aprilp_katje (aprilp_katje) wrote in binky_betsy,

Pronouncing "Thérèse"

We had a recent sub-thread on pronouncing "Thérèse." Go here to listen to the French pronunciation. I'm kind of stunned that there are so many "pronunciation" sites where someone asks how to pronounce it and one person after another confidently chimes in with the wrong answer. Clue: it's not simply an alternate spelling for "Theresa" that is pronounced the same way; nor is it pronounced like "Theresa" with the "a" chopped off (Tuh-REECE). I recall at "Comics Curmudgeon" someone posted a poem or song with rhymes based on that last mispronunciation.

Update: As mentioned in the comments below, I submitted to the "podcast" site a question about Thérèse. I received an interesting response via e-mail from Steph.
Hi Katje - Lynn opted to answer this one by email, since we've already filmed a recent batch of podcasts and it might be a long while before we do another round of filming. I asked Lynn these three questions about Therese's character, which I know had been coming up in discussions around the Net when T's storyline originally ran:

1. how does Lynn feel about women who don't want to have children and would prefer to develop a career?

2. do you feel that Therese was justified in being jealous of Liz, since she and Anthony clearly still had feelings for each other and eventually did get married?

3. how did you develop Therese's character? Did you know someone like her, or was she necessarily horrible in order to move the story in the direction you wanted?

She said:

1) Having a family is such a personal decision that I have no opinion on the subject! If you do choose to have a family, I hope you will be as caring of the new life you bring into the world as you are of your own!

2) Therese was full of conflict. She married Anthony for love, but did so before she was fully aware of her own needs. Therese did not want to be a parent and wisely left her marriage when she found she was unable to care for her child. I didn't have the time or the heart to cover such a painful departure in the strip and left much to readers' imaginations. Therese was certainly jealous of Elizabeth's seemingly uncomplicated persona and Anthony's long term attraction for her. It's not unrealistic for someone to feel jealousy towards another who "succeeds where they have failed". I have friends who have chosen to be childless and others who would give anything to have a baby but are unable to conceive. This is an area of so many variables- you could make up practically anything and it would have happened to someone, somewhere!

3) Therese was entirely fictional. She was not horrible- but in order to have shown the good side of her, I would have been forced to digress from the main storyline for too long. Sometimes you have to vilify a character in order to make a story work. Nothing is entirely black and white, however and we do tend to believe that nobody is ALL bad! I'm sure that if FBorFW had continued, Therese would have excelled in her career, found the right partner and would now be enjoying a satisfying, productive life. I believe that mother and daughter would eventually be reunited and a warm respectful relationship would ensue. Then again...these things don't always go the way a writer plans!
So much for getting her to say "Thérèse" on video, but I did send up a follow up to Steph asking about how Lynn pronounces the name when she says it. To be honest, I do suspect that Lynn knows how to pronounce it, as French names are fairly ubiquitous in Canada. I think the "tuh-REECE" interpretation comes from the U.S. side of the border.

Update #2: Reply from Steph re. the pronunciation: "tay-RhEZ" is technically the correct way - the two accents are the indicator that we're going for a proper French pronunciation.

Sounds as though they know what the accents are for and actually meant them. :)

Update #3: I'd sent another follow-up asking how Lynn pronounces the name in casual conversation with English speakers. Apparently, Lynn pronounces as I do in that situation: "teh-REHZ."

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