Learning French Journal #1 Comparisons to English and Pronunciation

Hi everyone! I've been trying to teach myself French for a while and I thought it would be fun to create some blog posts as I go along to help myself study so I will be doing regular posts on French. Please note this is not a study guide, if I make any mistakes please let me know! 


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Words in French compared to English:
  • Some French words are spelled the same as English words and mean the same thing.
  • Some French words look similar to what they are and mean in English.
  • Some French words look the same but have different meanings. 
  • Some French words look similar to English words but mean something different. 
  • Some words have been borrowed from English, this is called Franglais. 
Pronunciation:
  • The French alphabet uses the same letters as the English alphabet but the letters are pronounced differently. These are the pronunciations used when describing how words are spelt: 
A - ah
B- bey
C- sey
D- dey
E- uh
F- ehf
G- zhey
H- ah-sh
I- ee
J- zhee
K- kah
L- ehl
M- ehm
N- ehn
O- oh
P- pey
Q- kew
R- ehr
S- ehs
T- tey
U- ew
V- vey
W- dooh-bluh vey
X- eeks
Y- ee-grehk
Z- zehd


Pronunciation in words:
  • If the letter e is at the end of a word or between two consonants, you don't usually pronounce the e.
  • In French, syllables are not stressed, they flow together and the last syllable in a word is pronounced for longer
  • The last consonant of a word is linked to the vowel of the next word when speaking. So you pronounce the first word and then you add that consonant on to the beginning of the following word if it begins with a vowel. Except for if the word et is used. 
  • This link also happens when there is a silent h (you put the consonant in front of the vowel and ignore the h).
  • If there is an aspirated h, the consonant is not used.
  • If a word ends with an e or an a and it is followed by a word that begins with a silent h or a vowel, the first e or a is changed to an apostrophe so the first word is shortened and both words are pronounced as one long word. For example: la aventure becomes l'aventure (you don't pronounce two a's).
a / â / à - ah
e / eu- uh
é / ez / er- ey
è / ê / ai / ei / et - eh
i / î / y - ee
o / ô / au / eau - oh
o - uhh
ou / où - ooh
oi / oy - wah
u - ew

an / am / en / em - ahN
un - uhN
ain / in / aim / im - aN
oin - waN
ien - yaN
on / om - ohN

c (followed by a, o or u) - k
c (followed by e or i)- s
ç (followed by a, o or u)- s
ch- sh
g (followed by a, o or u) - g
gu (followed by e and i) - g
g (followed by ei) - zh
j - zh
gn - ny
s (at the beginning)- soh
s (in the middle of two vowels)- zah
ss (in the middle of two vowels)- sohN


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