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The correct pronunciation of hotel is an otel? surely isnt it? with the "H" being silent? Also an prefixes it not a?
(Not a teacher)
Other words like this in English are 'restaurant' and 'café'. Some people pronounce 'restaurant' with no word-final 't' and a similar 'n' to the French language, others pronounce it with the word-final 't'. Some people pronounce 'café' with the stress on the second syllable, as French people would, and others stress the first syllable.
I think the people who say 'hotel' without the 'h' would probably be doing so consciously using the reason 'every other 'h' initial word with French origin is pronounced with a silent 'h', so 'hotel' should be no different.' I would say the majority of native English speakers who have no knowledge of etymology would pronounce the initial 'h'. These same people with no knowledge are also unlikely to pronounce 'restaurant' without the word final 't', and may also pronounce other French words incorrectly - 'beige' with a 'dg' sound like in 'badge' rather than the correct 'g' sound like in 'measure'.
Last edited by Linguist__; 17-Mar-2010 at 06:54. Reason: Clarified 'which 't'' in 'restaurant'
I read "without the t" and was thinking "Who says 'resso-rant'?" Figured out which T you meant.
In the US, hotel has an H, and a cafe is a kah-FAY
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
An 'otel has a certain charm about it, but saying an historical with an aspirated h and thinking it's some sort of upmarket style drives me up the wall.