October 14, 2004 at 06:44 PM · Do any of you people know how to pronounce "Vieuxtemps" or the "Saens" part of "Saint-Saens"? Thank you!

Replies (18)

October 14, 2004 at 07:07 PM ·

Imagine the "eux" sound to be somewhere between "o" & "e" as in the German "ö" (We'll call it "oe". The other sound "emps/aens" is the French nasal "an" where you don't hear the "n" but we'll call it "an".

Vieux temps becomes "vyoe tan" (no "n" is heard.

Saint-Saens = Sin San where "in" and "an" are nasal, and "san" rhymes with the "temps" in "vieux temps".

This looks confusing to me. Does it make sense?

October 14, 2004 at 07:35 PM · I'm not sure on the 'vieux' bit but for 'temps' you pronounce it like 'tong'-but instead of the 'ng' you have to pronounce it with a soft m that is almost inaudible. And also don't make it a harsh 't' sound but somewhere between a 'd' and a 't' sound.

So 'temps' would sound like 'tor(m)'

and 'Saens'. Like the 'temps' the end 'ens' is very soft almost inaudible. the pronounciation is like the word 'song' with the ng cut short and softly.

I hope this helps too.

One-Sim :)

October 14, 2004 at 07:45 PM · The vowels in Saint Saens are like

San--like sand, only just saying the nasal

Song- only no g, just a nasal

October 14, 2004 at 10:53 PM · For some reason, St-Saens himself did lightly pronounce the final s on "Saens," in defiance of usual rules of pronounciation. Perhaps it has something to do with the "trema" (not sure of the English word, the two little dots) above the e.

Just to help out a bit with "vieux:" for the vy sound, your tongue should touch the bottom of your bottom teeth, and recoil to the bottom of your mouth for the "oe" sound, as it's been called.

October 16, 2004 at 12:34 AM · Thanks for the comments. So basically I concluded that Vieuxtemps is pronounced vy-uh-tam and Saint-Saens is pronounced Sin San. Right? and do you guys also happen to know how to pronounce the "espiagnole" part of lalo symphonie espiagnole? I'm having so much trouble with these names.

October 16, 2004 at 02:21 AM · Es-span-yol. Accent on last syllable.

October 16, 2004 at 04:26 AM · If you want to be really spiffy, you could pronounce "symphonie" in the French way: sin(nasal)-fo-nee.

October 17, 2004 at 11:25 AM · Vieuxtemps can't be properly pronounced since the sounds 'eu' ,''ain' and 'en' do not exist in English

'en' is near 'aun' in aunt

Ain looks like ain in 'saint'

ieu has no English equivalent it is near the German ö .It sounds like yeux(eyes in French)

October 18, 2004 at 02:44 AM · Despite accepted rules to French pronunciation, Camille Saint-Saëns did, indeed, retain a diminutive “s” at the end of his surname. This is due to the dieresis preceding the second-to-last consonant.


October 18, 2004 at 03:41 PM · I've always pronounced Vieutemps as 'Vow (long o) tohmps (short o).

Saint-Saens as SaanSens.

I've had some French in shcool, but that doesn't mean I know anything!

October 20, 2004 at 11:04 AM · hmmn, I always said Sen Sauns in a frenchy accent

October 20, 2004 at 02:50 PM · This is an interesting thread, but it seems to me it's doomed to failure since we speak English using a variety of accents; when Alain suggests the word 'aunt' for comparison, it's pretty clear to me that a Brit such as myself will pronounce the vowels in a vastly different way to an Irish, American or Australian - or even someone from a different part of the UK, come to that.

October 20, 2004 at 03:00 PM · Lol Sue. I know what you mean to me aunt is pronounced the same as ant (seen as i'm from the north) not arrnt (sorry not sure if this is a good representation of what i mean!) like many southern brits would say.

My family have a running joke that Saint-Saens' sounds more like he should be Japanese rather than French (Try saying it quickly with some venom to see what i mean).

October 20, 2004 at 10:01 PM · but Sue, when I say a frenchie accent, I mean that as in I'm an Aussie heh.

October 21, 2004 at 12:02 AM · Hmm . . . wish I'd seen this thread earlier, too. All my life I've been pronouncing them

S--(throat clearing noise) and

V -- (more gutteral noise)

Thanks people! Now my students can stop asking me if I'm choking on something. ;P

October 21, 2004 at 01:18 PM · ha ha ha...French is always going to be a pain for everyone...but let me tell you that french people have many problems to learn foreign languages because of their horrible accent...(and how do you pronounce Khatchaturian???)

October 22, 2004 at 12:10 AM · wait, its cach-CHUR?

i always said cach-uh-turian

October 22, 2004 at 12:40 AM · I say: catch-uh-TURR-ee-in

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