Is "de" or "d' " used before Ouagadougou?

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

18 January 2018

4 replies

Is "de" or "d' " used before Ouagadougou?

The pronunciation of the capital of Burkina Faso starts with a "w" sound, so I'm wondering if one says DE Ouagadougou or D'Ouagadougou. The word begins with a vowel (well, three actually!), but since the pronunciation is not of the 'o' sound, I'm wondering if 'de' is used. Thanks for your help!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

21 January 2018

21/01/18

Hi Bonnie, I have checked with several French people and the consensus is to say ´De Ouagadougou as it is a proper noun . Hope this helps ....

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

22 January 2018

22/01/18

Merci! But other proper nouns use elision. For example, in the A0 level kwiziq series, De Atlanta is considered incorrect, while d'Atlanta is the correct answer. But, again, it's "as if" Ouagadougou started with a "w" sound, not a vowel sound. Thank you for your help!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 January 2018

23/01/18

Yes Bonnie, in fact it has nothing to do with it being a proper noun. After typing my answer I thought of lots of examples where we use the elision - e.g. je suis/ viens d' Amiens, d' Angoulême , d' Amersdam, d' Orléans, d' Ussel, d' Italie , d' Evian etc ... As a rule the elision is used in most cases when 2 vowels clash. In French you will often find exceptions to all rules . At school, when the case arose, we were told - "C'est l'exception qui confirme la règle " by teachers .... With more unusual or less know places like Ouagadougou, sometimes you use what feels right, it is hard to explain but as it has 4 syllables for clarity sake you would want to say de O..... I did think of another OUA sound which takes us to French speaking Belgium- Je viens de Wallonie....Hope this helps!

Bonnie

Kwiziq community member

23 January 2018

23/01/18

Thank you for your very thorough response! I love the sound of Ouagadougou, and I'm intent on having my students know that there are places they may not know of that are important to millions of people -- if they learn only one world capital, it's better than none...

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