screw this one up good sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have all but given up ordering this in restaurants as it always comes out wrong - unless I just mumble it (and then the server goes "Eh?" and I can point at the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pasta all'amatriciana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What's the problem?AHL-la-ma-tree-CHA-na

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I *know* how its pronounced correctly. But, as I said, that's not what comes out of my mouth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It gets more complicated in the village Italian restaurant where the mainly east European staff, masquerading as Italians, can't understand my correctly pronounced English, let alone my mumbled attempt at amatriciana.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. General Tso's Chicken----Most people say "SEWS" but I was corrected that it is CHOWS. What is the correct pronunciation?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The good general is as American as apple pie, so I guess you can say his name however you like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: emu48

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The general is not American -- Qing dynasty military leader (whose name would now be romanized as Zuo Zongtang). But the dish was reputedly developed in NYC (by a Taiwanese chef). Jennifer 8. Lee discusses this at some length in The Fortune Cookie Chronicles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On Chinese-American menus around Boston it's sometimes listed as Gen, Gao's. Chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My favorite version (Chen Yang Li in Bedford NH) is spelled General Tso's Chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I have a friend who is notoriously bad at pronouncing non-English food words. These mispronunciations aren't common but they still amuse me: "fay-ta" for feta, "pan-setta" for pancetta, and "beckamel" for bechamel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, I nearly pull my hair out when I hear people say chez "pa-nee" for Chez Panisse because they think dropping all "s" sounds is what you do with French names.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I totally agree with EWSflash about habanero.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: el Mitch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always mispronounce feta. I always heard the Greek letters "beta" and "theta" and "omega" pronounced with hard "a," as in "BAY-tuh" and "THAY-tuh" and "Oh-MAY-guh," (maybe those are wrong, too?) so I just assumed it was "FAY-tuh." I try to catch myself before it comes out, but I fail most of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bekamel... now that's a good one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: el Mitch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apparently, it wasn't that long ago when tacos were commonly pronounced as "tay-co's"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        never have i heard that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        when is "not that long ago" in your estimation?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        where did you hear this?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        just curious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I heard it in Baltimore in the 80's. As in "do you want cheese on your tay-co, hon?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also in the 80s, my MIL said tortilla the way it looks (pronouncing the "ll"s), and said "salsa" like "sally".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From what I was told - it was not uncommon to here that amongst the non-Hispanics in the southwest and Texas up until the 60s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hahhaa-- ok. that is going back a while. did they pronounce the pecos the peek-os? LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: el Mitch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Also, I nearly pull my hair out when I hear people say chez "pa-nee" for Chez Panisse because they think dropping all "s" sounds is what you do with French names."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know, I'd like a dollar for every vichyssoise with a silent final s. Almost as bad as using the name for ANY cold soup: avocado vichyssoise. Brrrrr!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kleine mocha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You French speakers always sound so superior ... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kleine mocha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The dropping "s" thing is similar to the "conn-see-air" pronunciation of concierge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ide...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Boston Globe food editor's view on word usage issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Including:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Fillet and filet are another traditional bone of contention. Though they’re variant spellings of the same word, some editors have chosen to use fillet for fish and filet for meat. But not the AP: Here it’s fillet (“a boneless cut”) either way, except in filet mignon and, of course, Filet-O-Fish."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "If you’re editing AP style, you can forget those foreign languages you studied so diligently."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Sherbet has no secret second "R" in it, it is NOT "sherbeRt." Maybe it's regional, but it just bugs me. I still sleep ok at night, though. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: team_cake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought it had an "r". We always said "sure-bert" or "sore-bay" depending on if it had milk in it or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's still considered an alternate spelling. When I was growing up in NY, package sherbet was most often labelled as "sherbert", and that's what we called it. Usage can change for any number of reasons. We can also lag behind it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i grew up in florida and always thought it had an r in the second syllable. didn't really "see" the word, because we bought ice cream instead. ;-). now, of course, i've learned better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      is it really an alternative spelling with the second r?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. This thread was fun at first but I think it has devolved into something rather snobby. Most of the posts are about words with unusual English spellings and it seems like a lot of people think its awful that people unfamiliar with the "real" way to pronounce a word are idiots because they cant extract the "true" pronunciation from a nonsensical spelling. Seriously if I didn't have any experience in the matter I'd probably be calling a Gyro like Gyroscope. I may be wrong so please send me the name of the the authority who decides when one pronunciation is more accurate than another.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dinobotcommander

