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Is it acceptable to pronounce "tarot" with the accent on the second syllable? So, phonetically it would be pronounced "Ta-ROW." My own online research showed me that there were maybe one or two times the example included the accent on the second syllable--and I looked up as many dictionaries I could find. I always put the accent on the ROW part. I thought most people did, until my sister told me that I wasn't pronouncing the word right. Is the pronunciation with the accent on the ROW part associated with any particular group of speakers or geographical region? How common (or uncommon) is it?

  • dictionary.reference.com/browse/tarot, thefreedictionary.com/tarot both record pronunciation variants with the accent on the second syllable. If you want a better answer, please give more explanation of what you mean by "acceptable." – sumelic Feb 6 '16 at 5:56
  • I would assume that people put the accent on the second syllable because they think it should (or want it to) sound French, which it was originally, so they're not completely wrong. – Peter Shor Mar 8 '16 at 12:10
  • That's the sound of a trumpet fanfare: ta-RO ta-RO – GEdgar Jun 6 '16 at 15:33
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Merriam-Webster dictionary has 2 pronunciations, both on first syllable:

\ˈter-(ˌ)ō, ˈta-(ˌ)rō\

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarot

All 3 pronunciations on Forvo have accent on first syllable:

http://forvo.com/word/tarot/#en (granted, all 3 are US pronunciations)

The British pronunciation example on http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tarot has accent on second syllable, so I there is an obvious difference between US and UK pronunciation.

  • 3
    The Merriam-Webster pronunciations are basically the same, by the way, just the first one indicates a speaker with the merry-marry merger and the second one indicates a speaker without it. So there isn't a choice between them (the first syllable should always be pronounced with the same vowel you would use in carrot, according to Merriam-Webster). – sumelic Feb 6 '16 at 8:02
  • My own online research showed me that there were maybe one or two times the example included the accent on the second syllable--and I looked up as many dictionaries I could find. I alway put the accent on the ROW part. I thought most people did, until my sister told me that I wasn't pronouncing the word right. I wonder does any else know anyone else who puts the accent on the ROW part? – Barrie Feb 7 '16 at 8:03
  • BrE: I don't accent the second syllable, nor have I ever heard anyone else do so. – Andrew Leach Apr 7 '16 at 13:35

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