https://www.duolingo.com/JK_ImJoking

French Accent

I want to move and live in France someday, and French is very easily compared as more simple than Japanese. I have no complaints about the language, but one thing. The accent. Will I ever get that French accent? Is there any help to get it?

October 11, 2018

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/angus390025

People are different. I know a guy from France who has lived in the US about four years and can speak like a yankee. Every once in a while he pronounces a word funny but if you only heard him speak a few sentences you wouldn't know he's a foreigner. I know another person from France who has lived in the US almost 20 years, and her foreign accent is so thick that most gringos have to ask her to repeat herself several times.

You might be a person who can move to France and within a year sound like a local. Or you might be someone who lives there 20 years and still sounds like a foreigner. It's okay, though.

I go diving on the caribbean coast of Mexico pretty frequently. One of the guys I dive with is a German. He speaks Spanish with a German accent. I think he probably speaks better Spanish than I do, but people get the immediate impression that I speak Spanish better than he does because I can imitate the Spanish sounds. But if we continue having a conversation, after a while the locals can tell that he speaks Spanish better than I do. Once in a while he has to repeat himself, but most of the time they can understand him. It's not like he was going to pass for a Yucatec Maya man anyway. He's about six and a half feet tall, has yellow hair and very pale pink skin, which is usually burned dark red by the sun, and sky-blue eyes. So no one is surprised that he has a German accent when he speaks Spanish. Anyway, he has lived in Mexico for many years and has a work permit and residency status there. His foreign accent doesn't really seem to hinder him.

I'd suggest that you just listen to people speaking French and try to sound like them. Don't just listen to Duolingo robovoices and Google translate robovoices. Watch French movies and French news as well. And every time you meet a French person talk to them. Well, if they're friendly and willing. Don't pester them if they're not in the mood. I talk to people in languages to practice every chance I get.

Also, I try to watch at least one program in either Portuguese, Spanish, or French every day. I can imitate the Spanish and French sounds pretty well. Portuguese is difficult for me. I think I probably sound like a Mexican more than a Brazilian when I try to speak Portuguese. I can live with that, so long as I can understand Brazilians and they can understand me.

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/suerad

there's no guarantee you will get a French accent. My friend is a French teacher, with an almost perfect French accent, her twin boys also speak perfect French. One son sounds French and you would never know he is from Yorkshire. The other son speaks French with a Yorkshire accent.

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ljredux

French people can detect that I'm English (British) even when my spoken French is good, and some even seem to like my accent a lot. There was a time I wanted to be less detectable as a non-native speaker, but as my language skills improve, I've had a change of heart. That detectable British twang (when speaking French) feels like a unique part of my identity I suppose, and I no longer want to lose it.

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam637329

While I don't speak any language fluently other than English I have always been good at mimicking accents. What I typically do is listen to the accent over and over. Then I start to speak with the accent using a word or phrase I have down really well. Eventually I can say just about anything with the accent. It just takes time and practice.

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CHAT511903

I hope I can sound somewhat like a local but like they said there is no guarantee. keep working on it! :)

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/lapindentiste

I SPEAK FRENCH I LIVE IN FRANCE

October 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/007woofwoof

My American aunt married a Parisian man and lived in Paris all her adult life. Her husband adored her American accent. My Parisian cousins speak excellent english with a most charming french . accent. Youtube has help for the tricky sounds that are so foreign to us non native french speakers.

October 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sammakko

Practising the right mouth shapes to pronounce the different sounds will help, but apart from correct pronounciation, it is important to get the rhythm of the language right - where the emphasis is in the word, so in english first syllable is emphasised (other languages are different). Also intonation, so the voice rising or sinking at the end of a sentence. Think of australian english where the voice sort of goes up at the end of a sentence - which sounds like a question to someone in the UK. You can hear the different between a non native french speaker who can speak fluently and a non native french speaker who knows the right words, grammar and pronounciation, but not the right rhythm. It is all about practice, as other people have said it depends on whether you just want to communicate or be fluent.

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Guimauve6105

hi ! I'm french ! If you want I can help you in french !!!! :D

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/chrelias

There are many French accents and I wouldn't necessarily rely on the French themselves to serve as a blueprint for the best way to speak the language (this is easily taken as a declaration of war by many French people ;-). Just take the Parisian accent for instance: it is very distinctive but not exactly the sort you want to copy if you want to travel through the francophone world, not to mention France itself (unless you want to sound like a Parisian of course). One thing that definitely is a "faux pas" and hurts my ear though is wanting to try too hard, to copy and sound like a local by all means. It comes across as artificial and is very distracting. Just be yourself and keep whatever accent you have, it often has a seductive side if done naturally, and it will also excuse any mistake you might make ;-). Good luck !

October 17, 2018
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