Tag Archives: Pronunciation Tip

Pronunciation tip: Einojuhani Rautavaara and Arvo Pärt

In my latest pronunciation tip I look at why we’re so needlessly skittish about Finnish and Estonian names, and I illustrate with the names of two composers (of the hear-them-on-CBC-radio variety). The scary long one isn’t the hard part.

Pronunciation tip: Champagne houses

For this week’s pronunciation tip, I’m talking about the perfect breakfast beverage: Champagne. Here’s how to say the names of several of the great houses in Champagne: Taittinger, Moët et Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Bollinger, Billecart-Salmon, Drappier, Nicolas Feuillatte, Henriot, Jacquart, Jacquesson, Krug, Lanson, Laurent-Perrier, Mumm, Perrier-Jouët, Piper-Heidsieck, Pol Roger, Pommery, Louis Roederer, Ruinart, and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin; also Reims, Épernay, and Dizy.

Oh – and if you’re thinking about visiting Champagne (or just want to know what it’s like), I have 21 tips for you.

Boston pronunciation tip: Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall

I lived in Boston for several years in the ’90s. I was back briefly recently, so I took the opportunity to make a quick pronunciation tip. Most things in Boston present no pronunciation challenges, but there are a couple worth knowing…

Pronunciation tip: Kilkenny

I first learned the name of this city in southeast Ireland from a limerick (ironically). Then I knew it as the name of an ale. Then, for some reason, I started hearing people say it as though it were a modified version of Kokanee, with the stress on the first syllable.

People. People. Here is how to say it, for heaven’s sake. Also how to drink it.

Oh, and for more Irish pronunciation tips, see Pronunciation tip: Sláinte, Céad míle fáilte and Pronunciation tip: more Irish.

Pronunciation tip: bergamot

Have a nice cup of Earl Grey tea (probably made by Twinings, but your choice). Now tell me: what’s it flavoured with? Yes, bergamot, but do you know how to say bergamot? For that matter, are you sure you know how to say Twinings? (Bonus: How about Evelyn Waugh?) Here’s my latest pronunciation tip video to get you sorted right.

Pronunciation tip: al dente

I took over a friend’s kitchen for a moment to give a tip on how to say al dente, which surprisingly many people get wrong, generally under the influence of French. Take 56 seconds to watch and find out for yourself.

Pronunciation tip: Scotch whisky

Robbie Burns Day is almost upon us, and many people are going to be trying to say the names on their bottles of Scotch and not really knowing how. Me to the rescue! Here are 27 names you might run into and how to say them: Laphroaig, Islay, Lagavulin, anCnoc, Caol Ila, Strathisla, Chivas Regal, Cardhu, BenRiach, Bruichladdich, Auchentoshan, Bunnahabhain, Knockando, Glenfiddich, GlenDronach, Glen Garioch, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, Glenrothes, Balvenie, Craigellachie, Oban, Aberlour, Edradour, Tomatin, Té Bheag, and Macallan.