Pho Pronunciation: You Can Say It, Pronounce Pho, Say: Phở...  

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Holly
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 Holly
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So there's a restaurant in my town named Pho King. Am I to understand that it is actually pronounced "f[edited]?" Because that's pretty hilarious to me.

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chuynh
Posts: 355
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Pho Restaurant Consultant
Joined: 11 years ago

Hi Holly: you're on your own with this one. Personally I think the owner of this pho chain should have a little more respect for what many consider VIetnam's national dish to the world.

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Holly
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 Holly
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I agree with you, Cuong. Do you think I should demand to speak to the Pho King manager? I just can't believe anyone would show such blatant disrespect for Vietnamese cuisine. I won't be able to eat another Pho King meal without thinking about this travesty. I mean, honestly. It's a Pho King disgrace!

Don't worry, Cuong. I'll take care of this matter as soon as I can. When I storm in there with both guns blazing, those Pho King morons won't know what hit them!

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chuynh
Posts: 355
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Sorry Holly to hear you have such strong feelings about such nonsense, and you've made your point.

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phozy
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 phozy
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I am Vietnamese and we at my home have always pronounced it pho, like foeh.

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chuynh
Posts: 355
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Hi phozy: Thanks for your sharing your pronunciation of pho. My personal feeling, and still my original intent of this article, is to let people hear what it sounds like, because when one tries to show others how it should sound using words like "foeh", it really does not help. Many people would pronounce "foeh" as "phooey" I would guess, which is no where near what phở should sound like.

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Fă Fă
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 Fă Fă
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After listening to the pronunciation, and if you know Romanian, I would say it's said "Fă"

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chuynh
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Hi Fă Fă: I'll take your word for it. Not sure what "Fă" means though. Care to enlighten us?

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Sue
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Thanks very much for this. I was saying it ALL wrong!

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chuynh
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Hi Sue: You're very welcome. Of course Vietnamese is not the easiest language to learn, but the important thing is one tries to say it correctly. I'm glad to be of help.

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Kẻ Không Tên
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Just think of the English word "fur" and say it in a confused manner (but don't over-pronounce the 'r'). That should be the rough pronunciation.

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chuynh
Posts: 355
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Pho Restaurant Consultant
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Hi Kẻ Không Tên: thanks for sharing your comment. Yes i would say that's pretty rough pronunciation. How about just listen to the recordings? They're more accurate and useful than any textual description anyway.

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Kẻ Không Tên
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Lol, and if you know IPA (the International Phonetic Alphabet), it is [fə̃ː]

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chuynh
Posts: 355
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Pho Restaurant Consultant
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Hi Kẻ Không Tên: IPA is fine, but the purpose of this article is to let people hear the pronunciation, plus IPA does not take into account differences in northern and southern accents.

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Samantha
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 Samantha
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Thanks very much for the audio files! As a linguist and speaker of 4 languages (Mandarin included), I find that translations into or using English letters or sounds can be challenging. (I also encountered this issue when learning pinyin.) One thing that I felt would be helpful for non-Viet speakers to know is the tones. It sounded like in the audio files that one Viet speaker used a tonal but the other didn't, or it was hardly noticeable. Again, that may go back to what you were saying about North and South accents. I would say the closest English phonetic spelling would be "fuh" with a falling and then a slight rising tone. PLEASE correct me if that is not accurate. Thanks again, Cuong, for this post!!!

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