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How can I improve my French pronunciation?

I can read and write French fairly well, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to speak it. German pronunciations came more naturally, but with French I feel somewhat hopeless. I know I shouldn't give up (and it helps that I'm a fairly stubborn person), but it's really hard for me.

Do y'all have any tips or advice on how to go about learning French pronunciation?

January 20, 2018



use this website called speechling, it helps you speak, listen and write and your speaking gets checked by a native and you get feed back. you can get the premium from the app but the free is good, but the native can only check 10 of your speaking phrases a month. I use the free one and it helps alot. The only thing i'm still a bit unkeen on is thr r's but im learning... hope i helped you


If you can't really speak it, sing it! Go to YouTube, pick French songs with sub-titles in French and sing! When you manage to know any song by heart, your mouth will have registered the necessary moves to enunciate every word at a manageable speed.


Maybe you should try to find someone who could give you lessons, even if just a day a week, or less. It may also help to find a good website to help you out. Duo's good for the learning but other sites can help with pronunciation.

Just be sure that you know how Canadian, French, and African Frenches are very different.


I understand your frustration.
I'm hearing advice like when you say a word ending with a silent letter keep your mouth in a position to say the silent letter in case the following word tacks some of the sound. In German, people always kept their words individual (when speaking to me). With your advanced capabilities. You'll do fine

I have trouble conceptualizing French as separate words. Of course as far as pronunciation goes I like Pimseur programs.


You can repeat the vocal parts of the lessons as many times as you want.


Perhaps sing along songs you like in French.

Listen carefully where pitches go up when you hear a native speaking. French tends to go up at the end of the word.

Pay a lot attention to the difference of e, é and è as well to the difference between in and en at the beginning of words. For a French ear it makes a lot of difference. They emphasise strongly between b and p and d and t (soft and hard consonants) which is not the case in German (at least not so strongly). The double ss is also strongly pronounced and the single s is more a z. (e.g the words: le poisson and le poison - two completely different meanings)

I am not a native speaker but live in France since 10 years. This is a non exhaustive list of my own experience...

The brain has to practice a lot to learn. I am not a neuroscientist but the synapses in your brain have to establish many (new) connections and more you use these connections - stronger they become.


I recommend downloading the Duolingo app for your phone. On the lessons it has a speaking portion where you can hear the person say it and then try to pronounce it. It's inside all the lessons though, so you could review and learn how to pronounce at the same time!


Watching French TV shows. We learn to speak as young children based on listening and no pronunciation guide or computerized French course can replace that. (Sorry, Duo.)

If the show goes too fast, then - if it's available - turn subtitles on and utilise the pause button.

Bonne chance !

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