to hate people who put on an accent when they say a foreign word?

(264 Posts)
JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:03:44

It really grinds my gears. I was talking to someone the other night and he started talking about the "bella figura" thing in Italy, but every time he said "bella figura" he said it in an Italian accent.


I speak German but if I say, I don't know, Doppelganger or Reichstag or something, I don't put on a German accent to say it.

My best friend also does this, trilling her r's like a good one if she mentions anything Spanish.

Why is it so annoying? Is it annoying? Is it just me?

DameMargotFountain Sun 27-Jan-13 15:05:34

you mean they say it correctly then grin

I get more annoyed with people who don't say things correctly. Paella for example.

directoroflegacy Sun 27-Jan-13 15:07:03

That is my mum;
Restaurant (I'm sure Mickey Flanagan must have heard her)

Every time she does it my fists clench!!

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:08:43

Where does the madness stop though, Dame? Do you rasp and trill your way through "Barcelona"? Do you say "Ber-leen" rather than "Ber-lin"? Do you say "Paree?"

Chorizo when pronounced 'properly' can sound really wanky and try hard. John Torrode I'm talking to you.

Eliza22 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:09:21

I think there's little worse than any foreign language, spoken with an English accent. Think "Allo Allo" pigeon English. But that's just me smile

freeandhappy Sun 27-Jan-13 15:10:26

One of my pet hates too! Especially all the mums an dads in the cafes saying to their kiddies "would you like a cwosson dahling" mad French accent. Ok fine you know how to speak French stop being a wanker about it. I know someone who does the spanish thing All The Time too but then she's an actress who enunciates everything VERY CLEARLY in a deeply irritating way. So no YAnbu

DoctorAnge Sun 27-Jan-13 15:10:30

I am of Italian heritage and I'll be damned if I am going to pronounce carbonara ( for example ) as caarrbonaaara ( English accent) just to make you feel better. It's not correct to me.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:11:11

Am I to believe that people call up Dominoes and ask for a pizza in an Italian accent?

(flat English accent) Could I have a cheese and tomato (sparkling Italian accent) PIII-ZAAAA?


DameMargotFountain Sun 27-Jan-13 15:13:47

it depends who i'm with, and if i know it yanks their chain, OP


tiggytape Sun 27-Jan-13 15:14:01

Les Mis has been on the news a lot recently because of award nominations etc. Most presenters go with the English version 'Lay Mis-er-arbs' but a few have gone for the full on French pronounciation. In one report, I didn't have a clue what she was saying until they cut to a scence from the film because she was doing the most forced accent ever.

50ShadesOfGreggs Sun 27-Jan-13 15:14:54

The worst is when they get it wrong. I am French, and often cringe at fake French accents and mispronounced words.

Putting on a fake French accent isn't sophisticated, it just makes people sound like twats.

There are unfortunately plenty of Del Boys out there...


JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:15:15

It would seem that people who put on cod foreign accents also use that inane grinning smiley.

Good to know, seeing a pattern.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:16:45

Yes 50shades I think that's why it annoys me so much.

Oh dwarling, would you like a lovely little CWASSAAAAANT?

TheFallenNinja Sun 27-Jan-13 15:17:05

Jalapeño. It's ha-la-pee-neo

NOT Japeleno (in whatever accent)

Renniehorta Sun 27-Jan-13 15:18:57

I think that you have to literally go with the flow of a language. For instance I just accept that my name is pronounced diferently when someone is speaking to me in a different language.

Equally if I am speaking English I would say Paris. If I was speaking French I would say Je vais a Paree etc.

However I do have 2 pet hates Pizza pronounced Pitsa and Chorizo pronounced Choritzo. It just sets my teeth on edge.

Andro Sun 27-Jan-13 15:19:04

At least they're making an effort to get the pronunciation correct - they should be applauded for it.


I mean, fair enough if you know the person doesn't speak the language and is definitely just being pretentious

But why should people pronounce things incorrectly if they know better?

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 27-Jan-13 15:20:20

See, I'm doubly guilty here. Not sure how I'd say croissant, apart from Frenchily. And I will also say eSpresso not eXpresso, and will judge those who correct my (correct) pronunciation of bruschetta.

But people who say Paree or Thara (Zara) are wankers.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:20:25

Yes, applaud people for their valuable contribution to society in trying to get pronunciation correct.


GettingObsessive Sun 27-Jan-13 15:20:42

Erm, I take your point about most of the words her, but if you don't pronounce it "cwasson" how do you pronounce it? confused

FWIW I speak both French and Spanish badly - I don't say pie-eh-ya or cho-ree-tho but I'm struggle with croissant any way other than "cwasson"

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 27-Jan-13 15:20:44

NB they are not wankers if French/Spanish etc is their language.

Renniehorta Sun 27-Jan-13 15:21:12

How do you pronounce 'croissant' in English?

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:21:24

dreaming because it sounds ridiculous. You are speaking in English, just carry on with the English pronunciation of things.

What is the right way to pronounce chorizo?

I know I've been mangling it for years blush

50ShadesOfGreggs Sun 27-Jan-13 15:22:04

I find myself pronouncing French words in an English accent too, otherwise people don't know what I'm on about (esp DH).

just am I allowed the grin or not?

DameMargotFountain Sun 27-Jan-13 15:22:13

ah, my smiley...wassup OP?

fishing for compliments?

GettingObsessive Sun 27-Jan-13 15:22:17

Xpost Hazel

We're obviously just dead posh grin

manicbmc Sun 27-Jan-13 15:22:32

'Croysant' Gettingobsessive - that's how to do it. grin

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 27-Jan-13 15:22:43

I speak fluent Spanish so I say Thara. I'm not a wanker.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:22:51

Getting, I avoid saying it.

I don't mean people saying "cwassant" I mean people saying "CWWASSSASSSAAAAAANT" in a big "look at my french!!!!" way.

Besides which, when I was growing up, it was a crescent. No joke.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:23:27

That inane grin needs to be done away with. It makes me vom.

SamuelWestsMistress Sun 27-Jan-13 15:23:57

I had a friend who studied German. I always used to chortle when she pronounced Lidl with an over exaggerated German accent. Even my German friend says it normally.

fraktion Sun 27-Jan-13 15:25:21

But if you actually speak the language it's really fucking WEIRD to pronounce a loan word in the anglicised (or whatevered form) if it's not been fully assimilated.

I'm not going to say 'crassont' or 'pan oh chocolate' to DS. 1. He'd correct my pronounciation which wluld look 50 times more pretentious and 2. it's not what they're called in my head.

Exceptions are city names and things like 'le parking' in Fremch where they've take a vaguely related English word and use it for something different. Croissant is a fine line, but on the footing that say 'wurst' correctly I have no excuse with a language I do speak.

But even if you're speaking in English, maybe you also speak French, if so there are certain words it's hard to 'un-pronounce' correctly

I live in France and if we end up moving back to England I don't want people to think I'm a twat for saying certain words very French-ly, it's just I don't want to lose the correct pronunciation (which was not easy for me to get in the first place)

GettingObsessive Sun 27-Jan-13 15:25:25

Well that's just odd OP smile

And as for you manic, croysant indeed.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:25:56

Ah Samuel, I am guilty of that. What a mess of contradictions we are.

But I say Leedle. Not LEEEEEDLLLLLLL.

GettingObsessive Sun 27-Jan-13 15:27:05

Is there a chance that you're just a bit, well, cross OP?

A lot of small things seem to be getting to you.

Is everything OK?

<head tilt>

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:27:28

Ah dreaming, but it doesn't matter what you do some people are going to think you're a twat so I'd just carry on with your crrrrrooooissssaaaaaaaaaaaaaangggg and your "Parrreeeeee".

