Why can’t intelligent adults learn French pronunciation? Because no one is providing them with French pronunciation exercises (until me, until now.)
The mistake that most French teachers make is thinking that if they explain French pronunciation to you, you should be able to remember it. That’s like me explaining to you how to play the trumpet or dribble a basketball.
What you need is exercises so you can practice on your own.
So I started producing these French pronunciation exercise PDFs and MP3s and sending them to my students so that they could practice their French pronunciation in between our weekly tutoring sessions.
I hope you enjoy them and I hope you give me a call when you are ready for private pronunciation lessons! -David Tolman
Note: if you are more advanced, you may prefer the French pronunciation tutorials here.
The “ER” and “èRE” sounds
Now that you have worked a bit with “-er” at the end of words, you are ready for an exercise that will help you switch between “er” and “ère”
The “eU” sound
This throws a lot of students but it’s not that hard once your teacher helps you run through it a few times.
Once you know that “eu” sound (above) and have reviewed the “u” sound, you’ll be ready to practice switching between “eu” and “u.”
Now things are starting to get harder…
(To make sure you really getting the “eur” and the “ure” right, you might need someone to listen to you as you do the above exercise. Can you get your hand on a native speaker?)
EN, IN, AIN, etc…
Learn to alternate between “en” and “in” (not so easy!!)
Put it all together now: practice alternating between “in,” “ine,” “ain,” and “aine.”
French consonant sounds
The S sound (careful: sometimes it is pronounced like a Z)