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In Canada, there's a dish spelt 'poutine', which consists of fries, gravy, and cheese curds. However, I have come across two conflicting accounts of how to pronounce the word online, and I would like to know how it should be pronounced. The two guides for pronouncing it I've seen are [ˈpu.tin] and [ˈpyt.sɛ̃]. Perhaps some Québécois could tell me which way it is usually pronounced? Are both pronunciations used, perhaps, by anglophone Canadians and francophone Canadians respectively?

  • 6
    You have to eat some before you can pronounce it right. – Laurent Pireyn Aug 18 '11 at 13:42

10 Answers 10

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In English you can refer to it with the standard French way of pronouncing it: /pu'tin/

In Québécois French, however, we say /pu'tsɪn/. You might even hear it sound like “p'tine” /ptsɪn/ in rapid speech, but that would sound really sloppy. Although it's probably not as common as the familiar québécois pronunciation of petite – “p'tite” /ptsɪt/

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Non, ça se prononce [pu.tsin]. D'après Wikipédia:

Le [t] et [d] suivies de [i] ou [y] ou [j] ou [ɥ] deviennent des consonnes affriquées. Tirer se prononce [t͡siʁe], moitié se prononce [mwat͡sje], dîner se prononce [d͡zine] et dieu se prononce [d͡zjø].

Ce phénomène qui apparait dans Pout'sine [Pu.tsin] est un phénomène largement répandu au Québec, dans lequel le T est devenu affriqué. Exemple: Tsu veux-tsu d(z)iner…?

Si vous prononcez [pu.tin], on vous comprendra mais vous prononceriez comme le ferait un Français, et non comme un Québécois.

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    MErci. Il faut spécifier que la page Wikipédia concerne le parler québécois. – Erika Mar 25 '13 at 22:46
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According to this wiktionary entry (that confirms my own pronunciation) it should be /pu.tin/.

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    Be sure to not pronounce it "Putin" which means something completely else. – Neikos Aug 18 '11 at 17:26
  • @Neikos En général c'est comme ça qu'on se prend une patate. – RomainValeri Mar 23 '14 at 16:42
  • @RomainValeri: Mais celle-là, elle est pas servie avec du fromage. – Stéphane Gimenez Nov 22 '18 at 14:32
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In Quebec, where poutine is from, we pronounce it pou-tin or pu-tsin if you're french. We understand both, but you look silly pronouncing it pou-teen. If you want to pronounce it correctly go with pou-tin or pu-tsin.

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I call it French fries and gravy and everyone understands me quite clearly. Used to eat every day in the cafeteria in college in So. California. Obviously we were morons and didn't know it had a fancy name.

  • What question are you answering? – Toto May 26 '18 at 12:05
  • You are not answering the question. – guillau4 May 28 '18 at 9:39
  • There's a difference between a frite sauce, which is what you referred to, and a poutine, which has the cheese curds... Cheers ! – user3177 Oct 9 '18 at 3:47
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"Pu-tsin" in French or "pu-tin" in English — everywhere but western Canada, where they use "pu-teen" and have absolutely no idea what you're talking about if you pronounce it correctly.

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I can confirm people in western Canada say "pu-teen" and have no idea what you are talking about when you say "pu-tin".

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My schooling in Western Canada..tells me poutine should be pronounced "pouteen".

  • Hi! If you have access to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary or some such similar reference showing it's pronounced like so and you could quote it, that would improve the answer! Thanks! – user3177 Jul 28 '15 at 1:40
  • I travel and work in North-Western Canada a lot and can confirm there is a very strong tendency by everybody to go with this pronunciation indeed. Some go for POO-tn, but the vast majority with poo-TEEN. Perhaps a way to acknowledge its French-Canadian origins? – Montée de lait May 25 '18 at 17:50
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Every person I know of French descent, whether Parisian French or French Canadian have always pronounced Poutine like this;(Put-sin) Americans tend to pronounce it Poo-Teenie! Which pisses me off because I’ve had Poutine near Canada and everyone in the restaurant pronounced it Put-sin. I also pronounce it Put-sin. However you want to say it it still tastes delicious and is a great hors d'oeuvre! Or do people call them “Hours-De-vow-ers? :-)

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    I'm a Parisian and I've never heard "Pus-sin", do you have some sources? – Toto May 10 at 9:33
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I actually asked a real french teacher and she said it was (Poo Teen)

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    That's the way someone from Europe would pronounce it (and it's the way we pronounce the name of Vladimir Putin, which is spelled Poutine in French). But that's not the way it's pronounced where poutine is made (in Québec). – Gilles Mar 4 '16 at 17:54
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    As a Canadian, who has traveled Quebec, I can confirm what @Gilles said. That is not the way it is pronounced in Quebec. – Patrick Sebastien Mar 8 '16 at 16:09
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    It doesn't have to reflect the local pronunciation of where it was invented. [putin] would indeed be very close not only to the European pronunciation of the word, but also to the way it would be pronounced in Acadia and in the Gaspe peninsula. Nothing wrong with it. – Montée de lait May 26 '18 at 0:36

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