French pronunciation practice (with a real French speaker) - Comme une Française (2023)

The friends.= friends.

Practice French pronunciation today with this lesson!

Let's take a moment to practice together the most common difficulties when speaking French.

Learn how to pronounce things like the French "R", nasal sounds ("an, en, in, on, un..."), the French "u" and "e" and much more. With specific techniques on video.

Let's go !

Practice French pronunciation:

  1. French "R"
  2. nasal noises
  3. french "u"
  4. silent letters
  5. french "and"

(Video) French Pronunciation Practice (with a REAL French speaker)

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1. Practice French pronunciation: French “R”

The French R is difficult to pronounce.

It is not the English "r" nor the rolled Spanish "r". In Spanish and English: "e RSIt is pronounced with the tongue in front of the mouth.

In French, it is the other way around: the tongue must be glued to thebehind your mouth, sobthe suppository(= the suppository.)

Then the middle of your tongue vibrates against the luette. And he does: "R.“

Give it a try with the video lesson! Repeat after me:

  • Misericordia (= Danke)
  • I do not regret anything. (= I don't regret it.)
  • Marie is married to a sailor. (= Maria is married to a sailor.)


2. Practice French pronunciation: nasal sounds

French nasal sounds =die nasal=nasal vowels

(Video) 🇫🇷 French Pronunciation Fundamentals — REAL, MODERN FRENCH! [Part 1]

You know, when French vowels have an "n" (sometimes an "m") after them and create a new sound:An – En – In – On – Un

In English, vowels come from the mouth. In French, nasal vowels also come from the nose. Let's learn how to pronounce them correctly today!

Let's start with a simple word:bobo(= um booboo, um owie)

Now try moving the vowel "o" above the nose. Your tongue goes to the back of your mouth, so now the sounds should go to the back of your nose. ANDbobobecomes:Cookies(= a candy).

Keep practicing repeating with me in the video lesson. Once you have it, you can try the other vowels:

mi(„no“) →em:
I could(=I could) →Mainly(=Thousand, as well as "M + som nasal 'in'")

A a:
O (=O, as well as "Sah") →Sans(=which, sounds like "S + nasal sound 'on'")

Click here to know more:French pronunciation: vowels and accents

French pronunciation practice (with a real French speaker) - Comme une Française (1)

For me, there are only three nasal sounds:

  • One“,
  • a” = “em“,
  • em” = “ain” = “mi“.

(Some people hear a difference between "em"E"mi", but it's very subtle all the same.)
Nose sounds can also have different spellings. Mostly"One” (or any nasal vowel) before aPAGof unoBbecomes "one" (onorteMETRO):A shadow= a shadow, com "one"=tom's nose"One.

But sometimes it's just weird. For example in the cityCaen, “Eyes"sounds like a simple nasal"a“. There are always exceptions in French.

3. Practice French pronunciation: French "u"

There are two main problems with the pronunciation of French "you
The first is:Escucharthe difference between the soundsyou"E"o“. They are not the same!

Practice with the video lesson. Can you hear the difference between:

  • you/O?
  • The street(= the street) /radical(= a gender)
  • About(= finished) /Sob(= below)?

O"sounds like english"mi" (Or Spanish "you"), then it's easy.

but frenchyoumay be more difficult to pronounce. So let's practice French pronunciation together.

We start by saying the toneUE („mi"). Your lips part as if you are smiling.
Now try to sayUE while pressing her lips together in a very small circle.
start making!

You understand? Congratulations!

Another way to pronounce it is to start with the soundo.
Now push the tongue into the mouth, at the top of the mouth, just behind the teeth.
And you must start to make the soundyouagain!

Don't worry, it comes with practice. The most important thing to start with is really listening to the difference betweenyoumio. Otherwise, you will make embarrassing mistakes.
For example :

  • Quite(="bohk + ou") means "quite
  • nice ass(= "bohk + u") means: "nice ass!

So try to make a differenceThank you so much!(= Thank you very much!)

(Video) French Pronunciation Fundamentals — REAL, MODERN FRENCH! [Part 3]

4. Practice pronunciation in French: silent letters

The French spelling is rare. In many words there are some silent letters. Just like him "PAGemquite!

There are no hard and fast rules for which letters are silent. Sorry. However, here is a general rule of thumb that you can use as an approximation:

A consonant at the end of a word is silent except for C, F, L, and R.

In particular:ToSat the end of a word there is often silence.
Like in:em(= em),Sob(= below),verdes(= verde)

The above guideline doesn't always apply, but it works for many words.

5. Practice French pronunciation: La liaison

The callIt is the revenge of the silent letters.

If the French don't like the way two words sound together, they can revive the sound of a consonant at the end of a word. That isthe call. So, we have:

  • Is big.= is big, with a silent "t" in "West' (and a silent 'D' largely, cf. the previous guideline!)
  • It's huge.= It's too big.→ O "T"is pronounced!

The callcomes only with a silent consonant (at the end of a word), just before a vowel (at the beginning of the next word). MostlyToS!

Also inthe call,S(MIX) They pronounce themselves "z", miDis pronounced "t

  • A friend.= "a friend".Silence "norte"em"mi' (nose noise) now sounds like 'un nami
  • A friend.= "a little friend"literally ="a friend"→ sounds like"small sieve"
  • A good friend.= "a great / great / great friend"→ sounds like"Great Tami".
  • Two friends.= "two friends".→ sounds like"Two Zamis"
  • Three friends.= "three friends".→ sounds like"three zamis"

There are certain rules about when and howterclosethe call. And when it is not mandatory but it helps you sound more formal and elegant.

Click here to know more:La Liaison: Apply correctly (rules + examples)

6. Practice the French pronunciation: French “e”

Practice pronunciation in French with this last difficulty: the letter "mi“.

It's in French everywhere and comes with many different pronunciations. The accent matters too! A Frenchman who grew up in the south would pronounce it differently than someone who comes from Alsace or the north.

So I'll just mention the hardest parts I've seen students struggle with:

  • Y(„mi” = “UE" = "eh")
    In two letter words likeY That isDie com…“mi" Sounds like "ah.” do not pronounceI am(=I am,juh + ss + french "u" + ee") AsI clean (=I clean, "jay + ss + French "u" + ee")
  • We do not pronounce an "e" at the end of a word.
    (Except those little words, or when there is an accent, or in some exceptions.)
    You can change its meaning! Like in:
    A book= a book(="read")/tripe= delivered. (= "Leevrey")
(Video) 🇫🇷 French Pronunciation Fundamentals — REAL, MODERN FRENCH! [Part 2]

French pronunciation practice (with a real French speaker) - Comme une Française (2)

mi= „ah' also in the middle of a 'long' word (polysyllable) if it does not come before two consonants.Horse.= the horse= sounds like "chuh vaal.

And now: Congratulations!

That's a lot of French pronunciation for today!
You have to practice:

  • Ein / An / Un
  • In ≠ O
  • I the
  • The friends)

and more!

Of course, practice makes perfect. So you can always come back to this lesson and figure out where you feel safe now and where you could practice more.

Or you can skip to another one of my lessons!

Click here to access your free full lesson:

  • Lingerie/Dessus: Deep Immersion in French "u" or "ou"
  • French pronunciation: when and how to use La Liaison
  • French pronunciation: vowels, accents and nasal sounds
  • French Pronunciation Practice: "Écureuil" (Squirrel) - How to make it sound "euil" and more

I'll see you shortly.
See you in the next video!

→ If you enjoyed this lesson (and/or learned something new), why not?Share this lesson with a Francophile friend? We can talk about that later! You will learn much more if you have the social support of your friends 🙂

Double your French! Win my 10 days”Intensive French course for everyday life" and learningmost spoken frenchfree. students love it! Start now and you will succeedLesson 01straight to your inbox, instantly.

(Video) French Pronunciation Fundamentals — REAL, MODERN FRENCH! [Part 4]

Click here to sign up for my FREE daily intensive French course


How do you practice French pronunciation? ›

The best way to learn French sounds is to practice with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Start listening and repeating French sounds and soon you will be able to pronounce any French word in the dictionary – even if you have never heard it before!