I'm sure some people think I'm a twat for getting het-up about such a non-matter.

freeandhappy Sun 27-Jan-13 15:27:40

Thara is the limit of pretentious daftness unless you are in Spain talking to spaniards. <gavel>

DameMargotFountain Sun 27-Jan-13 15:27:43

<passes OP a bucket>

i think there's some more coming

that's pronounced 'bu-k-et' btw, not 'boo-kay'

50ShadesOfGreggs Sun 27-Jan-13 15:28:08

grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin grin

Sorry OP I couldn't resist... grin

oh I don't do thees at all, oh non non non he haw he haw


my funniest moment (prn mommon) was at a Sea Life type centre in the UK where the staff gave a talk about Pirana. Piran hu wah are from Nicar awer doncha know.


What gets me is when people do the exaggeratedly "correct" pronunciation (so overly correct it sounds to a native ear as if they're mocking the accent), then look at you smugly as if you should applaud them for being ever so clever knowing the right way!

I get what you mean about really exaggerated/pretentious accents, or accents on words whose pronunciation has been anglicized for a long time.

But it makes no sense to me to talk about 'English pronunciation' of foreign words. Which 'English pronunciation would that be? When you think about English words like bough, rough, through?

English orthography is confusing enough without someone taking away the nice simplicity of being able to say foreign words in a decent cod-foreign accent!

SignoraStronza Sun 27-Jan-13 15:31:35


I speak Italian pretty fluently. Lived there for quite a long time. Still dream in the language occasionally!

If I'm saying an Italian word I'll automatically pronounce it properly. Sorry if you find it so offensive.

(btw, having to order 'a panini' really annoys me - I'll always ask for a panino.wink )

Nancy66 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:31:47

I'd rather attempt a shite French pronounciation that sound like an utter cock by asking for a bottle of 'so vig non blank'

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:32:49

LRD, not sure I get your point. The English pronunciation of bough, rough and through are totally's not the same issue at all.

I mean dropping the usual English cadance, for example. One minute they're all stress unstress stress unstress. Then they just bounce into a mad CHORRRITHOOOOO and it's all ruined.

Okay so a simple 'Pa-ree' is okay but 'Paaaaaarrrrrrreeeeee' is not. Right?

I'm fine with that. I'm not that much of a twat then.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:33:25

Signora, I think you're taking it a bit more seriously than I intended.

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 27-Jan-13 15:33:43

After living in France for seven years I'm finding the accent does creep in when I'm saying a French word in an English sentence but I think it's because I've spent so bloody long trying to get French accent do I font sound like a twat here.

I do it the other way as well though. I cannot bring myself to ask for a sheezburrgerr or gouldun verrginia so the English accent comes out.

Oh shit, do I come across as pretentious to the French? I always thought I just came across as a bit of a nob with shit french.

LabelsGalore Sun 27-Jan-13 15:35:20

The problem isn't that some people are trying to pronounce a foreign word with the accent of that country.
The problem is when they are trying to do so but are still using their awful english accent whihc then makes it completely not ridiculous both for english speakers and from the people of that country.
Take someone who speaks the language well and properly, then it's a very different matter imo.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 15:36:00

dreaming, I think Paree might be pushing it.

LayMizzRarb Sun 27-Jan-13 15:36:34

Les Miserables is pronounced as you read my name. The les on the end is silent. Makes me scream when BBC presenters call it Misera - blay. They should know better.

just - erm, yes, that was my point! grin

Some simple folk like me would like to know which 'English proununciation' you'd like us to adopt for French words, since there's no consistent way to choose which one to use?

Being of simple brain, I quite like the fact that everyone can make a (crap) stab and a vaguely French accent and say 'crosson' or similar.

Trying to say it with English pronunciation - is it 'croy-iz-ont'? 'crow-izzent'. 'cruise-saint'?

Have pity one me and let us and do shite French accents and know where we stand.

LabelsGalore Sun 27-Jan-13 15:37:10

Cother I am afraid you probably look pretentious to the the french... but you will always have the getting out card of being english so that it's normal for you to say it like this (But that will be a clear sign you aren't french if that makes sense?)

Bunbaker Sun 27-Jan-13 15:38:00

I think it depends on the word.

I would pronounce choritzo as choreetho, jalapeno as halapenyo, Bon Marche (can't get the accent over the e) as bon Marchay because they are the correct pronunciations and not to do so sounds wrong to me. I also pronounce Riesling as reesling, fajitas as faheetas and pinata as pinyata because do give them the English pronunciation would make me sound ignorant and uneducated.

I would pronounce Paris as Pariss and Barcelona as in the song.

Nancy66 Sun 27-Jan-13 15:39:03

For those that haven't heard it - please listen to footballing thug Joey Barton's French accent

Okay noted <resists grinning>

Dawndonna Sun 27-Jan-13 15:41:24

I'm English. My Grandmother was Spanish. I say Chore ith oh and pie ay ah, it's the way I was dragged up. Can't help it and don't really give a damn about how wanky it sounds.

loofet Sun 27-Jan-13 15:41:44

When we were at school learning Spanish and French they made it clear too us how important the accent was. We were FORCED to say stuff in a foreign accent which I just don't get. I mean foreigners don't speak English in an English accent do they? I don't get it. Although it does sound ridiculous speaking French in a Yorkshire accent grin

They do, though. I was on the bus the other day with a bloke speaking some language (I don't even know which one but something Slavic I think) and every now and again breaking into a lovely English accent to say 'Chesterfield' and 'Doncaster'.

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 27-Jan-13 15:44:54

Oh pants. Although I'm fairly certain the use of infinitives with forward or backward circling hands may give me away before the English accented words come out.

Meemawandmoonpie Sun 27-Jan-13 15:44:57

YAB(a little)U,
Or I'm a twat!
I can't NOT pronounce
paella as pie-ay-ya
Chorizo as choritho
Jalapeño as hal-a-pen-yo

Twattish tendencies perchance?

Bunbaker Sun 27-Jan-13 15:46:51

"I mean foreigners don't speak English in an English accent do they?"

Some do. We have an Indian friend who was born and bred in India, but went to university in Sheffield. He sounds nothing like those callers you get from Indian call centres. we have a Danish girl at work whose English is perfect. You would never be able to tell that she wasn't English.

SoniaGluck Sun 27-Jan-13 15:50:12

I have a French DH and we (dcs and I) take great pleasure in pronouncing French words in an exaggeratedly English way to wind him up - something like croy -ssont, for example. But we always say 'money' the way he does - munnay'.

Poor man. I'm not really sure why he puts up with us.

He, on the other hand, pronounces sheep/ship or sheet/shit so that they sound exactly the same. He genuinely cannot hear a difference.

Iactuallydothinkso Sun 27-Jan-13 15:50:50

I get where you're coming from OP but now I'm in a quandary!

I think people who pronounce words in a foreign accent are wanky except when they pronounce croissant or jalapeño and maybe a few more.

My dh is Italian but has a plummy English accent and when he pronounces Italian words he does it in Italian with the correct accent so why does he sound wanky to me? And it does wanky! But he's Italian! It's not fair.

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 27-Jan-13 15:54:14

I have fun with those when I'm teaching English Sonia. One of my students said to me "I very tired because my arse is to big to do all the cleaning. It is one whole day to clean all of it". To me ages to explain why the aspirated 'h' is so important in English.

CotherMuckingFunt Sun 27-Jan-13 15:55:12

*too. I am qualified - honest!

fraktion Sun 27-Jan-13 15:55:18

This reminds me of the time French DH tried to order done 'cheezy bread' in a restaurant in France.

'Blah blah blah et un <British accent> cheezy bread'
<confused look> 'Pardon?'
<DH exaggerates French accent> 'Un cheezeeee brrread'
<waiter still confused>
'Un sheeeezeee brrrreade'
'Ahhhhh, oui, très bien'

Goes both ways....

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 16:03:37

Dawn I'm not talking about the correct pronunciation I'm talking about putting on a dopy accent.

SoniaGluck Sun 27-Jan-13 16:05:07

Cother grin

My DH apparently now has an English accent when he speaks French. I can't tell because he sounds French when he speaks English, which he does 99% of the time these days.

