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It’s All French to Me

Could this possibly be the reason for my daily struggle with spoken French?

Here is a little something for all you non-native French speakers who may be feeling alone in your attempts to master your tongue and contort your face as you brave life in France. Grab some aspirin and take a peek at the Top French Words You’ll Never Pronounce Right as reported in THE LOCAL FR last month. Go ahead, sit down with a teabag and a steaming mug of hot water from your bouilloire (kettle), if you can pronounce it, that is…

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yes Nancy I struggle with most of those, the whole “oui” and “eui”composite vowel sound is tough for me.
    I can never pronounce yaourt to the satisfaction of my French teacher either!
    I think I am allergic to triple vowels

    Actually, we are having a break from French class, I need to absorb what we learned last year before I move on!! Having said that, some of it went in and stayed there

    March 3, 2015
  2. You open your mouth and pull terrible faces

    On the plus side, I have deduced that the reason French women’s faces age with such style and remain expressively is the facial muscle workout they get every time they speak!!!

    I shall speak French and delay the dreaded sagging as long as I can!!

    March 3, 2015
  3. Sarah Larson #

    I agree, Nancy! Pronunciation has been the most challenging part for me of learning French. Two of my favorites: the French word for squirrel; and remembering the different pronunciations for egg (singular) and eggs (plural)!

    March 3, 2015
  4. I love the diagram. That a lot of it is silence. 🙂 It is so true.

    March 3, 2015
  5. Oh those are wonderful and I’m proud to say that the only one that gave me a problem was that wretched kettle thing and I think that was just a mental block. I was very lucky indeed that I started learning French at a very early age and that throughout my teachers concentrated on pronunciation, the downside is that instead of being taken for a Brit I am sometimes mistaken for a Belgian or even once as Canadian.

    March 3, 2015
    • Oh you lucky duck with your early pronunciation lessons. The double “L” is a killer for me and my mouth. I have trouble with almost all the words on that list. We had a good night out last week ordering Brouilly wine. We were a group of multinationals and it was so funny listening to all of us pronouncing that awful word in different ways. Sometimes I get so frustrated and embarrassed when trying to order that wine (which I love), I just end up ordering a less desired Côtes du Rhône.

      March 9, 2015
      • Never give up on the Brouilly! Incidentally have you ever come across Votes de Brouilly? I found some once and it was amazing.

        March 10, 2015
      • No, not yet tried a Votes de Brouilly…perhaps this summer?

        March 11, 2015
  6. Too true! When I was trying to learn French (the key word being “trying”) I kept wondering: why put all these letters in the word and not pronounce them?? 🙂

    March 3, 2015

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