How to improve French pronunciation? ›

7 tips to improve efficiently your French pronunciation skills
  1. Learn how to listen.
  2. Break down words.
  3. Master your vowels.
  4. Mix the vowels with consonants.
  5. Immersion and cultural stays.
  6. Don't forget to have fun.
  7. Measure your progress.

Is there a website to help with French pronunciation? ›

Forvo: Forvo calls itself the “pronunciation dictionary”, with the tagline “All of the words in the world. Pronounced.” The site currently contains audio recorded by native French speakers from around the world for over 100,000 French words and phrases.

Is there a French pronunciation app? ›

Duolingo. Duolingo incorporates French pronunciation into every part of the app. Not only does the app dictate French text to you, it also makes you repeat French phrases into your microphone. This reinforces the pronunciation skills you've started to pick up by making you practice out loud.

What is Ʒ called? ›

Ezh (Ʒ ʒ) /ˈɛʒ/, also called the "tailed z", is a letter whose lower case form is used in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), representing the voiced postalveolar fricative consonant.

What is the pronunciation of Ʒ? ›

Pronunciation: The sound /ʒ/ is a voiced, alveo-palatal, fricative consonant. Lightly press the middle of your tongue between your alveolar ridge and your soft palate. The sides of your tongue should lightly touch your back upper teeth.

What does Ʃ sound like? ›

Pronunciation: The sound /ʃ/ is a voiceless, alveo-palatal, fricative consonant. Lightly press the middle of your tongue between your alveolar ridge and your soft palate. The sides of your tongue should lightly touch your back upper teeth.
File Size:12 kb
File Type:mp3

How can I speak French fluently fast? ›

10 tips to learn French fast
  1. Watch films. Watching films in French with French subtitles is one of the best ways to learn. ...
  2. Learn with songs. ...
  3. Read. ...
  4. Find a partner. ...
  5. Don't be scared to try and make mistakes. ...
  6. Listen! ...
  7. Practice. ...
  8. Sign up for an intensive course.
Aug 12, 2016

What is the hardest French word to pronounce? ›


Brace yourself: The hardest French word to pronounce is the word for locksmith – “serrurerie“. It was the most commonly repeated response.

How do you become conversationally fluent in French? ›

7 tips on speaking French fluently and confidently
  1. Pronunciation is key. There's a pleasure that comes from speaking French with a (fairly) authentic French accent – consider it your reward for studying French pronunciation. ...
  2. Watch and listen. ...
  3. Find your purpose. ...
  4. Sing along. ...
  5. Fill in the gaps. ...
  6. Make it a game. ...
  7. Speak up.

How quickly can you learn French fluently? ›

French is a Category I language, so it's relatively easy to learn for native English speakers. It will take approximately 580 hours or 23 weeks of study to reach complete French fluency. Which we could break down as the following: If you study for 1 hour every day, you can learn French in 1.5 years.

Which French accent is the hardest to understand? ›

#1 Parisian French

Of the accents of France, the Paris accent is perhaps the hardest to nail down. And that's because Parisian French is considered “standard French” – or French without an accent.

Which French accent is easiest to understand? ›

Compared with Parisians, Southern French people speak French at a slower rate, which can make it seem easy to understand.

Where can I practice my French speaking? ›

Luckily, there are lots of opportunities for French speaking practice online and in real life.
The best French conversation practice apps and websites
  • LanguaTalk. ...
  • italki. ...
  • Tandem. ...
  • HelloTalk. ...
  • Polyglot Club (French conversation groups) ...
  • Busuu. ...
  • Easy Language Exchange. ...
  • Conversation Exchange.

Is Google Translate pronunciation accurate French? ›

Well, the short answer is this: Yes, Google Translate is very accurate for the most part. In some cases, it's 94%+ accurate! In fact, it's one of the top-rated translation tools when it comes to translation accuracy, though the exact accuracy will depend on the language pairs that you've chosen.

What French accent does not change pronunciation? ›

The Circumflex (Le circonflexe) in French

It doesn't change pronunciation, but it must be included in written French. The circumflex accent has the same pronunciation as the grave accent when used with the letter e. Some examples include tête, être, and fenêtre.

