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#1
Old 03-31-2009, 07:39 AM
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How is the name of the Bombardier company pronounced?

Is it "Bom-bar-deer" (like the guy in WWII bombers whose job it was to, well, release the bombs over the target) or is it something closer to "Bom-bardee-yay", what with it being a French name?

I wonder because I often see their name pop up in relation to things involving aircraft, trains, and tracked vehicles and it occurred to me I've always pronounced it "Bom-bar-deer" (too many Biggles books as a kid, I guess!) and that it may not actually be correct.

Any of our Canadian friends know for sure one way or the other?
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Last edited by Martini Enfield; 03-31-2009 at 07:39 AM.
#2
Old 03-31-2009, 07:45 AM
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bom-BAR-dee-yay
#3
Old 03-31-2009, 07:49 AM
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Bom-BAR-dee-ay is right. I know because I met a Bombardier employee who worked on testing the R-142 on the IRT.
#4
Old 03-31-2009, 08:15 AM
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Ta-ra-bom-bar-dee-yay,
Did you get yours today?
I got mine yesterday,
That's why I walk this way.
#5
Old 03-31-2009, 09:00 AM
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Excellent- thanks everyone! Now I shall know to differentiate that aerospace and engineering company from WWII bomb-aimers when I need to refer to them in conversation...
#6
Old 03-31-2009, 09:08 AM
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and the "r" in "bar" is as soft as possible.
#7
Old 03-31-2009, 09:22 AM
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I'd probably pronounce it as something closer to "Bombahdeeyay"; I spent several years learning French so I don't get too tripped up by that sort of thing.
#8
Old 03-31-2009, 09:25 AM
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While I won't presume to disagree with those who know what they're talking about through acquaintance with the company and its employees, let me inject the note that Bombardier was (is?) a major manufacturer of snowmobiles, and those machines were universally known to everyone connected to the winter-sports industry where I came from as "Bomb-bar-deers." Dialectal use? Probably -- like calling the French cities Orleans (rhymes with 'beans') and Rheims (homonymous with bundles of 500 sheets of paper), instead of the proper French pronunciation.
#9
Old 03-31-2009, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
and the "r" in "bar" is as soft as possible.
I don't know; I do pronounce it. It's not as hard as the 'r' in the English word "bar", but it doesn't sound like 'h' as in Martini Enfield's last post either.

Also, in French, the 'm' isn't actually pronounced; it only serves to nasalize the preceding vowel. Unlike in English, where people usually pronounce it.
#10
Old 03-31-2009, 10:12 AM
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There's little question that Joseph-Armand Bombardier, who founded the company, used the French pronunciation.

An interesting piece of trivia about his best-known invention: It was supposed to be known as the "Ski Dog" but a batch of literature produced for its introduction included a misprint that had this as Ski Doo. There wasn't time to change the brochures, so the device acquired what was surely a better name.

Last edited by Xema; 03-31-2009 at 10:12 AM.
#11
Old 03-31-2009, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xema View Post
There's little question that Joseph-Armand Bombardier, who founded the company, used the French pronunciation.

An interesting piece of trivia about his best-known invention: It was supposed to be known as the "Ski Dog" but a batch of literature produced for its introduction included a misprint that had this as Ski Doo. There wasn't time to change the brochures, so the device acquired what was surely a better name.
I also remember how they got into rail transportation: They submitted a bid to build the second generation of Metro cars for Montreal, for the extensions being built for the 1976 Olympics. Everyone throught they were crazy -- "the skidoo people want to build Metro cars?" But they got the contract, and the rest is history.

Ed
#12
Old 03-31-2009, 03:04 PM
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They advertise on TV regularly. As an anglophone I would say it sounds more like bom-bard-yay when they say it (no 'ee' sound).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp View Post
While I won't presume to disagree with those who know what they're talking about through acquaintance with the company and its employees, let me inject the note that Bombardier was (is?) a major manufacturer of snowmobiles, and those machines were universally known to everyone connected to the winter-sports industry where I came from as "Bomb-bar-deers." Dialectal use? Probably -- like calling the French cities Orleans (rhymes with 'beans') and Rheims (homonymous with bundles of 500 sheets of paper), instead of the proper French pronunciation.
I remember hearing bom-ba-deer or bom-bar-deer referring to snowmobiles as a kid as well. It wasn't until relatively recently that I even made the connection that it was the same company that makes planes and trains. I think it was sort of a redneck thing (ie. "I ain't pronouncin' no Frog names") .
#13
Old 03-31-2009, 06:54 PM
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Our company operates Bombardier aircraft, everyone seems to say bom-BAR-deer. Stress on the second syllable but the end of the word is the same as the dude who drops bombs. Not saying it's right, that's just how I hear it being said.
#14
Old 03-31-2009, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 1920s Style "Death Ray" View Post
Our company operates Bombardier aircraft, everyone seems to say bom-BAR-deer. Stress on the second syllable but the end of the word is the same as the dude who drops bombs. Not saying it's right, that's just how I hear it being said.
I recall hearing the cabin crew on a QantasLink flight recently refer to the plane as a "Bombardeer Dash-8". At the time I found myself thinking "I thought Dash-8s were made by De Havilland?", but later on I discovered that Bombardier had brought out De Havilland, which explained that.
#15
Old 03-31-2009, 09:13 PM
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My two cents..

