RR is a consonant To make the Sound Raise the back of your tongue close to the back of the throat and make a gargling sound. The sound is made with the vocal cords • [R]
[R]: Restaurant • It is not really a rolled sound • Gargled sound like the ch is Scottish loch • The Scottish ch sound is not voiced like the French r • Radio • Réserver • Riche
[R]: Restaurant • It keeps the same quality in the middle of words • Restaurant • Sourire • Vendre • A final r is normally pronounced • Car (because) • Hiver (winter) • Sur (on) • Sortir (to go out)
[R]: Restaurant EXCEPTION • The final R is not sounded at the end of er verbs • Parler (to speak) • Manger(to eat) • In –ier endings: • premier (first), • Janvier(January) • Papier(paper)
Restauran t • au pronounced o • a followed by n, pronounced aw (nasalised a) • silent t at the end of the word • In fact, if you can pronounce rrres-to-rrrawn, • then bravo, you’re on your way to correct French pronunciation - and possibly a good meal.
Nasaled ~ a • The vowel is usually nasalised when followed by a single n or m (within the same syllable) • The n or m is not pronounced changes into a nasal sound. • Back of the tongue is pulled down as low as possible with the mouth open. • The soft palate is relaxed and down • Opens up the nasal cavity to let air out of the nose. • It is a back low vowel as in English Arthur
Nasaled~a • An (year) • Sans (without) • Chambre (room) • Camper (to camp) Ain/aim = bain(bath), faim(hunger) with the same pronunciation as in vin (wine), plein (full) and un (one)
CAFÉAU LAIT • Whether it’s café au lait or café crème, thé, vin or de l’eau, ordering beverages is a daily exercise in French pronunciation. • Vowels: • é, accent aigu, pronounced ay • è, accent grave, pronounced eh • ai sounding like eh in lait (with a silent t) • eau is simply oh, unless you want it bubbly, or pétillant, in which ll is pronounced y, so it’s pay-tee-yawn.
CAFÉAU LAIT • Consonants: • th pronounced as t • the i followed by n in vin is pronounced, unlike other final consonants • if you want vin du pays, pronounce it payee with a silent s.
Haute Couture (h sound) • French h is always silent but has two distinct qualities • It can be mute • It can be aspirated • It behaves like a vowel. • Le and la shorten to l’ in front of words starting with a h mute • L’homme not le homme L’histore not la histoire L’hôtel = [otel]
Haute Couture (h sound) • Aspirate h. • La hauteur (height) • Le haricot (bean) = [ariko] • H is always silent wherever it falls in a word • Heureux (happy) • Dehors (outside)
Haute Couture • Aspirate h. • La hauteur (height) • Le haricot (bean) = [ariko] • H is always silent wherever it falls in a word • Heureux (happy) • Dehors (outside)
Haute Couture (T Sound) • In a letter combination rh and th the h is not pronounced • Rhume (cold) • Théâtre (theatre) • Thé (tea) Do not be tempted to pronounce th as in English e.g. this or that. The sound does not exist in French. Summary • aspirate, as in haute e.g. La haute couture • silent as in l’homme • Note that in haute the t is not silent because it is followed by an e.
Haute Couture (C Sound) • French c has two pronunciations. • The word concert includes both examples • [k] and [s] • The clue to pronouncing them lies in the letter after each c
Haute Couture (C Sound) • The French cThe c in couture is pronounced like k when followed by o, a or u, but like s when followed by e, i or y. C with a cedilla (ç) is also an s sound, as in garçon. • The French uThe ou in couture is simply pronounced oo, but the solo u is a challenge - it requires that you pucker your lips. This is also how you pronounce the u in rue, so it’s a useful one to get right.
Concierge (C Sound) • Concierge brings you the c pronounced both ways • The K sound for Con [kon] + on (nasal sound) • C + I = S sound (see)
Interesting Points • That’s billets pronounced be-yay. • Double ll is like a yay sound (see the word pétillant earlier slide). • Théâtrestarts with th pronounced as t and é is eh, â is ah, and the re sounds slightly clipped, as in sucre, poudre, descendre and vendre.
monsieur Monsieur is pronounced nothing like it looks. • Mon sounds like muh and • sieursounds like syuh spoken with puckered lips. • Put them together for muh-syuh. You may be tempted to ask for Madame instead but practice makes perfect.
Magnifique • The gn sound is like an n sound • Oignon, champignon and champagne • Qu is pronounced like a k sound with the final e silent. • The work qu’est-ce-quec’est, que is combined with est and pronounced k at the beginning of the phrase and kuh at the end.
Magnifique • To make the gn sound flatten the front part of your tongue against the roof of your mouth and release (letting some air out of your nose). The is nasalised and voiced. • It is pronounced like ny in English canyon • Montagne • Gagner • vigne
Oeil de Boeuf • In this very Parisian architectural feature, literally eye of bull, oeil is pronounced oy with a silent l and boeuf sounds something like buf - unlike most final consonants, the f is pronounced. • This also occurs in oeuf, but in the plural, boeufs or oeufs, the f and s are both silent. The plural oeil is yeux with a silent x.
Two more French pronunciation tips to remember • Stress is put on a particular word in English Dentist, concert but in French each syllable is pronounced with the same intensity. • A liaison happens when a silent consonant usually precedes a word starting with a vowel or h mute • Les hôtels, pronounced layz-oh-tel. • Petit amipronounced puh-teet-ah-mee,