After all these years I learn I've been mispronouncing Reims. I love watching the tour and have followed it long before (1974) I even wanted to go to France. It's the most beautiful spectacle in sports and if you are on this forum you should check out a little of the television coverage. The aerial shots alone will amaze you. Now I've been three times and the next trip my wife is all in on seeing a little of the tour.
I’ve been a serious TdF fan for 18 yrs, love it. Missing Paul very much.
LoL, yes, definitely not “reems”.
Stage 3 on Monday, the American commentators kept saying “Bean-che” over and over, it was nails on a blackboard to me. Then, thank goodness, Phil came on and pronounced Binche correctly.
We're going to Nancy & Colmar this year so glad that they're covering sites to amp up our excitement!
Reims is pronounced like clearing your throat -- sort of 'Rance' but more guttural almost a snarl. Not easy to do. We love watching the tour -- we fast forward some of the long sweeps, but slow down for those fabulous fly overs of French towns. Last year they flew over Cadouin where we had stayed for a week with friends and we were all thrilled that we could spot our cottage. I wish they identified more of the chateaux and churches that they feature. Sometimes they label them but other times they have someone blathering and so they go unmarked. France is a beautiful country and the Tour coverage makes me want to go all those places we haven't yet been. We watched the tour come in on the Champs Elysees about 10 years ago - it was great fun -- still have the hat. We also once watched the Dauphine come up Mont Ventoux when we were staying there on its slopes with friends. Still have the gimmee hats the cheese cars were throwing to the crowd before that as well. When they are coming up hill, you can really see them as they are of course a lot slower than on the flat where they flash by so fast, you better not sneeze or you will miss them.
True, even up hill they’re going fast. Up hill, on a big curve is a good watching spot. But at least on the Champs they go past you 8 times so you have more opportunity to see them.
Yes, “rance”, but even if Americans can’t pronounce the R correctly, it’s a big improvement over “reems”.
I don't follow it every single day but do watch it on TV5, a very educational way of seeing the absolutely lovely countryside. One year the route went through Arras and I wanted to see the sights I knew in that city.
If you want to see varied areas and towns of France, seeing them on TV5 is the way to go if you can't be over there.
We always TVO things like the Tour so we can skip over the boring stretches and also the commercials and most of the commentary. And you can of course replay particularly beautiful flyovers.
Visited Reims in May --- it rhymes with France - Rance not however, FRANCE like Bobke says more like France like Phil says it. BIG TDF fan here - miss Paul but am enjoying Bobke in the second seat. Seeing the TDF flags in Epernay was awesome - the town was very excited to have the stage. I love watching the Tour when they visit places we've been. On the other hand I made my hubby drive up Mont Ventoux so I could take photos!
Yes, i love Bob Roll!! Met him, Lance and Hincapie in Sausalito for the 1st Stage of the 1st Tour of California... that was a major thrill.
I love the race itself, in addition to the scenery. I record it too, but i love listening to the commentators. They’re fun and full of fascinating info. Wouldn’t want to watch without Phil, Bob, Jensie and now Chris Horner who is a great addition. But i still miss Paul very much.
Interestingly I have heard various French people when speaking English pronouncing it as 'Rheems', as well as pronouncing Lyon as "Lions", Marseille as 'Mar-sails' and sound the 's' in Paris. They must be taught this is all correct in English …
Both our guides at Moet and Taittinger said -- well for you English speakers it's REEMS but it's really Rance. Made me feel like I should be saying Rance
Thanks for the reminder.
I usually suggest saying it Hrahnce, if that makes sense. I have no idea how you get the pronunciation from the spelling?
I have the NBC Sports Cycling Pass subscription. It has two choices daily, the first is the regular broadcast with Phil, Bobke, Christian, Chris, and Steve Schlanger, with field reports from Jens and Steve Porino. The second is the entire event, no commercials, Matthew Keenan and Robbie McEwan-the former rider-call it in their Aussie accents and it's a little calmer than Phil and Bobke. I usually watch the no-commercial version, sometimes jumping to Phil & Bob if I want more explanation. $55 per year and worth it since I cut the cable a few years back. No more DVR hassle, it's great.
