Many people say that the French language is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. They call it the language of love because of the way that it can flow off the lips of an experienced speaker. If you want to learn to speak this language, then you have to take great pains to make sure that you are getting the pronunciation correct. French pronunciation has a certain beauty to it, and when you take some time to understand the nuances of the language, you will see that the pronunciation is not too difficult.
The language contains 26 letters, 37 speech sounds, and 130 graphemes. The graphemes are difference spellings of the various sounds that are parts of all French words. Some of the speech sounds are similar to English, but you will find that some are very different. These different sounds are often enough to scare away some who are interested in learning the language. However, they shouldn’t frighten you! The sounds are easy to learn, and they can really help you with the pronunciation of the language.
Speech Sound Categories
The language has 19 vowel sounds and 18 consonant sounds making up those 37 speed sounds. You will find oral vowels, front, central, and back vowels, nasal vowels, and half vowels. The “I” can sound like the “I” in island, the é has an “ay” sound, and è has an “eh” sound. This is just the beginning of all of the different vowel sounds that you will need to understand and know when you delve in to French pronunciation.
You also have to consider the consonant sounds, which can include blocked consonants, sibilant consonants, and vibrant consonants. Fortunately, you will be able to pick up on most of them quickly and learning to write French can help as well. One of the things that you will want to note for your “r” sound is that they have a rolling sound. You might want to practice rolling your “r” sounds a bit, as it can be difficult to master. Once you learn how to do it though, it is a skill that will last forever.
The French are proud of their language, and they do not like when someone butchers the pronunciation. Take the time and effort to do more than just learn the grammar and the vocabulary words. Put energy into pronunciation, and you will find that you can sound just like a real French speaker.