Many cooking terms are French, so a background in that language or a freind who speaks French can help. But the cooking world gets smaller and smaller, and quite often a term will acquire a local accent that the originating language never intended. Then there is the oddity of having parents who speak French, but have never had an education in that language ... in other words, my folks sometimes think eau and au are the same word, because they sound the same when spoken. But I've gone years mispronouncing names and terms and am grateful to anyone who corrects me. Patak and Patel, for example, I've been saying with the accent on the wrong sylable. Thank heaven I was referring to lines of food, not a person, so I never offended anyone!