I have no idea how you get the pronunciation from the spelling?
There's a pronunciation rule in French governing nasal vowels. My understanding is that for most, if not all, words with m or n at the end of the word (or in the case of words like Reims, comté, champ, and compte, close to the end) where the m or n follows a vowel, you wouldn't actually pronounce the m or n. Rather, you would make the preceding vowel sound nasal. To my American ear, that makes them sound like they're followed by a very brief, nasally, "n," which seems normal when the word is written with an "n" but odd when it's an "m."
So, for example "champ" as in Champs-Elysée sounds almost like the male name "Sean," but with a very short, nasally-sounding "n." It's not really an n though, it's the nasal vowel sound for a particular "a" sound, usually written in pronunciation guides as ã.
So Reims is pronounced that way because the "ei" vowel sound in French, which sounds similar to a short "a" sound in English, is pronounced as a nasal vowel, which, to some American-trained ears, sounds a little like a short "a" sound followed by a brief, nasal "n" (usually written in pronunciation guides as ɛ̃).
The ITV commentators in the UK tend to mangle names as well.
Just imagine a French TV commentator trying to pronounce Yachats, Puyallup, Sequim, Humptulips, Kooskooskie, Tillamook, Umpqua, Neahkahnie, Yaquina (all places in the Pacific Northwest), or, better yet, the state fish of Hawaii: Humuhumunukunukuapua’a.
I went to the last stage of the Tour of California this year and splurged for VIP at the finish line. Just missed the autograph session with the announcers which is just as well because if I had met Phil Liggett I probably would have started blubbering about Paul. The first time the peloton went by I completely understood why it's easier to stay in the pack, the wind they create was really powerful. Banging on the barrier as they go by was something I always wanted to do. I had tried explaining to my wife what a rock star Peter Sagan is but the middle aged women screaming for him at the awards ceremony said it all. The experience made me want to see the TDF in person.
Richard, watching the final Stage on the Champs Elysées is super fun for a TdF fan. I highly recommend it!
“for example "champ" as in Champs-Elysée sounds almost like the male name "Sean," but with a very short, nasally-sounding "n."
Matt, agree with most of what you said in your post and i understand this quote is a good attempt at an explanation, but it’s still incorrect. It’s not a nasally sounding N. It’s not an N sound at all. it’s a sound that does not exist in English.
janet is right, it’s the sound a French person would make when saying France in French.
janet is right, it’s the sound a French person would make when saying
France in French.
To get a little nitpicky here -- and I realize this is a travel forum and not a linguistics forum, so feel free to skip this post! -- the nasal vowels in Reims and in France (in French) aren't actually identical in any variety of French that I know of, and a native speaker would not consider them to rhyme.
The first vowel (to break out some International Phonetic Alphabet) in Reims is /ɛ̃/, which is the same nasal vowel found in pain, faim, or rein, whereas the vowel in France is /ɑ̃/, which is the nasal vowel found in Caen, vent or rang. So Reims is /ʁɛ̃s/, while France is /fʁɑ̃s/.
The two vowels are contrastive in French, i.e. words can differ solely based on the difference in those two vowels -- the two words bain "bath" and banc "bench" are differentiated solely on the vowel: bain is /bɛ̃/, banc is /bɑ̃/. (French's conservative orthography and plentiful silent letters make the two words look more different than they are.) It's the same for saint vs sang, craint vs cran, pain vs paon or daim vs dam, which all are pairs distinguished solely by the /ɛ̃/ vs /ɑ̃/ vowel.
Thank you Andrew! I’ve heard it pronounced both ways, thanks for the definitive pronunciation. Either way though, there’s no N sound (or M sound) in Reims.
Yeah, i’m definitely not a linguist, but i did grow up in France going to French schools where they spent at least an hour every day teaching us how to make the correct sounds.
I agree Richard! It has long been a dream of our to see a portion of The Tour.
French: The letters don't matter and the pronunciation is made up.
That's why I like the French language.
Barbara --- you do know that Phil is a Brit right? Don't Brits think they are pronouncing "anything" THE correct way? LOL.
Ah I like the instruction of not pronouncing the N. Thanks.
