ruh-baw-ZHOOR! Click below to hear this.*
I love this word! It is so much fun to say. It works whenever you have already said hello, but you find yourself seeing or communicating with the same person again in a short period of time. But it only works on the same day!
For instance, you greeted your teacher as she walked into the classroom: Bonjour, mademoiselle! Later in the day, you see her in the hall or in the lunchroom. Rebonjour!
Or you emailed a distant colleague about a project. Maybe you opened your email with Bonjour, Jean-Pierre! An hour or two later, you have another question. Rebonjour!
Note that when you are speaking, you have to replace the name or title of the person, if you’re not going to say it again. The way you do that is to draw out the last syllable. In French, each syllable is normally given the same length and the same amount of stress, like a metronome or a ticking clock. Changing that rule is a stylistic tool, for giving emphasis or for indicating that something is missing. So you say /ruh-baw-ZHOOOR/…but don’t drag it out a lot, or you will lose the purity of the vowel sound.
Here are the two greetings, side by side, so you can hear the difference:
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here are alternative links to the two audio files: