View Full Version : From Vancouver? How do you say this ...

Mad Aussie
08-06-2013, 04:19 PM
Tsawwassen is a southern suburb of Vancouver and the location of one the sites for the company I work for. Daily myself, and those in the office find ourselves debating how in all hell you actually pronounce this word. :wall-an:

I'm guessing it's a native Canadian Indian word?

My own interpretation is it's said without the 't' and as a fluid 'swassen'

Some in the office go for 'twassen'

A search online gives me several options such as 'Suh WA sen' ... 'Saw wassen' or 'Saw WASsen'

I'm now guessing that very last example is the correct one?

Can anyone definitively tell me how to say this? Even better I've love someone to send me an audio file of them saying it correctly. :thumbup:

Mad Aussie
08-06-2013, 04:20 PM
I did find this audio online which sounds like it could be right ...

Tsawwassen Pronunciation (http://www.pronouncehow.com/english/tsawwassen_pronunciation)

08-06-2013, 10:19 PM
I pronounce it...saa wasen, I drag out the "A' sound

08-06-2013, 11:40 PM
Interesting. Wikipedia says the "s" is silent. Tsawwassen, British Columbia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsawwassen,_British_Columbia)

This is indeed a First Nations word so it doesn't always sound the way it's written or the way most people pronounce it. There are a lot First Nations names around my neck of the woods that have had their pronunciations changed over the years.

08-07-2013, 12:29 AM
Often the pronunciation of a city or town, etc. is local. For instance Calgary natives say Calgree. Outsiders tend to say Cal gare ee. So basically, I would say the "local" pronunciation is the correct one. Actually all three pronunciations are shown, Tsawwassen (/təˈwɑːsən/; from North Straits Salish: [səˈwɑːsən] or [tsəˈwɑːsən]. I have heard it pronounced with or without the T sound when I lived in Vancouver.

Ok, here is a little video which should give a reliable Pronunciation.


Mad Aussie
08-07-2013, 04:42 AM
Thank you for your responses! Seems even BC residents are confused :)

I've emailed that vid to my work email JAS ... I'm going to play it to everyone tomorrow .. Te Wassen it is!! :)

08-07-2013, 08:52 AM
I've always heard it pronounced (and pronounce it myself as 'Twassen' ) but I'm from the other side of the country.

08-11-2013, 07:47 PM
Local lingo....Tawwassen. Phonetically speaking of course. You catch the ferry to victoria there:)

08-12-2013, 07:02 PM
Local lingo....Tawwassen. Phonetically speaking of course. You catch the ferry to victoria there:)

Being from Victoria, the other side of the trip (aka Schwartz Bay), everyone I know pronounces it the MAW way;....Ta-wa-sen.
Mind you we also pronounce U-clue-let as U-cu-let - a town on the west side of the Island.