voilà (pronunciation)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Frenchnoob, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Frenchnoob

    Frenchnoob Member

    English Australian
    Bonjour tout le monde!

    I'm sure I've heard french people sometimes pronouncing "voila" as "wala" (at least that's how it sounds in english).

    Did I hear this right?

    I'm guessing its just a quicker & more colloquial way of pronouncing this word.
  2. mplsray Senior Member

    I always took "Wallah!" to be an English-speaker's reinterpretation of Voilà! due to /vw/ being such a rare combination of sounds in English: the only place I find it in an English dictionary is in voilà itself and the legal term voir dire, both borrowed from French.

    It will be interesting to see what native speakers of French have to say on the matter.

    Additional information: I forgot about the words, also borrowed from French, voyeur (and related words) and voyageur (the first syllable of which can be pronounced either /v[FONT=Arial Unicode MS,code2000,lucida sans unicode]ɔ[FONT=Arial Unicode MS,code2000,lucida sans unicode]ɪ[/FONT][/FONT]/ or /vwa/. Since I first posted this message, however, we've heard from a native speaker of French, hoshiko, who says that the French do indeed sometimes say /wala/.
  3. hoshiko Senior Member

    Tolosa/Toulouse - Occitan/Catalan/Français
    Yes, we say "wala" sometimes as "a y est" for "ça y est".
    But it is only a funny way to pronounce it.
    And I'd say, we pronounce it "wala" only in the context english speakers use "voilà".
    i.e. not in sentences like "Voilà ma soeur", only as an isolated word.
  4. Frenchnoob

    Frenchnoob Member

    English Australian
    Ah okay, thought so ... merci!

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