Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Canadian City Pronunciation: Toronto

Last week I reviewed the correct pronunciation of Ottawa. Today we look at Toronto, a city name butchered by Canadians and foreigners alike. "Toronto" is pronounced "Tronno", like the 1982 Bruce Boxleitner flick with a "no" on the end. When said with a clipped southern Ontario accent, it comes out sounding like "Chronno", with a "ch" sound as in "chips". While many wince at the "To-RANT-o" commonly heard in places like Windsor, the real fingers-on-the-chalkboard version is the over-enunciated "Toe-RON-Toe" employed by the city's mayor, David Miller, who is not actually from the city and should generally be ignored.
Photo credit: JamSki

6 comments:

webber said...

I wonder if it is a socialist thing? Jack Layton pronounces it the same way as our beloved Mayor Miller.

Anonymous said...

I hate the "Tronno" pronunciation, it sounds very hill-billy.

David said...

Like Miller, Layton is not from Toronto either. As you know, he lived in Quebec until he was in his 20s. I think it comes down to whether you've picked up the fast-paced style of speech that is common among native Torontonians. Also, few native-born Canadians actually pronounce the letter "t" in words, instead using a "d" sound.

Urban hillbillies - I love it.

David said...

I should add a qualification to that last comment. Some people do pronounce "t", but often they're either from Quebec (like Layton) or are doing so to intentionally preserve a prestige accent. Nothing wrong with either.

SGT DUB said...

So the first "o" and second "t" are silent, now I know. I would have been in the camp of your Mayor if you hadn't set me straight.

David said...

Never a good camp to be in, Sarge, glad to help. Don't forget the "ch" sound that replaces the first "t". This can, however, lead to problems when giving one's address. Checking into a hotel in Frankenmouth, Michigan once, the clerk mistook "Chronno" for "Church Run".