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a silly little post with a question for those who speak French...

a silly little post with a question for those who speak French...

Old Mar 13th, 2002, 01:02 PM
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a silly little post with a question for those who speak French...

Obviously I have too much time on my hands, but I have a question. I am assuming that the word, “buffet” is French (?)

Where I live that is pronounced, “buff’ ay”, but a friend from the north of England says, “buffy” while another friend from the south of England says, “boo’ fay”…

Is there a right or wrong to this earth-shattering quandary? By the by, both of these folks pronounce fillet with a hard “t” as in “fill it”… I was taught to say, “fill lay”…

(You say tom-ato, I say tom-otto...let's call the whole thing off...)
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 01:14 PM
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It is French. None of the pronunciations you gave is exactly how the French pronounce it (we don't have the French "u" sound in English). In English I say it the same way you do. Avoid saying "boo-fay"--the French find this pronunciation quite amusing, as in French "bouffe" means "chow," and "bouffer" (pronounced "boo-fay") means "to chow down."
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 02:23 PM
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And isn't "boo-fay" Phoebe's last name?

Who, in real life, is married to a French guy. Always wondered if the producers were playing a joke on us.

Old Mar 13th, 2002, 03:22 PM
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<<...while another friend from the south of England says, “boo’ fay”…>>

I would imagine your friend gets a lot of attention with that pronunciation...
pronounced that way in French it means to 'gorge yourself' or more politely, to 'chow down' as Jahoulih said.

Jahoulih is right about that 'u' sound in words like buffet and tu.
It doesn't exist in English, so it's hard for most native English speakers to pronounce.


Old Mar 13th, 2002, 03:29 PM
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You mean she isn't a Vampire Killer?
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 03:39 PM
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A fillet refers to a fairing in, as when an aircraft wing is filleted into the fuselage. A filet is a thin slice.
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 03:47 PM
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It's one of those two nations single language moments.
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 04:11 PM
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LOL- quite funny, thank you
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 04:14 PM
Warren Buffett
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Is there really any question about how to pronounce my name?

Old Mar 13th, 2002, 04:18 PM
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No Warren, they are talking about Jimmy.
Old Mar 14th, 2002, 05:28 AM
Jimmy Buffet
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Has anyone seen my shaker of salt?
Old Mar 14th, 2002, 05:48 AM
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Good method to pronounce the word buffet in French speaking countries is to say the word dew in English and pronounce the u in buffet as you pronounce the ew in English, otherwise Americans tend to say ou,i.e. as in bouffe, which means grub or food.
If the British way is to pronounce the t in fillet, then that's the British way.
Old Mar 14th, 2002, 05:51 AM
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For help with how to pronounce the French "U", look at

There's also a page there on the "R"
Old Mar 14th, 2002, 06:31 AM
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That is an interesting and helpful site, Elaine, for French pronunciation in general. However, I very much suspect that the young woman who recorded the sounds is not native French and her pronunciation of the [u] sound is all over the place. The letter [u] and the word "tu" are fine, but listen to her "autobus" or "jupe," where she slides toward the [ou] sound. And her pronunciation of the letter [q] is flatly "cou." I'm afraid it doesn't help much for this particular sound. I swore to myself that I would stay out of these French pronunciation discussions after the one about "muguet," but I had to point out the problem on this site. If anyone knows of a better one, please let us know.

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