LOL -- yes the British pronounce things their own way. I find their pronunciation of Medici particularly grating and there are lots of French words pronounced uniquely as well. ON the other hand I can understand French pretty well when spoken by an American with a terrible French accent, but when listening to an actual French person, it is a blur of elision and nose.
Well, one thing I can guarantee is that Chris Froome will not be taking any Yellow Jersey's in this year's tour after crashing into a rock wall at 60kph in the Criterium du Dauphine a couple weeks ago.
Thanks to all for NO SPOILERS...I won't be able to watch today's stage til tomorrow ;-(
I’m with you Dave, NO SPOILERS PLEASE.
It’s hard for me to hear friends who visit France often butcher French words but i just have to bite my tongue.
My best friend is British and he often tells me how the British say the names of towns in England that have French names, it’s hilarious and even he rolls with laughter.
Susan, American do that with place names too. Cairo Il for example is Kay roh. or Lafayette, anywhere in the south is Lah FAY et. . but I'm from Seattle and nobody pronounces Pacific Northwest names unless they know even other Americans. My favorite geography joke. Someone is asked where they are from by a New Yorker -- they say 'Idaho'. and the New Yorker says, 'Oh we pronounce that Iowa out here'
janet, so funny!!
You’re so right about place names here too, it’s a long list. Also food names... crêpe, macarron, etc.
As Henry Higgins , once infamously said - " The French don't care what they say actually , as long as they pronounce it properly " ( From " Why can't the English " , My Fair Lady , 1956 )
For another view of the Tour de France route, the Natural History Museum in Paris does short videos of natural areas at each stop, Le tour de France de la biodiversité 2019. They are in French, but even if you don't speak the language they are lovely to watch.
How did they NOT go along the Cote d'Or for today's stage? The route was a bore with very little scenery.
Such a great forum! For sure no spoilers I can't watch until the evening!
Don't get me started on being a yanky from Illinois moving to Texas who spent my first 2 months asking people to "please spell that" because I could have sworn MANOR was manor not MAYNAR. Took me two hours to find the airport since I was looking for MAYNAR.
Outside of a few classic climbs and the finish in Paris, there's a fair amount of pay to play when it comes to setting the route for a Grand Tour. I can remember the announcers for the Giro d'Italia, which is early enough in the season that the weather can be sketchy and a GC title can be lost when the leader in the classification goes head over handlebars into s snow bank, talking about how certain local Italian tourism boards were not getting their money's worth out of their lobbying to be a stage start or end point because the day the race was in town, it was 11C and raining the whole time.
Finishing up our Champagne bike tour, we arrived in Reims by bicycle a long time ago, maybe going 20kph, hardly a peloton pace, but what a way to get to the historic cathedral! So does anyone in the USA order “shahm-pahn-ya,” rather than “sham-pain?”
So sad for Tejay van Garderen - another disappointing TDF - this time it’s a busted thumb. Unfortunate departure because of his thumb. And no Taylor Phinney this year. And boy, did Movistar’s riders have a rough day yesterday (hope that’s not a spoiler). Vive Le Tour!
I lost all respect for Tejay at the Tour of California this year. Stage started & ended in Sacramento - we were there to watch. At the Finish there was the stage for the awards, hundreds of people in front, so about 40 of us were behind the stage watching the different riders back there waiting or returning from getting their award on the stage. About 20 people were there for over an hour in 90* heat just to see Tejay (not me, i wanted to see them all but not Tejay in particular), Tejay got his award and was at the back of the stage for about 5 min, he was within 3 feet of the 40 of us separated by one of those metal fence barricades, his fans were very politely saying his name so he’d acknowledge them, but he wouldn’t. For those 5 min he made a point of never even looking at them let alone acknowledging them. They weren’t asking for his autograph, weren’t asking for anything except for him to look at them and maybe smile. But no, he went out of his way to absolutely ignore them and left.
I thought he was an arrogant piece of garbage after seeing that.
Other riders did acknowledge and smile at us, only Tejay went out of his way to ignore everyone.
As i wrote in a previous post, we met Lance, Hincapie and Bob Roll at the 1st Tour of California. All three could not have been nicer. Very friendly, very gracious. Tejay was the exact opposite.