Last time we were in France a woman in a shop congratulated him on his excellent French. He was horrified that he sounded like a Brit. The kids thought it was hilarious.

Umlauf Sun 27-Jan-13 16:06:27

When I studied Italian at uni I learnt that bruschetta is pronounced 'brusketa' and Moschino 'mos kino.' Now that I know I can't help pronouncing bruschetta 'correctly' even after the waitress "corrects" me. I don't use wild hand gestures though, or insist on the sing song accent. Does that make me wanky?!!

I draw the line at asking for 2 cappuccini though, or one panino.

My mum once had a stand off with a waitress insisting bourginnione (sp?!) was pronounced (bogey-nun).

Umlauf Sun 27-Jan-13 16:09:44

I live in Spain and probably sound very wanky here. I WILL NOT call Zara 'thara.' OTOH it drives me mad when people say cher-itso. Always has done!

riverboat Sun 27-Jan-13 16:13:29

Cother - I live in France too and I also dislike using French pronunciation of English words. I had to ask for a "broo-nee" at the bakery the other day, which felt so wrong.

My pet hate though is things like 'un smarties' and 'un chips'...the s gets my goat!

Otherwise on the general topic, I do think that where its clear someone is using the foreign pronunciation just to show off it is U, but if they speak that language well or are of that nationality, its not necessarily U, could just be what comes naturally to them.

GilmoursPillow Sun 27-Jan-13 16:15:15

Iactually I have a friend married to an Italian and she lived there for donkey's years so is fluent. I also find it a bit wanky when she pronounces an Italian word with an Italian accent (ie, as it should be pronounced). That's completely unreasonable of me.

MrsMeeple Sun 27-Jan-13 16:20:00

There's a difference between using the correct pronounciation and putting on a silly accent? You can pronounce croissant correctly without trying to sound like a character from 'Allo 'Allo!


MrsMeeple Sun 27-Jan-13 16:20:24

Oops. That question mark shouldn't be there...

MrsMeeple Sun 27-Jan-13 16:23:51

On the other side of the argument, I live in a non-english speaking country, and I try really hard to pronounce the local language correctly. But I know I sound like a foreigner, and always will. sad. What I really hate is television adverts that speak the local language, but get someone with an awful english-speaking background accent to do the voice-overs. Arrrgggghhhh. It is not going to make me more likely to buy your product because some twat with attrocious pronunciation of the local language is trying to sell it! Can that possibly work on those born and raised here??!?

HintofBream Sun 27-Jan-13 16:24:35

Does anyone remember the TV advert involving "Laboratoires Garnier Paris"?
Paris pronounced Pariss. Shouldn't it have been either "Laboratoires... Paree" or "Laboratories ...Pariss". The inconsistancy annoyed me.

My god it is way worse to hear them said with a broad American accent. I'll take pretentious any day over that.

Oh and if I hear that someone was in "Eye-rack" ever again I may stick myself in the eye with a spork.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 27-Jan-13 16:26:42

i don't do it for foreign words but i do it for the name of one of my rabbits. she has a french-sounding name, given to her by daughter, so she always gets the silly 'french' accent.

daughter points out that the rabbit is in fact from west yorkshire...

spiritedaway Sun 27-Jan-13 16:29:41

TEFL teachers in the staff room are gloriously pretentious. . think cul de sac was my biggest giggle

AntimonySalts Sun 27-Jan-13 16:30:49

OP, YAdefinitelyNBU. I am bilingual, and I still pronounce the words of my other first language in the English way. I would consider it pukemakingly pretentious to do anything else.

Peevish Sun 27-Jan-13 16:32:29

This is a fascinating thread. I know it's saying something about a particular strand of Britishness - the horror of risking looking pretentious, or displaying your education/ability to speak a foreign language fluently - but I'm a foreigner and I still don't understand it. Why is a certain kind of UK person obsessed with appearing 'down to earth'?

I was baffled by a UK newspaper interview with Emma Thompson years ago, in which she was talking about some charity work or something she had done in Chile - and the interviewer kept sneering about how she pronounced it 'CHEE-lay'. Because obviously that's pretentions when the proper English pronunciation of it is 'Chilly', as in 'Shut the door, I'm a bit chilly'. Now it all makes sense!

This thread has me reading out loud trying to figure out how I say things. grin I'm starting to think I must sound a bit twatty!
Chorizo I do say chor ees oh. No iz as I'm in California, isn't the iz accent in it from the Barcelona area where they all sound like they have a lisp?
Les mis I have given up and say Le Mis.
Croissant I ordered in Starbucks yesterday and said it Cwason ? Or some such way.
Paella (pie ey ya)
One that make me chuckle is Quesadilla, here they say k-sa-dee-ya, and every now and then Ds used to tell us people in the drive through where he worked would say k-sa-dill-a and make him laugh.

dylsmimi Sun 27-Jan-13 16:44:55

My colleague not only over pronounces foreign words but also when talking about a region of the UK adopts the accent! It is so irritating!
Eg. (Usual accent) Well I went on my holiday to (starts talking in odd accent) yorkshire, we had a great time, blah blah ends then speaks normally!

Not helped that she cannot do any accent!

I especially want to shake her when she speaks about st Helens ( dropping the t and h)

Squink, I'm in CA too and I also say chore-ee-so, I kept saying it over and over to remember as well LOL. If I say croissant the french way (or my bad o level french accent way) none of the baristas understand, I have to say 'crah-sahnt' which drives me crazy.

If you don't say the spanish loaner words in at least an attempt of a mexican accent here then people think you are an idiot. For instance, a local place name is "La Jolla" and if you ever hear "joh-lah" then you know they are not from around here.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 16:51:30

Peevish, I don't think I'm obsessed with looking "down to earth". It does make me cringe when people are pretentious, but it has nothing to do with a hatred of education or some put-on country ways.

Branleuse Sun 27-Jan-13 17:00:40

how are you supposed to say croissant if not cwasson? Thats how you say it isnt it?
Ive never heard it said any other way

It's not the pronunciation that's the issue, it's the put-on wanky exaggerated accent that accompanies such words.

Peevish Sun 27-Jan-13 17:05:47

But is it pretentious, JustaHoly? (I don't specifically mean you, either, more the fact that a lot of people on the thread agree with you, and clearly do find it pretentious.)

I suppose what I'm trying to get at - again, longerm UK-resident foreigner here, so not native - is that there seems to be a widespread cultural horror in this country of looking pretentious, which I don't quite understand. The baby name threads are full of people deeming certain names 'try hard', which is clearly intended as the most terrible insult! I also confess to not understanding why being seen as 'down to earth' is considered such a good thing - it seems like a kind of reverse pretentiousness to me!

But that's probably a different topic.

Branleuse Sun 27-Jan-13 17:07:39

most people who speak a foreign langage try and adjust their accent dont they??

Not that anyone ever gets it right, but I think it makes it easier for other speakers of the language understand if you make at least a stab at the accent.

moonstorm Sun 27-Jan-13 17:08:06

Why does it only seem to matter for certain languages...? Is it because they are the ones people know a little of - other languages it doesn't matter...?


DH is bilingual. When he talks about places/ things from his native country in English, he uses an English accent and vice versa. He doesn't mix the two up.

Fakebook Sun 27-Jan-13 17:09:26

My five year

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:10:56

YABU. You find it annoying only because those are the correct pronunciations.

I suppose it's people like you who pronounce parmesan with that silly j sound for which I can't even find a phonetic representation in English.

Fakebook Sun 27-Jan-13 17:12:50

My five year old says "paree" instead of Paris thanks to Madeleine. She has a red Minnie Mouse top with Minnie standing next to the Eiffel Tower, and she calls it her "Paree top".

I don't have a problem with pronouncing the word correctly.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 17:14:56

WTH do you mean Cote? "j" sound?

Branleuse, I amn't talking about being in a foreign country, I'm talking about being down Bella Pasta and going "And I will have the caaarbonara" in a jaunty Italian accent.