Why is French so non phonetic? ›

The biggest reason for unpronounced letters is that, at one time, the letters were pronounced. Spelling tends to reflect the language as it was spoken when the language was standardized, rather than how it's pronounced today.

What is the best app to become fluent in French? ›

The best app to learn French is Babbel. With a complete course designed by professional linguists, Babbel can take you from complete beginner to conversational in just a few months. Other great apps to learn French include MosaLingua, Mondly, and Busuu.

Which app teaches French for free? ›

Duolingo is the fun, free app for learning 40+ languages through quick, bite-sized lessons. Practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing to build your vocabulary and grammar skills.

What is ŋ called? ›

The symbol [ŋ] is usually called "eng" [ɛŋ] . It is like an [n] with the tail of a [ɡ]. Things to look out for: In spelling, the letter combination ng is usually just the single sound [ŋ], but occasionally there really is a [ɡ] sound too.

Is ɔ a diphthong? ›

Record your voice: To make the /ɔɪ/ sound: /ɔɪ/ is a diphthong, which is like a combination of two different vowel sounds. To begin, place your tongue at mid-low height in your mouth, shifted toward the back, to say /o/.

When to use ʃ or ʒ? ›

-tion: The ending -tion is always pronounced with /ʃ/ (pronunciation, definition) unless it is preceded by the letter s, in which case it is said as /tʃ/ (question). Vowel + -sion: The ending -sion is always pronounced with /ʒ/ when it's preceded by a vowel (conclusion, decision).

How do you pronounce tʃ? ›

To make the /tʃ/ sound:

Push air forward out of your mouth. Stop the air completely at first, and then release it. After release, the air should create friction between the tip of your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Do not vibrate your vocal cords when you make this sound; it's voiceless.

What is the zh sound called? ›

The 'zh sound' /ʒ/ is voiced fricative (the vocal cords vibrate during its production). It is the counterpart to the unvoiced 'sh sound' /ʃ/. To create the /ʒ/, air is forced between a wide groove in the center of the front of the tongue and the back of the tooth ridge.

Is ʒ an oral sound? ›

The/ʒ/ phoneme is made through the mouth and it is Voiced which means that you vibrate your vocal chords to make the sound.

What are the 9 Fricatives? ›

There are a total of nine fricative consonants in English: /f, θ, s, ∫, v, ð, z, З, h/, and eight of them (all except for/h/) are produced by partially obstructing the airflow through the oral cavity.

What is the difference between ʊ and u? ›

All vowels are made through the mouth and are voiced so you vibrate your vocal chords to make the sound. It is similar to the /u:/ sound, but it is shorter. /ʊ/ not /u:/. To produce the ʊ sound put your tongue close to the top and near the back of your mouth and make a short voiced sound with your mouth closed.

Can I become fluent in French in 3 months? ›

Here is an estimate: 3-6 months. This is for people who speak similar-ish languages like English and who spend hours studying every day (probably 3+ hours per day)

Can I become fluent in French in a year? ›

Regardless of your definition of fluency, you'll need to practice the language if you want to master it. If you want a short answer, yes, you can become fluent in French in one year (or even less), especially if you follow the 10 steps included in the next section.

How long does it take to reach B1 in French? ›

According to the Alliance Française, from learning how to say hello in French to reaching a B1 level requires 360 hours of training, whereas B2 would take about 560 hours of intensive courses (about 20 hours/week) – however, they are unable to determine the number of weeks needed to reach C1 or C2.

What is the most spoken French word? ›

The most commonly used words in French are: Oui (yes), non (no), merci (thank you), je (I), tu/vous (you), le/la/les (the), un, une des (a, an and some), le/la/les (it, them), et (and) and mais (but).

What are the 5 French accents? ›

The 5 accents in French writing are:

l'accent grave (grave accent) – à, è, ù la cédille (cedilla) – ç l'accent circonflexe (circumflex) – â, ê, î, ô, û l'accent tréma (trema) – ë, ï, ü

What French word has only vowels? ›

3 The shortest French word with all the vowels is oiseau (bird).

How much French do you need to know to be fluent? ›

It is estimated that you have to learn 5000 words to be fluent in French. Be selective and learn the 5000 most used words in French!

