Today I’m going to help your French pronunciation. And because this new HOW TO series focuses on one thing per video, we’re going to concentrate on one letter only: the consonant R. I’m guessing it’s your favorite French letter, isn’t it? Many of you have asked for it so here it is.
I also need to tell you that if you like this video, I have recently launched my latest French Online Course to teach you How to Pronounce French consistently and confidently, step by step. In this course called Perfect Pronunciation, we cover every possible sound: vowels, consonants, nasals, digraphs, trigraphs, liaisons, apostrophes, end of words. Click here for more info and ways to join the course.
How to Pronounce the French ” R “
People get stuck on this letter. They either disregard it, often because they feel slightly embarrassed to try, or they over pronounce it because they try too hard. The French R is not the harsh sound that you think. You do not need to sound like you’re clearing your throat and about to spit on the sidewalk. Many years ago one of my students compared it to the English H. I had never thought it yet I instantly agreed with him! Clever student!
Let’s have a look with the color red. Do you know how to say red in French? Rouge. Listen to how I say it in the video above, does it sound more like an English H or like a throat cleaner???
Now let’s have a look at the technique
It’s done in the back of your mouth, at the beginning of your throat. Make the base of your tongue thicker, so that there isn’t too much space at the entrance of your throat.
Another tip to really feel where the R is happening, is to push your tongue against your lower teeth.
If you need extra help to definitely place your tongue down at the bottom of your mouth, you can also use a pen to push your tongue down. Ok so:
1- Extra thick base of the tongue
2- Tongue is stuck to the bottom of your mouth and
3- You can use a pen, to begin with, to really get a feel for it
I want you to notice how subtle it is and that’s it’s definitely closer to an English H than to the harsh R you may have been practicing so far. Same applies when the R is placed in the middle of a word.
Here are some more words for you to practice
delighted = ravi(e)
to be = être
restaurant (2 rs in there!) = restaurant
grands- parents = grandparents
Ok here’s the sentence are you ready?
I am delighted to be in a restaurant with my grandparents = Je suis ravie d’être au restaurant avec mes grand-parents
Good news, this is a video, you can go back, you can pause, you can play with all these words, as much as you want!
Now! Just relax. Even if it’s not perfect, people will understand you. Truly, they will. Chances are, the harder you try, the goofier it sounds. Plus you’ll be stopping half way through your sentence, repeating your word many times, and it’s when you do that that people don’t understand you and also can get impatient. Just say your sentence in one go it will sound a lot clearer than if you stop at every word, I promise!
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I launched French Truly’s online school in August 2018 and so far it’s a huge success! You can join whenever, either by buying the French online course(s) of your choice or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French Truly Online School from $10 / month. See more details about the membership at the bottom of this page
Each French online course is packed with video & audio files along with written material, to make it as fun, easy, and user friendly as possible for you! Come and learn French online with me!
Online course # 1: PERFECT PRONUNCIATION
In this course you will find 11 videos + 150 audio files + 92 pages PDF format to help & accompany you every step of the way throughout the course. In some parts of the videos, my face will appear close up and profile so you can easily see how I make these sounds with my mouth. The 150 audio files are composed of the 100 most popular French words and the 50 most common French phrases. They are recordings of my voice, speaking slowly enough so you can easily grasp every syllable. Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.
NB: if you are the proud owner of my previous French online course 600 WORDS, don’t worry, this is not a repeat as we are now exploring 1 letter words and up, whereas in 600 WORDS we began at 4 letter words and up.
Combine knowledge with confidence…
For you to be able to have a pleasant and efficient conversation with a French person, one thing is key… can you guess what it is? Confidence! How well do you think you will communicate in French if you don’t feel confident about your accent? If you are scared that people won’t understand you? Or even worse if you think someone might make fun of you? Without a minimum of confidence there is no room for communication. Yet if you feel confident, you can afford to make a few mistakes here and there because people will still understand you. What prevents a conversation from happening isn’t just a lack of knowledge, it’s also a lack of confidence. You need to have both to make it work, not to mention, to make it fun!
This course will teach you…
1- How to pronounce every letter of the alphabet
2- How to pronounce every digraph & trigraph
3- How to make every French sentence flow
4- How to pronounce the 100 most popular French words
5- How to pronounce the 50 most popular French phrases
6- How to avoid the pronunciation mistakes everyone makes
More info HERE
- It should take you about 20 to 2 hours to complete this course, which is made up of 11 lessons
- This course is designed for a beginner level. If you are intermediate but lack confidence when it comes to talking and feel like you could really benefit from focusing on pronunciation, you will love it.
- You can join whenever, either by buying the course or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French online courses from $10 / month. See more details about the membership below
French online course #2: 600 WORDS
In this course, you will find 15 videos (+ 10 bonus ones) to help & accompany you every step of the way through the course + for each word, each sentence, each expression, each conjugated verb, I have created an audio file of my voice, slow and slightly faster speed. Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.
Did you know…
You can converse (speak + understand) in French with only 600 WORDS?
The average French person only uses between 300 & 3,000 WORDS?
This means that if you can master a relatively short list of words, you’ll be able to express yourself like the average French person! Plus you’re much more likely to understand the French when they talk back to you!
This course will teach you…
1- How to speak French
2- How to pronounce French
3- How to make French sentences
4- How to conjugate all the most common French verbs
5- How to polish your results
6- How to self evaluate your French
More info HERE
- It should take you about 30 hours to complete this course, which is made up of 10 lessons
- This course is designed for a beginner / intermediate level. If you are intermediate but feel like you could really reinforce your foundations, you will love it.
- You can join whenever, either by buying the course or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French online courses from $10 / month. See more details about the membership at the bottom of this page
Become a monthly member!
My goal is to transform your French language learning experience. This is why I’ve decided to offer you a new way to learn French online and gain access to the French Truly Online School! Actually, more than 1 new way, you’ll have 3 plans to choose from so come and learn French online with me!
Whichever you pick, FOCUS at $10, HORIZON at $15, or IMMERSION at $99, you will always be free to either upgrade or downgrade, stay or leave.
Not a membership kind of person? Don’t worry! Every course can still be bought separately at the normal price and be yours for ever. Whichever format you choose, your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.
So important and helpful! Merci beaucoup!
Mais de rien Susan 🙂