Hi Guys! :) I'm new here and this same about Fr language and through the whole duolingo taks I had(and still have) one question. Some things in french sound this same? For exaple: Elle écris une lettre/Elles écrivent une lettre.

Looking forward for any answer :)

January 5, 2014


Sorted by top post

Although there are plenty of words that do sound similar, there are usually* subtle differences that serve as clues. Pay close attention to how vowels sound when using the "slow pronunciation" feature - which if you aren't already using, you most definitely should. A lot of times the slower pronunciation will help highlight the sounds, and as you continue to train your ear you'll hear them in the fast versions too.

As for the example you gave, they actually sound quite different. I don't know how to use IPA font so I'll just give you the best equivalent I can:

Elle écris = "ehl ay-cree" Elles écrivent - "ehlZ-ay-creeV"

When a word ending in "s" is followed by a word beginning with a vowel, you create what's called a "liason." The "s" sound turns into a "z" and blends with the next word. You'll hear this in Duo's lessons most of the time - it's another one of the nuances you have to pay special attention to in order to correctly answer questions.

*Sometimes I feel like the differences are SO subtle they're next to impossible... but then again we're working with a computer voice and not a native speaker. I'm sure live speaking with a native would make all of these nuances more clear.

January 6, 2014

Thanks alot for advices :) Now I hear that diffrence. If I can ask you. Did ya have the same problem on beginnig?

January 6, 2014

I was lucky enough to have a French language program in elementary school and continued with it through middle and high school, so a lot of sounds are easy for me to recognize simply because I learned them at a young age. That doesn't mean I'm perfect, of course! I dropped French in college so my skills aren't what they used to be - hence why I'm using Duolingo. ^_~

January 6, 2014

Yes, I think we all have the same problem in the beginning. As we learn the language the clues are much more obvious.

Another example.

Is it homme or hommes? Well consider the preceding word, if the word was 'les' then it will be 'les hommes'.

January 7, 2014

french is hard to pronounce...

January 8, 2014
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.