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    English missing

    pronunciation of par excellence

    Subject

    pronunciation of par excellence

    Comment
    How do you pronounce par excellence in English?
    As the French do?
    Anglo-French?
    Treating the words as English words?
    Authorlate bird (666148) 24 Sep 16, 17:32
    Comment
    It's not the most common expression, so I can't draw on a recollection of having heard the term very often, but I'd go with a kind of hybrid pronounciation:

    "par" as in English; certainly with an English R
    "excellence" NOT as in English, but with the accent on the last syllable and with the N not pronounced, but the vowel nasalized (approaching the French).



    #1AuthorMartin--cal (272273) 24 Sep 16, 17:43
    Comment
    [pɑːr ˈɛks(ə)l(ə)ns]
    French: [paʀ ɛksɛ'lɑ̃s]
    #2AuthorReinhard W. (237443) 24 Sep 16, 17:44
    Comment
    I defer to #2, if that's what the dictionary says. (I may have been too influenced by a smattering of French.)
    #3AuthorMartin--cal (272273) 24 Sep 16, 17:46
    Comment
    I agree with Martin--cal.
    #4AuthorSpike BE (535528) 24 Sep 16, 18:19
    Comment
    +1
    #5Authorwienergriessler (925617) 24 Sep 16, 18:26
    Comment
    Die Franzosen binden die beiden Wörter. Ohne glottal stop.
    #6AuthorBraunbärin (757733) 24 Sep 16, 18:35
    Comment
    Re: 1 & 2: If I understand the dfinition in #1 correctly, I think you're actually saying the same thing (i.e. no need to defer!).

    Cambridge transcribes the pronunciation thus:
    UK / ˌpɑːrˌek.se ˈlɑ̃ːns / US / ˌpɑːrˌek.se ˈlɑ̃ːns /

    Oxford transcribes it thus:
    (UK) /pɑːr ˈɛks(ə)l(ə)ns/

    And when I click on the "play" button for the UK versions on the respective sites, they basically sound the same to me, despite the different transcription.
    #7AuthorSP (UK) (792698) 24 Sep 16, 18:43
    Comment
    ˈlɑ̃ːns

    is the pronunciation we all agree is right -- i.e., more or less like
    French, with a little more N. There is of course no glottal stop, and the R is English.

    The Oxford pronunciation cited in #7 (and #2a), with the first syllable accented and a schwa in the last syllable, is actually that for the English word 'excellence.' I can't imagine anyone using that pronunciation today in this French phrase, but maybe some BE speakers did at some time in history.
    #8Authorhm -- us (236141) 24 Sep 16, 20:43
    Comment
    I agree with hm -- us about the Oxford transcription which suggests that 'excellence' is pronounced entirely as in English: very strange.

    And Oxford's own audio pronunciation doesn't agree with its transcription - as SP (UK) has noted, in their 'UK' recordings Oxford and Cambridge both have the same pronunciation, with the nasal vowel.

    Cambridge too is inconsistent: its transcription places the main stress on the final syllable, while, in my opinion, its UK recording places it on the 'ex-', with a secondary stress on '-lence'.

    While I too would have said that I agree with Martin--cal in #1, I think that in Britain we do in fact often stress the 'ex-'.

    I wonder if, as a general rule, the audio recordings on these dictionary sites are more up-to-date than the transcriptions.
    #9AuthorHecuba - UK (250280) 24 Sep 16, 22:47
    SuggestionParr excelaans
    Comment
    Like #1 I think here in US Midwestom
    #10AuthorJoshuaCoppersmith (1143452) 25 Sep 16, 01:36
    Comment
    Anglo-French, I'd say. That's to say, with an English r and no nasalization (the last syllable like the first in 'answer'). Stress on the last syllable. That seems to be what #10 says too.
    #11Authorescoville (237761) 25 Sep 16, 09:48
    Comment
    I agree with Martin (#1): It's not the most common expression (in American usage).

    That said, I have heard it, though mostly on TV--and I have heard it pronounced in various ways.

    IMO, most Americans have never said or written the word(s)--though most would understand its general meaning--and very few would be sure of the correct pronunciation.

    I know what it means, but I think I have never attempted to use the expression, because I am unsure exactly how it is "supposed to be" pronounced. (It's remarkably easy, btw, to go through life without ever using this expression. ;-))
    #12AuthorHappyWarrior (964133) 25 Sep 16, 10:06
     
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