Chez Hélène - pronunciation

  • #1
DaveC426913
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This show was broadcast on CBC TV in the 60s. Does anyone remember it?

I am looking for the pronunciation for it.

Specifically, is the 'z' pronounced? Note that there may be a discrepancy between the 'correct' pronunciation and the way the show pronounced it - I don't know - that that is relevant.
 

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  • #3
DaveC426913
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Yeah, Ive explored the pronunciation of the individual words. Not conclusive.
 
  • #4
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I'll take a stab at it- sheh ze laine'

The 'z' at the end of chez isn't normally pronounced, but if the following word starts with a vowel or a silent letter like h, then the z would be pronounced.

There's an area near Seattle named Beaux Artes, which is pronounced bo zarts. On its own, I believe beau (singular adjective) and beaux (plural adjective) would be pronounce the same, but for the reason I gave above, the 'x' is pronounced.

Something similar is what I've come to believe is the origin of the name of a mountainous area in Arkansas (and SE Missouri), the Ozarks. A map I saw some years ago showed the region back when the French owned it, with some mountains labelled Eaux Arcs (water arcs = rainbows?), which would be pronounced much the same as the current spelling.

Moi deux cents...
 
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  • #5
PeroK
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  • #7
PeroK
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Shez- hell-ane is how I would say it

Hard Z and H and draw out the -ane slightly
According to Google translate, or whatever it is, this may be an exception. For "chez Helene" it gives "shay aylen". Whereas, "chez Henri" would be "shayz-ongree".

The webpage I linked to mentions exceptions, but my French is faily basic.
 
  • #8
pinball1970
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According to Google translate, or whatever it is, this may be an exception. For "chez Helene" it gives "shay aylen". Whereas, "chez Henri" would be "shayz-ongree".

The webpage I linked to mentions exceptions, but my French is faily basic.
Chez nous – Z silent “Shay new”

Shay elane – presents a difficulty between y and Z and E for me- the other way flows more
I know more French than German say but my pronunciation is pretty awful. Its something one needs to practice.
 
  • #9
pbuk
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According to Google translate, or whatever it is, this may be an exception. For "chez Helene" it gives "shay aylen".
I agree, and so does the show's host Hélène Baillargeon (that is I agree it is an exception, I don't agree that 'ay' is the correct vowel sound: it should be much shorter than that, more like in 'egg'; also there is no 'g' sound in Henri).

I believe The reason this is an exception to the rule for Beaux Arts (if it were Artes then it would be Belles Artes) etc. is that the vowel sound in '...ez Hé...' is repeated and therefore easy to articulate.

Bear in mind also that this was a Canadian programme and French Canadian ≠ French.
 
  • #10
jack action
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«ez» has the exact same pronunciation as «é» in french (anyway, in that context). So «Ché Hélène» or - using a more english sound - «Chay Hélène»; no «z», no «H» no liaison, whatsoever.

It's is pronounced like the same «ez» found in «Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?»

The literal translation is «Hélène's» or «at Hélène's» as in «Wendy's» or «at McDonald's». Apparently, «chez» comes from the Latin «casa» which means «house».
 
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  • #11
pbuk
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Something similar is what I've come to believe is the origin of the name of a mountainous area in Arkansas (and SE Missouri), the Ozarks. A map I saw some years ago showed the region back when the French owned it, with some mountains labelled Eaux Arcs.
Sure that wasn't 'aux Arcs'?

(water arcs = rainbows?)
rainbows are 'les arcs-en-ceil' (arcs in the sky). 'Water arcs' would be 'les arcs d'eau' (arcs of water) or 'les arcs en l'eau' (arcs in the water).

Moi deux cents...
Mes deux cents... :-p

(Apologies for multiple edits - I'm having a bad day too...)
 
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  • #12
Keith_McClary
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This seems to pronounce the final e in Hélène:

 
  • #13
pbuk
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This seems to pronounce the final e in Hélène:
I don't think so; this is more about how the vowel modifies the pronunciation of the final consonant (which is more pronounced in some French regional accents than others). For instance listen to how the speaker pronounces the English word 'name' at about 0:09: would you say he pronounces the final 'e'?

This is similar to the way in French poetry and song lyrics it is common to add an 'extra' syllable where it suits the scansion, for example the nursery song D'où viens-tu bergère:

 
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  • #14
PeroK
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I agree, and so does the show's host Hélène Baillargeon (that is I agree it is an exception, I don't agree that 'ay' is the correct vowel sound: it should be much shorter than that, more like in 'egg'; also there is no 'g' sound in Henri).
I can't legislate for what I presume is your English pronunciation. The 'e' in egg to me is more like the French 'è' and 'é' is the sound in 'say'. There are few diphthongs in my Scottish vowels.

