Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Any discussion related to Victor's Hugo's Les Misérables, in any language.
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Trompe-la-Mort
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby Trompe-la-Mort » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:45 pm

@geminimimi: Can you read IPA? In that case, it's: [ɑ̃ʒolʁas]
If not: nasal e, j/g as in "garaGe", o, l, throat r, a, voiceless s
Additionally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj9I_fHo ... ure=relmfu
Marius says the name at 06:25
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby geminimimi » Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:52 pm

So I've been pronouncing it correctly all along, thank goodness. :D Thanks for giving me assurance!
I like to think everything whizzes by her head like sheep jumping over fences, and that Marius comes by every 3-4 sheep. And add scattered leaves flying around and rain falling too. And maybe a unicorn. Thus the insides of Éponine's mind.

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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby Rachelle » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:09 pm

On the audiobook that is up on youtube, one of the readers pronounced Digne as Dig-knee.
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby Courgette » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:47 pm

I'm most happy to provide you with my own wonderful list:

Les Miserabble (rhymes with 'scrabble'), Combayfer, Cooferack (I can't even spell this right sometimes, forget pronouncing correctly!), FANtine, Jayhaan *facepalm*, Haaver (see, I turned him Spanish!!), EN-Jolras (I used to spell him as Enjolras!!), Baahorel, Jo-ly (still, not as bad as the others!), Marry-us (seriously!!). And these are only some of the more common names!!

Strangely enough, I NEVER made a mistake while pronouncing 'Jean Valjean'!!
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby Gigi » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:29 pm

I'm really fussy with pronunciations, to the point where I annoy the heck out of other people correcting them :D but really I can't help it, hearing really bad pronunciations just hurts my ears and the fact that I'm a student of languages doesn't help one bit...
When Les Mis comes to Tampere I can tell you everything about the absolutely terrible Finnish pronunciations of the French names... for now, I'll just tell you that I recently heard the title being pronounced as Less Misérables (Misérables in the English way you know). I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard that. I wonder if the person who said that was aware that less is an actual word in English and therefore would make the title something like not-so-miserables. :D

EDIT is there some sort of autocorrect on this? I'm trying to write the English version of the word miserable, without the accent on the e.
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby Rachelle » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:49 pm

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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby CeridwenLynne » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:41 pm

I've heard people pronounce Courfeyrac as CORE -fee-- rack, CORE --fay-- rack, or even coffee-- rack.

Other mispronunciations that drive me nuts:
Fan-TYNE
Joe--LEE
KAH---set. Or worse Casette. :?
Cahm--BEE-fair
Few--a--LEe
Hah-- vert. He's not Spanish.

This is being a nit pick but I think the correct pronunciation of Enjolras is En JOLE rah not En JOLE Ross.
" He makes no vain sacrifice who fights for a cause. All here are ready to die so that our brothers may live as free men. Liberty... sweet liberty... come fight with those who defend you." ----Enjolras.

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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby deHavilland » Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:35 pm

CeridwenLynne wrote:This is being a nit pick but I think the correct pronunciation of Enjolras is En JOLE rah not En JOLE Ross.


You are opening up a decades-long internet argument with this one. The official conclusion, I believe, is that when it comes to pronouncing the s at the end of his name, either way is correct as long as you are consistent. Like any other language, French has its regional accents and depending on which accent you are using or referring to - or think that Enjolras himself might use - you could pronounce it either way.

For me, it's people pronouncing the "ch" in Musichetta the way they would if it were an English name, with a "chuh" sound. It's actually an Italian diminutive, and in Italian "che" is always a hard c sound. So "ketta" would be the appropriate pronunciation. (Though I'm totally a hypocrite, because when it's abbreviated down to "Chetta," I always say Shetta. Which is neither linguistically accurate nor fandom approved, lol.)
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:25 am

I approve, Havvy! It just sounds vastly better that way.

The Enjolras pronunciation varies among French speakers in my personal experience, so there's absolutely no hard and fast. But frequently, a name like that where there's an S at the end of a pronounced vowel, the S is pronounced as well. (Edmond Dantès is Don-TEZ, not Don-TAY.) You pick up a bunch of this in Jewish surnames from exiled Portuguese/Spanish families. Also, Occitan pronunciation (the language of the South) is frequently more in line with Spanish, Italian, and Catalan, so you end up with entire different consonant pronunciations and different silent letters. In French pronunciation, the J in Enjolras is a ZH sound in English; in an Occitan pronunciation, it can be a hard J just like the English J. (Occitan is generally considered the correct modern name for the language; what used to be called Provençal is a dialect of modern Occitan spoken in the region of Provence. There are many dialects. Gascon is an Occitan dialect as well.) Example: Bahorel, in French, would end up with a glottal stop because you don't pronounce the H, but in Occitan, you hit that sound plenty hard. Also, "-el" is a frequent adaptation of at least Provençal surnames that end in "-eu" natively, so it's plausible that in his native dialect, Bahorel's name is actually Bahorèu. (see Théodore Aubanel, one of the Félibrige poets) I'm not 100% certain it carries over to the western dialect.