Porkster Sun 27-Jan-13 17:19:24

I think I'm in the middle here.

I cringe when people say 'tortilla' and pronounce the l.

Yet I also cringe when my friend goes completely authentic with her paella, chorizo and jalapeño pronunciation.

I think it's the accent, rather than the pronunciation.

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:19:35

It's Par-IH, actually, rather than Paree. (I'm trilingual and French is one of my languages.)

Now that I think about it, I tend to say "IStanbul" when speaking in English rather than the correct version which is "IsTANbul". That isn't a conscious change, though, but just the way the intonation of the English language goes.

I would not completely mispronounce a word just so some ignorant English person doesn't "hate" me hmm

Peevish Sun 27-Jan-13 17:22:09

Are you British, CoteDAzur?

(Readjusts theories about British fear of seeming pretentious.)

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 17:22:29

That's what I'm saying Porkster. And Cote. I tor-tee-ya with the best of them. What I don't do is put on a cod Spanish accent when I do it.

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:24:12

JustAHolyFool - How do you pronounce "parmesan"?

From Anglophones, I have mostly heard it pronounced par-muh-zsohn with that last syllable pronounced like the French name Jean (Think of Jean Valjean of Les Miserables).

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:25:27

No Peevish, I'm not British.

TotallyBS Sun 27-Jan-13 17:26:35

Sod the accent thing. It grind MY gears when people insert foreign words into an English sentence. I'm thinking of words like de rigeur (I think that is how it's spelt) or sans.

Dawndonna Sun 27-Jan-13 17:29:26

Sorry OP, misunderstood. I shall refer you to my mother who puts on a stupid accent everytime she talks to somebody foreign. As though she were addressing a five year old, but with a strange accent, too!

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:29:41

"Les Miserables" isn't pronounced "LayMizzRarb", by the way. It is more like "Leh Miz-eh-ROHBL". There is no second R in the last syllable, and the L at the end is definitely pronounced.

Peevish Sun 27-Jan-13 17:31:49

Justa - but how do you differentiate accent from pronunciation? Take your example of 'tortilla' - even if you pronounce it 'torTEEya', to pronounce it correctly you still need to make deeply un-English sounds, like rolling the 'r' slightly - and the 'ee' sound isn't the same as in 'cup of tea'.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 17:32:10

Er, isn't that exactly what I am saying Cote? People attempting to put on an accent resulting in atrocities like Paremzohn?

I say parm-i-zan.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 17:32:36

It is pretty obvious in practice, Peevish.

lovetomoan Sun 27-Jan-13 17:32:39

Sonia I understand how your DH must feel. I have a problem with saying Kant, as in the philosopher grin

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:36:21

JustA - In your OP you are saying you have a problem with people who speak foreign words correctly. Or have I misunderstood? You are mentioning a friend who says "bella figura" in an Italian accent, which I presume was the correct way of saying it.

My problem is with people who completely mispronounce words.

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 17:38:35

There's a difference between saying the word correctly and putting on an over-done accent.

If you can't understand that, there's not much else I can say.

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:39:15

JustA - It's not parm-i-zan, by the way, but par-meh-zuhn. Listen here.

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:39:59

How exactly would you know if someone is pronouncing it correctly or not, though, given that you obviously don't speak these languages yourself?

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 17:41:10

Example: If you heard me say par-meh-zuhn, you would think that I am "putting on an overdone accent" because you seem to think it is pronounced parm-i-zan.

My German teacher told the group a few weeks ago that if a word is English then Germans are supposed to pronounce it in an English accent.

I had asked him how to tell people that I am Welsh. Apparently I am to say Wuh-elsh not Vel-sh. Wuh-ailes not Val-ez.

Yet they can't understand it in an English accent because in their heads they are thinking where is this place beginning with a V?

Anyhow the whole class got derailed as we highlighted every single incidence where Germans don't pronounce English created words in an English accent:

Www. Is veh, veh, veh,
DVD is de,veh,de
VIP is pronounced as Whip
Oasis sing a song called Vuuundaaavall.

I think he was sorry he'd brought it up.

In the country of origin it does help to pronounce in the accent. It does sound a bit wanky asking for a crrrrroizzzzan in Gregg's I suppose....

I could however go to higher echelons of farty pretentiousness and request some "Gipfeli" wink

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 17:45:58

I don't really care about the correct pronunciation. I care about the stupid accent. As I've said 20 times.

I get annoyed when words are over-corrected in comic accents. For example, Parmesan. "par-mee-san" would be over-corrected not to "parr-mi-Zhan", but to "Paaarrrr-Meee-GeeArno" in an accent like Luigi from Mario Bros.

MmeLindor Sun 27-Jan-13 17:52:55

I use poncy German pronunciation of Lidl cause I lived in Germany for 20 years and can't get used to saying Liddel.

I know what you mean though, it is an extension of LOUD PARENTING, I think. Not simply using the correct pronunciation, but doing it in an ostentatious accent to show off.

DH is German and has a grand Scottish accent, and DS has started to say, 'Ah dinna ken' just to annoy me.

SoniaGluck Sun 27-Jan-13 17:54:00

loveto Out of curiosity I just asked DH to say "Kant", I'd never heard him say it before, philosophy not being his thing.

He wants to know why I'm sniggering. wink

Trinpy Sun 27-Jan-13 17:56:39

I think that its normal to use the most common pronounciation of words in the language you are speaking. If that language is your first and it is also the first/only language of the person you are speaking to and you STILL insist on pronouncing it differently then it becomes odd. If you put on a dodgy accent then its very odd.

My dh is Hungarian and when he is speaking in Hungarian he says Budapesht, but when he is speaking in English it becomes Budapest.I know an English person who pronounces it Budapesht even when she talks in English - very pretentious and annoying, imo.

MrsKoala Sun 27-Jan-13 17:58:51

hmm interesting. The way i see it is these words are actually names of things, so the name is pronounced the same in any accent/language. Ie i wouldn't expect Cathrines to be called Katerinas in certain countries.

So Quesedilla is kay-se-di-ya, because that's the name of the dish in whatever country you eat it. if that makes sense.

Justt like you pronounce Wagner - Vargner etc. Can you imagine being at a concert and saying 'oooh i love a bit of WAG-ner'?

Yes but I'm saying that a French person would be encouraged to say Fish and Chips, not feeeeesh ah sheeeeeps if they were learning English. And a German would be encouraged not to say Fish und Ichpz.

I think your annoyance lies mainly in the pretentiousness of the situation i.e spitting cwazzon loudly over the counter in Cafe Rouge after spending a week eating them at a marvellous little Patizeyree when staying at a Zhgeeeet in the Dordogne, when the person behind the counter would perfectly understand the word in an English accent?

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sun 27-Jan-13 17:59:52

Should we call it the miserables.

OP I think YABU.
English is such a bastard language with so many assimilated words. I heard that the French were so protective of the erosion of their language that they have people to make up French words for new technologies, or is that an urban myth?

Incidentally, about pronouncing foreign words in their country of origin with the correct accent, I knew what my Polish friend meant when she said I had to wear liars in winter to keep warm, (eventually). Still a damn sight better than my attempts at Polish pronunciation.

doyouwantfries I did have to mention to my Polish friend and colleague that the way he pronounced can't sounded slightly rude (c*nt) and he also says willies instead of wellies.

He was most amused when he translated the other meaning.

VBisme Sun 27-Jan-13 18:04:22

Your parents called a croissant a crescent?

I'm not suprised you have issues.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sun 27-Jan-13 18:04:44

Apparently the Spanish bods at dp's work find the phrase 'my pleasure' really funny. I can't think why.

MmeLindor Sun 27-Jan-13 18:08:55

Does no one deliberately use a forrin word then? I have loads that we use in the family.

