Le Pen

Posted by Frank Legros on 19:07 5/29/02

In reply to: Kanaran posted by Frank Legros on 21:43 5/28/02

Hi, Mark

"Le Pen" is NEVER pronounced with a nasal vowel, but with an open e sound, as if it were written "Le Penn", or as if it were the English word "pen".

A short though pedantic explanation: "Pen" means "head" in Breton and in other Celtic languages. Le Pen's surname is not French... "Le" is of course the French definite article, the name is a half-translation from the full Breton name which must have been something like "Ar pen" (The p would lenited in Breton after the definite article, but I can't remember how: ven? ben?). "Le Pen" means THE HEAD. Funny, isn't it?

Mark responds:

Neat-- thanks for the explanation. BTW, a writer for Slate is in France this week, trying to figure you people out. Rather like Baudrillard in reverse, he mostly uses the occasion to make points about America.

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