With next month’s Cannes Film Festival popping up in discussions, I’m reminded of the three pronunciations. Some say “Cahn” as in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, which is how you’re supposed to pronounce Caen, the medieval city two hours northwest of Paris. And some say Cannes properly, which is hard to phonetically describe except that you need to emphasize the “n” sound more than than the vowel, and that the vowel is more “an” than “anne.”
And then there’s the oafish American way of saying it, which is “can” as in tin can or Peter Pan. Remember Julia Roberts‘ flat rural twang-dang pronunciation of “Paayyhnn” in Steven Spielberg‘s godawful Hook? Like that.