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  5. What ever happened to elision?


What ever happened to elision?

When I took French in high school (the dark ages) I remember that when a normally silent ending consonant preceded a word beginning with a vowel, the consonant would be pronounced: eg, Vous [z]etre, Je suis [z]un homme, C'est [t]une banane. Have I missed something?

April 24, 2013



vous [z]ĂȘtes and not vous [z]ĂȘtre!


I completely agree, but I would imagine it's difficult to get the audio recognition to pick up on what you're saying when you pronounce French like the (elegant) slurred-together mouthful of mush it's supposed to be. Vous[z]etre likely would have to be its own word in the system, along with every other possible word combination used in the program that shouldn't have an audible pause between them. I think this would become unmanageably large, very quickly. I am not a programmer, but that's what I'm guessing is going on.

It does make me wonder if our pronunciation is being modified in every language to work with the computer program, though. I love DuoLingo, and I love that I can learn new languages online, but it would be nice to know how far off the mark my pronunciation is because of it.


Actually, limitations of the software never crossed my mind. I too am having a blast re-learning with Duolingo. I was just wondering if pronunciation has changed since my high school years. I note that the recorded speaker (whom I presume to be a native) didn't elide any of her consonants, and I distinctly remember doing that long ago.


Strange... have you tried any French in the last little while? I just went back in and although I remember there being issues before, the pronunciation seems much better now. I had only done the first few lessons and what I did just now were the new additions to the lessons.

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