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How to Pronounce CROISSANT — Word of the Week — American English


In this American English pronunciation video,
we’re going to go over the pronunciation of the word ‘croissant’. This week’s Word of the Week is ‘croissant’. 
It was suggested by a user on YouTube, Rebeca. Thanks so much for this suggestion, it allows
me indulge.  I absolutely love croissants. One of my favorite pastries. Croissants originated in France, so of course
the original pronunciation is French.  In American English, we have our own pronunciation
of it that it uses American sounds and feels more comfortable to us. I recently did a word
the week on BURRITO, which sparked quite a debate on whether or not it’s even ok to have
an American English pronunciation of this Spanish word.  To check out that video, click
here or see the video description. So here’s the American English pronunciation
of ‘croissant’.  It’s a two-syllable word with stress last syllable.  da-DA, croissant. 
It begins with the k-r consonant cluster. I can have my tongue in position for the R
when I make the K sound.  So for the R, the middle part of the tongue is touching the
roof of the mouth here.  For the K, the back part of my tongue is touching the roof of
the mouth here.  So I can be touching from the middle all the way to the back, and simply
release the back to go into the R sound. The tip of my tongue shouldn’t be touching
anything, and the lips will flare some. Cr-, cr-.  The vowel in this unstressed syllable
is the schwa.  Uh, uh, super quick, almost no jaw drop, relaxed tongue.  Make that first
syllable really short, so we have contrast between it and the second syllable, which
is stressed, croi-, croi-, croi-. The second syllable begins with the S consonant
sound.  The teeth come together for this sound, the corners of the lips might pull
a little bit wide, ss, and the tip of the tongue will press here behind the bottom front
teeth.  Ss, ss. Next, the AH as in FATHER vowel.  Drop your jaw for that, -ssa-, and
there will be a little tension in the back of the tongue as it presses down for that
vowel.  Then we have the NT ending.  Just like with the N’T contractions, many native
speakers will not pronounce a True T there. What we do instead is combine the stop quality
of the T with the nasal quality of the N to make a nasaly stop sound.  We want it to
be a little abrupt. Croissant.  Not ‘croissan’ — with the normal shape of a stressed syllable,
but croissant.  This abruptness lets us know there was a T there.  Croissant. Now I’m going to finish my croissant. That’s it, your Word of the Week. Try it out
yourself. Make up a sentence with the word, record it, and post it as a video response
to this video on YouTube. I can’t wait to watch it. If there’s a word you find difficult to pronounce,
suggest it as a Word of the Week in the comments. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s
English.

25 Replies to “How to Pronounce CROISSANT — Word of the Week — American English”

  • People who attack Rachel personally about the pronunciation: She is correct, she is not inventing this pronunciation herself, she is just telling us how Americans pronounce it, and this is the way (I'm not saying this is the only way Americans pronounce the word, differences between people/regions/etc might be possible). If you look at English dictionaries that feature the American pronunciation of words (Merriam Webster, Collins dictionary) , you'll find that they have the pronunciation that Rachel used. On top of that Rachel is American, so she can also refer back to how the Americans around her pronounce the word. So she shows you a correct pronunciation according to how the word might be pronounced in American English.

    Also people complain that you can't or shouldn't Americanize French words. But really that's just how languages and accents work.
    People are complaining about 'uncultured' Americans for not pronouncing a French loanword in French.
    But what about the 'uncultured' French who pronounce Twitter as 'Tweetteur', not even trying to pronounce the the vowel 'i' correctly, eventhough the vowel sound in the French word 'mais' is way closer to the English vowel in Twitter than the 'EE' sound they are actually saying. And on top of that they often don't even try to put the emphasis on the first syllable like in English, but they put the emphasis on the second vowel just like they do it when they would pronounce a French word.
    They pronounce Twitch as 'Tweetch', they could pronounce it more 'correct' than that if they would actually put in some effort, but they don't, they just read the name in French.
    They don't put any effort in trying to pronounce the H's in Hashtag and Happy Hour, I'm sure if they really put some effort in it they are capable of doing so, and again they put the emphasis on the second syllable instead of the first.
    The word 'sandwich, they pronounce as sand'weech (again emphasis on the wrong syllable (I show the emphasis by adding a ' before the emphasized syllable))
    French people constantly put the emphasis on the wrong syllable when they use a word that comes from the English language: it's 'email (not e'mail), 'selfie (not sel'fie), 'jogging (not jog'geeng), etc

    I'm not saying this to hate on the French, I don't, I actually quite like the language and the accent. But I think it's unfair to judge Americans for pronouncing a French loanword (when they're speaking in their own language) in an American English way, and call them uncultured or ignorant, but not talk about how little effort French people sometimes do to get the (American) English pronunciation correct.

  • I've also noticed another thing: "chocolate croissant" is made up. We say: "chocolate bread" > pain au chocolat or chocolatine (depending on the region)

  • Could you please make a video on the pronunciation, meaning and how to use (in different sentences) the word “detritus”. Thanks!

  • Rachel is totally correct. THANK YOU! I have the same issue when people try to speak borrowed Hawaiian words following Hawaiian grammar and pronunciation.

  • Sorry this is typical of Americans they have zero respect for others nation and how pronounced. First of all there no such thing as American English period English is English spoken by the British and the English. American speak a bastardised version 9f our language and try and claim for themselves well it's not happening. You cannot pronounce word not because it's difficult or you find it easy because you are lazy and have zero respect for other nations and there language and culture. America arrogance towards the world has continued to worse over the last 40 years and inn the last 2 year it has gone into over drive.

    The United kingdom probably has more dialects of English than any other nation but we respect words from other culture and would dream of saying we say it this way because it easier for us.

    American culture us infecting the world and it's not a good culture. Caring for your fellow human does not come as a given it comes at a price. Your culture promote selfishness to grab and take to squash and walk all over and nation who have been influenced by your culture have found mental wellbeing plumit. American is well known it number shrinks and people turning to counsellors and every nationbthst has be influenced by The USA have gone the same way. The American way of life destroys the caring share aspect of collective responsibility.
    The American way is to be a bully and not to accept responcibility.

    Let's look at people who live in tornado hit areas your society does nothing to make there live better the make no rules about house construction or material concrete house would survived with little or no damage but year after year your society allow wooden homes to be constructed. And cibilusedvdovuety would change the building regulation and stipulate the type of hone and building construction so that peopke do not have to go through thus every year or two. No you put the lumber companies and house builder first without thinking about the long term. Everything a short term facarde in the USA very little is built to last including your communities.

    American need to look at the damage they are doing to thus planet. You cannot accept the damage your nation does. This is reflected in the way you take a French word and product that's known the world over and change what it is called because it easier. That the height of an arrogant imperialist nation. It's so rude

  • Omg kill me now. Americans aren't content with ruining the proper (British) English, they are now ruining French too.

  • In Europe ( including Britain ) we pronounce the word the French way. Why is this inane grinning American so proud of pronouncing croissant incorrectly??

  • you mispronounced the word, this is How to mispronounce a French word and pretend its OK since we are not french.

  • There are two accepted pronunciations of Croissant in American English, which are “Kruh-saant” and “Kwaa-saan”.” (Note that the second pronunciation is the technically correct one in terms of the word’s origins.)

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