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How To Pronounce Charcuterie

The word

refers to different types of processed meats. Often times charcuterie may be presented on a
board, with the meats paired alongside other delicious foods like cheeses and fruits. But how is this word pronounced in American English? Let's take a look.

Syllable Structure

There are four syllables in

.

We can segment the spelled word like this:

char-cu-ter-ie

The IPA for this word is:

ʃɑrˌkuɾəˈri

Let's take a closer look at each syllable.

First Syllable

[ʃɑr]

The first sound in this syllable is , the voiced alveolar fricative. To make this sound, vibrate your vocal cords while moving the tip of your tongue near your gum ridge as air blows through. Many words in English that start with the letters "ch" are pronounced with the affricate , which is a combination of and . However, in French, words spelled with "ch" are pronunced with , and this pronunciation has been preserved in English as well. Make sure you are not saying instead of .

The second sound in this syllable is . This is a low back unrounded lax vowel. To make this sound, your jaw should be dropped, and your tongue should be positioned low and pulled back in your mouth. Your tongue should be more relaxed and not have a lot of tenseness.

The third sound in this syllable is . This is the "bunched r" sound. If you didn't grow up speaking American English, it might be a bit tricky for your to say. Scrunch up your lips and bunch your tongue up a bit near your alveolar ridge while vibrating your vocal cords and allowing air to flow over your tongue. Make sure not to touch your tongue to the tip of your mouth.

Second Syllable

[ku]

The first sound in this syllable is , which is a voiceless velar stop. To make this sound, move your tongue body upwards in order to touch your velar palate to stop air from flowing through while your vocal cords are not vibrating.

The second sound in this syllable is , which is a high back rounded tense vowel. This syllable is unstressed. It is quieter, shorter, and has a lower pitch.

Third Syllable

[ɾe]

The first sound in this syllable is , a voiceless alveolar tap. In order to make this sound, touch the tip of your tongue to your gum ridge very quickly, while making sure your vocal cords are still and not vibrating. When a /t/ sound comes in between two vowels, in American English is becomes the voiceless alveolar tap.

The second sound in this syllable is . This is a mid central lax unrounded vowel. Many non-native speakers of American English will substitute a different vowel such as which is often made a bit further forward in the mouth. Make sure to use a in this syllable. If you are interested in learning more about , check out our blog post on schwa.

Fourth Syllable

[ri]

The first sound in this syllable is . This is the bunched r sound. If you didn't grow up speaking American English, it might be a bit tricky for your to say. Scrunch up your lips and bunch your tongue up a bit near your alveolar ridge while vibrating your vocal cords and allowing air to flow over your tongue. Make sure not to touch your tongue to the tip of your mouth.

The second sound in this syllable is . This is a high front tense unrounded vowel. In order to make this sound, your jaw should be raised, your tongue should tense, be lifted high and extended forward in your mouth.

Words Ending in -erie

This word originally came into English from French and has the French suffix -erie. French loanwords are usually pronounced in American English with emphasis on the third to last syllable. Examples of this include

and
. If you are interested in learning more about how suffixes can affect pronunciation in American English, check out our blog post on suffixes.

Summary

There are four syllables in the word

. The second syllable receives the most emphasis. This word is derived from French. There are many loanwords from French that end in -erie. These words, like
, are generally stressed on the third to last syllable.


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