We are not going to redo the history of France for you: our beautiful country has been divided for decades by debates on the pronunciation of certain words, as shown by the unusual map of France of accents according to the regions. But there are still a few things we can agree on, namely the mispronunciation of certain words that NO ONE says correctly. So now we stop the pain au chocolat/chocolatine debate and we focus on the real issues, thank you.
1. The Mölkky
Since Mölkky is a Finnish game, we too often forget that its pronunciation is therefore Finnish and that it has nothing to do with “Molle-qui”. We are rather on a very charming “Meule-cul”. Laugh, laugh, but in the meantime, it’s not you who makes a 12 the first time.
There is nothing better to irritate a native Breton than mispronouncing the name of his favorite pastry. Because in the Breton language, the “couigne-amane” is actually pronounced “couigne-amende” without the D. Genre “En-ne”. “Squeal-amen-ne”. It also works for diwan schools, Breton schools, which are not pronounced “Diwane” suddenly but “Diwen-ne”. I love the Bretons.
Attention, big revelation, we do not say a “con-ssen-ssuss” but “con-ssin-ssuss”. You’ll find out for the next family meal where you can finally shine like the 43-year-old single super uncle that you are.
4. The eyebrow
When you go to the beautician to have your single eyebrow waxed, no longer say “sour-cile” but “sour-ci”. All dictionaries will tell you that the L was only pronounced when the Latin word “supercilium” was used. And Bam.
The word “tagliatelle” comes from “tagliato”, the past participle of the verb “tagliare” which means “to cut”. And yet my friends, however, the pronunciation of the G is prohibited, as the Petit Robert and the Larousse kindly tell us. It is therefore necessary to pronounce “Taliatèle”. And if you really want to play it Italian, you can say “taliaaaaateeeleeé, maaa quéé”. You will be welcomed with open arms.
A pillow, a cake or a spouse’s belly may be softer than softness, but you should always say “moileu” instead of the usual “mouleu”. Still.
7. A challenge
So yes, maybe we don’t use this word every five mornings, but at least you’ll be ready for when you want to talk about a slightly crazy bet you’re embarking on (like getting your license before Christmas, not to us, not to us). Result, we do not say “gajeure” but “gajure” because as in the first name Georges, the E is silent. What a bastard that is.
The pronunciation of “sempiternal” is an eternal question. While we tend to say very innocently “sen-pi-ter-nèl”, we should actually say “sin-pi-ter-nèl”. Ah yes, it is subtle.
9. A ward
We tend to believe that, by its spelling, the word “pupil” is close to “make-up” or even “rillettes” if we go in this direction. But in fact, nay, “pupil” should not be pronounced “pupi-yeu” but “pupi-le”. Like the island you’re going to move to to stay as far away as possible from all those complicated French rules.
10. A diary
For back to school, you’ll be on top of the hype if you say you bought a new “a-jin-da” instead of a new “a-jen-da”. Better to start the year on a good footing.
11. A bougainvillea
If you want to offer a bougainvillea plan to your surgeon to thank him for removing the 15 cm cyst that you have at the level of the phalanx of the right ring finger, be sure to know how it is said before. Because we don’t pronounce “bougainvi-yé” but “but “bouguinvi-lé” according to the French Academy.
One might think that like “wriggle”, “shine” or “grill”, the word “oscillate” would be said “o-ssi-yé”. But WHAT SLAB! We waver in surprise… It’s actually called “o-ssi-lé” as in “distill” and “instill”. Life has a new flavor now.
You are going to have a big hallu but all the words that start with this surprising Œ are not pronounced “eu” but “é”. So no longer say “Eu-sophage” but “esophagus”, no longer say “Eu-dipe” but “é-dipe”, no longer say “eu-nologie” but “é-nologie”. I know it’s crazy but life is made of that kind of crazyness.