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  1. #31

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    As long as the other party understands what you want and vice versa, mispronouncing words doesn't bother me.

    I wonder how the Japanese pronounce Guerlain... the problem is probably not just in the US.
    Japanese would be something along the lines of: Geh-ruuu-rain-uuu

  2. #32

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    LOL, Primrose, that is always what I think of...I was trying to find Lancome's Cuir in my local dept stores, and they all looked at me like I had launched a slur....

    I don't judge honest attempts, I myself am no language whiz. I have full respect for a skilled local SA who struggles to the point of just saying that she likes "Kiss of the Dragon" because she can't wrangle "Baiser du Dragon." What is really annoying, though, is the people who are supercilious and judgmental about pronounciation, when yours is closer to correct!

    It's one thing to struggle with "Cuir," it's another to look at a customer who pronounces it in an approximation of French and say "Oh, dear. I think you mean 'Choir.'"
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  3. #33

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    LOL, Primrose, that is always what I think of...I was trying to find Lancome's Cuir in my local dept stores, and they all looked at me like I had launched a slur....

    I don't judge honest attempts, I myself am no language whiz. I have full respect for a skilled local SA who struggles to the point of just saying that she likes "Kiss of the Dragon" because she can't wrangle "Baiser du Dragon." What is really annoying, though, is the people who are supercilious and judgmental about pronounciation, when yours is closer to correct!

    It's one thing to struggle with "Cuir," it's another to look at a customer who pronounces it in an approximation of French and say "Oh, dear. I think you mean 'Choir.'"
    Do you think "Old Lady Perfume" is a compliment? Join the Scent of an Old Woman Social Group and chat in-depth about vintage and classic fragrances!


    *~~________________________________________~~*

  4. #34

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by YouCanCallMeMo View Post
    It's one thing to struggle with "Cuir," it's another to look at a customer who pronounces it in an approximation of French and say "Oh, dear. I think you mean 'Choir.'"
    I'd just stare at them and ask, "That's an interesting pronunciation. Where did you learn to speak French? Laay-cole des imbeciles?*"

    *: You don't need to understand French to know what this means.
    Q: How do you make a feminine fragrance masculine?
    A: Add 'Pour Homme' to the bottle
    - Pierre Bourdon

  5. #35

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by SirSlarty View Post
    As long as the other party understands what you want and vice versa, mispronouncing words doesn't bother me.

    I wonder how the Japanese pronounce Guerlain... the problem is probably not just in the US.
    Actually, the Japanese and Chinese don't even bother: they re-invent the names using their own characters.

    In Cantonese for example, ordering a Coke would be: 'Ho lok'. Renault, the car manufacturer, would be: 'Leu nok'. The Japanese probiotic drink Yakult would be: 'Yik lik doh' in Cantonese.

    No chance of pronouncing that wrong anymore.
    Last edited by Stereotomy; 10th December 2009 at 01:45 AM.
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  6. #36
    ECaruthers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by YouCanCallMeMo View Post
    It's one thing to struggle with "Cuir," it's another to look at a customer who pronounces it in an approximation of French and say "Oh, dear. I think you mean 'Choir.'"
    :brolly:
    Perhaps the SA was struggling with political correctness. For all I know a national association of American high school French teachers have decided it should be taught that way. I appologize to everyone in France, from France, or who has taken the trouble to learn French. I hope it never happens in a Brazillion years. But for some reason I can't stop smiling at the thought. I promise to go to bed before any other such thoughts occur.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    The development of the English language is deeply intertwined with French. English adaptions of French words can be found throughout the English lexicon, and the practice of anglicizing French words is well established over the past thousand years. For example, you can pronounce the "s" is Paris without anyone accusing you of mispronouncing it.

    Because of this special relationship, it is perfectly acceptable to pronounce French words in an English manner when in an English country, and they should be easily understood by native English speakers. I don't think it is fair or polite to poke fun at people who have not had the benefit of education in the French language, even if their job is to sell French perfume. This is essentially snobbery.

  8. #38

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Ah, bless you, Louslice. I would think the SAs should be trained to not intimidate rather than to be oh-so-perfect. I don't speak French, and although I wish I had a talent for languages, I don't. I actually get the giggles when I hear an English-speaking American trying too hard to be linguistically accurate when throwing a non-English word or phrase at another English-speaking American. So over-the-top Frazier and Niles!

