The 12 French Consonants That Are Difficult To Pronounce
French consonants are the same in number in both English and French, even though they don’t sound the same way in the two languages. The same French consonant that you know, when stress or symbol is added to it or when it is in front of a vowel may sound differently. This is one of the things that makes French sound sweet.
In this article, you are going to learn 6 out of the 12 French consonants which are often not easy for students learning French as a 2nd language to pronounce or to recognize. If you want to learn more, check out my 1 on 1 French course here. