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I love listening to the English butcher (assimilate?) loanwords. Sure, other English-speaking peoples do as well, but the English in particular do it with gusto. Even McDonalds gets 'filet' mostly right.



It's kind of strange how the US pronounces French words more correctly than us Brits - I assume it's partly due to our historical disdain for those on the other side of The Channel.

In the UK it's called a 'fillit of fish' and a car with 2 doors (coupe) is called a 'koop-ay' as if there was an accent on the e


There is an accent on the "e": https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/coup%C3%A9#English


The accent is a reflection of the British pronunciation; note the original French never had an accent either. It is absolutely incorrect in America and implies a different pronunciation than anywhere but Britain.

EDIT: I am wrong.


> The accent is a reflection of the British pronunciation; note the original French never had an accent either.

The French (which is referenced in that wiktionary article) does, in fact, have the same accent.



I have never seen such an edit on the internet before.

I am amazed.

This is why I love HN.


Hah, I guess the accent got lost crossing the Atlantic then


There was an interesting piece on the local public radio station a few months back about the pronunciation (in the US) of "pecan". One of the things they talked about is that in English, words with 2 syllables generally have an emphasis on the first, while French is the other way. When we borrow a French word into English, it starts with the emphasis on the second syllable and over time it migrates to the first. For some reason, this process tends to happen faster in UK than in US, and this explains pronunciation differences in words like "garage".


In French you don't really stress individual syllables at all. According to Wikipedia [1], "only the last word in a phonological phrase retains its full grammatical stress (on its last syllable unless this is a schwa)."

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_phonology


Funny you mention pecans - Americans make a fuss when they hear my British pronunciation of 'cashew'


> fillet. Origin: Middle English (denoting a band worn round the head): from Old French filet ‘thread’, based on Latin filum ‘thread’.

If this is correct then it's not a French word, it's an English word that was long ago inspired by a different French word. So the US pronunciation is a hypercorrection.

I mean, even Americans don't pronounce gullet as "gullay".


Or "herbs". Americans say "erbs", approximating the French while the English say it like something owned by a guy named Herb.


My Australian relatives have this smelly herbal stuff they put in bowls which is apparently called 'pot poorey'...


I guess a silly joke I like won't work in the UK.

What do you a chicken coop with four doors? A chicken sedan.


First that came to mind is niche.


One thing that really surprised me was when I first started watching Top Gear: they pronounced "Mazda" and "Bugatti" with flat As (that is, they used IPA [æ] for the first occurrences of 'a' in both words). I was really taken aback by how aggressively anglicized those names.


I've noticed many Canadians do this as well with words like 'pasta' or 'lava.'


They do the same thing with Obama's first name. Along the spectrum of preserving the original pronunciation, they seem to be firmly at one end.




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