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The word Toilette is pronounced /toalɛtə/ in standard German. It retains the original French /toa/, but its end is pronounced as it would be, were it a German word: /ɛtə/ instead of /ɛt/.

Are there more examples of this kind, or is Toilette unique?

Bonus points: Does this phenomenon have a name?

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Prononciation of German words of French origin is very different in different regions. –  Phira Jun 2 '11 at 11:07
    
@thei: Sorry, I should add: I'm wondering how it works in standard German. –  Tim Jun 2 '11 at 11:08
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Not everything that is inhomogeneously used admits a "standard answer". –  Phira Jun 2 '11 at 11:23
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In spoken German, there is some tendency to avoid the direct designation. There are a lot of periphrases like wo kann man denn hier mal verschwinden etc. It sounds a bit like the speech of educated ladies. In written language it looks better than WC, Klo or Bedürfnisanstalt. –  bernd_k Jun 2 '11 at 11:28
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Depends on what you want to achieve. If you simple don't want to be misunderstood, or if you want to reach the level to move unrecognized as spy. –  bernd_k Jun 2 '11 at 12:02

2 Answers 2

There are plenty of examples of that topic.

Language changes over time, old words get abondoned, new ones rais often from other languages which are brought by migrants, tourists, military or economyc connection.

In germany we have a word for the phaenomen about changing pronunciation of adapted terms: Lautverschiebung

The online dictionary dict.cc translates it as phonetic change or consonant shift.


It's not only the fact that we germans have adapted a lot of french, and lately english words in our daily use vocabulary. French was brought from french invaders under Napoleon and english,.. well it's the global tradinglanguage these days, and also the Allies did well integrating us in their political system after WWII with english as the dominating allied-language. Many people on eastern Germany, former DDR, speak russian because they've been under sowjet occupation until 1989.

But if we look back, english is grown out of older german language. The english language is grown from a phonetic change out of Westgermanisch and Niederdeutsch, so basicly what we spread in the past, now comes back :D

Well noticeable examples of german terms in the english language are not hard to find:

und -> and ; haus -> house ; Tag -> day ; Weg -> way ; Straße -> treet and so on

Further, there are also direct adaption of modern german terms in english language like kindergarden (german: Kindergarten), *

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It's actually not exactly true that the French don't say the final e. It's pronounced very weakly, whereas in German it is pretty strong and even emphasized. Furthermore there are many Germans who would rather pronounce Toilette fully germanized.

Similar words with a similar pattern of pronunciation of the ending are:

Etage/n = Stockwerk/e
Route = Strecke

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Adding to that, in the Rhine area, there is an abundance of words with French origin,, like "Trottoir", "Plumeau" (pronounced "plümmo" and stressing the first syllable), "Portemnonnaie", and last, but not least "Scheng", which is the Cologne way of saying "Jean". This name is "Hans" in German and in the area in and around Cologne, a person named "Hans" is often referred to as "Scheng". And, of course, "Tschöö" from "Adieu". -- References? None. Just 40 years of hands on experience. –  teylyn Jun 2 '11 at 12:20
    
Wouldn't let me edit the comment, so here goes: Trottoir = Gehweg or Bürgersteig, Plumeau = Federbett, Portemonnaie = Geldbörse –  teylyn Jun 2 '11 at 12:26
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Yeah, we have a lot more French words like that in Bernese German too. Among others we also use Trottoir, Lavabo, merci, and funny creations like 'Kellöretli' for watch, coming from 'Quelle heure est il ?'. –  markus Jun 2 '11 at 12:32
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>> Kellöretli -- Nice. I especially like the consonant twist at the end. Adding to my list above: There's "Eau de Cologne", of course. –  teylyn Jun 2 '11 at 12:59
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Those french words are known for the older generations in Salzburg/Austria too, and when learning French I learned how many words we had in use. However they came out of use in the last 20 to 30 years. You won't find many people knowing these words aged under 40 nowadays. –  Samuel Herzog Jun 2 '11 at 18:34

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