Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > French experts: Which is correct, the D'Orsay? or the Orsay?

French experts: Which is correct, the D'Orsay? or the Orsay?

Reply

Feb 1st, 2010, 10:22 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,104
à Orsay makes a certain amount of sense, given that the Quai d'Orsay is a legitimate location, but since the French are always making "la liaison" to make the language roll off the tongue more smoothly, it seems a bit bizarre to me. Aurally, it has the same effect as Les Halles or les haricots. It kind of puts a stutter into the rhythm of the language.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 10:23 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Does it matter the name of the train station was Gare d'Orsay or before that Palais d'Orsay?

Do people still call the Centre Pompidou Beaubourg?
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 10:37 AM
  #23
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,943
I pronounce it "Dior."


Thin
ThinGorjus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:03 AM
  #24
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,278
I think that Orsay by itself might be used as a shortened subject noun form of Quai d'Orsay referring to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Michael is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 11:27 AM
  #25
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
Orsay is a town, 25 km south of Paris in Vallée de Chevreuse.
Le "Quai d'Orsay" or simply "Le Quai" refers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs just as Place Beauveau refers to the Ministry of Interior.
and
people say indifferently 'je vais voir une exposition au musée d'Orsay" or "je vais voir une expo à Orsay" because in that specific case no ambiguity is possible. If they went to an exhibition in the town of Orsay they would say "à Orsay, la ville" or "à Orsay, pas le musée".

We say à Amsterdam, à Anvers, à Auch, à Agen, à Aix (the two exceptions with towns starting with the letter "A" are "en Arles" et "en Avignon") à Eboli, à Orléans, à Oléron, à Orvieto, à Oulan Bator, à Ouagadougou etc......... I don't see what's so strange with "à Orsay".
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:03 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 897
You'd be fine saying à Orsay if you were referring to the town - towns do not take articles.

If referring to a building (Louvre, Elysée, etc) you need the article. So if you really want to leave off the Musée part then you've got to say:

Je vais à l'Orsay.

Just like:

Je vais au Louvre.

Anyway, that's my understanding... FWIW !!!

-Kevin
kevin_widrow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:21 PM
  #27
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,430
The problem, kevin, is that the building in which the Musée d'Orsay is housed is not named l'Orsay.
Padraig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:23 PM
  #28
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,067
Je vais à l'Orsay.
Je vais au Louvre.
Je vais au Quai Branly.
Je vais à l'Orangerie.
Je vais au Picasso.
Je vais au Palais de Tokyo.
Je vais au Pompidou.

That's the way Parisians talk to each other. French people form the provinces would say the full name of the museum.

But to answer the original question, nobody would ever in a million years say "le d'Orsay" just as they don't say they're going to the "du Louvre."
kerouac is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:25 PM
  #29
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,067
"from" the provinces, not "form" the provinces!
kerouac is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:31 PM
  #30
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
So those websites that said "xxx à Orsay" are wrong. I feel better now.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:48 PM
  #31
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 554
I've been guilty of referring to le musee d'Orsay as the d'Orsay, and I should know better. Now, I do. Merci! EJ
elsiejune is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:55 PM
  #32
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
I've never heard anybody say "je vais à l'Orsay".
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 12:57 PM
  #33
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,430
I defer to kerouac, but also maintain that the Parisians are wrong.
Padraig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:05 PM
  #34
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,505
"So those websites that said "xxx à Orsay" are wrong"

I'd be surprised if they were, especially Le Monde.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:30 PM
  #35
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Contraction? Like NYT headline saying 'Renoir at Met'?

I am intrigued...
Michel_Paris is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:31 PM
  #36
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,067
"Expo à Orsay" would be the journalistic way to say it.
kerouac is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:32 PM
  #37
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,430
A small research exercise -- Google hits:
"à Orsay": 112,000
"à l'Orsay": 551

Even allowing that the "à Orsay" score includes hits for the town, I find the difference in scores persuasive. Of something.
Padraig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 01:35 PM
  #38
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,430
We (participants in this discussion) are in both Google scores, so perhaps we should subtract one from each side.
Padraig is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 03:22 PM
  #39
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,067
Nobody knows where the town of Orsay is anyway.
kerouac is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2010, 04:48 PM
  #40
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,430
kerouac wrote: "Nobody knows where the town of Orsay is anyway."

How do the inhabitants get home, then?
Padraig is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:56 AM.