What level of French is fluent? ›

C1 and C2 French Levels

Communication is fluent, appropriate and well organized—you develop ideas in speech clearly and coherently.

What is the hardest part of learning French? ›

Prickly Pronunciation

Without a doubt, the hardest part of learning French is the pronunciation. Written French and spoken French seem worlds apart at first, since there are a number of rules that dictate when certain letters are not pronounced, or words are suddenly squashed together.

Can duolingo make you fluent? ›

We see this question a lot and the answer is: yes. Duolingo is a free language-learning platform, and every language and lesson is totally free!

Can you become fluent in French with duolingo? ›

So, can Duolingo make you fluent? By itself, no. But when used in the right way, I would say it can — but this will depend entirely on your definition of fluency, the quality of your language course, and whether you actually use the language away from Duolingo.

How good is Duolingo for French? ›

Overall, Duolingo is a great resource for children who want to learn French (or any other language). However, it is important to supplement Duolingo with other language learning activities such as: Reading French children's books.

What accent is closest to French? ›

The Parisian accent. Parisians might tell you that they do not have an accent. In a sense, it is true as the Parisian accent is the one you might be most familiar with since it is the closest to standardized French.

Is French more easy or Spanish? ›

Spanish pronunciation is easier to the English native speaker, while the French accent can be difficult to master. The French language has sounds that are unfamiliar to a native English speaker. Inability to roll the tongue can make speaking Spanish a challenge.

Which grammar is harder French or Italian? ›

But you'll probably find that Italian is slightly easier than French. Grammar-wise, they're fairly similar in complexity. Most of this discrepancy goes back to French pronunciation being less phonetic than Italian, but that also depends on what kind of learner you are.

Do French speakers speak faster than English? ›

One 2011 study from the Université de Lyon looked at 7 languages, which reported the order as Japanese (7.84 syllables per second), Spanish (7.82), French (7.18), Italian (6.99), English (6.19), German (5.97) and Mandarin (5.18). But, you know, seven is pretty small.

What is the easiest way to learn French pronunciation? ›

How to improve your French pronunciation?
  1. Get curious about pronunciation tips.
  2. Learn the French IPA: the international phonetic alphabet.
  3. Master silent letters in French.
  4. Practice the pronunciation of difficult words.
  5. Take the time every day to learn and repeat.
  6. Follow the rhythm and intonation of the French language.
Jun 11, 2022

Why is French so hard for English speakers? ›

Many find French hard to learn because of the complex grammar and linguistic nuances that don't exist in English, especially for those who have never studied another European language specifically Romance languages like Spanish or Portuguese. Spoken French can also be challenging!

Why is French pronunciation so difficult? ›

The French language tends to be difficult to pronounce at first because there are simply sounds that native English speakers aren't used to making. To begin with, French is more evenly stressed. This means that while some parts of a word are stressed, it's not as distinct as in English.

How long does it take to learn French pronunciation? ›

French is a Category I language, so it's relatively easy to learn for native English speakers. It will take approximately 580 hours or 23 weeks of study to reach complete French fluency. Which we could break down as the following: If you study for 1 hour every day, you can learn French in 1.5 years.

What sounds can French people not pronounce? ›

The 'th' sound doesn't exist in French, and how could you know that 'ough' is pronounced differently in both words! French people can't help pronouncing this word the same as a female dog, much to most English people's amusement!

What letter do the French not pronounce? ›

In French, -e is the most common silent letter that you will encounter. It is also the only vowel that isn't always pronounced. When the letter –e placed at the end of a word is after a consonant, it is not pronounced. For example, the -e at the end of the word voiture (car) is normally not pronounced.

How fast can an American learn French? ›

According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), French is a category 1 language. This means learning French takes 23 – 24 weeks (575 – 600 hours) for most English speakers. This makes French one of the easiest (and fastest) languages to learn.

Do French speak faster than English? ›

One 2011 study from the Université de Lyon looked at 7 languages, which reported the order as Japanese (7.84 syllables per second), Spanish (7.82), French (7.18), Italian (6.99), English (6.19), German (5.97) and Mandarin (5.18).


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