Wednesday, March 17, 2010

French/English Pronunciations

We have a street called Charlesvoix
Et c’est peut-être le nom d’un roi
But in Detroit, in English, Charlesvoix
Rhymes with the phrase, City of Troy.
Yet in the French that name, d’Étroit
Rhymes as if our city were a spa.
It ain’t—but that’s Okay avec moi.


  1. Détroit rhymes with spa
    Only when said by an American Papa.

  2. Speaking American I grow annoyed
    by French mispronounciation of Detroit.

  3. And follow the waterways towards the north, and you find that where the pronunciations are more French, the spellings are changed:

    "Busha Hwy" in Marysville is "Boucher", although out-of-towners say "Bush-a".
    Then there's "Bopra" for "Beaupre".

    There's "China Twp" for the old days when they thought they were on a Northwest Passage to "La Chine", and there's an entire family Nicefield, that used to be "Beauchamp".

  4. Wonderful additions, Montag. Turns out that our house is sandwiched between a Charlesvoix to one side and a Beaupre to the other. That Beaupre then later becomes Goethe--and I leave it to you to ponder how that word is pronounced here locally.