Susan- that’s really disappointing to hear, but glad your encounters with other riders went well. We got to spend some time here in Colorado with Bobke Roll, truly a great person and cycling idol. George Hincapie has been tops, too. Lance Armstrong has said repeatedly in his more recent The Move podcasts and other venues how arrogant and not nice he was in his cycling prime, but there’s no one more knowledgeable in pro cycling fundamentals, strategies, personalities, or Le Tour than he, and he’s a different person than 10 years ago. Older, wiser, and seemingly very genuine. Phil Liggett’s a legend. Paul Sherwin RIP. Maybe a French rider will win France’s grand race again soon?
Cyn, disappointing for sure. I was stunned by how arrogant and nasty he was.
I hope Lance has changed, for his kids’ sake. I adored him back in the day. Felt betrayed when the truth came out. But despite him admitting he was arrogant and not nice (true as it turned out), i have to say, on the Champs Elysées in 2001, after he won the Tour and after the awards ceremony, he rode his bike very slowly from the stage area down to the bottom of the Champs where about 30 of his fans were (my son and me included), those metal fence barricades separating us, and he rode his bike very slowly next to each of us thanking us all for being there. He was friendly, smiled and acknowledged everyone.
I was so surprised to see Lance on with Phil and Bob the other day. I had no clue he was back and involved in the cycling world again.
I’d love to see a French guy win this year. Alaphillippe?
Yes, that's with Rex Harrison as Henry.
On the French pronunciation: very logical actually when you follow the French pronunciation key and don't fall back on using the English one.
I cut Tejay van Garderen a lot of slack; I don't think any of us can relate if we haven't walked in his cleats. Expectations for Tejay from the start of his career have been very high, and, arguably, he has not lived up to those expectations. There's a lot that goes into that, but this latest TdF exit is unfortunately par for the course for Tejay. He's either hot or he's cold, there's not a lot of in between. I'm not so sure that an unwillingness to engage with fans is arrogant and nasty, it's more likely imo that he has too much pride to luxuriate in fan praise when he is not entirely satisfied with his career to this point. He's a very decent human being, who happens to operate under the public lens.
If you had been there and saw what i saw you might feel differently.
There is no excuse for how he behaved that day.
Donna -- a friend tells me of trying to buy 'Shake and Bake' in a Texas store and finally someone said 'oh he wants 'Shike and Bike'
@janettravels44 - Texans is a whole nother language.
I played TDF Fantasy Cycling challenge for about 10 years ... TeJay always disappoints. I just think he doesn't have the "constitution" to be a Grand Tour rider. I was not at all surprised he DNF. I miss Taylor. If you can find the interview with Paul Burmeister on NBCsports - its a great interview and Taylor's dad, Davis, figures prominently. I think it's call Off Script.
Lance, Lance, Lance - he broke all our hearts. My fav is still Christian Vande Velde. Met him and Jensy after the Colorado Pro Cycling Challenge a few years back.
I've seen Tejay race perhaps 5 times. I sat down and added up all the money I'd spent on tickets, it didn't take long: $0.00
Tejay owes me nothing, I wish him the best.
The NBC Gold broadcast uses the international feed, whereas the NBCSN/NBC coverage does their own thing. The video which the various broadcasters use is mostly the same. Sometimes they will show aerial views of the historic sights out of sequence on a small tape delay.
The video quality of the Gold channel works for me. I have my laptop connected to my HDTV and
its always in perfect high-definition.
Another advantage of Gold is that you can replay all legs on demand on watch on your own schedule.
What a beautiful stage 11 was. I'm sure the guys riding see nothing but boy I was ready to pack my bags and visit.
I agree, a beautiful stage. I record the race on a DVR and fast forward through the commercials. I'll buy the pass for the rest of the season including the spring classics but the DVR is my best bet for Le Tour.
Some observations..... It seems Phil and Bob have settled into a good working relationship which was a little awkward at first, at least to me. Chris Horner is doing a fine job although he and Christian always agree on everything. Phil seems a little less focused unless I never realized he is mostly winging it. Bob is trying harder to have prepared stuff for the helicopter shots. A great race but not nearly as dramatic and compelling as last year, so far.
