The /e/ ( "fée") and the /ɛ/ ( "fait")
Just did a listening quiz, and was really startled at how hard it was - it was all about distinguishing these two sounds. To be honest, I really couldn't except perhaps by length. I guess this is one of those phoneme pairs that I simply don't distinguish...and getting past that is going to take some real work.
Anyone know of any resources to attack this particular problem?
In France, according to the region, the social environment, the education, you will discover that these two phonemes are often used for each other.
That's it, it's a fact, the use is changing, the distinction formerly taught at school tends to disappear.
Suggesting such a quiz, as you point out, is mental torture ☺
I was fairly sure there were some accents where the two were the same, but it is reassuring to know that the distinction is falling away - because I think my ear isn't going to develop much of an ability particularly easily, that is one of those things one learns best as a child.
Interesting test of word pairs (mes/mais, fée/fais. etc)
I've also never really understood the difference, like I can tell from writing when it should be pronounced /ɛ/ and when /e/, but I don't really hear a difference between the sounds
btw some words such as les or c'est can be pronounced with both /ɛ/ and /e/