Came across this sentence in a FAQ page for some developer software:

Ce projet a commencé comme un fork de Node.js™ de Joyent et est compatible avec l'écosystème npm.

But I really have no idea how to pronounce the bolded portion there. It's just the same sound twice, isn't it? It's slightly hard to distinguish the two words as separate without an inserted pause or some sort of glottal stop or something.


I suppose it could be different in other regions, but for me, those are two different sounds. I would pronounce it as /e'ɛ/. There is some kind of subtle-ish stop between the two words, but it can be difficult to catch.

As far as how I speak, "et" is pronounced like a canonical "é", whereas "est" is the canonical "è". This however may not mean much in certain parts, as certain regions and accents have a tendency to erase these differences, see « Patte » contre « pâte » : qui fait encore la différence ?

  • I wouldn't say that ‘"est" is the canonical "è"’. I treat [e] and [ɛ] as different sounds, but in my dialect/idiolect (France, Normandy/Paris) the word est can shift to [e] in many contexts. I might say “et elle est” [e.ɛ.lɛ] or [e.ɛ.le] (the latter perhaps not in very formal speech), even “et n'est pas” [e.nɛ.pa] or [e.ne.pa]. Nonetheless I would always pronounce “et est” [e.ɛ] to separate the two words. Mar 18 '15 at 19:17

I pronounce both et and est exactly the same way /e/, however, to avoid that hiatus I would have written that sentence :

Ce projet a commencé comme un fork de Node.js™ de Joyent et il est compatible avec l'écosystème npm.

  • Tiens, comment définirais-tu ton accent ? Est-ce que tu fais la différence entre [e] et [ɛ] dans d'autres cas ? Mar 18 '15 at 19:14
  • @Gilles L'accent d'un méridional habitant depuis quelques décennies en région parisienne. Ce qui subsiste de mon accent quand je suis « dans le Nord » est la distinction claire entre « in » /ɛ̃/ et « un » /œ̃/, l'ouverture de certains « o » comme dans « rose » /ʁɔz/, la non distinction des voyelles longues comme /ɑ/ prononçé /a/, patte=pâte, /ɛ:/ -> /ɛ/ maître=mètre, la transformation du /y/ de « tu » en /j/ au lieu de sa disparition « tu as raison » /taʁezɔ̃/ -> /tjaʁezɔ̃/ ( « t'y as raison» ) et sûrement d'autres différences.
    – jlliagre
    Mar 18 '15 at 21:18
  • @jlliagre Je suis très impressioné que tu étais prêt de répondre avec tel exhaustivité! Apr 18 '16 at 19:02

I wouldn't put a glottal stop, or even a pause between those two words. Trying to pronounce it I find I either just make the vowel twice a long, have a slight dip in sound intensity between the two (not a glottal stop, more like a tapering off of the first vowel and then start of the other before the tapering's done), or a natural change in tone between the "et" and the "est", of the kind of have between different parts of a sentence.


My answer is that together, these words would sound like Elêt. Although I am not 100% sure about it.

  • Welcome to stack exchange...? Maybe I'm a bit late :( Thanks for your answer anyway Apr 18 '16 at 19:01

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