I have always been annoyed at how badly they describe the historic monuments and chateaux as they pass by; Bobke's work on that this year is a decided improvement. They made a big fuss about the Pont du Gard though but we didn't not see it in our tape of the stage. We were looking for it, so I don't know if they passed it before the recording started (we seem to be getting about two thirds of the race) or what.
The scenery of the Tour this year seems to be set on high saturation, or full stun, if you prefer. Perhaps France got more rain than usual, I figure the helo pilots really want this assignment. Richard, it's funny you mention how Christian always agrees with Chris-I'm not sure Chris is right for it, the chemistry is not quite there for me. I do think it's a major goal of the Tour to have parallel shows-a race with a travelogue, so Bob (or the Aussie's) always have something to say re scenery. They're keenly aware that watching hours of bike racing is for some folks like watching the grass grow. I'm forever making notes of "things to see when in the area".
Yesterday I learned on the TdF broadcast that the Albi Cathedral is the largest brick building in the world. Mission accomplished.
Janet, I heard Phil talking about the Pont du Gard and thought I'd lost my mind or at least my knowledge of French geography. Sure enough we won't see it until stage 16+17 when the race starts in Nimes which along with Orange and the Pont du Gard means we'll see lots of Roman antiquities on those stages. I hope Bobke bones up on his facts.
I think Chris Horner is great. It’s Christian Vande Velde i don’t care for. Up until this year he could not string 3 words together. He uses the wrong words constantly. His thought process is so jumbled and scattered i often can’t understand what he’s trying to say. He’s improved this year, but it’s still nails on a blackboard listening to him.
Ah. so the Pont du Gard lies ahead -- I thought it seemed oddly placed geographically. We walked across the Pont du Gard years ago before safety concerns made it less available --and we had a hotel room where it literally filled our window at night -- just a few hundred meters from our wall of windows at a little hotel, now closed, on the Gard. But they kept talking about it, so I figured they must be somewhere near. The helicopter work is wonderful -- the main reason we watch the Tour every year. Only so much interest in butts on bikes.
“Why can't NBC send someone into some of the places to sample the food, museums, sites, etc.?”
janettravels44 - I to searched and searched for the Pont du Gard - I am convinced someone said they would cross it on that stage but then I just looked at the stage map and viola' stage 17.
I think Chris and Christian are getting better as is Bob in his new role. I was never a fan of Phil - and this year he seems off his game more than usual.
Le Tour always has an unexpected twist or two. What about the sudden exit of Rohan Dennis, unexplained? Riders usually are distraught at having to abandon the race, even if severely injured, so there must be something extreme going on in his personal life. And as an Aussie, it’s winter back home, as he suffered the race dynamics in France.
NBC “Universal” showed the Giro D’ Italia for a couple of years, and the Vuelta a Espana, but there’s nothing like the Tour, and they certainly won’t abandoning it any time soon. Allez!
Wow I had not heard, that's too bad-and right before the TT. Sounds like a number of factors, but the team is not saying exactly what brought this on.
I think he had a problem with team management.
I'm confused -- The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct so there has never been traffic on it except foot traffic. It is years since we did it; back in the day we could walk though the old watercourse or on top -- not sure what the access is like today.
The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct so there has never been traffic on it
except food traffic.
Vehicular traffic was indeed permitted up until the 1990s.
We visited Pont du Gard and Uzes May 2018. It was great too watch the stage last night. Such a beautiful country. It was great to see them cycle over the bridge where we had walked! No access to the top only via the bridge. I think it has been closed since the floods almost took the whole Pont du Gard down.
Extreme heat in Paris, hail in the mountains. French yellow jersey aspirations fall victim to climate change as....REDACTED
UPDATE. 20th stage shortened because of extreme weather leaving REDACTED in Yellow!
UPDATE. REDACTED wins shortened (to 59K) stage...
EDIT: Sorry missed the spoiler alert notice.
Edgar, we asked for No Spoilers here.
The scenery has been absolutely amazing.
