Difficulty distinguishing between spoken words in French
I am finding it rather difficult to distinguish, for example, between the spoken "le", "la", "les" and "leur". Context does help to a point but in French the plural suffix is not vocalised, and then there is "leur". Saying, for example, "Leur manteau est chaud" to me can also sounds like "Le manteau est chaud". Is there a simple way to pick up these subtleties in French pronunciation?
It just takes time . Go to Google translate (or other) and play each one . You will clearly hear the difference.
Le = Luh
La = Lah
Les = Lay
Leur = Ler
There is no simple way. Practice making the different sounds yourself and they get easier to hear.
you will eventually hear the difference, even in your head as you read the words. speaking french, even badly broken french, with another person will also help you distinguish. your brain will get used to it, just as it got used to the words "your" "you're" and "you"