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mispronunciations and others


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my ballet teacher is fond of the step 'temps de cuisse', which she continually pronounces as 'temps le twist'. (which, incidentally, when i asked my friend on what it mean, told me 'cooking time' :crying: )


what are some of the more interesting pronunciations or definitions that you've heard for ballet steps?

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I've heard "kyewpay" in place of "coupé" (and also used in place of sur le cou de pied, but that's another matter), pas de zhah, and sullaculla pee-ay instead of "sur le cou de pied." Also, developpé (very vehemently accented) and all manner of variations on "fouetté", such as "foytay," "FOO-e-tay," "Fwah-tay," &c.

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When I started with my second, originally Russian, teacher, it took me ages to realise what she meant by "al las cond" (à la seconde, naturally). My main teacher says "antresha caht-ter", with a very pronounced Finnish 'r' in the end (for entrechat quatre), and for some reason that irks me more than any of the other Finlandized pronounciations you get around here. (I assure you there are a lot of them.) :)


(But those are not mispronounciations as such, just foreign (to French) accents, so I'm not sure if they count in this thread. B))

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The worst mispronunciation I've heard was actually the result of a misconception as to the meaning of the word. Once of my teachers pronounced the “penchée” in arabesque penchée as “pan-say.” Turns out he thought it was “arabesque pincée,” because you pinch your leg and back together.

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Oh, my ballet teacher used to tell me off all mispronounciations she heard from past pupils..including....'can we please do Batman frapps'..she had a few others which I have forgotten.

When I was very very young, I thought a saubresaut was a supersew...I am sure I had many others..how quickly I forget!

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no wonder i couldn't find "super so" (soubresaut) by looking it up on the web! i suppose it doesn't help that i learned german, not french.


i still have troubles with chasse. i have to think hard on whether it's "sha-say" or "saw-shay."

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One of my teachers . . . thought it was “arabesque pincée,” because you pinch your leg and back together.


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elise, it's definitely sha-say or maybe better, sha-sey; 'temps de cuisse' means 'time of the thigh' (cooking time would be temps de cuisson)

but even in France , you hear french world pronounced by French people with a Russian accent , because to them it sounds better .... :offtopic:

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Guest fastfeets

Offhand the only one I can think of is "fortay" turns. (sadly, being able to spell them doesn't make me better able to do them, however....that's still iffy.) I remember hearing that one a lot way back when. Oh, and also 'ontooshecat' which is as close as I can get to sounding the way it sounded from one teacher when she wanted us to show her 'entrechat quatre'.

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minty, how do you pronounce sous-sus? It certainly must be difference between those two words? soo-sy? Because all my teachers say soo-soo. strange :offtopic:

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Guest beckster

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but when I used to do rhythmic gym as a teenager, we did ballet exercises to a tape. Each exercise had taped music and a voice at the start telling you what the exercise was. Of course the sound quality wasn't that great in an echoey gym, and most of us didn't know what any of the exercises were, we just copied the girl who did know. Dreadful, now I think about it. Anyway, this is a long-winded introduction to the fact that my younger sister (aged about 10) thought that the first exercise was "henry the eighth". Can you guess what that might be?!

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Susanne, there are two versions, sous-sus (under-over), and sus-sous (over-under), just to complicate matters....

as for pronunciation of the two, its very subtle.....I am hoping someone will tell us how they are meant to be prounounced, as I have often wondered....

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The "ou" sound in French is close to the "oo" in "food" or "too." But often in English, that sound has a bit of the "ew" sound, as in "Ew!!" I think we do make the French "ou" sound, though, when we make the ghostly "whoo-o-o" sound.


The "u" in French is usually explained this way in French classes: shape your lips as if you're saying "oo" but try to say "ee". You just have to try it, because we don't have this sound in English.


The final "s" in both words is silent.

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