  9. #39

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Louslice View Post
    ...it is perfectly acceptable to pronounce French words in an English manner when in an English country, and they should be easily understood by native English speakers.
    Yes, it occurred to be that maybe the SAs are mispronouncing the words because most of their customers don't speak French and better understand the "Americanized" versions of French perfume names. We get a little wrapped up in our expertise here sometimes, and it's important to step back and remember that most people do not share our perfume passion or knowledge.

    Hell, I probably have worse pronunciation than most of the SA's we're ranting about here.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 11th December 2009 at 10:07 PM.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  10. #40
    Dependent knit at nite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    Yes, it occurred to be that maybe the SAs are mispronouncing the words because most of their customers don't speak French and better understand the "Americanized" versions of French perfume names. We get a little wrapped up in our expertise here sometimes, and it's important to step back and remember that most people do not share our perfume passion or knowledge.

    Hell, I probably have worse pronunciation than most of the SA's we're ranting about here.

    One also never knows what kind of reaction one will get to speaking a foreign language in the US. Example- I'm at a bar and order Lillet (le-lay).the server says what?? I change the pronounciation to Li-LET. I get my drink.
    At another bar (not the same night) I decide not to go throught that experience again and ask for a Li-Let. The server says, "Don't you mean le-lay???" Can't win for trying.

    Another poster mentioned it was Ok to americanize french words, which certainly has precedent, and I agrree. (the pronounciation of Paris, menu, restaurant) are examples of this. But how the sam hill did that SA get the word CHOIR out of the letters CUIR? regional accent???

  11. #41

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    haha.. dude, what you said is so true, but don't get frustrated, we can't blame them. communication is supposed to be effective on both side, pound them with words until they understand, if they still can't then write it down. if they still dont know, now you know it's time for their mouth to shake hands with your knuckles, well, only if there's no other higher authority than them in presence.

  12. #42

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by knit_at_nite View Post
    One also never knows what kind of reaction one will get to speaking a foreign language in the US. Example- I'm at a bar and order Lillet (le-lay).the server says what?? I change the pronounciation to Li-LET. I get my drink.
    At another bar (not the same night) I decide not to go throught that experience again and ask for a Li-Let. The server says, "Don't you mean le-lay???" Can't win for trying.

    Another poster mentioned it was Ok to americanize french words, which certainly has precedent, and I agrree. (the pronounciation of Paris, menu, restaurant) are examples of this. But how the sam hill did that SA get the word CHOIR out of the letters CUIR? regional accent???
    Just as when one works in a restaurant, one must learn how to say what is on the menu. Who would respect a server who worked in, say, a French, Japanese or Mexican restaurant, but could not say the dishes on the menu?

    As many perfumes have French-derived names, I would appreciate the *effort* of the SA who at least attempted to say the names correctly. I visibly winced when one SA said "Parfumz Dee-Orsay" of my beloved Parfums D'Orsay... LOL!
    "The sunset is deeper and longer. The scent of the jasmine is stronger." Miracles. Pet Shop Boys

    "Thick dome of jasmine
    (Under the dense canopy where the white jasmine),
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    (That blends with the rose),"
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  13. #43

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Quote Originally Posted by ECaruthers View Post
    :brolly:
    Perhaps the SA was struggling with political correctness. For all I know a national association of American high school French teachers have decided it should be taught that way. I appologize to everyone in France, from France, or who has taken the trouble to learn French. I hope it never happens in a Brazillion years. But for some reason I can't stop smiling at the thought. I promise to go to bed before any other such thoughts occur.
    When I was in high school, I took French (my pronounciation is still not going to make a snob of me, it's no where near perfect) and my french teachers struggled with the pronounciation, so most of my class spoke with an equally horrid accent. I had the good fortune to know a french speaking family (mon primere petit amie) so I came away with an understandable, if imperfect, accent.

    So even people who have learned French in America may learn it with a bad pronounciation and think it's correct if they have no one to tell them better- be charitable in your thoughts, you never know the back story.
    Last edited by wren08; 12th December 2009 at 12:20 PM. Reason: correct spelling

  14. #44

    Default Re: Rant: 'Dumb down' just to be understood by SAs...

    Well, I am forced to "dumb down" both the correct pronunciations and my foreign language skills in general whenever I want an SA to actually sell me a fragrance (almost the same phenomenon happening to me in luxurious gourmet restaurants, with authorized retailers of Swiss watches or French wines and the list may go on).

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