Saturday, March 14, 2009

One of those things

...that grates on your last nerve, gets under your skin, makes your teeth grind together, etc.

L. wrote about this very subject on her blog quite a while back, and ever since then I've noticed more and more people mispronouncing the French word voilá. It is not "wa-lah." It is certainly not "mwa-lah." It is "vwa-lah." Are Americans just that freaking lazy? I mean, seriously? The last straw was watching something the other day on Food Network with a chef, who really ought to know better, in my opinion, saying "And walla! You're done!" (I think it was Tyler Florence. I could be wrong.) It really jerked my chain though. Dude, come on! If someone like that can't pronounce a very common French word correctly, someone in production should have alerted him to the fact and corrected him.

I know this is a Costa Rica blog and people speak, for the most part, Spanish here, but I spoke French rather fluently long before I could speak Spanish (not anymore though, damn Spanish has replaced the more elegant French in that part of my brain that has only room for one foreign language at a time). So here's a Spanish example for you: When I lived in Monterey, California, there was (is still, I suppose) a road that runs through the main part of downtown, Calle Principal. Those of you who can speak Spanish properly will know how to pronounce this, but in California, everyone says "Cal Princy-pal." And it sounds so ridiculous. (It's "Cah-yea Prin-see-PAL" for those who don't know.) However, if you go around saying to someone, I'll meet you on Cah-yea Prin-see-PAL, no one will know where the hell you're talking about. So you have to say Cal Princy-pal, as much as it pains you to do so. For as much of California as has Spanish names (because, along with the rest of the Southwest, it was all part of Mexico not all that long ago), you'd think Californians would have some sort of clue about how to prounounce these things. They don't.

Ok, that's my rant of the day. Have a great weekend! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. haha...know exactly what you mean.... did you catch this one kind of along the same lines: