French pronunciation

Learning another language is never easy, there are, many things to consider, such as grammar, spelling and pronunciation. I have been in the UK for 25 years now, but I still find it difficult to differentiate between ship and sheep because in French we do not have the equivalent sounds.

French has a reputation for being a difficult language to learn, especially to pronounce. However, there are many similarities between English and French sounds

There are 23 consonant sounds and 16 vowel sounds in French.

If you are an English speaker, you already know 20 of the 23 French consonant sounds and 6 of the 16 vowel sounds.

The 13 new sounds are found in the following words: Agneau, rare, lui, patte, ancre, été, jeu, brin, fleur, brun, nu, montre, seau. See the chart below.

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According to FrenchPod101.com. the top 5 mistakes that learners of French do are:

  1. Mispronouncing the French ‘r’ sound. Unlike the English ‘r’ it is pronounce closer to the throat.
  2. Pronouncing a silent letter and there are many, especially at the end of words.
  3. Aspirated ‘h’ (l’hôpital, l’habitation) versus muted ‘h’ (la haine, le hazard).
  4. Contractions in French. Unlike English they are not optional (j’ attends, c’est)
  5. The French U. There isn’t an equivalent in the English language.

Have a look at the YouTube video below and practise your French pronunciation. You will sound like a native in no time!

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