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You can practice your listening skills with these links:
- "Un enfant" (a child): http://translate.google.com/#fr/en/Un%20enfant
- "Une femme" (a woman): http://translate.google.com/#fr/en/Une%20femme
(Click on the speaker button to listen to the pronunciation).
NB: in "enfant", there is 2 times the nasal vowel "en"/"an" (pronounced the same). Please have a look at this post about nasal vowels in French:
The best way to properly learn pronunciation in any language is to use the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is the standard for pronunciation in dictionaries (that are any good) and it tells you how to pronounce every sound exactly. It's very time consuming at first, but it gives you perfect pronunciation from the get go.
In French "enfant" is usually used to talk about a human being, from birth to adolescence.
In such cases, "enfant" translates to "child" or "kid".
- Ex: "Les enfants jouent dehors." can translate to "The [children/kids] are playing outside."
- "baby" means "bébé".
- "Infant" means "jeune enfant" (young child), "bébé" (baby) or "nouveau-né" (new-born).
You can try to click on the "slower" button which helps to get how to pronounce words.
If you want to practice words individually, you can you to the "Vocabulary" page, and look for "un" and "enfant". Click on the speaker to listen how these words are pronounced.
Here are a few tips to help you to pronounce this sentence:
- In this case, there is a liaison between "un" and "enfant", which sounds like "un-N-enfant".
- In "enfant", both sounds "en-" and "ant" sound the same.
- the final "t" is not pronounced.
"enfant" can be feminine or masculine, but it's mostly used as a masculine noun.
A noun is a word that represents a person, place, or thing, whether concrete (e.g., chair, dog) or abstract (idea, happiness). In French, all nouns have a gender - they are either masculine or feminine. The gender of some nouns makes sense (homme [man] is masculine, femme [woman] is feminine) but others don't: the words personne [person] and victime [victim] are always feminine, even when the person or victim is a man.
It is very important to learn a noun's gender along with the noun itself because articles, adjectives, some pronouns, and some verbs have to agree with nouns; that is, they change depending on the gender of the noun they modify.
There is no easy way to determine the gender of every noun, and you have to remember the gender with each word. But a number of patterns in suffixes and word endings are helpful: some tend to indicate masculine or feminine nouns (be careful with the exceptions).
Please have a look at this comment on noun genders in French: