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The way the English talk. Bothering details

I suppose I should know the answer to this observation as an Englishman, but I don’t. I listen to the BBC news and I frequently hear the word “headquarters” pronounced as “headcorters”, “Quebec” pronounced as “Kebec” and the word “one” pronounced as “won” with the “o” as in “hot”. When I lived in England 32 years ago I never seemed to hear these pronunciations and they bother me now. I always pronounce “qu” as “qw” and “one” as “wun” (”u” as in “hut”). Are they really just affected speech fads that will die out? Merry Christmas to all

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I'm not English. But then neither is "Quebec". My impression was always that the correct French pronunciation was, basically, "Kebec".

joachim December 27, 2004, 9:22am

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I live in Quebec, and yes, it is pronounced something like "Kebec" in French, but Canada is a bilingual country so as a Canadian anglophone I can also tell you that the English population does not usually adopt the French pronounciation. Even the English population in Quebec itself.

GP December 28, 2004, 9:29am

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Hmm... I've been thinking about it more. Acutally, I think the pronounciation in French is more like "Kay-bec", whereas in English we say something like "K'bec". I tried saying something like "Qwe-bec" to myself and it just doesn't sound right. So maybe the people at BBC have it right afterall.

GP December 28, 2004, 9:32am

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I'd feel pretty silly pronouncing quiche with a qw.

Dominic December 28, 2004, 3:06pm

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When I was living in Canada, I seem to remember the broadcasters on CBC would stick to the French pronunciation.

As for all the others, I've never heard those pronunciations before, and I've lived in England most of my life.

dave December 29, 2004, 10:58pm

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As some of you know my mother tongue is Persian. Because of historical reasons, which mostly has to do with the first Iranian students going abroad to France in the 18th century, most of European words, and especially the human scince terms, are pronounced in Persian with their French pronounciation. So to me Cuebec "originaly" sounds as "kebec."
But then when I began to learn English I had a hard time to adapt my ear to the English pronounciation of the words which already been part of my mother toung. So what I hear (especialy in American accent) is "kyubec." and the U is pronounced the same as the U in Cuba the way Americans pronounce it.

goossun December 30, 2004, 3:58am

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while i am speaking pronounce is wrong

fresher_sundar January 19, 2005, 2:37am

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I love the name Joachim

marissa marchant July 4, 2005, 8:30pm

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In fact it was Kebec before it was Quebec the Q spelling came about when New France was handed over to the British at the end of the Seven Years War.
Also Canada and the concept of being Canadian was a Francophone invention by the colonialists who told their cousins in France and the rulers of New French to stop calling them French and call them Canadian instead. Long before British rule it was ordinary Francophone people who invented the concept of Canadian.

Howard January 6, 2006, 8:24pm

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Kébec in Algonquian means "place where the river narrows".

Howard January 6, 2006, 8:27pm

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