Thursday, 26 February 2009


This is a bit of a rant.
Now I can't speak French, except that if I go to France I am able to do a basic greeting and order a meal in the language.
I also may have an appalling accent, but I do know how to say words.
One of the things I was taught about French many years ago was that generally the 'T' is silent at the end of a word.

So how come UK adverts about French things have suddenly started pronouncing the T, as in MoeT I always thought the correct pronunciation was Moeay. The same is true of YSL product Touche EclaiT I thought that also had a silent 'T' as in eclair.

This means that people in this country are being taught in ignorance how to say French words in an even worse way than possibly before,as in bad accent but right essence of the word.

So how long before Renault cars become RenaulT.

Has the French language changed, or the adverts just pandering to the lowest common denominator? Which if so, is appalling and so ignorant on the UK advertising industry.

Or do I need to relearn those words with a hard 'T'

I'd love someone to tell me what is going on.


Innocent said...

On the other hand,what happened to Nestles. Now with an accent and 'Neslay'. Neslay's Milky Bar doesn't have the same feel.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Lol, I was shouting at the tv bout this very issue recently! BG x

Fire Byrd said...

Ah yes Innocent, but nestles is Swiss, and they are a law unto themselves

BG I'm glad I'm not the only one!!

Angela said...

I know how you feel when languages are being messed up out of ignorance (no wonder the French alsways duck away when someone tries to talk with them in so-called French). I have a German former class mate who teaches German and French in Bath, and she says nobody seems to have any interest in languages, EveryĆ³ne thinks that English is enough.
And that`s too bad, because both languages are so rich and beautiful!! Doesn`t "Qu`est-ce que vouz voulez" sound so much more sophisticated than "Waddayawant?" hahaha, or "Womit kann ich Ihnen dienen?" (how can I serve you?)
Right Mandy, break a lance for languages!

Angela said...

I meant, how do you like the German saying... German is a really expressive language. In my dictionary i find so many extra words for things that English only describes (to eat noisily - schmatzen!). Now I stop.
(veri word is paines - I bet they read what we write here!)

trousers said...

I agree, fb, I do - but I wonder if certain regional accents might pronounce the "t" sometimes? I could be wrong.

But I do remember being in the south of France, and hearing ends of words (not with a "t", admittedly) being pronounced whereas you normally wouldn't expect it. Such as ce soir, which in the south sounded like ce soir-ugh!

Just a thought, anyway.


Lori ann said...

Could it be a trend? my daughter in her 4th year French said they are being taught the silent T. To me its gorgeous either way.But I can see your concern. personally, i LOVE your British accent(or is that my American??)
love, lori

Mei Del said...

perhaps they're people who purposely mispronounce like we do when we say grauniad :p

but seriously it could be a regional variation? i know the darling who hails from the sud ouest sometimes sounds the last consonants of his (trench) sentence!

Fire Byrd said...

Both adverts are on National television. Moet was being used to sponser the Oscars. And touche eclait is seen as the wonder skin make up. So I think it is delibrate and therefore shocking in it's ignorance.

Meg said...

Actually, Chandon is the French half, and Moet is German. (It has an umlaut, but I can't do it on this keyboard). That's why it's not silent.

I find it maddening that people put on a faux French accent for a non-French word. Especially in Australia, where it sounds like you're talking with a mouthful of marbles no matter how hard you try...

Meg said...

I know it's only wikipedia, but check out the section on pronunciation...

Walker said...

Its the same with most languages that have words used by another language.
I read and hear Greek words pronounce badly because they are written with the same style as the origional but the letters are used differenntly.
Same with French, I do speak enough to stay out of trouble's still English French not French French