French Language

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Re: french words that sound alike

Big Smile [:D] Thanks, Eric, that made me giggle.
"I couldn't sleep very well last night. Some noisy b*ggers going around in automobiles kept me awake." Ken Miles
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Re: french words that sound alike

 ericd wrote:

This is quite funny Patf....queue and coeur do not come across as being difficult to pronounce when you are French but trying to differentiate :

Sheep and ship or paper and another story !......I could also add sheet and sh*t..........and that is after 26 years in the country....


And in the north-east those sound very alike, Eric!  Smile [:)]

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

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Re: french words that sound alike

Here is an audio Dictionary that may help
I have found it very helpful with the sounds of verb endings and it has other words too

Im no good at links so maybe some one could help
Dirty Tom =^..^=
Where ever I lay my paw thats my home

I support SPA Carcassonne ...go get a dog today
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Re: french words that sound alike

Here's the link Pads gave:

It has various sections to click on to.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

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Re: french words that sound alike

Audio dictionnaries, they are great if you have a half decent ear,(I don't) then when 'my' ear adjusts and I start to get the sound, I often still cannot hear words properly in the middle of a normal conversation.

For me the example is dessus and dessous, I hear the difference if someone says one of these words alone, but in the middle of a conversation I usually have to ask en haut or en bas, well more or less.

I now know my bottom from my neck, but that took me years.

The thing that drives me mad and is the best example of why too many english speakers usually get it all wrong and that is 'already you', which ofcourse means absolutely nothing at all. AND it drives me bonkers when I hear anyone say that. I don't even mind hearing anyone say san fairy ann, but deja vous, instead of deja vu and I HATE IT!!

I think that the scots should manage the 'u' sound OK, as they do have similar sounds in their accents.
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Re: french words that sound alike

Idun, many of my French friends tell me that Brits tend to have trouble with pronouncing the letter u.  I think that much as th is so tough for them - simply because it's not a form learnt in childhood - which is where most language learning truly sinks in.  After a certain age it becomes harder and harder to tackle these nuances of speech.

I was at a roadside cafe on the way home one day and there was an English chap in front of me ordering coffee.  He asked in schoolboy French but got stuck at one point and said, half to himself|: "I can't remember the word for milk."  "Lait," responded the woman who was serving him.  His response : "Oh, yes, thanks.  Late."

Now he was trying so one could hardly get annoyed with him but I did find this odd.  He heard her pronounce the word correctly and yet, just seconds later, repeated it back to her incorrectly.  How does this happen?

Thousands of Brits descend every year to our deparment in June.  All around them they hear French commentators and drivers pronouncing it correctly and yet still say "La Saarth", much as an Essex man might pronounce the word South! 

I get that certain things are hard to pronounce (desous/dessus - a right b*gger, for instance!) but what I don't understand is how people hear one thing and then repeat something different back in very short order.


Well done Pads for having a good go at this because I really believe that it's the key to much misunderstanding.  I also meet Brits who genuinely think that all French people actually pretend to misunderstand when it's actually quite genuine - as in the deja vu example which Idun cites.

"I couldn't sleep very well last night. Some noisy b*ggers going around in automobiles kept me awake." Ken Miles
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Re: french words that sound alike

I remember you posting the Late example before Cooperlola.

In this case its because the lad was seeing the spelling of the word in his mind and using the English pronunciation, I have sort of the opposite problem (well to me its not a problem at all) i hear words, can make a good fist of mimiccing them (spelling?) and use them correctly in conversation yet can make some howling errors when writing the same words, usually the penny drops if I get to read them first.

My ex French teacher is now a good friend from an early age she was happy for me to be around her children so that they would absorb some of the language by osmosis, at the start the older boy had already had some English lessons and critically could red and write French, his younger sister was in maternelle.

Very early on I found that the younger siste was much better at English pronunciation than her brother who tendes to see the words, they are aged about 7 and 10 now and the difference between them is really dramatic.

I guess it explains why young children can easily pick up a foreign language and speak with such good pronunciation.

When I learnt Spanish in L'Equateur I was taught as a child with visual aids like picture cards but very little emphathis on the written word, I think its great as a jump start before learning grammar and the tenses.

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Re: french words that sound alike

Oh I get that people who live or are on holiday in France can get it wrong. It is that 'already you', as used in current english, now that enrages me.

I say I haven't got a good ear for language, and I haven't.

My ear for music is actually quite good, can I translate it into singing even a couple of notes in tune, I cannot. I am in another key on another note, and any computations of that you can imagine, or so my husband tells me. AND yet, when I listen to music, I hear quite well. I obviously have a missing link between ear and my voice box.

I remember my neighbours son spending about ten minutes trying to get me to pronounce laitue properly, I got it in the end, but it was hard.

I did learn one thing early on, if I really thought I had got the pronunciation as good as I could do it, I would stick with it. I never used to and I had mulitple pronunciations of just about every single french word. So I got to Genty, a supermarket chain that used to exist and was looking for tinned tomatoes and couldn't find any. I found a young girl stocking shelves and asked for 'une boite de tomates', with the correct forms of politesse, and it was like the little britain sketch with the indian woman at the slimming class. I stuck by my guns and kept repeating the same thing and the girl could not get it. In the end she went and got a colleague and I once again asked for my 'boite de tomates' and he understood. He repeated it and she looked genuinely shocked and said 'une boite de tomates', then said 'plus'. Which in itself used to confuse me as in english, 'plus' means to add on/more, which I never imagined would mean 'none' in french.

My husband is a musician and also due to working in heavy industry has damaged hearing, but he always spoke french sans accent, or more precisely, sounded like a native speaker, but people were never sure where he was from.

Some people even as adults can do it. Some of us cannot and if we live there, we have IMO to try our very best and be good humoured when we get it wrong.
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