A Franco-British summit is being held in Amiens today. The name is pronounced in French /amjɛ̃/, which is often misinterpreted in English as /ˈæmiɑ̃ː/. The BBC’s recommendation is the closer /æmˈjæ̃/. Chris Aldridge, Radio 4’s Chief Announcer, had obviously not had time to check before he read the 7 o’clock news this morning, because he used the /-ɑ̃ː/ pronunciation. By the time of the 7.30 summary, he had had a chance to look it up, and was on track with /-æ̃/. This is exactly as the system should work, and perfectly acceptable to the audience. The point of this post, however, is not Chris Aldridge’s pronunciation, but that of the reporter more-or-less on the spot in Calais, Anna Holligan. I see from her online profile that she is the BBC’s correspondent in The Hague. This may explain why she said /əˈmiːnz/. Is this the usual pronunciation in Dutch?


  1. I believe that the Dutch say Amiens in the French way. See

  2. Kevin – Thank you very much for finding this. The clip is also interesting for the “mispronunciation” of a French cyclist’s name as German by the studio presenter, which completely threw the French interviewee!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.