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Words you cannot pronounce


Chancer

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There are some words that I hear and when I say them am convinced that I have correctly mimicked the pronunciation but they are never ever understood by a local French speaker.

I now dread to use these words as the outcome is always the same, I repeatedly pronounce the word with slightly different inflection untill it dawns on them what mot I am mashing, then I am forced to endure a listen and repeat session where I am convinced that I am repeating it properly (I am a good mimic) but my attempts just result in huge laughter.

Actually I am always happy to be corrected and to practice the pronuciation, most people are too polite/timid to try to help me but some words I just cannot pronounce correctly for the Picard ear yet I have no problem with in other areas of France, I think it's because outside of my area people have had at least some contact with other nationalities.

The two words that are my bête noir are Douille and Panhard.

What are yours or do you not experience this problem?

 

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Chancer, your post has reminded me of this thread:

http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1677294/ShowPost.aspx

Everytime I think I have got something right, I come across something else that needs addressing.  Mind you, when I listen to some other people, I feel almost gleeful that, whilst far from perfect, I'm not as bad as them![:P]

Case of childish delight in the downfall of others, I'm afraid.[:D]

Allez, come visit, and let's see how your Charentais is.....

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Pierre, your contributions on that previous thread still make me laugh, on re-reading.

That volcano, yes, Icelandic must be something else!  Gotta be even worse than French (and that's saying something!)

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Yes a Panhard is a old French car make, also known as Panhard Levassor or P&L.

There is no way that I can write how it is pronounced locally but no consonants are heard at all, it sounds like the grunting utterance of a neanderthal or a depressed adolescent, mind you thats true of most Picard speech but Panhard is an extreme example, of course I understand it when it is spoken to me (the context is usually the biggest clue) and once heard never forgotten but it don't seem to work in reverse.

No matter how many times I ask my neighbour if he has a certain douille that I could borrow, I have to go through the whole performance again, next time I shall give him un coup de pied in the couilles as an aide memoire [6]

I just dont know where I am going wrong other than I dont have a problem in other regions.

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This, that and the other    is a nightmare for us French speakers. I had real problems for a long time with the English version of 'anemone'.

When I first met my English OH, I told him I still f*****d by sumb - he was most surprised (but not as much as I was when I realised what I had said).

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[quote user="Swissie"]This, that and the other    is a nightmare for us French speakers. I had real problems for a long time with the English version of 'anemone'.
When I first met my English OH, I told him I still f*****d by sumb - he was most surprised (but not as much as I was when I realised what I had said).
[/quote]

I reckon somewhere along the way the English and the French got there anemones mixed up or at least the pronunciation thereof.

I dont understand your f*****d by sumb [8-)]

PP My neighbour, the andoillette is the one that calls me an enfoiré [:D]

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We have less trouble with OH's name in France since we started saying 'comme Graham  Greene'. It still sounds very interesting, but is now recognisable when somebody calls to him in town.

Norman, that's interesting; French friends who've visited our UK home have great trouble with the English word! It often ends up with a 'v' in it.

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But, sometimes, it's the most COMMON words that give the Brits problems.  I don't know whether to groan or smile when someone talks about "tray" when they mean très!

I wonder whether I should be looking around forsomeone bringing me something to eat on a, well, plateau I suppose.  I then imagine a giant/giantess bringing food on a mountain with a flat top.....and then I.........!!!  You see the difficulty?  Never could resist ridiculous mental images.

It's naughty to poke fun, I know, but wouldn't life be soooooo boring if we never did anything naughty?

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Talking of mental images Sweet - I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw the sign  'HEAVY PLANT CROSSING' when I first arrived in England. Also the very large sign outside the Garden Centre that sold sheds  'FREE ERECTION'   and a bit further on the same Surrey road    'SOFT VERGE' - images indeed.

It took my English husband almost 30 years to know the difference between his 'cou' and his 'cul'.

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[quote user="rowland"]Since buying our house in France my husband has a split personality - Keith at home and Keet in France. I think he now prefers to be called Keet.[/quote]Funny because my friend Keith is always called Kees by his French neighbours.  They even wrote me a note for him once and spelt it that way!

 

I think one of the toughest things for English speakers is dessus and dessous, given that they mean the opposite.

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