I have heard that some students want to improve their pronunciation in French and some parents would like to help them. Since many students and parents are beginners in French, I can understand that it seems to be a challenge. There are many tools on Internet we can use to listen to French.
First, let me remind you of the basics.
- Most of the time, the final d, t, s or x in a word is not pronounced: un chat (a cat), un Français (a French), heureux (happy) are all pronounced as if they end with a vowel.
- English has variable stress patterns, but in French the stress always falls on the final pronounced syllable.
- Final consonants, except l, f and c are not usually pronounced.
- Final e is not pronounced, but the preceding consonant is.
- ç is pronounced as s.
- h is not pronounced.
- Liaison: if a French word ends with a consonant or if the following word begins with a vowel or a silent h, the preceding consonant forms a new syllable with the following vowel. For example, "ils habitent" (they live). In liaison, consonant sounds change. F sounds like v and s and x sounds like z, as in "ils habitent".
- Elision: in words such as le, la, je, se, me, tu the vowel disappears when the following word begins with a vowel or silent h. "Je aime" becomes "J'aime" (I like).
If you would like to know more about the French pronunciation and do some online exercises to recognize the sounds, here is a website :
If you want to know how to pronounce a sentence in French, you can write it down and listen to it.
You can try this with :
- Acapela (http://www.acapela-group.com)
- Google Translate (http://translate.google.com)
If you are looking for a website where you can both listen and speak, check the site below :
You can write a sentence, listen to it, record your own pronunciation and listen to it as well.
I have tested all the websites above and simple sentences as we practice in class are correct.
If I find better or new websites, I will update the blog.
If you have any concern, question or comment, please let me know.
Bon courage !