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      a gyro IS pronounced like gyroscope in American english

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        never heard a greek ever pronounce it that way

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By some, no doubt. Both Garner and Oxford have the first syllable rhyming with "beer."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            if you want to speak Greek, then yearo would be closer, but with a short o at the end, not a long dragged out owww as is common in english

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Doesn't "year" rhyme with "beer"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Garner is American usage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                year doesn't rhyme with beer where I live (New Jersey).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Small differences like that are accents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                why did you say 'is pronounced like gyroscope' in post above and this post say is yearo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                im guessing its just internet confusion. we all probably mean the same thing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: daislander

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I, a first generation Greek American, when ordering a gyro at a street stand will most always say gyro as "jaeerow".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I see that the food cart is run by an immigrant Greek, I will speak to him/her in Greek and say the word in Greek as "yearo"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can't generalize the language like that. Why do people keep insisting on one pronunciation? I know at least three elderly greek immigrants on my street who pronounce it with a hard G...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just think about the english language and how many words are pronounced so COMPLETELY different depending on where you live.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: redips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As I've repeated on this thread, I am first generation Greek American and always say "jaeerow", unless I am speaking Greek to someone, then I say "yearo"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "yearo" is what i've heard is "correct"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    but in college we didn't know better and called them jiy'-ros -- and they tasted better then, too (at least in the washington dc area). LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ikaros?? Zorbas? I loved those places ... sigh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ikaros was on M Street, near 31st? that name rings a bell. but whatever the name,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it was at that location, on the north side of the street…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the meat was savory and generously piled on a very fresh pita with lots of sauce and fixings. ahh, good memories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ikaros was on the south side of M (but yes, near 31st). Will end up wracking my brain trying to think of which place you're talking about. I'm sure I spent some time there myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Only semi-related to food, but I haven't seen anyone mention this one ever: "Conn-see-air" for concierge....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Dim sum - the Cantonese speakers pronounce it 'tim sum'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, they don't. It's more like "deem sum". Tonally, it's similar to its counterpart in Mandarin - first syllable with a slight upwards swoop tone; second syllable is higher pitch flat tone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But more likely, they refer to it more as to go "yum cha" (literally "drink tea"). Unlike in North America/Europe, "yum cha" is used more often by Westerners in Australia/New Zealand than "dim sum".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's fascinating. There's a fairly popular & hip dumpling place in Berlin called Yum-cha Heroes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now I know why :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, you can say, "Let's go for yum cha, and order some dim sum".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You can, and is not incorrect. But that would be redundant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kind of like saying, "let's go to McDonald's, to get some fast food". One pretty much already implies the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, I'm a native Cantonese speaker. Tonally, it's *different* from Mandarin (which I also speak). You can always Google Youtube to see the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Deem sum" with a 'd' - is that how you pronounce it in the US? That's fine with me as I'm merely pointing out how it's pronounced in China/HK or Singapore where I'm from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Listen to this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEvWz9...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It all really drives home the point of how NOT to judge others for "mispronounced" words.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Especially words that are borrowed or adopted into another language. It is the ultimate in snottiness, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No one in Hong Kong or Guangzhou pronounces that word with a 't' sound. Maybe they do in Singapore, but certainly not in proper standardized Cantonese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a native Cantonese speaker, born to a mother with a masters in Chinese linguistics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not sure where you're coming from. I'm Cantonese and we say "tim sum". In fact, it used to be spelled "tim sum" until the influence of China's hanyu pinyu got in the way and "dim sum" became the common spelling. Of course, we still pronounce "dim" as "tim", just as we also pronounce char-siu "bao" as char-siu "pao". To solve that, just look at the Chinese characters 點心, where it's "t" rather than "d".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As a matter of interest, do you say char-siu bao or char-siu pao?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well, good for you then. I can assure you it sounds much closer to "t" than "d", even when spoken in Hong Kong, where I'd lived and worked for 7 years (employee of a local bank there) - check with your mum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I finally took the time to watch the video you linked to, and the lady's pronunciation is clearly a 'd' sound instead of a 't'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Looking up on Google, I find the the 't' thing is a SE Asian/Singaporean construct - probably due to some influence from Hokkien/Minnan as it looks like they have clear separation of sounds between the 'd' and 't's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Jyutping romanization for dim sum is "dim sam". And yes, in Hong Kong, people do say "char siu bao".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This must be a difference of the Singaporean accent of Cantonese. I was born and lived in Hong Kong up until the age of 15, and this is completely alien to me. But this makes sense as Cantonese speakers migrated to SE Asia in large numbers around 150 years ago, and it's quite possible that either Cantonese sounded like that back then, or had morphed due to influence from other languages spoken in Malaysia/Singapore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Vinaigrette is not simply vinegar-ette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Philly Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You mean it's not a little baby vinegar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This one is my pet peeve, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Philly Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You're right. In English, it's salad dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Philly Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              never noticed interesting. I thought it was the baby version lol just the add the ette

