en route: pronunciation


Senior Member
Italian - Northern Italy
Hello everyone,
quick question. I'm aware that the word "route" can be pronounced both /ruːt/ and /raʊt/ in US English.
Does this apply to the set phrase "en route" too, or is it only possible to pronounce it /ruːt/ in this case?

Thanks in advance.
  • TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    I've only heard it being pronounced (by actual people, rather than dictionaries) a couple of times; the speakers were all from the UK and would pronounce it:
    /ˌɒn ˈruːt/.
    That's why I was curious about learning how US speakers pronounce it.

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I would strongly prefer /ruːt/, since it's a borrowed French phrase and that pronunciation is closer to the original. But as Julian suggests, it's quite possible that for many speakers the pronunciation has been naturalized to match the already-Anglicized /raʊt/.


    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    I know it's not strictly on topic, but since it's been brought up, I figured I'd add that "aboot [əˈbut], an exaggerated version of the raised pronunciation of about [əˈbʌʊt], is a stereotype of Canadian English". The sound /aʊ/ that is standardly used in AmE is actually pronounced somewhere between [ɐʊ], [ʌʊ] and [əʊ] in standard Canadian English (Canadian raising - Wikipedia), which is why some AmE speakers might perceive it as being the same or very close to [ u ].

    Thus, this statement
    In my experience, it's actually somewhere between a boat and a boot
    is fairly accurate.

    The following is a link to an audio file reproducing the Canadian pronunciation of the sequence "about, a boot, a boat" https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/En-us-about,_a_boot,_a_boat.ogg


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    You can definitely pronounce route both ways in en route in American English. You have choices with the first part, too. You can even say it this way if you want: /ˌɒn ˈruːt/.

    Take your pick.
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