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  1. #11
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yeah, but come on. You all say pop-yay ma-shay!

    And by the way, the proper pronunciation of that school is no-der DAYM.
    All of us? No! I say "papp-ee-ay mash-ay".

    As far as general pronunciation of foreign words goes, I think it really depends on how familiar one is with the original language. I speak French so I know how "papier mch" is pronounced in French, and that's how I say it. The same goes, for me, for "Notre Dame" - "not-ruh dam", with the relevant guttural "r" sound (sorry about the poor phonetics attempt!)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. #12
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    American English has a lot of place names and other words borrowed from French. (We plan to give them back someday, honest!) Pronouncing them la franaise would sound precious. So it's bat'n rouzh, nohter dame, paper muhshay, etc.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #13
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    In Canada, French is to English as Spanish is to English in the USA. In many parts of Canada you are likely to hear French words given their French pronunciation more or less, allowing for the fact that a French person would find the Quebec accent pretty thick.

  4. #14
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    All of us? No! I say "papp-ee-ay mash-ay". . . .
    Yeah, exactly that's what I meant. Here it's PAYper muSHAY.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. #15
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yeah, exactly that's what I meant. Here it's PAYper muSHAY.
    I can get my head around the stress on the wrong syllable of the second word, for those who don't know where it comes in the original French. However, I have never understood how anyone can pronounce "papier" the same as "paper". Do you literally just ignore that "i" in the middle?!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #16
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I can get my head around the stress on the wrong syllable of the second word, for those who don't know where it comes in the original French. However, I have never understood how anyone can pronounce "papier" the same as "paper". Do you literally just ignore that "i" in the middle?!
    Yup. It's a very old borrowing. I think it likely that we'd pronounce it much closer to the French if we were adding it to American vocabulary today. In the 1920s (or whenever the phrase arrived on our shores), I imagine the "i" was dropped because the stuff was clearly something that had been done to paper.

    The stress is wrong whether you say "MUH-shay" or "muh-SHAY". French doesn't have word stress. I maintain that the American habit of stressing the second syllable of borrowed bisallybic words is more likely to match how such words are produced by Francophones. The rising intonation that often marks the ends of sentences is perceived as stress to an American ear.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 25-Feb-2021 at 22:45.
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  7. #17
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    I think it's more precise to say that French doesn't have stressed syllables. It is monotonic.

  8. #18
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I maintain that the American habit of stressing the second syllable of borrowed bisallybic words is more likely to match how such words are produced by Francophones.
    Yes, I think that's right. One case that comes to mind that might show this well is with words with accented past participle endings. For example, British/Irish speakers would typically say fiance whereas (I think) an American would typically say fiance. Right?

  9. #19
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Yes, I think that's right. One case that comes to mind that might show this well is with words with accented past participle endings. For example, British/Irish speakers would typically say fiance whereas (I think) an American would typically say fiance. Right?
    Yes, but I haven't noticed the accent being a factor. I'll try to listen for it.

    We hardly ever stress anything but the final syllable of recently-borrowed French words over here.
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  10. #20
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: pronunciation of j in foreign names

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    British/Irish speakers would typically say fiance whereas (I think) an American would typically say fiance. Right?
    In Canada we cleave to the BrE pronunciation with the stress on the second syllable. This is an unusual case because normally we use American pronunciation and British spelling.

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