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Re: French prononciation of English names and places

 Chancer wrote:
I understand your example of Lörrach I think, but I think you are talking about the difference in "ash" or "ach" or "ack".
But how would a German pronounce the "acher" in Schumacher, or even some Germans (there may be regional differences) would it be with two r's as Cooperlolas example "marrow"?
If you can avoid those phonetic characters in your answer it may be advisable.

My example of Lörrach was to show that there is a difference in German between "rr" and "ch".  I wasn't talking about different versions of "ch".

But anyway: the problem throughout this discussion is that we're not using phonetic characters - it would be easier if we were!  We're all trying to represent a foreign sound using the letters in our own regional pronunciation of our own national alphabet.  So when Frenchie (who I believe is French) says that something is pronounced "rr" she presumably means like "rr" in French (but does that mean as in Paris, or as in Provence?) whereas when Cooperlola (a Brit?) says the same thing it means "rr" in English (but is that as in London, or as in Glasgow?) Already we're talking about four or more different sounds for "rr".  So you can see that saying something should be pronounced like "rr" doesn't mean much.

To sidestep this confusion I'll try to answer Chancer using the symbol X from the international phonetic alphabet, which represents the sound of "ch" as in Scottish loch, also as in German Buch or BachTo the best of my knowledge this sound does not exist in French, which is why the newsreaders may have a problem.
 
Now if I were advising a French newsreader on how to pronounce Schumacher, or at least the second part of it, I would say, first: try to learn how to pronounce X, so that you can pronounce "macher" correctly: maXer or maXa  (the "r" at the end isn't important, since it's hardly pronounced anyway).   If you can't manage that, the next best thing is to pronounce it like a French "rr".  It isn't correct in German, but within the range of sounds that exist in your native French, it's about as close as you can get.

But please note: it would be useless to give that same advice to an English newsreader because none of the English varieties of "rr" is anything like X.  In my opinion, for a native English person who can't pronounce X, the next best thing would be either a very soft "k" or a rather emphatic "h".

Of course the ideal solution would be to be Scottish, but not everyone can be so lucky. 

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Re: French prononciation of English names and places

Fter aeons of hearing Bernabéu pronounced something like the french "eau" at the end, mt flabber was gasted last night when Skudder on Sky International actually correctly accentuated the final "e".

So folks, dont give up; if Skudder can, so could you!


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Re: French prononciation of English names and places

Of course, there is the Catalan "x".
Our favourite place used to be Baixas (Bash us!)
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Re: French prononciation of English names and places

 allanb wrote:
Of course the ideal solution would be to be Scottish, but not everyone can be so lucky. 
Aye, we're a bit choosy who we allow to be Scottish Big Smile [:D].
"There are some causes worth dying for - there are no causes worth killing for" Albert Camus
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Re: French prononciation of English names and places

Quite right, Rabbie, especially when it comes to the wee dram!

I mean there's whisky and there's whiskey, right?Big Smile [:D]


N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: French prononciation of English names and places

I always used to tell my pupilswith a certain amount of smugness  that as a Scot, I was blessed with having "perfect vowels". Thus I pronounce the ur digraph differently from the er one, so burn does not rhyme with fern for example. 
I have noticed that French people find it easier to imitate my accent when I speak English than that of my OH whose accent is Thames Valley, and conversely, I can reproduce the French accent fairly well. I put this apparent ease between the Scottish and French accent down to the Auld Alliance.

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Big Smile [:D]

Re: French prononciation of English names and places

<BLOCKQUOTE><table width="85%"><tr><td class="txt4"><img src="/cs/Themes/default/images/icon-quote.gif">&nbsp;<strong>You can call me Betty wrote:</strong></td></tr><tr><td class="quoteTable"><table width="100%"><tr><td width="100%" valign="top" class="txt4">I quite enjoy hearing the French rendering of Cillit Bang.<br></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></BLOCKQUOTE>

I said to the lady that I clean for the other day "Je vais avoir besoin de plus de Cillit Bang" She looked puzzled for a second then said "Ah, Silly Bong!"
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Re: French prononciation of English names and places

Try getting your French friends to distinguish between Low and Law ( as in Jude Law say): they might be able to hear it, but down here very few can say it.

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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