bomb a deer is what i've heard, though its probably wrong.
#16
Old 03-31-2009, 11:31 PM
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They have a testing facility down the road from my house.
Most of us 'townies' call them Bomb-bar-dyay, but a few people call them
bomb-ber-deer.

I speculate the first one is correct, and the 2nd group just does it for the same reason that Don Cherry calls Patrick Roy (Roy) and not the french way it's supposed to be said "Patrick Wah"
#17
Old 04-01-2009, 06:50 AM
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I work with the rail industry in Great Britain and hear the word "Bombardier" all the time (at the moment it is mostly in relation to the scandalously late delivery of a batch of trains for the Thameslink Programme). Everyone uses the French-style pronunciation.

Confusingly, there is a beer over here with the same name, brewed by Wells of Bedford. You always know when a railwayman orders a pint of it because he inevitably forgets himself and says Bombar-dee-ay instead of Bom-ba-deer.
#18
Old 04-01-2009, 12:43 PM
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Having worked at Bombardier Aerospace and having family members who know Laurent and Pierre Beaudoin, I can attest that, internally at least, the name is pronounced as J.A. Bombardier's family pronounces it.

There are two slightly different pronounciations for English and French, but the latter is generally more correct.

Bon-bahr-dy'eh (with a nearly silent n and the Canadien eh sound at the end) is close to how it is prononuced in French, while Bom-bahr-dy'eh (with the m sound) is the English version. "Bombardeer" may be a name for the snowmobiles (I am not familiar with the Recreational products), but the company doesn't use it to refer to itself.

And yes, Bombardier bought De Havilland Canada, at Toronto, and rebranded/modified the Dash-8 into the various Q-series aircraft (Q-200, Q-400, etc). They also bought Learjet, but kept that name as-is for marketing reasons. IIRC, the Challenger 300, which is actually not a descendant of the Challenger 600 from the original Canadair, began its design and development as a Learjet project.
#19
Old 04-01-2009, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martini Enfield View Post
I recall hearing the cabin crew on a QantasLink flight recently refer to the plane as a "Bombardeer Dash-8". At the time I found myself thinking "I thought Dash-8s were made by De Havilland?", but later on I discovered that Bombardier had brought out De Havilland, which explained that.
Once in a while, you'll see a reference to a "Boeing DC-3".
#20
Old 04-01-2009, 03:02 PM
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This video describes an installation of Bombardier trams in Vancouver. The reporter pronounces the name in the conventional English style just after the 1-minute mark.

This video has the French pronunciation at 30 seconds.
#21
Old 04-01-2009, 06:02 PM
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My observations have been that it's pronounced bom-bar-dey-ay when folks are describing their aerospace products but bom-bar-dee-er when they're talking about their snowmobiles, ATV's or jetskis.

Maybe just different crowds?
#22
Old 04-01-2009, 07:00 PM
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I used to work for a company that produced several motorsports-related publications, and I had contact with several Bombardier employees. People within our company and theirs (other than French Canadians) consistently used a "Franglais" pronunciation of the company name, something like bom-BAR-dee-YAY.

The name of the snowmobile, on the other hand, was pronounced "SKEE-doo."

ETA: And PWC were called Sea-Doos, never jetskis. Although idiomatically Sea-Doo, WaveRunner and Jet Ski are used interchangeably, they are trademarks of Bombardier, Yamaha, and Kawasaki, respectively.

Last edited by TWDuke; 04-01-2009 at 07:03 PM.
#23
Old 04-01-2009, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Once in a while, you'll see a reference to a "Boeing DC-3".
Jesus, are you serious? That makes as much sense as a Bombardier Tiger Moth.
#24
Old 07-05-2011, 03:34 AM
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Just to add a little diversion, reading "ski doo" made me think of sgian dhu (Scottish Gaelic, the g is pronounced like a k). This is the name of the dagger that men wearing kilts have in one of their socks.
#25
Old 07-05-2011, 03:37 AM
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And, since I have known Bombardier beer for a long time but have only just heard of the train-manufacturing company of the same name, my sympathies are with the English pronunciation.
#26
Old 07-05-2011, 08:59 AM
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Quebecois pronunciation of the -dier suffix is all over the place. I had an acquaintance from Quebec named Pelletier, and she pronounce it Pell-tee.

