You say tomato, I say tomato.

david314

Senior Member
American English
Also: Six of one or a half dozen of another. This is an expression which declares that no one answer is more correct than the other, but rather personal preference is the determinant. Is there a comparable French adage? Thanks in advance. :)
 
  • Tatertots

    New Member
    Am. English
    Revisiting this 2007 site in 2020: in English the tomato/tomahto pronunciation is often used in reference to the
    Pronunciation of a word that maybe/maybe not has more than one correct pronunciation. In French, is there a similar catchphrase to use when somebody pronounces a word differently than you would? I'm thinking possibly the two ways to pronounce AOÛT or even BUT: tu dis..........moi, je dis........
    Merci d'avance.
     

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    Apparently not, you just ask people how they pronounce this or that word. Maybe we should have one, because there's still many different accents in France, even though far less than before. But it wouldn't work with just one or two words, even if 'août' or 'but' could be one of them.
     

    Locape

    Senior Member
    French
    Yes, but I don't think there's a catchphrase like in english, 'you say..., I say...', or just literally 'moi je dis..., et toi tu dis quoi ?'.
     

    Dripweed

    Senior Member
    English / UK
    Looking back over the replies to the question originally asked back in 2007, I’m not really convinced that c’est bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet is really the best translation for You say toma(y)to and I say toma(h)to.

    To me the expression bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet simply means that two things are the same or at least so similar that it makes no difference which one is chosen.

    Veux-tu X ou Y ?
    — C’est bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet.


    As I understand it, this means that, whether it is X or Y, cela revient à la même chose. Si tu me donnes X où Y, ça m’est égal. In other words, it makes no difference; whether it’s X or Y, it’s all the same to me.

    The expression You say toma(y)to and I say toma(h)to does not have the same meaning. Here, the idea is that some people do things one way, and other people do things differently. In other words, whether you pronounce the word ‘toma(y)to’ or ‘toma(h)to’ comes down to personal preference, and there’s no accounting for taste. I’d say that the correct French equivalent would be à chacun son goût.
     

    JeanBEAUMONT

    New Member
    French - France
    In other words, whether you pronounce the word ‘toma(y)to’ or ‘toma(h)to’ comes down to personal preference, and there’s no accounting for taste. I’d say that the correct French equivalent would be à chacun son goût.
    . Maybe " à chacun suivant son goût" would sound more natural.

    . I propose the expression :
    "Chacun voit midi à sa porte."
    There is a thread about this expression.
     

    Topsie

    Senior Member
    English-UK
    The "tomato" expression is from the Gershwin song Let's Call the Whole Thing Off :) The British pronunciation "tom-ah-to" is perceived (through American eyes :rolleyes:) as a posh accent, whereas the American "tom-ay-to" isn't!
    It's about difference in social class, not personal preference, (sorry @Dripweed :oops:)
     

    StefKE

    Senior Member
    French - Belgium
    Est-ce que "chacun voit midi à sa porte" ne veut pas plutôt dire que chacun considère son opinion ou ses problèmes comme plus importants que ceux des autres ?

    Si c'est le cas, je pense que "(à) chacun ses goûts" ou "à chacun selon son goût" conviendrait mieux. On dit aussi "les goûts et les couleurs, ça ne se discute pas".
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    The "tomato" expression is from the Gershwin song Let's Call the Whole Thing Off :) The British pronunciation "tom-ah-to" is perceived (through American eyes :rolleyes:) as a posh accent, whereas the American "tom-ay-to" isn't!
    It's about difference in social class, not personal preference, (sorry @Dripweed :oops:)
    How about a more literal translation might be along the lines of tu dis nombril moi, je dis nombri
    It reflects the transatlantic sound shift. While Parisian French can be seen as more chic than that spoken in rural Québec. The Québécois pronounce nombril as nom-bri [nɔ̃bʁi] (belly button) While in France the pronunciation nom-bril [nɔ̃bʁil] is heard.

    The Essential Guide to Québec French Pronunciation
    You can say that Québecois is as different from Parisian French as North American English is from British English. The Québecois language has seven accents that differ based on the place where it is spoken.
     

    Dripweed

    Senior Member
    English / UK
    Hello Topsie :)

    There’s no need for ‘sorry’; you’re absolutely right. There is an element of ‘social class’ in the toma(y)to/toma(h)to distinction, but I think that my general point about the difference in meaning between this expression and ‘bonnet blanc, blanc bonnet’ is still valid. Whether you say eether or eyether, neether or neyether, the meaning surely is that everyone has, for whatever reason, their own way of doing things.

    Things have come to a pretty pass
    Our romance is growing flat
    ´Cause you like this and the other
    While I go for this and that 🎶 :p
     

    L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    The Irish are a little irreverent about such comparisons :
    You say neither /ˈnaɪðə(r)/ he says neither /ˈniːðə(r)/ but aye-ther /ˈaɪð. ə(ɹ)/ of them will do.
    I find the introduction of a third possibility in the punch line, delightful.
     

    JeanBEAUMONT

    New Member
    French - France
    "(à) chacun ses goûts" ou "à chacun selon son goût" conviendrait mieux. On dit aussi "les goûts et les couleurs, ça ne se discute pas".
    En effet, ça ne me revenait pas à l'esprit mais la forme idiomatique est " (à) chacun ses goûts" :thumbsup:
    "les goûts et les couleurs, ça ne se discute pas " :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited:

    mehoul

    Senior Member
    french
    Il y a aussi : "vérité en-deça des Pyrénées, erreur au-delà" (je ne suis pas certain de quel côté détient la vérité...)
     
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