I am talking about the region in Hungary and the wine made there. This is probably the most mispronounced wine term. Before I went on my trip to the region last month, I had been given at least 3 differet pronunciations by people into wine. After visiting the region and meeting with the winemakers, I can confidently state that I now know the correct way to pronounce "Tokaji".

Here it is:

Tokaji= Toe-Coy

That is "toe" like the thing on your foot and "coy" like the japanese fish.

VM
Original Post
This is once of the things that I get so tired of with wine. Why do SO many people in the business (or the hobby) not know how to pronounce the names properly??? When I was new to wine, this was really frustrating, and frankly, it still is! I still wonder how to pronounce "Cos" and other things.

Tokaji, Cos d'Estournel, Veuve, Sassicaia (sp?... I don't feel like looking it up) For each of these I have heard different pronounciations?!?!?

Mad
LJ- Cos= Coss. I asked the people who own the place. If you speak French (and I do) the inclination is to say "coe", but the word Cos is derived from an old french word, cox, and thus is pronounced "coss", rhymes with toss.

Is there more than one way to say veuve? Like verve, but leave out the r. The U is not pronounced as a U, it blends with the e.
For what it's worth, I've heard people from the Hungary embassy at the Ottawa food and wine show pronounce it. They were at a Tokaji booth.

It is pronounced :

Tokaji

Toe (as in big toe),
the "ka" are pronounced like "car" but without the "R"
The "ji" is pronounced like the "y" in the word "you". The "i" is not pronounced.

Again there may dialects.

As for the word "cos" (as in cos d'estournel), I always pronounced the "s", until a frenchman corrected me and said the "s" was silent.
Now people are saying that the chateau owners pronounce the "s". I am starting to wonder if it isn't a regional dialect thing from France.
quote:
Originally posted by grossie:
LJ- Cos= Coss. I asked the people who own the place. If you speak French (and I do) the inclination is to say "coe",


I've always just said "Coe" in referring to this wine and nobody has ever questioned it. I used to pronounce Clos du Bois as "Closs duh Boys" just because I also called La Jolla "La Jolla" as in pronounce the "J" and the "L's"; but that was OK because I used to live there. I still use tortilla's pronouncing the soft "i" and "L's". Just makes things more consistent, and pisses the heck out of those living here that won't learn our language.
Standard rules of pronunciation do not necessarily apply in proper nouns. That's why Cos is prounounce "kos" rather than with an application of the standard rule for pronouncing a vowel followed by "S" in French. There are tons of examples, both in people's and places' names.

The one that always kills me is "Laguiole" of knife and corkscrew (and cheese, for that matter) fame. You can look at that word for a few hours without stopping, and unless you've heard it pronounced, you'll never come up with " la -YOLE ".

My moniker, BTW, is NOT pronounced SEE - kwam. The correct pronunciation is see-AH-kwim (sort of like Seattle). Smile

Just so you know.
Again, taken on the surface, if you speak french (carried- I'm not sure your language qualifies as French Razz) the word Cos would be pronounced "coe", as Clos is pronounced "cloe", but the word Cos is an exception and the "s" is actually pronounced. I really did ask the people from Cos about this, and this is what I was told. I used the word "clos" as an example too.

Lou- I hope you're joking about the la jolla (hoya) and tortilla (tortiya) thing.

For anyone who complains about the difficulty of other languages try imagining what the words "knife or know" look like to a non-english speaker? How about "dumb" or "their"? English is not an easy language, it's full of silent letters and exceptions.
I used to be known as Grow-zee, but I'm now known as Gro-daddy.

BTW, the setting in which I found out the pronunciation of Cos was at a WS event. Because of all this talk here, I'm starting to question myself, and I've sent an email to the people at Cos D'estournel. I wonder how many thousands of this email they've gotten before? Let's see if they answer.
quote:
Originally posted by grossie:

I used to be known as Grow-zee, but I'm now known as Gro-daddy.


What an amazing coincidence! On Vancouver Island, Tyee was known as Grow-Daddy, but that all changed during the police investigation (I think they started calling him Flush-Daddy when the police were getting near).

quote:
Originally posted by grossie:

Because of all this talk here, I'm starting to question myself


Another coincidence! Since I started posting here, I too often question myself, and have recently begun answering myself as well. This has brought positive results, especially on crowded busses where someone always seems to move away so that I can have a seat and then the kind person sitting next to me gives me theirs as well, so that I have lots of room to stretch out. I'm sure the nice people on the El will do the same for you, especially on the Brown Line.
quote:
Originally posted by Seaquam:
I too often question myself, and have recently begun answering myself as well.


