Artist depiction of the Coeur d'Alene skyline.

Say It Right! Coeur d’Alene Pronunciation in English and French

How to pronounce Coeur d’Alene in English

Coeur d’Alene might be one of those words that you’ve only ever said inside your head as your reading it. Don’t worry thought, it really is not difficult.

When pronouncing the name in English, it is common to hear it pronounced as “KOR-duh-lane” or “kor-duh-LEEN”, with the emphasis on either the first or second syllable. However, it is important to note that neither of these pronunciations accurately reflects the original French pronunciation.

However in 2023 english it sounds like:

kor duh·layn

This videos shows clips of real people using the word Coeur d’Alene in normal English speech so you can really hear how it should be said.

How to pronounce Coeur d’Alene

Historical pronunciation of Coeur d’Alene

Keva Wilhelm Wolfe initiated a lively 🤪 conversation regarding the proper pronunciation of Coeur d’Alene in the Facebook group Old School North Idaho.

The photograph shared in the discussion was sourced from a 1937 Special Edition of the Coeur d’Alene Press, commemorating Coeur d’Alene’s Golden Anniversary.

The short story about the historic pronunciation of Coeur d’Alene is that it used to be said like “kur da lane” up until the 1930s.


Around that time a bunch of folks moved to North Idaho from the East and Midwest where radios were already all the rage. It wasn’t until the late 1930s, that Coeur d’Alene’s first radio station hit the airwaves.

These newcomers didn’t know the proper way to say the town’s name, so they started saying “kore da lane” instead.

Eventually, the radio station KVNI held a little survey to see how people should say the name. But most of the people who called in were the newcomers, so the new way of saying it won out.

Folks whose families have been in Coeur d’Alene since the early 1900s, still say “kur da lane.”

How to pronounce Coeur d’Alene in French

Coeur d’Alene is of French origin and means “Heart of the Awl“. Its pronunciation can be a bit tricky for those who are not familiar with the language.

In French, Coeur d’Alene is pronounced as “kœr dəlɛn”, with a nasalized “œ” sound in “Coeur” and a silent “e” at the end of “Alene”. The “r” in “Coeur” is pronounced with a slight trill, as is typical in French.

It sounds a little bit like this:


You can listen to the Google Translate pronunciation here: Coeur d’Alene: English to French.

Listen to the video above a few times and see if you can say the French pronunciation of Coeur d’Alene.

Make sure to read our other post about the meaning of Coeur d’Alene.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *