How to pronounce "Moët"
Today I thought I would share some thoughts about pronunciation.
Sometimes people see foreign words or names and guess about the pronunciation, but they may guess incorrectly.
For example, when I was growing up in America, my father was very interested in plants and gardening. He had hundreds of trees and plants around our home, and some of them were very small Japanese bonsai trees. He pronounced this word as “バンザイ” as I think most people do in America. However, you probably know that bonsai is pronounced “ボンサイ” in Japanese.
Many people have heard of the champagne maker Moët et Chandon. They are a part of the luxury company LVMH, and probably the most famous sparkling wine maker in the world. However, most English speakers, (and most Japanese speakers, too) pronounce their name incorrectly. “Moët” should correctly be pronounced with a “t” sound at the end, like “Mo-wett”. Maybe a good Japanese pronunciation would be “モエット”.
If you don’t believe me, check the French Wikipedia page about this company: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champagne_Mo%C3%ABt_%26_Chandon.
How much should we try to pronounce foreign names correctly in our own languages? This is a difficult question, and I’m not sure I have the answer. However, I do know that English speakers do not usually try very hard to be correct. Japanese speakers, on the other hand, are much closer in many cases. I think ミュンヘン、イタリア、パリ、ブルゴーニュ and ナポリ are all closer to the original languages than Munich, Italy, Paris, Burgundy, and Naples. That’s why it is very interesting to me that Japanese people say モエ. It is even more interesting that, because SO many people say モエ, the company even changed its Japanese name to モエ.