Two choices for this French pronunciation lesson:
- You can listen to the lesson by downloading this mp3 recording: French pronunciation lesson #4
- or you can just read the lesson. (Of course, this being a pronunciation lesson, you're better off listening to the examples.
My next French pronunciation tip is, “you need to look for the mouth position that makes speaking French easy.” Mastering hard words is the best way to discover the movements that will make all French words easier to pronounce. If you stumble upon the pronunciation of a French word, it’s not because that word is really harder, it’s because your mouth position is not quite right yet for pronouncing French. Practice that hard word, experiment with the position and movements of your tongue and lips until that word becomes easy. When you have discovered the mouth position that makes the pronunciation of that word easy, all of your French pronunciation will improve.
Correct French mouth position is your goal. If work on that, you will improve your pronunciation. I do not believe in talent for learning languages. If I did it, you can do it, even without going and living in France. Sure, lots of exposure is great for learning the vocabulary, but you can become fluent and develop a good accent on your own, by working in your car and listening to your mp3 player.
The next question is how to use audio recordings to improve your pronunciation; and I cover that in two articles I have on the site. The two articles are “echoing” and “the two ways to listen.” Those articles are short but they’re really important. I told you that you could learn French and develop a good accent without moving to France, but you need to know how to learn and how to work. Those articles will explain how. Look for them at www.fluentfrench.com or sign up for the email newsletter to get links to them
By the way, I do NOT recommend that you watch French films as a way of improving your French pronunciation. The same goes to French TV, and French radio. In my opinion, anything that you are going to hear only once or twice is not going to help you improve. I talk about how to learn French pronunciation in those two articles echoing and the two ways to listen. So watch French films and radio and TV for entertainment, but not for improving your French pronunciation.
So, in these first few recordings, I gave you the bedrocks for getting started with French pronunciation: 1) make the sounds from the back of your throat. 2) keep the tip of your tongue touching the inside of your bottom row of teeth, 3) keep your mouth almost closed, and 4) look for the mouth position that makes French easy. To improve your French pronunciation, you need to echo the same 8 to 12 minutes of sound over and over until you can say it easily.
That’s all for now. I do produce other recordings that I link to with our email newsletter. If you want to hear more tips, just sign up for the email newsletter. Over the next few days, you’ll get links to past tips and you’ll get the future ones, too.
Of course, in the newsletter, you’ll also learn about our CDs and magazines and how they can help you improve your French pronunciation. You’ll be able to decide by listening to the samples if what we sell is something that can help you. That will depend upon your personal tastes and how you like to learn.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for improving your French! Bonne continuation!