How to pronounce French words correctly

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Learning French vocabulary is an important part of studying French, and so is learning the grammar, but what is also essential to being fluent in the language is to be able to pronounce the words the right way. Listening to how people from France speak and imitating the sounds they make is vital to being able to pronounce French correctly.

The "Cannes" word is quite specific to pronounce

Cannes (Photo: GabboT)

How to pronounce Cannes

Many words have endings that are mute or not sounded. Cannes, for example, which is famous for its film festival is pronounced “Can,” as in a can of soft drink, with the “es” being mute. This can be confusing for English speakers but is a typical problem that can be encountered with pronunciation you should be aware of if you are learning French. In a similar way the “re” at the end of many words is not sounded.

French Accents

The French accents are difficult to master

French Accents (Photo: Gwydion M. Williams)

When learning French you need to learn the accents that are placed over vowels in words. These accents can alter the sound of the letters they appear over. The aigu accent points upwards and to the right. It gives the letter e a sound like “ay.” It can be found in words like médecin, which means a doctor. If the accent goes towards the left it is known as a grave accent. It can be found over all of the vowels in words when written but only changes the sound when over an e where it is pronounced like the e in set.

The circumflex is like a little pointed hat over vowels. It does not change the sound but must be included in written French.

Listen in order to learn French

A French motion picture is a great way to learn

“Night is just starting for you” (Photo: Do u remember)

Listening to how French is sounded properly is vital to learning how to pronounce words. You can listen to French radio, watch TV and films in French, listen to spoken French on DVDs, videos and tapes and, best of all, listen to native French speakers.

Some DVD from France

French films on DVD (Photo: Andrew Bone)

Make friends with someone from France and then they can talk to you in their own language and correct you when you do not sound words in the right way. The better you get at speaking French the more you will enjoy chatting away.

Take a French Course

Taking a course in French is an excellent way of learning how to pronounce the words you learn in the language you have chosen. Your teachers will give you examples and correct your mistakes. If you can take a course in France this is the best option of all because then you can hear plenty of people speaking French when you are away from class, as well as when you are studying in one. Annecy in the French Alps is the perfect location for enrolling on a French course, and at the Ifalpes school we offer a variety of courses in French.

There is plenty to do and see in Annecy and you are sure to find a wealth of opportunities for hearing French being spoken by local people. You can take part in the many social and cultural activities held in Annecy, and learn how to pronounce French whilst having a lot of fun.

 

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