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Jeruba's avatar

Correct French spelling of Géneviève?

Asked by Jeruba (41889 points ) December 8th, 2008

Do I have the name correct, accents and all? I need to be sure, and pretty quickly, too.

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10 Answers

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Generally, there is just the second accent (accent grave, above the third e). This is the way most typical French spellings will be. For example, the name of the Saint is spelled that way.

Jeruba's avatar

I just ran into this spelling in a mention of Genevieve Bujold. When I saw the first accent, the accent aigu, I was startled because something I worked on is just about to go into print with only the one, and I should have caught it if it is wrong. If only the accent grave is required, I’m okay. So—forgive me, @TM, but are you positive?

Btw, it is the tool that massacred my spelling in the Topics line. It rejected the accented characters.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I’m pretty positive – I was in French literature for 3 years and came across the name before.

susanc's avatar

You don’t need the accent aigu because to put it in would ask you to stress the first syllable, which would be ugly and incorrect. As you know, the correct pronounciation
of Genevieve (omitting the accenting altogether) is JhawnvYEV, not JENaveev.

gailcalled's avatar

With that first accent aigu,. you’d say, “JAY nuh vieve.” It’s pronounced JEN uh vee ev (with the “uh” usually swallowed. Here’s some Google examples

Geneviève used in all links.

Jean is pronounced Jhawn as in Jhawn Valjhawn.

Brome's avatar

The first two E of Geneviève are pronounced “uh”, the second one being swallowed indeed.

Actually, you pronounce it as if it was written “jeune vie Eve”.

Jeruba's avatar

Thank you all very much. I do know how to say it, and I thought I knew how to spell it until I saw that mention. It seemed a safe bet that there’d be some experts here.

susanc's avatar

@Brome: “jeune vie Eve”. Where are you getting that? Very curious. Can’t figure out how you glide from the “vie” which is a long “e” sound to “Eve” which is ditto.
@Gail: “JEN uh vee ev”. Huh????? How could that be so if “Jean” is pronounced
(as we agree) “Jhawn”? And if there’s an accent grave over the third E?

I’m spoilin’ for a fight.

Brome's avatar

@Susanc My mother and friend of mine are called Geneviève. I had many occasions to hear their first name pronounced. ;)
Remember that “Eve” is not pronounced with a long “e” in French, but like an ”è”.
Here is a link to a Youtube video in which a french presenter pronounces “Geneviève”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-CYwdZzgQw
In the first five seconds of the video, he says “On est en train de perdre Geneviève de Fontenay”. Geneviève de Fontenay is the most famous Geneviève in France. She is the organizer of the Miss France Pageant.

susanc's avatar

Yep. Jhawn-vyev. “Bon, Genevieve, bon soir….

I bow to your family’s usage but… I don’t hear it the way you write it. To me, the French guy says it the way I spell it—- maybe the way the two of us transliterate sounds is based on different sensitivities.

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