Last edited by Fear Itself; 07-05-2011 at 09:01 AM.
#27
Old 07-05-2011, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
My two cents..

bomb a deer is what i've heard, though its probably wrong.
Me too!
#28
Old 07-05-2011, 12:45 PM
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Is anybody else picturing zombies riding snow machines and personal watercraft?
#29
Old 07-06-2011, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Quebecois pronunciation of the -dier suffix is all over the place. I had an acquaintance from Quebec named Pelletier, and she pronounce it Pell-tee.
This seems unlikely to me. I've never heard Pelletier pronounced without a [e] sound at the end. Where precisely was your friend from?
#30
Old 07-06-2011, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypnagogic Jerk View Post
This seems unlikely to me. I've never heard Pelletier pronounced without a [e] sound at the end. Where precisely was your friend from?
Trois-Rivières , and she was a francophone, so I assume it was authentic.
#31
Old 07-06-2011, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
Is anybody else picturing zombies riding snow machines and personal watercraft?
Do people actually say "snow machines" in Alberta? In these parts it's either skidoo used generically, or "sled". As in, "We were out skidooing last weekend. That new sled of Bob's is so fast I nearly shit myself when I hit the throttle."
#32
Old 07-07-2011, 03:45 AM
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Something I don't understand: Where does the brand name Rotax fit in? Rotax are small aircraft engines (usually ultralights), but they're made by Bombardier (I think). Whenever I try to look up anything Rotax online its like the name doesn't exist.
#33
Old 07-07-2011, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tea-aye View Post
Just to add a little diversion, reading "ski doo" made me think of sgian dhu (Scottish Gaelic, the g is pronounced like a k). This is the name of the dagger that men wearing kilts have in one of their socks.
Please. It's either Sgian-dubh (Scots Gaelic) or Skean Dhu (Anglicsed) but don't mix up the two together.
#34
Old 07-07-2011, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Hail Ants View Post
Something I don't understand: Where does the brand name Rotax fit in? Rotax are small aircraft engines (usually ultralights), but they're made by Bombardier (I think). Whenever I try to look up anything Rotax online its like the name doesn't exist.
Really? It used to be a separate company, based in Austria, which made engines for snowmobiles including Ski-Doos. Bombardier bought it in 1970.

They also didn't get into the rail business cold, but by buying Montreal Locomotive Works and Hawker-Siddeley Canada and, later, Budd and Pullman-Standard.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 07-07-2011 at 06:33 AM.
#35
Old 07-07-2011, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Trois-Rivières , and she was a francophone, so I assume it was authentic.
It was probably an idiosyncrasy of hers, because I haven't heard of people from Trois-Rivières having a particularly different accent.
#36
Old 07-07-2011, 11:52 AM
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BRP Rotax: rotax.com

Bombardier split into Bombardier Inc., with the Aerospace and Transportation divisions in 2003. Rotax, which had already merged with Bombardier in the '70s as ElvisL1ves says, remained with the newly formed Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). The Bombardier/Beaudoin families are part owners of BRP, as they are of Bombardier Inc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Quebecois pronunciation of the -dier suffix is all over the place. I had an acquaintance from Quebec named Pelletier, and she pronounce it Pell-tee.
I've never heard someone use that pronunciation for what is a very common name in Québec, however a strong regional accent could make the final syllable sound a bit like "tee" to a non-French speaker. "Pel-tee-ay" said quickly would sound a little more like "Pel-tzee" or "Pel-tzey".

It's always very hard to describe certain French sounds using English ones; there are several that just don't exist in both languages!


ETA: 22 seconds into this video, an interviewer says "Annie Pelletier" in a rather typical manner, though in a well-enunciated radio voice.

Last edited by mnemosyne; 07-07-2011 at 11:55 AM.
#37
Old 07-07-2011, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnemosyne View Post
I've never heard someone use that pronunciation for what is a very common name in Québec, however a strong regional accent could make the final syllable sound a bit like "tee" to a non-French speaker. "Pel-tee-ay" said quickly would sound a little more like "Pel-tzee" or "Pel-tzey".

It's always very hard to describe certain French sounds using English ones; there are several that just don't exist in both languages!
I agree, French-Canadians don't pronounce 'Pell-tee-ay' the way Americans pronounce 'Pell-tee-ay'.
#38
Old 07-08-2011, 02:19 PM
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This is the last name of family members....pronounced "Bom-bar-deer"
#39
Old 07-08-2011, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mumio View Post
This is the last name of family members....pronounced "Bom-bar-deer"
Not by any of the members of the Bombardier family, it isn't. Nor by workers in all the various facilities in Québec, where the company (and the family) is from.

