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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeMaitre

Pronunciation of 'Y' in French

I found a nice article on the pronunciation of the French 'y' (i grec). Most of us may know that it serves both as a vowel and consonant, but I thought that I could just share it.

Article

The letter Y, which is fairly uncommon in French, can be a consonant or a vowel.

  1. As a vowel, it's pronounced like the y in happy.

  2. When Y is at the beginning of a word or syllable, it is a consonant and is pronounced just like the English Y. It is found as a consonant mainly in foreign words, country names, etc.

Here are some examples :

  • y (there) [ee]

  • cyclisme (biking, cycling) [seekleezmuh]

  • yaourt (yogurt) [yéurt]

  • yeux (eyes) [yuh]

  • sympa (nice) [Now this word is quite debatable, as it's pronounced quite like sampa]

Source : http://french.about.com/od/pronunciation/a/y.htm

March 30, 2014

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FonmaEssie

I live with French people when they are spelling something they call 'y' 'igrek' and I always find that confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nitram.

In Italian, it is the same thing, we call it "i greca", meaning Greek "i".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mkmichael2

it is the Greek I. Read all about it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vicking67

it's one of the 3 letters that sound like I, or e more precisely: Ηη, Ιι, Υυ (capital and small letters)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

It's not "igrec" but "i grec" (= a Greek "i")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

I've added this tip to our list of French grammar tips. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeMaitre

Merci beaucoup :) I've bookmarked that page. It must have surely required some effort to make that!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

Yes, but many contributed individually to pages like yours, I just linked them to prevent them from getting submerged by new discussions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

It's very good and more detailed than mine https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2406084 I will add a link toward yours.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeMaitre

I've read your discussion. Mine is just detailed about 'y'. But you've delved into all the vowel and consonant sounds. Awesome!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BastouXII

I've referenced both of your discussions in the compendium mentioned before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeMaitre

Thanks again :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

You could try to make more on other sounds. It's very useful to do it, even for the person who make it, I revised a lot of things by making it, lol.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeMaitre

Yeah, good idea :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d.batta

The correct pronunciation of "sympa" is sɛ̃pa. In this case (as in words like "symphonie", "synchroniser", etc.) you have the same pronunciation of words like "main", "fin", "rien".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Sympa is not debatable, it's always the same, it's pronounced like "simpa".

"Y", is really easy, it's only a regular "i", pronounced "ee", and it can become a consonnant, like in the English "yacht".

I really disagree with some of their phonetics on About.com, for instance "yéurt": No!

Yaa-u-r-t.
A like in the sound of "em" in "femme", or in flamme. Open A.

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