I don't pronounce the 'g' in 'ong' - and although it's not quite right, it's the nearest I could get to the French 'en'.

PS I pronounce the 'g' in 'longer', but not in 'long'. And in 'finger' (although I didn't used to!). But not in 'singer' or 'bringer'.
 
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  • #15
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Sure that wasn't 'aux Arcs'?
Your could be right; I might have misremembered what I read on the map, but it still makes my point about how the following letter alters the pronunciation of the preceding z, x, or s.

Mes deux cents... :-p
I must have been absent that day in class ...
 
  • #16
PeroK
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I don't think so; this is more about how the vowel modifies the pronunciation of the final consonant (which is more pronounced in some French regional accents than others). For instance listen to how the speaker pronounces the English word 'name' at about 0:09: would you say he pronounces the final 'e'?
When I was learning a bit of French, one of the French speakers emphasised the final consonant to such an extent that it almost sounded like he was pronouncing the final 'e'. I always remember he said: "une assiette anglaise' with almost an unvoiced vowel at the end of each word.
 
  • #17
DaveC426913
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I agree, and so does the show's host Hélène Baillargeon
Perfect. This is exactly what I was looking for.

My intuition said that liaisons are the general case (thanks for that, PeroK) - and are mostly optional - but that this show had its name and that was its name.

The show creator pronounces it "Shay 'elen". QED.
 
  • #18
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Perfect. This is exactly what I was looking for.

My intuition said that liaisons are the general case (thanks for that, PeroK) - and are mostly optional - but that this show had its name and that was its name.

The show creator pronounces it "Shay 'elen". QED.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspirated_h

Liaisons don't apply when you have ,(,as in this case) an "aspirated "h" following a "z" in "chez" (or an "s" in "les" ,for another example,)

The above list doesn't show people's names.Maybe the rules are more relaxed in those cases
 
  • #19
fluidistic
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French native speaker here. I know of no exception here, the z in the ''chez X'' is never pronounced I would say. When X is the name of a person. No liaison there.
 
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  • #20
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What about other potential liaisons with names of people when they are preceded by prepositions (or other forms of the language) apart from "chez"?

Might there be some exceptions or do all personal names beginning with a vowel ,to the best of your knowledge exhibit this lack of liaison?

What about ,for instance "Le bon Antoine?" Could that be said either way?
 
  • #21
jack action
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What about other potential liaisons with names of people when they are preceded by prepositions (or other forms of the language) apart from "chez"?

Might there be some exceptions or do all personal names beginning with a vowel ,to the best of your knowledge exhibit this lack of liaison?

What about ,for instance "Le bon Antoine?" Could that be said either way?
'ez' pronounced as 'é' is a special case in French that comes from I don't know where. It is not a "normal" way (grammatically speaking) of writing that sounds. It is literally a direct replacement of the letter 'é' and therefore there are no liaisons possible.

Another more popular case would be the same sound 'é' written as 'er'. Here the same principle applies: You can literally replace 'er' with 'é' and therefore no liaisons are possible with the 'r' and a following vowel.

Here's an example including both cases: Vous voudriez aller à l'école. (You would like to go to school.) It could be [phonetically] written as Vous voudrié allé à l'école (no liaisons between vowels) and not something like Vous voudrié'z'allé'r'à l'école.

With "le bon Antoine", the 'n' is a consonant that is clearly pronounced, and the liaison with the following vowel is unavoidable.
 
  • #23
jack action
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So "chez un de nous" has no liaison?
I would have pronounced it.
I wouldn't. Although, it doesn't sound weird doing the liaison.

Reading this example made me think of another example: "chez eux." There is clearly a liaison there, and I never heard it without one. Edit: Now I read your link and saw also "chez elle" and "allez-y", which also clearly need the liaison. But, from your link, the following rule baffles me:

La liaison est aussi obligatoire entre une préposition ne comportant qu’une syllabe et le mot qui suit.

Which states the liaison must be done with a single-syllable preposition (like 'chez'). At first, I read a preposition followed by a single-syllable word, which could have made sense to me. "Chez Albert" has clearly no liaison to me, I can't imagine anyone saying otherwise, and it sounds weird hearing the liaison. It sounds like someone who is lisping.

Full disclosure: French is my maternal language and I use it every day.
 
  • #24
fluidistic
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Yes, when the word after chez is not a name, liaison is possible (and always present?). Otherwise it would feel like chez Antoine means that the dude is called Zantoine.
 
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