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2 Nasal Vowels UN & IN
April 05, 2009 08:29 AM PDT

First 2 of 4 NASAL VOWELS
• simplified rule - where there’s a vowel +N or M - the “n” or “m” is not heard
• pronounce as if your nose is blocked!
• in the phonetic alphabet there is a tilde ~ over the vowel sound eg if you are checking pronunciation by looking word up in a French-English dictionary
• think of a model word for each of the sounds

1 as in “un”
final -un or -un+consonant*
final -um or -umb

eg un, brun, bruns, commun, lundi
le parfum, humble
NB
* not nasal if followed by a vowel eg une, brune, uni l'univers

COMPARE
nasal not nasal
un une
brun brune
bruns brunes
un l’université
lundi la lune

2 as in “vin”

final -in ( -yn) or -in +consonant*,
final -im ( -ym) or -im +consonant*,
final -ain, -ein, -ien -oin or -ain, -ein, -ien -oin, +consonant*

eg le vin, la fin, le dessin, le cousin, le coussin, le matin, enfin
mince, le prince, intéressant, intelligent, le printemps, cinq, vingt,quinze, le pingouin, le dauphin, le raisin
le syndicat d’initiative
faim, impossible, important, le timbre, sympa,
la main, le pain, le train, le refrain, prochain, saint
plein, la peinture, la ceinture, enceinte
bien, combien, rien, le chien, ancien,
le coin, le point
also: l’examen, moyen

NB
* not nasal if followed by a vowel eg vinaigre, fine, dessine,
la cousine, initiative,
* not nasal if followed by a double n eg moyenne, ancienne
not nasal if ends -ing.This is franglais! eg le parking

COMPARE
nasal not nasal
dessin dessinez!
prochain prochaine
jardin jardinier
plein pleine
moyen moyenne
le cousin la cousine
le mien la mienne
la fin finissez!

Database of sound files to hear a word spoken
http://swac-collections.org/?lang=fra!

Episode 2 French cognates
March 29, 2009 12:41 PM PDT

Let's start with the familiar.
Cognates are words which have the same spelling in English and French and the same meaning. False cognates are words that look the same but mean something different , also know as faux amis. We'll come back to them. However you must use French rules of pronunciatiom to pronounce these cognates. Let's look and some French words we use in English: restaurant, garage, souvenir, ballet, matinee, café, gateau. Here are some French cognate. Listen especially for the stress: lion, éléphant, chalet, serpent, portrait, garage. silent final letters, sport, serpent, excellent, important, sports, gâteaux, lions, porc, rouge
Final -et: ballet, chalet, ricochet, eau (pl aux) gâteau, château, plateau ch: chalet, ricochet, château tion, sion: station, télévision. attention h: hôtel, hamster, héron, hôpital mute: l'hôtel, un hôtel aspirated: le hamster un hamster, le héron é e acute: café. téléphone, éléphant, cinéma
Nasal EN, AN: accent, serpent, excellent, important, september, hamburger Nasal ON: lion, poison, bâton, version Nasal IN: intelligent, important, Boursin, vin (wine) Fasle cognates une prune, une place, la chance, bonne chance!

Episode 1 The Sound system
March 27, 2009 07:51 AM PDT

• r is rolled
rouge, gris, marron, vert, répétez
• j soft
je, bonjour, jaune
• ge gi soft same as j
âge, rouge
• ga, go, gu hard
garçon, gâteau
• qu always k not kw
quatre, quel (âge), qui
• h pronounce as if it is not there
huit, hot-dog
• ch as sh
chat, chien, chantez
• -tion [see oh] not sh
station, attention
• -sion [zee oh] not sh
télévision
• ou mouth round, pure
ou (or) où (where), bonjour, bouche (mouth) poule (hen)
• u with mouth round say ee, short
salut
• final -t usually silent
salut, chat, petit
exceptions - huit, sept
• final -d usually silent
grand,
• final -et sounds ay
poulet
• final -er sounds ay
dîner, déjeuner
• final -ez sounds ay eg plural commands
chantez, écoutez, regardez
• eu mouth round say i as in pit
couleur, deux, yeux,
• final -s usually silent eg all plurals
2 chats, des chiens, 4 ans , gris
• final -x usually silent
deux, yeux, cheveux (hair) joyeux Noël
but sounds z in liaison six ans, joyeux anniversaire
exceptions - six, dix
• i sounds ee
six, dix, gris, petit
• au sounds o
jaune
• oi sounds wu or wa
trois, moi, toi, voilà, froid, poisson,
au revoir
• ui [wee]
huit, bruit
ACCENTS
E
• é e acute always ay
écoutez, répétez, (ma couleur) préférée
• è and ê ë give and e as in bed
père, mère,tête, Noël
• unstressed e sounds more like i in bit
petit, levez-vous
• final e is silent but may affect the sounding of the previous vowel
petit, petite, grand, grande
• accents on a and i and u make no difference to the sound
a (has) à (at, to) ou (or) où (where)
nasals ~
• -on, -om
bon, bonjour, mouton, onze, attention, garçon not bonne (double n)
comptez, combien,
• -an and -en
dans, 4 ans, grand, grande, dansez,
excellent, cent, attention
• -in, -oin, ien, ain
cinq, vingt, vin, fin
coin,
bien, combien
pain, faim, main, saint
• un (not une)
un, lundi, bruns
semi consonants
• ille [ee yi]
fille (girl), famille , brille (shines)
• ouille [oo ee]
grenouille (frog)
• eil, eille [ay yi]
soleil, oreille, bouteille(bottle)
• ail aille [eye yi]
bataille (battle)