Blanc or blond? Sound the same...
Is there a difference between the pronunciations of "blanc" and "blond"? I can't really hear it.
Sympathy, helenxwho. (I upped sitesurf's answer.) Something that was a great help for me (less embarrassing than asking real people to repeat the words for me) was pasting something like "Blond, blond, blond blond blond. Blond?" and a similar set for "blanc" into a speech synthesiser, choosing a French voice and just listening. Using the punctuation helps to vary the voice. Here is one synthesiser: http://www.acapela-group.com/text-to-speech-interactive-demo.html You can so a similar thing with some machine translators, such as Google Translate. Hope it helps.
The difference is small for people not accustomed to French sounds, particularly nasal sounds. 'an' is open mouthed (like aah with closed throat) ; same with "on' linking with 'o'. and there are two other difficult ones : 'in' and 'un'... you'll crack them with practice I'm sure.
good advice, Mizotte, I just tested the synthetiser and it works perfectly ! For the other sounds I mentioned above, helenxwho, you an try with a series of 'lundi, lundi, lundi' (Monday) and another one of 'lapin, lapin, lapin' (rabbit). Good luck.
thanks for the synthesizer link! what threw me off was that "blanc" sounded closer to the english pronunciation of "blond"