live blog: qu’est que c’est quai?

As in Quai Branley, that is – Jean Nouvel’s stunning new home for the arts of Africa and Oceania near the Champs des Mars.  The  proper pronunciation of “quai” became a little bone of contention this week, however, since in English both “cay” – as in little island or atoll – and “quay” – as in riverbank – are pronounced similarly, like “key.”  And since the French “quai” has the same meaning as the English “quay,” I naturally assumed they were phonetically similar as well.  Not so.  Quai – despite my insistence to the contrary – is in fact pronounced “kay.”  So mind your p’s and q’s, boys and girls – especially strolling Le Quai.

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