We talk of piraaaaats not pirates cause of a funny woman on a Amsterdam to Newcastle ferry.

and instead of going to the bank, we go Bancomat machen cause a italian/German couple used to say that. They'd fill up there Geldtasche there.

If you don't know our family, you'd think we were nuts or poncy. It is just a joke.

GrendelsMum Sun 27-Jan-13 18:13:56

MmeLindor - we have some too (our favourite is a mistranslation from Spanish), and then you forget the real word and have to use the family word and people look at you as though you're insane.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 27-Jan-13 18:18:11

My dad used our family word for Prague (Praygyoo) once by mistake 'in company' and a lady patted his arm and told him how to say it as if he had dementia. He nearly cried laughing.

I heard Paxman saying Don Quixote on UC, I was surprised he said Don quix-oat, not something I ever often drop into conversation... Also as a Scottish person I roll the r in crrrroissant as well as grrrrrreen much to the amusement of my Irrrrish in- laws. Dh speaking French with an Irish accent is hilarious, the way French people looked at him with complete incomprehension, then I would repeat what he said and they would give him and me the " why didn't you say that in the first place" look, I have pretty basic higher French. I get my knickers in a twist about people dropping letters or adding them where they don't exist, so they drop the r in my dd's name and add it to the end, but it ends with an A, bananar instead of bananah. I don't hate anyone for it though.

Not that my dd is called banana.

Mme yes! After standing behind a French (or Suisse) person in a queue for food at Europa Park we now say "aaaaahhh Feeeeesh ah sheeeeps" when we come home to the UK.

We also like Gay-zeebow after hearing a Texan say it, and have been quietly corrected by an embarrassed friend. blush

MmeLindor Sun 27-Jan-13 18:49:50

My friend learned a lot of her English from country western songs. When she was an aupair in US, she remarked that she liked to play the geeeeeetaaaaaaarrrrr

They fell about laughing

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 18:55:40

VBisme issues, or maybe just a different dialect?

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 19:07:49

"I don't really care about the correct pronunciation. I care about the stupid accent. As I've said 20 times"

Yes, missing the point entirely.

The point is that what you think is "stupid accent" is quite possibly the correct pronunciation, since you don't any of these languages.

Example: You mispronounce parmesan as "parm-i-zan. If you heard me say it, you would have thought that was a "stupid accent" and would "hate" me for it. Which means YABU.

Is that clearer now? If not, we can try again and let's see if you go for 21 smile

<waves> at SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker
I'd forgotten about La Jolla (la hoya) and also Vallejo (valay-ho) I think I now have a faux Mexican accent when using Spanish words grin One that confused me for a while Manteca I said Man-tecka till I was corrected to Man-teak-a.

MrsMeeple Sun 27-Jan-13 19:08:49

Umm... On the "croissant" vs "crescent" question, don't americans call them crescent rolls? Pinterest is full of recipes using "a tube of crescent roll dough". Took me a while to figure out what they meant. I figured out it's what they call croissants, not a pronunciation thing but a different word (sidewalk, pavement, footpath, or subway, metro, underground etc).

Did I get that wrong?

JustAHolyFool Sun 27-Jan-13 19:11:50

There's a lot of people being really quite aggressive on what was meant to be a joky thread so I'll just bow out now.

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 19:13:50

AIBU isn't a great place to start a thread when you are feeling fragile.

I don't see anyone being aggressive. Maybe you could name names and we could tell you if YABU smile

sarahseashell Sun 27-Jan-13 19:14:16

YANBU grin very amusing thread. I had not until now realised how to pronounce jalapeno <disclaimer - never said it>

thara for zara especially ponce-tastic

Crescent rolls in a tube are nasty little doughy things that people try to get creative with. they don't taste remotely like a proper croissant.

Trazzletoes Sun 27-Jan-13 19:15:26

But OP, calling a croissant a crescent isn't using a different dialect, it's finding a whole mother word for something.

Crescent is not an option for pronouncing the word croissant, there is no way of making an "e" sound from those letters.


Also, just for my own curiosity, did your parents ever order croissants in a bakery? Did the staff understand when they asked for crescents?

SconeRhymesWithGone Sun 27-Jan-13 20:05:35

Yes, crescent rolls in the US (considered obligatory for Thanksgiving) are not the same as croissants; both are readily available, and the latter is usually given a (sort of) French pronunciation.

MmeLindor Sun 27-Jan-13 20:08:00

um, OP. You were the one who was a bit snarky with that comment of having explained 20 times already. I don't think anyone is being aggressive.

awaynboilyurheid Sun 27-Jan-13 20:14:32

prefer it if you pronounce Spanish way example paella not pay- EL - A!
my daughter who is fluent in Spanish and I were on holiday and a women spoke great Spanish but with her own English accent it just didn't sound right somehow no attempt at the accent even hola sounded wrong ha!

MrsMeeple Sun 27-Jan-13 20:18:04

Ah. Thanks. Guess I will live in wonder what crescent rolls are. Think I can live with not knowing. And I can find other recipes...

massistar Sun 27-Jan-13 20:21:26

See, the problem is, I can't mispronounce words in a language I am fluent in just so as not to appear twattish. My Italian DH would divorce me if I asked for Broosh-etta rather than brusketta! Or tagliatelle with a hard G.

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Jan-13 20:27:38


CotherMuckingFunt Sun 27-Jan-13 20:36:48

If you want to piss yourself listening to a faux forrin accent, watch Ina Garten /Barefoot Contessa doing her trip to France. Tis très amusant.

sherazade Sun 27-Jan-13 20:44:46

yabu. do you pronounces the two silent 's's in les miserables?

awaynboilyurheid Sun 27-Jan-13 21:08:07

American relatives and other Americans I have came across always pronounce crescent for croissant

ColgateIsBest Sun 27-Jan-13 21:11:28

When I've been in America they pronounced croissant 'cwa-sonts', with the emphasis on the 'sont' to rhyme with a church font, and a pain au chocolate was a chocolate cwa-sont.

ShatnersBassoon Sun 27-Jan-13 21:16:38

My dad is very guilty of this. The happiest day of his life was when someone thought he was Italian. We were in Austria.

ShatnersBassoon Sun 27-Jan-13 21:23:35

We were in Austria and he was speaking German, by the way. His Britishness going undetected was a wonderful achievement for him that holiday. No matter that he was speaking dodgy German with an Italian twang confused

tigerdriverII Sun 27-Jan-13 21:24:45

Will never forget buying a bottle of Grand Marnier for my gran about 25 years ago. I went into an offie and asked for a bottle of Tia Maria (no accent) and a bottle of Grrrrran Mar Neee Eyyyy. The teenagers serving me cracked up and I was all offended for months. Grand Marnier still tasted ok though.

chicaguapa Sun 27-Jan-13 21:25:22

I probably annoy everyone for refusing to order a lar-tay then. I insist on calling it a latte with a short 'a' because that's how I learnt it in Italy. Not sure why I should change it, now the Americans bastardised the pronunciation. grin

znaika Sun 27-Jan-13 21:36:46

well i'm forrin adn "do" a few languages, but I just do the accent of the language I'm in. I'll happily order blini and only get one!

MmeLindor Sun 27-Jan-13 21:51:24

I learned it as Latte Macchiato, and get blank looks when I order that instead of a Latte here.

DamnBamboo Sun 27-Jan-13 22:03:07

How else do you say croissant?

It's not kross-ont is it? That sound ridiculous.

znaika Sun 27-Jan-13 22:07:55

Russians call croissant Kurrassant- it's our revenge for their saying bistro wrong!

I got trashed by two Italian colleagues on a work trip to Brescia for ordering anything containing the word Latte. They told me it was just for babies and to man up and order espresso....

MmeLindor Sun 27-Jan-13 22:55:34

Yy I've been told off for having cappuccino in afternoon. It's a breakfast drink apparently and later only espresso is appropriate.

Are you back in the UK now Mme or are you still in shjay-nev? wink

Pennybubbly Mon 28-Jan-13 00:17:55

It depends whether you mean saying the word correctly or whether you mean exaggerating the pronuciation, OP.

