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In Trondheim (Norway) we have a set of streets named after royal titles;

Kongens Gate, Dronningens Gate, Prinsens Gate

Directly translated, they mean "The King's Street", "The Queen's Street", "The Prince's Street".

However, whenever I pronounce the latter, it always sounds like "The Princess Street".

This might be a bit of a stretch, but is there a way to pronounce this while avoiding confusion?

I often end up clarifying it afterwards by using "Street of the Prince", but it sounds weird in my humble opinion. And doing it every time gets old.

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I pronounce and stress the two quite differently as a native speaker; I usually have no problem distinguishing them.

Prince's - prin-sz

  • Stress on the first syllable
  • Ends in a hard S

Princess = prin-sess

  • Stress on the second syllable
  • Ends in a soft S
  • Yes, PRINCE's street sounds quite different to PrinCESS street. – WS2 Oct 31 '14 at 8:14
  • What about the plural Princes? Hard S also? Would it be distinguishable from the other two? – dub Oct 12 '17 at 20:33
  • No, princes, prince’s and princes’ are all pronounced identically. – James Webster Oct 12 '17 at 20:53
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The problem disappears if you translate the street name less literally, and more in accordance with one of the conventions used in Britain when royal or aristocratic titles are included in street names. Thus:

Prinsens Gate --> Prince Street

For that matter:

Kongens Gate --> King Street
Dronningens Gate --> Queen Street

If, for some reason, you still prefer to continue using your translation of the name, the only feasible alternative is to place extra stress on the first syllable of Prince's when you pronounce it:

The PRINce's Street

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The pronunciation differs in both the second vowel sound and the final consonant. Prince's -> "prin-sizz" Princess -> "prin-sess"

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