Here, at timestamp 1:30, (and at 2:04 and 2:20)Hélène Gagnon pronounces the company name in the English fashion, saying the "m" sound. Here she does it in French, without the "m"sound (or a weaker one) at 1:38 and a couple times later on too.

People elsewhere may mispronounce the name as "Bom-bar-deer", but it is a mispronunciation of the family and company name.
#40
Old 07-08-2011, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mnemosyne View Post
Not by any of the members of the Bombardier family, it isn't. Nor by workers in all the various facilities in Québec, where the company (and the family) is from.

Here, at timestamp 1:30, (and at 2:04 and 2:20)Hélène Gagnon pronounces the company name in the English fashion, saying the "m" sound. Here she does it in French, without the "m"sound (or a weaker one) at 1:38 and a couple times later on too.

People elsewhere may mispronounce the name as "Bom-bar-deer", but it is a mispronunciation of the family and company name.
So sorry. My response meant that MY family members, whose last name is Bombardier, pronounces it "Bom-bar-deer".
#41
Old 07-08-2011, 10:24 PM
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Oh, well I'll grant that is different! I won't tell your family members how to pronounce their own names, in much the same way that I "insist" people pronounce the company and related family name correctly, or at least accept the GQ factual answer for it Going by what they themselves use is just the polite thing to do!


As a mildly related aside, the other day I was ordering something online on behalf of my dad, and when I asked him what the cardholder name was on the credit card he wanted to use he said his first and last names and then proceeded to spell the last name. Granted, our name is often mispronounced and misspelled, but I assured him that I knew how to spell my own last name thankyouverymuch. He spent the next several minutes laughing hysterically. "I just told my own daughter how to spell my name!"
#42
Old 07-09-2011, 12:02 AM
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We pronounced it bomba-deeyer when I was growing up.
#43
Old 01-14-2013, 01:33 PM
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The company position

I remember years ago while working for a dealer in exotic automobiles, there was this person who insisted on pronouncing "Lamborghini" with a soft "g," (Lambor-gee-ni) claiming there was no "hard g" in Italian. My retort was that proper nouns, particularly family names, don't necessarily follow the exact language rules of the land.

To resolve the Bombardier question, I called the company's US office in Dallas and the phone was answered, "Bom-bar-dee-yay. I asked if it was pronounced differently at the Canadian office and was told that that version had a slightly different enunciation. She spoke both versions and I couldn't really tell the difference.
#44
Old 01-14-2013, 01:54 PM
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I heard a BBC news reporter pronouncing it as "Bombahdeeyay" The BBC has a department for proper pronunciation of words... still sounds wrong though.
#45
Old 01-14-2013, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sidecar_jon View Post
I heard a BBC news reporter pronouncing it as "Bombahdeeyay" The BBC has a department for proper pronunciation of words... still sounds wrong though.
zombie or no

the BBC that i listen to has pronunciation gone all to hell. younger people with no strong British accent but annunciation and diction is poor. things like names of shows or people's names said way too fast for those unfamiliar with them. vowels are non-distinct and words slurred.
#46
Old 01-14-2013, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mnemosyne View Post
Having worked at Bombardier Aerospace and having family members who know Laurent and Pierre Beaudoin, I can attest that, internally at least, the name is pronounced as J.A. Bombardier's family pronounces it.
(...)
Bon-bahr-dy'eh (with a nearly silent n and the Canadien eh sound at the end) is close to how it is prononuced in French, while (...)
And let's not forget the affrication whereby it's actually pronounced Bon-bahr-dzy'eh (notice the Z) by everybody except PR people and journalists.

(And Pelletier is usually pronounced "Pell-tsy-ay", even in Trois-Rivières.)

Last edited by Heracles; 01-14-2013 at 05:28 PM.
#47
Old 01-14-2013, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Martini Enfield View Post
Is it "Bom-bar-deer" (like the guy in WWII bombers whose job it was to, well, release the bombs over the target) ....
Whenever I see or hear the word (or come across the name of the company) I think of the searing absurdity/horror that opens the film Catch-22. Clip here. The movies first dialogue begins at 6:20.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 01-14-2013 at 05:49 PM.
#48
Old 01-14-2013, 10:42 PM
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I remember it well. The movie keeps returning to that scene, playing a little more of it each time until the final reveal. Made a big impression on me when I saw it. I've never associated it with the SkiDoo company, though, maybe because I pronounce the company name with the French pronunciation.
#49
Old 01-14-2013, 10:49 PM
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You're right. I forgot it was the leitmotif of the movie. I telescoped the horror.
#50
Old 01-14-2013, 11:52 PM
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Okay, how do you pronounce leitmotif?

(Once Upon A Time In The West uses the same technique to great effect as well.) [/derail]
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