The scenery has been great. As Bob Roll said - no travel agency does a better job of video promotion than the TDF! Heck I'm planning a visit to Corsica just because of the TDF a couple years ago. BUT e-bike for us even though I'm a pretty good cyclist.
Still disappointed about the last two stages. I really believe the outcome would have been different for Julian - he could have at least been on the podium in 3rd had they not shortened the stages. I agree there should always be alternative routes.
If you think the evil empire is truly evil- wait until next year with Froomy presumably back.
Movistar had the worst team tactics but still pulls out the team yellow? I found that interesting.
It's the French TDF curse that began in 1986 when Hinault who promised to support Greg LeMond after Greg supported Hinault's 5 win in 1985. Hinault attached Greg LeMond in the 1986 TDF and didn't support Greg, but ended up dropping out. Greg started the French curse in 1986 by being the first English speaker to win the TDF.
I’m going through TdF withdrawal today. It’s just so fun to watch every day.
Happy for Egan Bernal and Colombia but i was hoping Julian Alaphillippe would win.
I am also in TDF withdrawal! The organizers did a great job shown by how close the GC was near the end. I was so disappointed that mother nature had such a dramatic effect on the last two stages after it had been set up for such a tight finish. Still a great tour and all the French support and good behavior of the fans was incredible. You may dislike the team but Bernal and Thomas were class acts all the way, especially Thomas.
TDF withdrawal as well. My husband says we should plan to leave on a vacation the day after the Tour ends! Maybe we'll start a new tradition in 2020.
Agree about Bernal and Thomas being great winners.
It was a pleasure to watch this year. I liked Bob Roll in his new role. I loved all the new technology added for Christian & Chris to play with and the tour map showing the Tete de la course and the peloton.
Donna, good idea! The days after the TdF is over just seem so empty...
Wow, Froomie a sprinter at one time? A slight guy like him (even with massive, strong legs that any pro cyclist possesses) would never get mistaken for a Tom Boonen or Andre Greipel.
On to La Vuelta a Espana!
Barbara- was your tour guide French? I have a hard time believing Froom was a sprinter. I have watched way too many TDFs to believe that. Heck he started out as a domestique for Wiggins and that was A LONG time ago in bike racing years.
We just sat down to watch the final of the Tour -- Curses on NBC -- first they didn't show it the penultimate day and we had to record it the next day and then they change channels at the end of the tour on the final day -- so we see them come onto the Champs but not the finish. so instead of the finals of the Tour we get some NASCAR.
Janet, I had the same issues, they really F'd us over for no apparent reason. I was able to watch Saturday on NBC cycle pass but it was completely unnecessary. I recall they did the same thing last year so, be prepared next year.
Same here janet and Richard. I was so angry. Comcast didn’t broadcast Stage 20 until Sunday, then they end the Final Stage half way through. WTH???
Luckily, i was watching the recorded Final Stage on Sunday when they said it was ending and to change to another channel. They re-broadcasted the entire Final Stage again Sunday night and i was able to record it and watch it from where they left off earlier in the day. If i had not been home to watch the 1st (incomplete) recording, i wouldn’t have known to record the later Sunday night broadcast and i would have missed the Champs Elysées circuit. I would have been furious. It was terrible that they did that.
yeah if we had realized they truncated the coverage after 2 laps and then shifted to another station we would have recorded the Sunday morning replay, but since we didn't watch the winning stage till Monday and the final ceremonial stage till Tuesday we didn't realize they had not shown the whole thing on one station (which we were recording). They did not play the winning stage until the next morning; they did something similar last year when some other event delayed showing one of the stages.
Bobke seemed to think that Martin was basically defending himself and should not have been ejected given ineos aggression and the fact that this is apparently a common tactic. Sad to see that this behavior wins places on the podium.
Had the same issues as mentioned above- talked to guys at my gym who did as well. We did record the late Sunday night version and watched it last night. I do have NBCsports Gold on my iPad and we did watch some of the stage but I missed the "guys" so I waited to watch the recorded version. SIGH it's over yep on to the Vuelta!
Barbra, in the SF Bay Area it was either Comcast or NBCSports that did not show Stage 20 until early Sunday morning. I’d love to ask the genius that made that call Why??