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Langue française: comment prononcer certains noms de villes?

How do we pronounce the name of certain (French) cities?

It is a question we have been asked more than once.

The pronunciation of the name of French (or Belgian/French) cities does not always obey general pronuncation rules… that would be too easy! There are more than a few cas particuliers.

Certainly, neither the French nor the Belgians will 'take it personally' if we occasionally mangle the name of one of their towns.

Of the problematic pronunciations that we meet frequently, note the following:

  • Bruxelles se prononce [brussel] et non pas [bruksel].
  • Chamonix, la grande station alpine, se dit [chamoni] car on ne prononce pas le x final.
  • Auxerre, au sud de Paris, se prononce [ausserre], et …
  • Metz, dans l'est, se dit [mess].

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