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

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Cuong
Posts: 336
(@chuynh)
Pho Restaurant Consultant
Joined: 11 years ago

Michael: lol The answers are right there my friend, just below the last words of the article "... and leave a request." and in very faint gray. Hope you find them.

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Michael
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 Michael
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Joined: 8 years ago

You're right, they're there, but for some reason on my screen they're so faint I didn't see them until I went back and looked again. Almost missed them then, but finally barely made them out.
Good web site. My wife and I are new to making Pho, but we're hooked.

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Cuong
Posts: 336
(@chuynh)
Pho Restaurant Consultant
Joined: 11 years ago

Hi Michael: I sort of said the answer is at the end of the article and people should not cheat... 😉 so I made a font color light gray on purpose so people don't cheat lol. Sorry about that, but I'm super glad you and your wife are hooked on pho!

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John
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Ahhh... so that's how you say it. I have to agree with one of the others above, that "Fa" is close (for those who don't know how to read the phonics).

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Daniel
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Hi Cuong

You sure do a great job at responding to the comments and visitors of this website.
I just wanted to say thank you for putting up this website. I am white and grew up in a vietnamese neighborhood and have always appreciated the culture. I was getting frustrated at the way people pronounced pho, and I am pleased you are trying to correct everyone.

Dan

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Cuong
Posts: 336
(@chuynh)
Pho Restaurant Consultant
Joined: 11 years ago

Hi John: like I said, to me and my guess is, to a lot of people, it does not help if you put "fa", "fuh", "fo", "f..." whatever, and expect someone to know what it is supposed to sound. To me the best way is still to hear it. Thanks for dropping in with your comment.

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Cuong
Posts: 336
(@chuynh)
Pho Restaurant Consultant
Joined: 11 years ago

Hi Dan: Thanks so much for your kind words. I love responding to visitors to LovingPho.com as you can tell, which, by the way, was one of my goals when creating the site in the first place. For a white guy to have such insight and appreciation for other cultures, I salute you! I am happy just to be able to help those who care to pay any attention to pho pronunciation. If I can help just a few people to be able to order their pho in Vietnamese, then I can rest in peace 😉

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Shanaynae Jones
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 Shanaynae Jones
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I like pho but I prefer bbq chicken and watermelon. Collard greens are cool but I'd rather eat a triple stack burger with extra mayo. I'm from da hood baby doll and we be gang bangin' on the corner of my mini market next to Duong Phuoc auto repair where he sells his pho in the parking lot. Word! I be telling my baby daddy to get me some pho from the auto repair dude with extra ketchup and bbq sauce.

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Andrew O
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 Andrew O
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Thanks for clearing this up for me! I've just learned how to make it and now I can pronounce it too 🙂 One weakness of the various Anglo descriptions I've heard is - I'm Australian, some speak with an English or Scottish or Irish or Canadian or one of various US accents, and simply hearing what it *actually* sounds like is very useful without having to figure it out.

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Cuong
Posts: 336
(@chuynh)
Pho Restaurant Consultant
Joined: 11 years ago

Andrew O: Yes exactly my original intention that I wanted to offer this to those who need to hear it. One cannot learn a language by merely reading letters and words; one has to hear it and speak it. I'm glad you got something out of it. Isn't the Internet wonderful? Cheers.

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Richard
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That is a crazy way to spell it. Should be spelt 'Far' or 'Fah'.

Pho - people may pronounce as 'Poe' or 'Foe'.

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Cuong
Posts: 336
(@chuynh)
Pho Restaurant Consultant
Joined: 11 years ago

Richard: Pho as a word is Vietnamese, influenced by French. Anyway, many Asian words are not easy to pronounce to a Westerner or even another Asian person, or conversely, Western language to an Asian. In my opinion, the key is to care and learn. The way I look at it is, if I am eating a foreign dish, then I would expect it to have a foreign-sounding name. And by the way, try google "far" or "fah" to get pho. I'm just saying.

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Richard
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The point is that it is written in Roman letters and it spells either 'po' or 'fo'. Neither which is close to the actual pronunciation and is misleading.

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Cuong
Posts: 336
(@chuynh)
Pho Restaurant Consultant
Joined: 11 years ago

Richard: First off I want to say I appreciate your views and comments. The reality is, the proper spelling of the modern Vietnamese word for this dish is phở. For lack of any other way to do it, the "Westernized" version of it has been and will continue to be "pho" for some time to come. Many English speaking people don't have a problem with it, while many others do.

If your beef with all this is about the spelling versus pronunciation of pho, then consider a perspective on why it is so hard for many to learn to speak English: Words Are Not Always Pronounced The Way They Are Spelt. Talk about spelling vs. pronouncing! How the heck do you pronounce the gh as an f in the words cough, enough, laugh, rough, and tough is beyond many of us. Fortunately I do not have a problem learning English, but many of us Vietnamese did and still do. We just deal with it.

Speaking of misleading, maybe it's not misleading at all. The modern Vietnamese language has been converted from Chinese characters to alphabet under French colonial times. To borrow from Wikipedia for convenience's sake, "Much of Vietnamese vocabulary has been borrowed from Chinese, and it formerly used a modified Chinese writing system and given vernacular pronunciation. As a byproduct of French colonial rule, Vietnamese was influenced by the French language; the Vietnamese alphabet (quốc ngữ) in use today is a Latin alphabet with additional diacritics for tones, and certain letters." Source: Vietnamese language from Wikipedia. So please blame the French for this 😉 If the British had colonized Vietnam back then, we would probably have your "far" or "fah."

By the way, I'll just share another interesting and funny bit here. Vietnamese communists (at least those during and right after the Vietnam War) never liked the French, and they actually started using fở in place of phở. But really, that did not work well at all; beside the fact that we Viet just laughed at such attempt and would never use it that way, they were still using the Western alphabet and the French accent marks in fở.

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harry
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 harry
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Joined: 6 years ago

thanks for this, cuong. i absolutely love pho-the delicately sweet, aromatic broth, the razor thin slices of rare beef that cook in the broth as you eat them, the crunch from the bean sprouts and ground peanuts...such a delicious and healthy dish. i just had a bowl(as well as a couple of 'summer' springrolls with grilled pork) a few hours ago! After listening to your files, i will attempt to order properly next i pop in for lunch-no more 'i'll have # 33..' thanks again!

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