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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate French Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn 7 French vowels.
i, y, u, e, ø, o, ə
Some vowels may be hard for you to distinguish, especially for English speakers, so make sure you listen carefully!
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first vowel is...
i
y (here/there/at)
fini (finished)
si (yes)
It's identical to the double E sound in the word 'see'.
i, i (slowly)
i, i (slowly)
The next vowel is...
y
chute (fall)
rue (street)
tu (you [informal])
This is identical to the previous sound except that the lips are rounded.
Try saying the 'ee' in 'see' while rounding your lips.
(pause)
Now listen to Mailys.
y, y (slowly)
y, y (slowly)
The next vowel is...
u
coup (knock/blow/shot)
clown (clown)
roue (wheel)
It's identical to the double OO sound in the word 'boot'.
u, u (slowly)
u, u (slowly)
The next vowel is...
e
marcher (to walk)
chez (at [somebody's home])
pied (foot)
This is similar to the A sound in the word 'play', however, try not to carry over the Y sound too much. Try to relax your jaw, and say it as if your allowing the vowel to spill out from your mouth. Listen to Mailys.
e, e (slowly)
e, e (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ø
jeûner (to fast/abstain from eating)
queue (tail)
ceux (those)
This is identical to the previous sound, except that the lips are rounded.
ø, ø (slowly)
ø, ø (slowly)
The next vowel is...
o
haut (top/high/tall)
tôt (early)
sot (stupid)
This is quite similiar to two previous sounds, except that it's pronounced at the back of the mouth.
It's a little bit like the O sound in the word 'owe', but try not to carry over the W sound too much.
Listen to Mailys.
o, o (slowly)
o, o (slowly)
And the last vowel is...
ə
le (the [singular])
monsieur (sir)
ce (this)
It's identical to the E sound at the end of the word 'problem'.
ə, ə (slowly)
ə, ə (slowly)
Well done! You've just learned 7 vowel sounds in French!
i, y, u, e, ø, o, ə
In the next lesson, you'll learn the remaining 9 French vowel sounds.
Which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate French Pronunciation Guide lesson!

37 Comments

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FrenchPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.

FrenchPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:38 PM
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Bonjour Ali,

Could you give me an example? I'm not sure what you're referring to here!


Bonne journée,

Marion

Team FrenchPod101

Ali
Sunday at 03:51 AM
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Why is there "sh" sound at the end of some short vowels?

Frenchpod101.com
Monday at 04:49 AM
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Bonjour it's jutst me!


Thank you for your comment.

Indeed ø and ə sound extremely similar, but with practice you'll hear the difference!


Bon week-end

Marie Alice

Team FrenchPod101.com😄

itsjustme
Sunday at 05:08 AM
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ø and ə sound extremely similar

Simranjeet Singh
Sunday at 05:11 PM
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Last 3 ones and Y. I couldn't pronounce then. Please help

David
Thursday at 03:52 AM
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The "Y" is the international phonetic symbol for this particular sound, Hanna. As I'm sure you have noticed, there are several letter combos that produce the same sound. Using this international system of phonetic symbols simplifies the pronunciation, once you learn the symbols.

Hanna
Saturday at 10:05 AM
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But the first word only has the letter 'y'. so why is it pronounced like ee in the word see. Not pronounced rounding the lips while saying ee?

And the word clown doesn't have a u in it?


Okay I'm sorry but I don't really understand. There is not even a single y in the examples of the letter Y? Can you please explain what exactly am I learning right now?

Wade
Sunday at 06:32 AM
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This is interesting but Im not sure how to now take this knowledge and really learn it... should we take the words and make pronunciation flash cards with them to drill it in or something?

FrenchPod101.com
Sunday at 07:58 PM
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Hi William,


Thank you for your message.


The blue circle (blue dot) signifies where the focus, ‘place of articulation (contact)', or where the air passes and builds up pressure to create the sound.


Hope this helps! In case of any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team FrenchPod101.com

William Ross
Sunday at 12:19 PM
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Excusez-moi, What does the blue dot in the diagram mean?