Chorizo pronounced choritso is wrong, as there is no 't' in it. Bruschetta pronounced brush-etta is wrong - the 'ch' is pronounced like a 'k'. So, as a speaker of Spanish and Italian, I would pronounce them as they sound in Spanish, Italian. I wouldn't, however, roll my 'r' for half an hour when saying either word.

Similarly, we have an English word for 'Firenze', so I would say 'I went to Florence' rather than use the Italian name.

I don't think it sounds twattish at all to use the correct pronunciation. It does sound twattish to exaggerate the pronunciation, but anyone who does that would probably get on your tits for being a twat generally anyway. I would be more hmm at a person deliberately mis-pronouncing a word if I knew they knew the correct way of saying it...

LouMae Mon 28-Jan-13 01:13:47

It does make them sound like a bit of a wanker. I have a foreign surname and sometimes people try to pronounce it as it would be said its country of origin and they sound like massively pretentious twats. My family and I all have strong Lancashire accents and pronounce it accordingly. I'd only expect native speakers of the language it pronounce it as it is in that language.

I'm with Pennybubbly on this - I pronounce the words that I know correctly as per the language they are from.But I try not to be ott. You never know who you are speaking to now over here and I love it when I end up chatting in italian to someone new. 5 years learning the language, my pronounciation is horrid, but I am determined to keep going!

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 28-Jan-13 01:31:18


A crescent roll in the US is a yeast roll meant to be mainly a dinner roll. They come in a can as a flat single layer of dough that is perforated. You separate them, roll them up and twist slightly into a crescent shape and bake.
There are many recipes for other ways to use them.

MidnightMasquerader Mon 28-Jan-13 02:07:12

I don't think you're being entirely unreasonable, but this is one of those things were everyone's line falls in a slightly different place. And you just have to make your peace with that, for the sake of your blood pressure, really...

It's like the cooking from scratch thread. Some people say that unless you're milking your own cow, slaughtering your own homegrown, corn-fed sheep and daily wrestling carcasses into saucepans to make your own stock, you're not cooking from scratch.

Other, normal, people say that using dried spaghetti, tinned tomatoes and shop-bought pesto, for example, constitutes cooking from scratch.

Same thing here. Most people think that pronouncing every single word in the appropriate local accent with guttural flourishes and copious spittle is probably taking it a bit too far. But likewise they wouldn't go so far as to pronounce cappuccino cap-oo-see-no, just to make the point.

So everyone tries to find a middle ground somewhere, but no two people's middle ground is quite the same. One person's cappuccino is another person's chorizo, and so on...So prob best just not to get too offended by any of it.

Although, having said that, having an inward snigger at wankers is always fun...

tinyshinyanddon Mon 28-Jan-13 03:37:10

Where I was brought up a croissant was a "crabby roll" and if you asked the old dears in the bake shop for a "cwasson" they would have no clue what you meant. Bless.

Waving back at Squinkie

I think I now have a faux Mexican accent when using Spanish words

Me too, I even say tortilla with a mix between a T and D for every T. LOL can hear you now saying it over and over to see if you do, right?

The one that throws everyone a complete loop when they are new here is

Jamacha Road

Anyone who doesn't know (without cheating) want to guess how it is said? Or perhaps Tooele in UT. Both of those are how locals tell if you are visiting.

Penny, we do almost say chori(t)so here with a dropped T.

Meemawandmoonpie Mon 28-Jan-13 07:11:48


sashh Mon 28-Jan-13 07:19:45

btw, having to order 'a panini' really annoys me - I'll always ask for a panino

My pet hat too. No you can't have two panninis, you can have panini or one panino

Meema, nope, not even close

Oh here is another that sprinkles should know but perhaps most Brits wouldn't

If I wanted Oaxaca on my quesadilla, how would you pronounce that? Is there really a British way to even try and say the first word?

Bejeena Mon 28-Jan-13 09:39:27

I speak German, lived in Germany for 14 years.

How on earth do you pronounce Reichstag without sounding German? If you pronounce properly then it would sound German.

The same goes for Doppelgänger for me, if you pronounce it as is correctly written then it would sound German, but you wrote Doppelganger so if you pronounce it like that (ie. a not ä) then I would agree I suppose.

Although the point of this post is a bit beyond me.

Sometimes here in Germany people use English words in German and seem to have germanised the pronunciation, I still always pronounce it the correct English way as it is correct - they think I am strange but I know I am right!

Sugarbeach Mon 28-Jan-13 09:57:26

Yanbu OP. it' the opposite that annoys me...I speak English and Cantonese.

Surely if you are saying a foreign word, you should attempt to say it in the foreign accent ...that would be the correct pronunciation.

So on Chinese New Year's Gong Hay Fat (silent t here please) Choi please.....

Sugarbeach Mon 28-Jan-13 09:59:12

And with the or correct tone please.....otherwise I take no responsibility if you inadvertently end up swearing or insulting someone.....

Sugarbeach Mon 28-Jan-13 10:09:59

That should have been yabu not yanbu....why does the iPad do that....

Ah, but surely an exaggerated "cartoon-Chinese" accent while saying the phrase crosses it over from correct to pretentious!

Sugarbeach Mon 28-Jan-13 10:14:37

No. It can never sound pretentious ...just right or wrong...simple as that grin

This thread keeps bringing to mind Hermione Grainger's advice: "it's Wing- gar -dium Levi- o -sa"

quesadilla Mon 28-Jan-13 10:19:12

Its all about context: I speak a little bit of another language because its DH's first language. When I pronounce words from that language I do so in the native accent because that's what I've heard (and by the way no-one there would understand you if you Anglicized them.) And it would just be silly to deliberatlely mis-pronounce.

If you are fluent and comfortable in a language its fine.

What does irritate me is people "overpronouncing" a foreign word in what they think is the correct accent when its not necessary. BBC news presenters do this a lot with words from places like Afghanistan etc: they kind of ham up the pronounciation of place names etc. And I suspect a lot of the time the pronounciation is wrong.

Sugarbeach Mon 28-Jan-13 10:20:05

Accents are all mixed up these days anyway...fake London, Essex, American , Birmingham...

Sugarbeach Mon 28-Jan-13 10:21:13

You even get English spoken with Chinese grammar here in Malaysia....but that's another's all mixed up...

Scholes34 Mon 28-Jan-13 10:43:52

I speak German. I'd always say Munich, rather than München, and Berlin rather than "Berleen" when speaking English, because these are the accepted anglicised versions of the names. If I was talking about the band Kraftwerk, it would be said as the Germans pronouce it - with an r sounded in the back of my throat and a "verk" for the last syllable, as that's how I've always known the group. Not trying to impress anyone, just speaking how I see fit.

Megglevache Mon 28-Jan-13 10:53:35

Everytime I hear someone say chorit zoh instead of choreetho....I want to tread on their toes...

MmeLindor Mon 28-Jan-13 11:23:43

I have been told that I was pronouncing London incorrectly, and had people not understand me. Then they do the exaggerated, 'Oh, you mean Looondon'

Or 'You mean Edinburg'

Place names are tricky though - I agree with Munich rather than Muenchen but found it difficult to Hanover rather than Hannover when we lived there, because I was saying it all the time.

Absy Mon 28-Jan-13 11:40:11

You're kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I would say - if there is an accepted English alternative (particularly place names) then use that, otherwise if it is something I happen to know the correct pronounciation of (e.g. French words, or Afrikaans e.g. rooibos) then i'll use that. If I'm not sure then i'll use the English-y version

peacefuleasyfeeling Mon 28-Jan-13 11:51:49

I whooped and wept at the first few pages of this thread last night, so thank you Just.
At the school where I work, my personal pet hate is when a couple of members of staff (thankfully not teaching staff) consistently mispronounce ( anglicise ) the names of children with non-English names, instead of taking their cues from how the child and his or her parents pronounce the name and emulating their pronounciation. Or worse still, unilaterally decide to shorten it to a neat mono-syllabic "nickname" in order to overcome the inconvenience. I wouldn't snigger at a colleague who decided to pronounce AH-med with a nice throaty AH, like Ahmed's parents, instead of plumping for Arm-ed.
As a non-native English speaker I have worked hard at my pronounciation, eager not to be defined by my accent. These days I might tell someone I come from Sweden, and get the reply "Ah, I know Swindon." I respect people who respect language and culture enough to have a go at using original pronounciation, and I don't think they appear foolish or affected.

