France24 is a great news source for just about everything having to do with France, or world news from a French perspective. Frankly, since I'm not in Paris I'm somewhat rabid about keeping up with French news, cruising the French dailies' websites, trying to keep au courant.
Yet I fail. Why, you ask? Well, partially because when I start watching half-hour panel discussions such as last week's France 24 roundtable with top Anglophone journalists in Paris, I get... distracted.
I know, I know. I should be following the substance of the discussion, and ... yet... in the mean time I am swept away by one persistent thought: Why does Alison Smale of the IHT refer to the president as sar-koh-ZEE while Mark Deen of Bloomberg refers to him as sar-KOH-zee? Didn't they referee the Proper Presidential Pronunciation before going on air?
And secretly, I am delighted. I love pronunciation battles, and this one is ripe.
On the one hand, of course, in French no syllables are accented. So officially it's pronounced sar-koh-zee, equal emphasis on all syllables; but in reality it ends up sounding a bit more like sar-koh-ZEE. Americans, on the other hand, need to find a syllable to stress in English, and somehow in popular US media, it's most often pronounced à l'américaine, sar-KOH-zee.
I still recall the mild sting of being reprimanded by my dear late friend Polly Platt for saying 'sar-KOH-zee' in mid-sentence. "But, Polly," I pleaded, "I'm speaking in English right now. When I'm talking in English, for example, I don't say 'Paree,' I say 'Pariss.' So in English I should say 'sar-KOH-zee,' as Americans do."
She didn't buy that defense, and told me it sounded ill-informed. Since I deeply admired her, in all subsequent conversations with Polly I was on my sar-koh-ZEE best.
But otherwise, I was cozy with sar-KOH-zee.
Then. The ultimate revelation: French newscasters pronounce our president's name oh-ba-MAH when discoursing in French.
But of course they should.
You say 'to-MAY-toh.' I say 'to-MAH-to.'
Let's not call the whole thing off.
Targeted Website Traffic - Webmasters helping webmasters develop high value relevant links. Promoting ethical web-marketing using the time trusted pillars of relevance and popularity.