My French pronunciation

Hi everyone! I found this super helpful post on getting pronunciation tips from native speakers. So here's my pronunciation

Please do judge. :P

I know my pronunciation is awful, I'm really only a beginner at French. Also sorry for the noise in the background and for it's awful quality, I need a better webcam.

I'm probably going to be posting a lot of my French recordings here as I really need the practice. So please follow this post if you're a native French speaker so you can help me. Thanks!

What I said:

Lorsque j'avais six ans j'ai vu, une fois, une magnifique image, dans un livre sur la Forêt Vierge qui s'appelait "Histoires Vécues". Ça représentait un serpent boa qui avalait un fauve. Voilà la copie du dessin.

On disait dans le livre: "Les serpents boas avalent leur proie tout entière, sans la mâcher. Ensuite ils ne peuvent plus bouger et ils dorment pendant les six mois de leur digestion".

June 21, 2016


Bonjour! French native here. Here's what I gathered from your recording:

  • Don't forget that in French, the last letters are often mute; words like petit, ans, histoires, vécues, boas. However, the sound [t] must be present in ensuite.

  • Your -u- in vu sounded more like "vous." It's a common difficulty for English speakers, but I know you can make that sound perfectly right, given the way you said "une." :)

  • The -g is not pronounced in magnifique, it's more like "manifique" or "mañifique," see here.

  • You pronounced un like une. Un is pronounced like this, as in the word dessin, which you said quite nicely.

  • The -ent part of the verb is pronounced like a mute -e. So stop at the -v- in peuvent and the -m- in dorment.

  • The -er is a closed sound (bouger).

  • Your tone is very much English; to get closer to the way French people speak, try to get a more monotonous voice.

It might seem like a lot, but on the whole it's really not so bad. I could understand you even without the text. You can find a recording of the text here if you'd like to compare, your passage is at 0:33.
This recording is a bit slower. It's around 0:50.

Bonne continuation!

June 21, 2016

Ah merci! I'll try again with the advice you gave me. Here it is!

I'm not very good at speaking monotonously but I'm going to keep practicing it. :)

Merci beaucoup pour votre aide !

June 21, 2016

It was better already! The first part was really clear. Afterwards, it sounds like you wanted to rush it and that's why you stumbled a bit. Don't hesitate to take your time, even in real life situations, so the message is as clear as possible. Most people will have the patience to let you look for your words.

The tone was more like it, congrats :)

June 21, 2016

Thanks!! :D

June 21, 2016

It is definitely better! I think this is a great exercise for pronunciation, to really focus on a passage and nail every single vowel sound. It will help later. (I am just another student of French working on getting my own tongue out of my way too.) I wouldn't quite say it is "monotonously" -- but I was just helping out a total beginner a couple days ago and this exact issue came up: what I think lazouave is referring to is the fact that syllables are not emphasized like they are in English. (If you listened to the pro audiobook, he's very expressive, which is the opposite of monotonous to me.)

(& Thanks for the critique and the link, lazouave)

Congratulations on your bravery for putting this out there! It might be interesting for a bunch of us to read the same passage-- maybe it helps you identify the common struggles of English native speakers trying to wrap their mouths around French sounds? (And can also be compared to the native recording.)

June 21, 2016


June 21, 2016

Lingots for bravery!!

I have no advice because I am just learning French myself but you have encouraged me to make my own submission when I am at a place that has a computer with a mic.

June 21, 2016


June 21, 2016

Inspired by you, I gave the same passage a try:

I hope you don't mind me throwing this up here in your topic. I've been talking to myself constantly lately trying to improve my accent. I think I now look like the crazy person in my neighborhood. :)

June 21, 2016

Awesome!! You sound way better than me :D

June 21, 2016

I've studied French for a long time! (I also had a 25 year break until about 6 months ago.) In the past, I would max out at an intermediate level, and now I'm trying to break through it finally. (After getting back to where I was all those years ago.) There are obviously so many more resources available easily these days. I have done a couple lessons with a native speaker on Verbling recently and have been chatting on a couple language exchange sites.

You will get there!

June 21, 2016

Chose promise, chose due: voici ma correction.

  • First of all, I was positively surprised at the way you pronounce the r, it sounds really good.

  • Be careful about the differences between la (open sound), le ("leu") and les ("léé"). Both your la and les sounded like le. Don't hesitate to force your "a" and "é" sounds so your mouth gets used to them, you'll naturally tone them down later.

  • At the end of the word s'appelait, you pronounced a "y" sound. The combo -ait is pronounced like the e in bed.

  • In the word avalait you swallowed the a (pun intended) and pronounced it like an "e", like you did for la.

  • And in avalent, you pronounced it almost like an "è" this time. See here (the second recording is better) to really hear the a.

  • There is a liaison between tout and entière, so it's pronounced like "tou t-entière."

  • Your pronunciation of the u is quite good in vu, and in plus it sounded more like the "ou" sound... But I know it must have been because it was the end, since the first occurrence was really good.

  • Your reading is good, especially in the first part, you put emphasis on the right parts and your voice goes down when it needs to, good job! You just tend to go a bit too high when your voice goes up.

Voilà! Encore une fois ça a l'air d'être beaucoup mais dans l'ensemble c'était bien. Ta voix est claire, on sent que tu fais attention à ta prononciation, tu es très compréhensible. Bonne continuation!

June 21, 2016

Merci beaucoup!

June 21, 2016

Pas de souci!

June 21, 2016

Sounds really good :D What is your native language?

June 23, 2016

Thanks. American English.

June 23, 2016
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