Download PDF – How to pronounce well in French ? – Podcasts

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The French pronunciation (the liaisons, the intonation) is not so easy, even if you know the rules well. It requires more than a few hours of practice to feel comfortable, several months actually. I have never met a foreigner with a perfect French accent, it is very rare. If you fell in love with the French language and the French culture, you like watching French movies, listening to a French song, having different resources to study, if you feel it is important for you, so focus on how to pronounce the language (the combinations of sounds, the intonation, the liaisons). But if what you want is to have conversations with French native speakers, the accent is not so important, the French people will be happy if you want to talk to them in any case, your accent will not make the difference.

You do not need to be like a students at the university, making the effort to memorize the rules, just read them, put them in your mind, if you forget them that is ok, times to times go back to them for a refresh. The most important thing, the thing on what you have to focus is the ability of listening to the sound and producing it, you can produce it in a nice way only if you can hear it well.

Learners, beginners : top 10 french learning books for pronunciation

I suggest you to use video and audio support courses on how to say the words properly. Taking the time to repeat and repat again. It is a very enjoyable kind of game : training your ear. I love doing it when I study a foreign language.

Good resources are the movies, the podcasts, listening to your favourite song, trying to catch the combinations of sounds, in conversations as well, if you have a language partner on the internet (have a look at Italki, HelloTalk to find one).

Beginners : download pdf lessons to learn french for vocabulary, lessons

The French vowels : how to pronounce them ?

What is the difference between a-à-â ?
What is the difference between e-é-è-ê ?

  a    is pronounced like « ah » in English  la table (the table)
  à    is pronounced like « ah » in English  là-bàs (over there)
  â    is pronounced like « ah » but longer  un âne (a donkey)
  e    When placed in the middle of a syllabe, it is pronounced like « ai » in « fair »  la mer (the sea)
  e    When placed at the end of a syllabe, it is pronounced like « er » in « her »  le (the)
  e    is silent at the end of a word  une tasse (a cup)
  é    it is pronounced like « ay »  été (summer)
  è    it is pronounced like « ai » in « fair »  le père (the father)
  ê    it is pronounced like « ai » in « fair »  la tête (the head)
  i, y    are pronounced like « ee » in meet  ski (skiing)
  o    it is pronounced like « o » in « not »  la poste (the post office)
  ô    it is pronounced like « oh »  un hôtel (a hotel)
  u    it does not exists in English, you can do it in saying « ee » with rounded lips  une grue (a crane)
  oi    it is pronounced like « wah »  une oie (a goose)
  ou    it is pronounced like « oo »  la boue (mud)
  ai, ei    are pronounced like « e » in « let »  la Seine → this is the name of the river that crosses Paris
  au, eau    are pronounced like « oh »  un bateau (a boat)
  eu, oeu    are pronounced like « er » in « her »  le coeur (the heart)

Learners : how to communicate in french in 24 hours for vocabulary,

The French consonnants : how to pronounce them ?

The majority of them have the same sound as when you say them in English.  

  c    it sounds like an « s » before « e » or « i »  ceci (this)
  c    otherwise it sounds like the letter « k »  casserole (pot)
  ç    it sounds like a « s »  une façon (a way)
  ch    it sounds like « sh »  chaussures (shoes)
  g    it sounds like the « s » in the word « measure », when it is placed before « e » or « i »  gentiane → this is the name of a flower
  g    otherwise it sounds like the letter « g » in « go »  un gand (a glove)
  h    we do not pronunce it  hôpital (hospital)
  j    it sounds like the letter  « s » in the word « measure »  je (I)
  qu, q    it sounds like the letter « k »  quantité (quantity)
  r    it is pronounced at the back of the throat  ronfler (snoring)
  s    it sounds like the letter « s » when it is placed at the beginning of a word  sacré (holy)
  s    it sounds like « z » when it is placed between two vowels  un oiseau (a bird)

Teacher : how to learn french in 15 minutes a day for pronunciation, lessons

Be aware of the fact that we do not pronounce the majority of the consonnants when they are placed at the end of nouns :
Tu as une souris (you have a mouse)
Un cochon (a pig)
Tu as un lit (you have a bed)

Here are exceptions :
The exceptions are the letters c-f-l-r, when they are placed at the end of nouns, we pronounce them.
To remember these letters, I suggest you to use this : Clear French Language Recall
Un sac (a bag)
Un adjectif (an adjective)
Un archipel (an archipelago)
Un castor (a beaver)

 Teacher, students : learn french for kids for pronunciation

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Thank you for reading this article !
Thomas 😀