Learn French: The Most Common Mistakes! #4 Pronunciation

My background as a French teacher made me realize a lot of things. Everyone learning a language despite of their nationality has his or her difficulties. As majority of my students are native English speakers, they face the same problems. We all know that more than 30% of English language has a French origin. Even non-native English speakers tend to use the same sentence structure as English. That is a very clever strategy, but this technique is not perfect. I am here to give you more.

You will find here what you need to be careful with, the most common mistakes of French language learners, so you can avoid them!

Today we will see the most common mistakes about Pronunciation!

3. PRONUNCIATION

– No long vowels in French, and no puff of air when using P, T or K.

  • A French K is pronounced more like the K in Skate, not in Kate.
  • A French P is more like the P in Spain, not the one in Pain.
  • A French T sounds like the T in Stack, not the one in Tack.

– There are a lot of words ending with -tion in English and French. 

In French it is pronounced like S and not SH

Nation sounds like  Nassion   and not Nachion 

The same with the endings in -sion, with the S between 2 vowels:

It is pronounced like a Z and not G

Vision, illusion, confusion, invasion…

– Contrary to English, there is only one way to pronounce the A letter itself.

No è, ay, but only A, the way you learn it as a beginner.

– The ending -ENT is muted if it’s a verb:

  • Des polémiques qui me semblent (sembl’)indignes.
  • Des images qui évoquent (évoqu’) des souvenirs.
  • Certains expliquent (expliqu’) ce déclin par l’exposition universelle de 1886 à Paris.
  • Certains continuent (continu) à utiliser ce mot.

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