French Pronunciation Tips

Wanna sound French? Start with a cute little pout! Yes, you too gentlemen! It’s all happening in the lips and forward in the mouth. The more ridiculous you think you sound, the better it probably is for your sexy French accent. Here are a few major sounds that you can practice to sound more French.

Rrrrr!

The French ‘R’ has frustrated many French learners. Yes, do scratch that throat as if you were going to spit, just don’t! Please! It’s all happening in the throat! Try to pronounce rare/rares.

Ooh la la!

French vowels have unleashed a lot of passions too. Ooh la la!

  • If you want to pronounce “u” as in the first sound of ubiquité, start by pronouncing “i” as in “ici” and then move your lips forward into a little pout! Hear the difference?
  • You can do the same to get “eu” as in bleu. Just start with “é” as in “été” and pout your lips…
  • Finally, try “œ” as in sœur. Start with “ê” as in “fête” and pout away!

Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels are everywhere in the French language. It’s all happening in the nose! Here are the ones French has:

  • The “un” in… well, un… which is only spelled like: un
    (Note: in some dialects this sound is actually going away, and this spelling is pronounced like the “in” spelling instead.)

  • The “on” in bon which can be spelled like: on, om
  • The “in” in vin which can be spelled like: in, im, yn, ym, ain, aim, ein, eim, un, um
  • The “an” sound in blanc which can be spelled like: en, em, an, am, aon, aen

Did you notice the phrase that those four sounds make? Un bon vin blanc!