Today I’m going to tell you why French people don’t understand you when you speak to them in French… by sharing with you 3 very common pronunciation mistakes that are confusing yet so easy to fix!
Vous êtes prêt?
Pronunciation is key.
Pronunciation of vowels is key.
You cannot be lazy about it! Because if you are then we don’t know what you’re saying! And of course, being more rigorous about your vowels will help you hear and understand the French better in return! Clear communication us what we want.
Listen to these 3 sounds on the video above:
Can you hear the difference?
Je means I. Easy enough. Yet 90% of people pronounce it wrong. They pronounce it Jè.
If you say Jè, it sounds like you are saying J’ai, bringing us to our second sound.
It makes a big difference because we wonder if you’re speaking in the present or the past tense… Remember, the letter E at the end of a word is never pronounced.
For example, “Je mange” means I eat or I am eating, present tense.
However most people who are learning French say “Jè mangè”, which sounds like j’ai mangé or je mangeais and that means I ate or I was eating. And that’s just one example of one problem.
1- So make sure you say JE:
JE suis française = I am French
JE m’appelle Virginie = I am called Virginie
JE parle anglais = I speak english
2- And now when you want to say I have:
J’AI deux chiens = I have 2 dogs
J’AI une voiture = I have a car
J’AI compris = I have understood
3- And the last one is J’AIME:
People often get mixed up between j’ai and j’aime. But j’aime means I like or I love.
J’AIME habiter à Seattle = I like living in Seattle
J’AIME mes chiens = I love my dogs
J’AIME la voiture que J’AI = I like the car that I have
You see? Different words, different meanings. Don’t mix them up!