Absy Mon 28-Jan-13 12:13:09

Though I agree that the BBC is NOTORIOUS for trying to overpronounce foreign words/names and getting it very very wrong. For e.g. Morgan Tsvangirai. The first bit of his surname is pronounced "ts-van" not "chan" like the BBC decided it was

CoteDAzur Mon 28-Jan-13 14:31:49

"Eye-rack" killed me in the run-up to the Iraq war. TV people eventually learned to pronounce the country's name, fortunately.

As a rule of thumb, you should never invade a country you know so little about that you can't pronounce its name.

Kruh-sahnt anyone?

Absy Tue 29-Jan-13 14:03:00

"As a rule of thumb, you should never invade a country you know so little about that you can't pronounce its name."

Hehe. I think all world leaders should have that up on their wall, just as a reminder. It could have stopped a lot of wars George Bush

lovetomoan Tue 29-Jan-13 23:21:49

Sonia* please tell me how to pronounce properly 'Kant' and 'can't' without sounding rude smile

Self afaik Oaxaca is a place, like Lei--ces--ter wink

PickledInAPearTree Tue 29-Jan-13 23:28:29

I feel like such a dick saying chorizo I've taken to calling it a Spanish sausage. In know how to say it but I just can't can't do it sad

TotallyBS Tue 29-Jan-13 23:36:46

I was watching an American tv prog where the character was called Sin Jin. I later Googled the cast list and the character was down as St John. How the feck do you get from that to Sin Jin?

just to point out two things....the croissant is actually named after the muslim crescent....and we are the only country that insists on calling IKEA EYEkeya. The rest of the world calls it EekeYA.

just to point out two things....the croissant is actually named after the muslim crescent....and we are the only country that insists on calling IKEA EYEkeya. The rest of the world calls it EekeYA.

tallulahturtle Wed 30-Jan-13 00:35:05

I work in a wine shop and what bugs me most is when people pronounce Rioja , ree-oh-jar . Can't keep a straight face :-) , we pronounce a lot of wines and wine areas as they are said in their own countries but don't put odd accents on. The only people that tend to do that are customers who are trying to show off , and they are usually the ones who come out with the classic " I don't like Chardonnay, but I do love white Burgundy" !

just to point out two things....the croissant is actually named after the muslim crescent....and we are the only country that insists on calling IKEA EYEkeya. The rest of the world calls it EekeYA.

TotallyBS Wed 30-Jan-13 00:42:42

Madame - I have to pull you up on that one smile In an episode of the Big Bang Theory Penny gets the boys to help her build the units from Ikea and they pronounce it the same as us Brits.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 30-Jan-13 00:48:07

this reminded me of something knicker wettingly funny.

my step father was an absolute abusive bullying little short arse. We once went on holiday to spain and a young spanish bloke got a bit friendly with me from a bar. i was 15.

step things name was raymond. when he tried to introduce himself to my spanish friend he called himself "raymondo"
i could hardly breath for laughing.
i suffered for it later but he was such a prize twat.

hm. maybe its an anglo saxon thing. a long enduring relationship with a delightful norwegian who was an employee of IKEA who was posted all over the shop (think sweden, then Kuwait...then... bugger. - think id dumped him by then...)

Boomerwang Wed 30-Jan-13 00:56:16

There's no way I'm saying chorizo in the correct way as I'd sound a twat to either say it englishly or with a spanish accent. I'll go half way and call it 'choreesso'. Similarly, I will not quack like a duck whilst trying to say 'croissant'. I pronounce it 'crossont' or mix the 'r' and 'w' sound to say 'crwossont'.

That Gino DiCampo (whatever) guy is the one that made me realise I was incorrectly pronouncing bruschetta as 'brushetta' but at the same time he was having terrible trouble saying 'worcestershire sauce'. He called it 'wussesser sauce' I wonder how many brits mispronounce that one too!

I had to get used to the way my Swedish boyfriend pronounced English words. 'Chicken' is 'shicken', 'chat' is 'shat' and words beginning with a 'Y' are started with a 'J' sound such as 'young' becoming 'jung' and vice versa where 'jolly' becomes 'yolly'. I only correct him if he's in a good mood.

ReadySteadyDrink Wed 30-Jan-13 00:58:09

I don't understand the "J" pronounciation regarding Parmesan. It's Parmesan in English. Parmegiano in Italian. There is nothing inbetween... There is no such thing as Parmejan

am heaving over raymondo though....

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 30-Jan-13 01:11:10

so did i madame

cant remember the spanish lads name but he was bloody lovely....took me to meet his folks and everything.

raymondo probably finished it for him....i pissed myself laughing.
raymondo was a prize twunt.

Narked Wed 30-Jan-13 01:12:10

Was your mother married to Del Boy's evil twin?

high five vicar...

and lovely to see you...been a while...

Thumbwitch Wed 30-Jan-13 01:18:47

UK pronunciation of IKEA is used in Australia as well.

I actually find it more irritating when words, such as brand names, are anglicised because the population might not cope with them - so in Australia we have Panteen, for e.g. (still spelt Pantene, with the grave accent that I can't produce on here).

I do get irritated when people "put on" an accent, especially when they clearly can't do it at all well - looking at you here, DH!

and lovely to see you...been a while...on my part i mean

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 30-Jan-13 01:20:09

high fives madame

if only narked del boy was funny....Step thing was just a twat. unfortunately.

it did make us laugh for all of 5 mins though while he sulked.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 30-Jan-13 01:21:54

likewise madam

not seen you for a bit! smile

life has been...much as life is! up and then doooooown. and now sort of up again!


Is Jamacha pronounced Hamacha?

Oaxaca is a weird one to pronounce, it sounds a little like wa-ha-ha. Here you can hear a half-decent attempt. Its origin is not Spanish, it comes from one of native american languages called Nahuatl. It is a name of a state and a city in Mexico, but they also do make cheese. So it turns out one can have some quesillo oaxaca on a quesadilla.

Jamacha is a tricky one, it looks spanish but it isn't. It is pronounced ham-a-shaw

We say wa-ha-ca and yes, I was referring to the cheese which melts beauteously and creamy and gooey and looks a bit like a knotted mozzarella.

oh and Tooele is pronounced tu-wil-uh if I remember correctly. It is a place in Utah.

Lueji Wed 30-Jan-13 02:13:24

It is silly when the words have a common pronounciation in English accent.

Some words don't.

For the French city, do you say Naice, or "Nice" (neece)?

anonymosity Wed 30-Jan-13 02:59:26

YABU and xenophobic

youngblowfish I always say Oaxaca as Oh-cha-ca Never knew how to say it. From that video is sounds like Wa-ha-ca Thank you grin

chrome100 Wed 30-Jan-13 07:22:14

Who the hell says "lar-tay" anyway? That's not even phonetic in English

Thumbwitch Wed 30-Jan-13 07:32:28

I have found that some English speakers do have troubles with the slightly longer Italianate 'a' though - I mean, DH is Aussie and says parsta, because that's what Aussies call pasta. I also have a friend called Tanya - it's not Tan-ya (a la EastEnders), nor yet Tarnya - but a sort of Tahnnya, somewhere in the middle. Can't get some people to get that right though at all.