Ditto. What's your success ratio? How many go unanswered?
I usually get three unrelated answers per question (sometimes in foreign languages), which makes the use of public transportation a challenge - too many choices and not enough stops. Have you considered starting with answers before any questions even arise? It may dramatically decrease your commute time.
quote:
Originally posted by grossie:
Lou- I hope you're joking about the la jolla (hoya) and tortilla (tortiya) thing.


No joking. I still have a buddy that lives there, and I always ask how things in La Jolla are (J and L sounds). As for tortilla, I also pronounce quesadilla the same way, just like Godzilla. This is usually best appreciated when spoken in your best Cletus impression. If they had wanted a "Y" sound they would have spelled it with a "Y", is my motto. I had a great time in Italy with our landlord, who didn't speak a word of English. There's no doubt that the English language is full of inconsistencies and silent letters etc.
quote:
Originally posted by louzarius:
quote:
Originally posted by grossie:
LJ- Cos= Coss. I asked the people who own the place. If you speak French (and I do) the inclination is to say "coe",


I've always just said "Coe" in referring to this wine and nobody has ever questioned it. I used to pronounce Clos du Bois as "Closs duh Boys" just because I also called La Jolla "La Jolla" as in pronounce the "J" and the "L's"; but that was OK because I used to live there. I still use tortilla's pronouncing the soft "i" and "L's". Just makes things more consistent, and pisses the heck out of those living here that won't learn our language.


I confess that I do occasionally enjoy pronouncing fajitas as if it rhymed with a certain female body part.

And I have a friend who insists on pronouncing the "ot" at the end of Merlot and Pinot.
We had some of the Cos-stuff in the Learn Wine section.

But nooo, some of us don't want to learn. Some of us are born smart....

Anyway.
The question of the end-s in Cos has to do with the location you're in.
Roughly the southern half of France will pronounce the end-s, the northern half won't.
In the midi and the South-West, most end-vowels are pronounced (against standard rules).

Don't even try to pronounce the Spanish "j", related to the Flemish and German "ch". If it's a consolation: the French can't pronounce it either.
Question for the Magyarophones among us: isn't the end-"i" of Tokaji part of the genitive form? Like "wine of Tokaj" or something?
I thought the basic name of the grape was just "Tokaj".

Something in the vein of "Oporto", the English bastard name for Porto, derived from " O Porto" meaning : in Porto.
1. Tokaj. I have just asked a Hungarian - and subject to dialect (as always in Europe), he pronounced it Toe - kiy with the sound of the last syllable somewhere between "coy" and "kie" (as in sky).

2. Magyar pr. Modj-or (as close as I can get to English)

3. Cos = coss - as Rik has pointed out it is a dialectical function. It may have change since I was there - but as it had lasted at least 600 years, why would it change in 20?

I started from my schoolboy French without the "s" and was frequently corrected by both owners of Chateaux and by the workers in the vineyards. Something to do with the different pronunciation of the affirmative (yes) in the north "oil" (oyeel) and in the south "oc" (hence languedoc and languedoil).

4. In Burgundy I only ever heard it pronounced Coe/clo ... without the "s".

5. In English it is the same too, many dialects, the Aussies have a totally different understanding of the word "sheets", than New Zealanders!
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rik:
Question for the Magyarophones among us: isn't the end-"i" of Tokaji part of the genitive form? Like "wine of Tokaj" or something?
I thought the basic name of the grape was just "Tokaj".QUOTE]

The basic name of the grape for Tokaji is Furmint, and has no relations with the Tokaj or Tocai Friulano.
Here's the email I received back from Cos:

Dear Mr ------,

We have well received your e-mail of yesterday and thank you for your
interest.

The S of Cos has to be pronounced, Cos in the old Gascon tongue means
"the Hill of Pebbles".

Sincerely yours

Karine BASQUE
Domaines REYBIER SA
Château Cos d'Estournel
33180 SAINT-ESTEPHE


So I think that settles it. When someone tells you how their name is pronounced I don't think regional dialects come into play. If they say it's "coss", then it should be "coss" no matter where you're from.
Sorry, Malvasia, I mixed a few things up. A meant to type: a region (or a town for that matter).

On Cos.
If Bordeaux would be nearer to the Belgian border, the e-mail would have said: "Coe".
Now that Bordeaux is in Bordeaux, it says: Coss.
It's got nothing to do with the meaning of the word but with location.
I pronounce it "coss" because I don't live in Paris and becauxe it's the way the locals in Bordeaux pronounce it.
Rik- Is I told you that I pronounce my name "groie" (like Greendrazi supposes Razz), then that's my name, and that's the right way to pronounce it. It has nothing to do with where you're from or I'm from, it's a proper name (capitalized). While I understand what you mean with the regionality of Coss vs Coe, to me the argument isn't valid because we're discussing a proper name. Wouldn't you agree?

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