How many people say carmel when its really caramel?

Huntsville, Texas
September 1, 2015 9:38pm CST
I'm thinking its pretty crazy when my friends and I are arguing over things like this, but really is it Carmel like pronounced car-mel or is it Caramel like pronounced care-a--mel????
2 people like this
3 responses
@owlwings (39414)
• Cambridge, England
2 Sep 15
In England it is pronounced as three syllables: "ca-ruh-mel" with the first 'a' as the 'a' in 'cat', the second 'a' an unstressed schwa as the 'a' in 'ago'. In American English, the 'r' is often more pronounced than in British English (except for some English dialects) and the second 'a' is almost or completely lost, resulting in a two-syllable word: "caR-mel". There have been a number of surveys on American dialect and 'caramel' is one of the words used as a test. It seems that rather more people from the eastern states pronounce it as three syllables and the further west you go, the more likely you are to hear it as two syllables. This map shows the distribution of the test results:
Dialect Survey Home Back to Maps 4. caramel      a. with 2 syllables ("car-ml") (38.02%)      b. with 3 syllables ("carra-mel") (37.66%)      c. I use both interchangeably (17.26%)      d. I have both forms, but the two have different meanings (please stat
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@cahaya1983 (10043)
• Malaysia
2 Sep 15
That's enlightening! I had no idea about this test, thanks for sharing this @owlwings
1 person likes this
@cahaya1983 (10043)
• Malaysia
2 Sep 15
I've always pronounced it care-a-mel. I think that's the correct pronunciation but you can always check any online dictionary with audio just to make sure :D
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@owlwings (39414)
• Cambridge, England
2 Sep 15
It really depends what you mean by 'correct' and it also depends on what part of America (or Britain) you come from (as a native English speaker) whether you pronounce it with two or three syllables. Standard British English pronunciation is three syllables - "ca-ra-mel" with the first 'a' short, as in 'cat', the second 'a' obscure as in 'ago' and the main stress on the first syllable. The first 'a' is never long as in 'care'.
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@cahaya1983 (10043)
• Malaysia
2 Sep 15
@owlwings Thanks! I'm not a native speaker and here we mostly use British English but I went to school in the US so I kind of mix things up all the time, hehe. It is pretty interesting actually, I've never really paid much attention to how caramel is pronounced until I read this post :-D
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@lokisdad (4267)
• United States
26 Jan 16
It is caramel but i think its just one of those things that people pronounce things a certain way and they won't change. Like how in the south people say their ares different. Its are-uh up north and in many other places its just plain ARRR lol.