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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate French Pronunciation Guide.
You've made it to the last lesson! Do you feel more confident about speaking in French now?
In this last lesson, we'll wrap things up by teaching you proper rhythm when speaking French.
There are three main things you want to focus on in order to speak with rhythm like a French speaker.
They are: Stress, Intonation, and Liaisons.
Put simply, stress is the relative loudness of a syllable. Intonation is the relative pitch of a syllable. And liaisons, as you learned from the last lesson, is the linking of words.
"STRESS" First, let's take a more in depth look at stress.
Stress, refers to the prominence or relative emphasis placed on certain syllables in a word.
When you say "unbelievable" in English for example, do you notice how "lie" is accentuated?
That's because it's pronounced longer, and louder than all of the other syllables.
This happens all of the time in English. But in French, it's quite the opposite.
French rhythm has more of a steady volume. So when speaking French, try not to emphasize any particular syllable.
Easier said than done for us English speakers right? So let's practice a bit!
How would you pronounce this word?
"Desert" right?
How about this one?
Easy right? But do you know why that was? It's because of stress!
In "Desert", the first syllable is stressed. Whereas "desert", the second syllable is stressed.
Say "Desert" and "desert" multiple times to get a feel for switching stress on and off. Go on, try it!
Think you got the hang of it?
Okay. Try saying ""awkward"" normally first. Then, try de-stressing the first syllable. Remember, you want to maintain an even volume and pacing throughout.
"awkward" (no stress)
Finally, let's try a phrase in French.
prends ton temps (take your time)
Maintain an even pacing and volume like this, in order to speak with proper rhythm in French.
"INTONATION" Okay. Let's move on to intonation.
Intonation is the relative pitch of a syllable.
For example, in English, the pitch rises at the end of a question.
Do you notice how the pitch rises at the end of this example?
To speak with proper rhythm in French, you'll need to raise your pitch frequently.
When a phrase forms a verbal group, that is, when a subject is combined with a verb, you'll need to raise your pitch on the last syllable.
Je suis
Je suis (slowly)
When a phrase forms a noun group, that is, when an article is combined with a noun, you'll need to raise the pitch on the last syllable.
Une fille
Une fille (slowly)
Of course, this can occur multiple times over many clauses.
Je suis une fille (I am a girl)
Je suis une fille
Je suis une fille (slowly)
Don't get carried away though, because if it's the final syllable in a complete sentence, you *don't* want to raise the pitch, otherwise it'll be a question instead.
Je suis une fille?
"LIAISONS" Finally, we come to the third component of French rhythm.
Liaisons are the linking of words together. Liaisons remove the break that would normally exist in between words. This is why French sounds like a stream of connecting words. So of course it's essential for proper rhythm in French.
But wait-- you've already learnt everything you need to know about liaisons in the previous lesson!
If you've forgotten already, review the previous lesson and practice, practice, practice!
Now you know how to speak with proper rhythm in French!
You've reached the end of this series. Do you feel more confident about French pronunciation now? What parts of French pronunciation are still difficult for you?
Good luck as you continue learning French! Bye!