11 Montreal-Area Place Names Anglos Just Can't Pronounce Correctly, According To Montrealers

Do you agree with this list?

Staff Writer
Close-up of a map of the Montreal area. Right: People waiting for a metro train at Lionel-Groulx station in Montreal.

Close-up of a map of the Montreal area. Right: People waiting for a metro train at Lionel-Groulx station in Montreal.

Hats off to all the Anglos and Allophones living in Montreal. It takes bravery to learn the basics of the French language and even more guts to utter our locales' sometimes tongue-twisting place names. English speakers are forced to pronounce sounds which simply go against their instincts, but the effort is much appreciated — and let's be honest, often quite endearing.

We asked MTL Blog's followers on Instagram to list the place names they have difficulty pronouncing. "All of them" doesn't count.

Angrignon

To all the people who call this metro station "angry-noun" or "angry-onion," it's not quite right but your version is funnier.

Ahuntsic

The name of this neighbourhood seems quite straightforward but apparently, some Anglos struggle with the first two letters. Try saying "a" the French way, followed by "hunt" but the "h" is silent, then "sick." You can do it!

Châteauguay 

Don't forget to add the little hat on the first vowel! It's not there to confuse you. Centuries ago, the French language dropped a consonant in the word "château." The hat serves as a vestige of that lost letter.

You're almost there if you know how to say "castle" in French. Then, try saying "gay" like a Frenchie, using the "é" sound at the end.

Longueuil

I've heard "Long-oyle," "Long-oy" and even "Long-oyle." The first bit is simple. Then, you can google how to pronounce "eye" in French. There, you have your second syllable.

Beloeil

Another challenge for English-speaking Montrealers, especially those who are not familiar with the South Shore. Once more, you can use the French translation of "eye" to pronounce the perhaps confusing jumble of vowels at the end.

Rue/Parc Ouellette

No need to panic, that's an easy one. You can just say "well" first, then think of the word "bet" with no "b" sound. Your French-speaking homie should understand the reference if you pronounce "Well-et."

Honoré-Beaugrand 

To the person who submitted "Honore beaugrad," we can just imagine how you say it. First, both the "h" and "d" are silent. "Beau" is pronounced "bo," and here's your reference for the last bit.

Lionel-Groulx

Another metro station in Montreal that's difficult to pronounce. Forget the "lx," you can just say "gru." Also "Lionel" in French is pronounced "L-ee-o-nell." You're welcome.

Montmorency 

That's the northernmost terminus of the orange line. Some Anglophones pronounce it "Mount-more-enn-see" and just for this, we love you.

Charlevoix

Clearly, the STM did not think of Anglos when coming up with metro station names. In this video, you can hear Justin Trudeau and other people say the word correctly.

Saint-Hyacinthe

Here's a great reminder that you'll hear different pronunciations even among Francophones. As you can hear on this page, the first "t" is silent in France, but Quebecers pronounce it. As if the language wasn't already hard enough!

Charlotte Hoareau
Staff Writer
Charlotte Hoareau is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused in things to do in Montreal and Montreal weather. She is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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