(I say Neece for Nice in France)

Thumbwitch Wed 30-Jan-13 07:33:17

(and San Tropeh for St Tropez, not Saint Trop-ezz)

DiamondDoris Wed 30-Jan-13 07:34:14

It depends if the other person will know what you are saying and if you speak a foreign language/are foreign it's difficult to not pronounce something correctly. I can't bear all the tv chefs calling chorizo (choriso/choritho) (whichever takes your fancy) as choriTZo. As a Spanish speaker (not native) I can't pronounce it any other way other than the correct way.

Apologies, I meant to say Oaxaca is pronounced wa-ha-ka, not wa-ha-ha, which would sound like an evil laugh. Perhaps I should refrain from discussing linguistic minutia at 2am.

Spoony, very interesting to know the pronunciation of Jamacha, I would never have guessed that.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 30-Jan-13 12:37:09

I think YABU. If you speak a language why should you mispronounce it to keep other people happy? I had enough of pretending to be less clever than I really in order to fit in at school. I don't think I should still have to do it now. I speak pretty good French and Spanish and actually enjoy the sound of the words correctly pronounced.

Absy Wed 30-Jan-13 12:42:28

Nice is pronounced Neece and used to be part of Italy - true story.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 12:42:47

Here, have a glass of "Bo-Joo-Lay-Noo-View" - as once overhead in Tesco Sidcup one December.

YABVU obviously, mange-tout, mange-tout.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 12:45:17

(I am somewhat bourgeoise a complete snob and wince at the way the British pronouce Calais.)

SoniaGluck Wed 30-Jan-13 12:59:21

please tell me how to pronounce properly 'Kant' and 'can't' without sounding rude grin

I think it's often a question of concentration. If you think about it you can pronounce things perfectly - I can do that in French - but if I'm conversing my habitual speech sounds are more evident because I'm thinking about what I am saying rather than how I am saying it, IYSWIM.

DH can pronounce all English words correctly if he really concentrates. So, for example, he can say "birthday" perfectly well if he thinks about it but in conversation it will come out as "burzday".

blackice Wed 30-Jan-13 13:08:45

(Am I being unreasonable that if I heard the OP asking for a crossONT in a coffee shop in the UK, I'd feel very judgemental and wonder if they had ever ventured beyond their own backgarden.)

Higgledyhouse Wed 30-Jan-13 14:58:23

My EX boyfriend used to order his food in McDonalds using an American accent, used to make my skin crawl!!! Dick!

catinboots Wed 30-Jan-13 15:06:09


catinboots Wed 30-Jan-13 15:07:05

And the poster who said xenophobic? Seriously?


CocktailQueen Wed 30-Jan-13 21:22:47

But how else are you supposed to pronounce foreign words?

Paris - Paris (not Paree, that is a tad wanky)
But what about croissant?

Words that are accepted in English (e.g. restaurant) - fine to pronounce them with an English accent, but otherwise, I think it's best to try to pronounce them using the correct accent.

moonstorm Wed 30-Jan-13 23:35:38

Ikea definitely pronounced Eekaya (as near as I can write it anyway) in Norway/ Sweden. Shall we all start pronouncing it like that from now on, then?

cumfy Thu 31-Jan-13 01:36:25

Apropos your communiqué:

Perhaps you should construct a cordon sanitaire around yourself to avoid any inconvenient liasons, contretemps or menage trois with the declasse.wink

Thumbwitch Thu 31-Jan-13 02:05:20

Norty cumfy! grin

KobayashiMaru Thu 31-Jan-13 03:42:46

I can tell that the OP is Irish anyway, which throws a lot of these pronounciations and assumptions out of the water! My guess is that the objection stems from the common tall poppies syndrome.

anonymosity Thu 31-Jan-13 04:31:39

what is the common tall poppies syndrome...?

KobayashiMaru Thu 31-Jan-13 05:19:17

tall poppies must be cut down, don't be getting above yourself, it was far from chorizo you were reared......

Thumbwitch Thu 31-Jan-13 05:52:46

Lot of tall poppy syndrome in Australia too...

YouCanCallMeBetty Thu 31-Jan-13 07:06:47

Why does 'chor-ee-tho' sound wanky but 'I-bee-tha' doesn't?

I'd never say the former but always the latter.

MidnightMasquerader Thu 31-Jan-13 07:53:35

Touché KobayashiMaru grin

I just had to share your post with DH, which typically, I never do. grin

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 31-Jan-13 07:59:11

I'm sure the op doesn't mean people who already speak other languages fluently? I know exactly what she means!

The worst is my cousin who went to the US for a hol and when she was telling me a few stories about people she had met, said it in their American accent.


ILikeBirds Thu 31-Jan-13 10:29:47

The funny thing is people can still have arguments about how things should be pronounced even after they've been anglicised.

Take Copenhagen. The Danish name is København and pronounced somewhat differently to either of the two common pronunciations

LaQueen Thu 31-Jan-13 10:33:42

Was taught French/German, by native French/German find it impossible to not pronounce these words in correct accent.


Wallison Thu 31-Jan-13 10:49:03

It makes me a bit cringey when people do this. My parents are quite bad for it, but they think they are being sophisticated, bless them. For eg my mum's favourite clothes shop is pronounced "Bong Marshay" and my dad has long embarrassed me in restaurants by putting on a cod-Italian accent when ordering Italian food (he went to Italy. Once. 50 years ago.)

It can be quite funny though when people pronounce things really badly. For eg one time when I was in Turkey I was eating lunch with my then-boss and his mad-arsed wife who was all blonde extensions, botox and bling and thought herself quite the sophisticate. Our food came and just as we were about to tuck up she looks up and says loudly "BONA BETTIT". My Turkish wasn't great but I really didn't have a clue what she was going on about although I tried to nod politely, while inwardly thinking "What the fuck is she going on about now?" (she quite often said things that didn't make a lot of sense). So she starts shouting "BONA BETTIT. BONA BETTIT" and gesticulating at the food. Then it dawned on me. She was saying "Bon appetit".

CoteDAzur Thu 31-Jan-13 11:12:31

Maybe nose surgery left her talking nasally? P became B etc.

Wallison Thu 31-Jan-13 11:22:43

Heh. Could be. I think it was the combination of Turkish accent/English ears/French words. I did feel extremely thick not to have got it though.

TessTing123 Thu 31-Jan-13 12:59:09

I once offered someone a "krud-ite". They kindly took me to one side and explained it was pronounced crudité. I had actually been joking but lamely thanked them and felt a total tosser.

Room 101 anyone?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 01-Feb-13 20:40:29

Yes, Room 101! That video was cringey!


blonderthanred Fri 01-Feb-13 20:42:34

Ha I just came on MN to see if anyone else on this thread was watching!

Lambethlil Fri 01-Feb-13 20:47:37

Meh. As I said to my uncle when he laughed at me for saying Neslay, not nessels, I've got a French degree it would be pretentious to mispronounce it.

PickledInAPearTree Fri 01-Feb-13 20:47:46

I was wondering if mel comes on her because her next one was toddler groups... If the third is cat shit we have her bang to rights!

blonderthanred Fri 01-Feb-13 21:02:41

Lambeth, I had forgotten I thought it was pronounced Nestles when I was a child. Ah such innocent times...

DrCoconut Fri 01-Feb-13 22:48:51

Lambeth, my mum always insisted on correct pronunciations so we didn't look ignorant and what she called "Brits on holiday". Nestle was always Neslay, never Nessle! My ex used to laugh at me nobhead for this.

Wallison Mon 04-Feb-13 10:22:09

They even used to say Nestles on the adverts back in the day (remember 'Nestles Milky Bar'?). Not Nesslay. So although it may not have been the strictly most correct pronunciation, it was the correct one as far as common usage went. Just the same as Paris is not pronounced Paree in the UK.

One that I have noticed that seems to have changed recently is paprika. Even around 15 years ago, it was pronounced paPRIka in the UK, but more are more people seem to be saying PAprika now.

mercibucket Mon 04-Feb-13 11:02:47

i refuse to say pain au chocolat in whatever the english version is (shudder)

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