France has many active languages, particularly at this period, so hard and fast rules apply more to how educated people in the Paris basin might pronounce the name, not to what is actually correct.

Just don't say "EN-Jole-Rass" (rhymes with ass) unless you're joking with Stephen Buntrock :)
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby CeridwenLynne » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:26 pm

Thanks for the clarification of Enjolras name. I've just always assumed the S was not pronounced at the end because that's the way my French teacher pronounced it. I guess I never took into consideration the different dialects of the French language.
" He makes no vain sacrifice who fights for a cause. All here are ready to die so that our brothers may live as free men. Liberty... sweet liberty... come fight with those who defend you." ----Enjolras.

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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:28 pm

It's far more complicated than most French teachers will explain, for the obvious reason that they are paid to teach you a single dialect: modern Parisian French. They hardly have time to get into much slang. Native speakers will frequently lapse into their native pronunciation, but they are taught to try to keep it as Parisian ("clean") as possible for the benefit of their students at the "language learning" level. It's also why you generally won't see English teachers abroad teaching Scottish dialect or a hard Boston accent - these aren't the useful dialects for grasping approved grammar or consuming most media.

Frenchification was a drawn-out process, generally starting with the Revolution. The rights of man can only be protected when both the man and the law share enough language to explain those rights. Regional dialects (commonly called "patois", but this is really a derogatory term, especially when applied to distinctly separate languages like Breton or Occitan) get in the way of military readiness when you don't just have the local lord leading his peasants into battle, able to translate the orders of the guy in charge to the boots on the front line. There are important reasons why Frenchification was necessary, and the way in which it was conducted (pretty much by absolutely forbidding the use of any local dialect in school, once the elementary education system expanded post-1830) makes a certain amount of sense. However, the design was to wipe out these non-French tongues entirely, considering them uncivilised, which is the real issue. The troubadour poets wrote in a medieval dialect of Occitan that remained more comprehensible to most Occitan speakers than to French speakers - there was evidence right there that the language was a "civlised" one rather than a "peasant dialect", and that's where the Félibrige movement comes in. The Catalan speakers of Roussillon - which was attached to France by treaty before other parts of modern France were - had their Renaissance a generation earlier, in the 1840s. And the people who really got screwed were the Alsatians - Frenchification had made significant inroads by 1871, with a full generation of adults who had been educated in French-speaking schools, when by treaty the province was ceded to Germany after losing the Franco-Prussian war. Alsatian German was not the "approved" dialect of German, so overnight, all these people who had become bilingual and gotten the government respect for it, were yet again told they were incapable of speaking the approved language and would have to be reformed into a civilised race all over again.

Then the general issue of "what does 'correct' mean?" How Hugo (Parisian bred, pretty much) would pronounce the name, since he invented it? How Enjolras (or Prouvaire) would pronounce their names based on where they come from, as French-speaking top the ladder families? How those names, or their precursors, would be pronounced by the people in town who had lived alongside these families for generations during the process of elite Frenchification? There are some obvious wrong answers, but there's often more than one "right" answer, for the various values of "right".
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby CeridwenLynne » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:34 pm

As long as no one calls him En Jole Rass or Ehn hole Rass it will be fine with me from now on. 8)

I used to work in a bookstore and one time this kid brought up his required reading list pointed to a title and asked me if we had Less Misérables. The sad thing is I don't think he was being funny. :roll:
" He makes no vain sacrifice who fights for a cause. All here are ready to die so that our brothers may live as free men. Liberty... sweet liberty... come fight with those who defend you." ----Enjolras.

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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby saminana » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:26 pm

CeridwenLynne wrote:As long as no one calls him En Jole Rass or Ehn hole Rass it will be fine with me from now on. 8)


Fortunately here in Switzerland you don't hear such things... :wink:
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby freedomlover » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:55 pm

En-jol-ras

Ja-vert

Jean Valjean

(all pronounced the way they are spelt)
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Re: Painful Les Misérables Pronunciations

Postby BarricadeRebel » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:13 pm

Truthfully, I am kind of bad a French pronunciations...so I just say as I read it in American English. I thankfully have stopped pronouncing Enjolras as ''En Jol Rass'' and use ''Ahn Jol Ross''. So yes, I am bad at pretty much all of the names.


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