Ghislaine (prononciation)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by xwelcomex, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. xwelcomex Member

    English - England
    How to you pronounce the French name Ghislaine?

    J or G and is the /s/ pronounced?
  2. melu85 Senior Member

    I'd say G and mute -s
  3. xwelcomex Member

    English - England
    Thank you, I thought so but I didn't want to look silly :)
  4. Topsie

    Topsie Senior Member

    Avignon, France
    There are two possible pronounciations (for the same spelling): "guee-len" or "jiss-len" -the first has the G like in the middle of Margaret and the second like the middle of Pleasure (if you get my meaning!)
  5. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
    God, I've always pronounced it "jisssslaine"!!! :eek: (which sounds like a very old name).
    But I knew a Guylaine (pronounced "guilaine" indeed)...
  6. pifnane Senior Member

    French - France
    some people write Gislaine and pronounce J and s (as in "slang") this is considered more "lower class"
  7. melu85 Senior Member

    yes but considering the spelling, I tend to think it 's guee-len
  8. SangoireRose Member

    English (Aus)
    Hi everyone,

    We were talking about silent letters in French at Alliance Française, and when the teacher asked for us to give examples of words with silent letters, I suggested my (Belgian-) mother's middle name - Ghislaine.

    My (French-) teacher said that in French this name is spelt differently (Guilanne?).

    I asked her why Ghislaine has an 's' in it, and she was unable to tell me (I was promptly given a joke about being Belgian).

    So my question is, can any cunning, knowledgeable linguists here tell me why there is an 's' in the name, please?

    Many thanks,


    ps I am aware that there are two pronunciations of the name, I am just curious about the one in which the 's' is silent/unpronounced. :)
  9. Senior Member

    I don't understand because we do pronounce the "s" in "Ghislaine" sauf quand ça s'écrit Guilaine ??? Voir
  10. Maxzi

    Maxzi Senior Member

    Français - Belgique

    I couldn't but I confirm that in Belgium we also pronounce the 's' in 'Guislaine'.
  11. Glasguensis

    Glasguensis Signal Modulation

    English - Scotland
    The reason for the "s" is that it comes from an older germanic name Gislin, which has a pronounced "s". Apparently over the years the "s" has become silent in some but not all versions of the name.
  12. Proviste39 New Member

    Hello xwelcomex !

    If one added h after G, it was to prevent G to be pronounces J before i.
    All other way is a mere error.

  13. Martyn94 Banned

    Do you mean J as in French, or J as in English?
  14. Proviste39 New Member

    Hello, xwelcomex !

    If one added an h, it was to prevent the G from being pronounced like a J before i.
    The s before l had tendency to disappear.
    All that explains why the pronunciation is identical to Guilaine.
    Any other way is a mere error.
  15. Proviste39 New Member

    Of course as in French.
  16. Proviste39 New Member

    Hello melu85 !
    I quite agree with you, since a great number of people mistake reading and deciphering.
    Many imagine that there are a few rules which enable to pronounce a word without having heard it.
    One has to have recorded the pronunciation before discovering the spelling...
    Just think of the difference of pronunciation between : gibbet and gibbon !
    Excuse my English, for I am an old native french speaker.
  17. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    I always thought it was as Proviste39 explained in #16 - the h makes the g hard. Interesting, though, that the name of one of the two French journalists sadly murdered in the last few days in Mali - Ghislaine Dupont - is pronounced "jisslenne" (or something similar, definitely soft g though).
  18. CarlosRapido

    CarlosRapido Senior Member

    Québec - Canada
    français - English (Can)
    My brother's name is Ghyslain, pronounced "jhisslain" (soft 'g', expelled 'h') and I've never come by any instance of the 'h' making a 'g' hard in French. And no one I know would attempt to pronouce the name as Gilain (hard g, silent s), it would then be confused with the name Guylain.

    My other brother is named Guy, and it's the 'u' that makes the 'g' hard, just like in the word 'guerre'.

    But I'm only Canadian...
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  19. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Je ne suis pas du tout d'accord!
    C'est comme dire qu'une femme qui prononce son propre prénom « jiss » plutôt que « gui » le prononce incorrectement. Franchement...

    Un extrait parmi d'autres similaires de la page qu'hampton a mise en lien au post 9 :
    Comme DP et Carlos (et la personne citée ci-dessus) pour moi Ghislaine = jiss-lènn

    Pour que je le proonce comme gui-lènn, il faudrait que l'orthographe soit Guylaine (ou comme une personne que je connais l'écrit : Guylhène).


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