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I call a non cream/mayo salad dressing a vinaigrette and but salad dressing could be either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: daislander

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A vinaigrette must include vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mine, like the French recipe calls for, includes lemon...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mine too. Calling it "citronnette" would sound very strange.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Citronette sounds perfectly normal to me, since it contains citron. Vinaigrette without vinaigre is what sounds strange. And "vinegarette" ... better left unsaid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm French-speaking, so I'd never call it "vinegarette". Citronnette would be logical, but I've never heard anyone saying it (here in Montréal, or in France or Belgium). Googling it, there are entries for "citronnette", such as this simple one: http://qc.allrecipes.ca/recette/14349... No citronnette in French wiktionary and the other couple of dictionaries I've googled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mbfant

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Vinaigrette without vinaigre is what sounds strange."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Only if unfamiliar. As I earlier quoted, standard French cooking references have long included non-vinegar "vinaigrettes;" one of the later Larousse Gastronomique editions mentions many other fruit juices used also in French practice -- and they coined the word.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a "vinaigrette" as the French themselves have long used the term, vinegar is often literal, but sometimes just symbolic for tartness in general. (IMO, a useful Wikipedia article on Vinaigrette would _begin_ with that fundamental point -- far from omitting it completely).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          People see no strangeness in commonly saying "berry" for some fruits that aren't, botanically, berries. Just as in pure republics like the US, few people object to having "Counties" without counts or countesses. An original, literal usage comes to very usefully represent the wider concept.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "A vinaigrette must include vinegar."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Come on, linguafood -- this is Chowhound. (Not Wikipedia ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Larousse Gastronomique, 2001 English edition, p. 1275: "Vinaigrette: ... the vinegar may be replaced by lemon juice or is sometimes flavoured with it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have been seeing lemon-juice vinagrettes for a good 50 years. (For anyone who didn't experience this, the word "vinaigrette" began displacing the much more traditional US term for the same thing, "French dressing" -- the phrase formerly standard in cookbooks and still so in Britain -- around 1975 or 1980 because makers of commercial bottled salad dressings marketed a variant, with sugar and red coloring added, as "French" dressing, which gradually confused popular understanding of the term.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: eatzalot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sure you can replace the vinegar. But it's not called "citronette" for a reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: eatzalot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the red color in "French" dressing comes from ketchup or tomato sauce, not coloring (although I'm sure some add coloring as well).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sandylc, you're exactly right -- sorry if I added further to the existing confusion on this particular topic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When I researched it at one point, I found US cookbook recipes for a tomato-accented "French dressing" (i.e. vinaigrette), among many, many other variations, circa 1950 or earlier. But it was clearly a niche version.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The point is that the mass-produced commercial dressing usurped popular understanding of "French dressing" in the US in particular. Through the 60s or later, all mainstream US cookbooks, including FF and JoC, routinely wrote "French dressing" where today the word "vinaigrette" has replaced it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And that red commercial product is routinely sweetened with some kind of sugar, which is very un-French. But very typical of US commercial condiments -- because the market rewards the makers by preferring sweet tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Having cited Wikipedia offhand earlier as a poor source for informed food history on such basics, I then checked the "vinaigrette" entry, whose author is/are, once again, indeed clueless.)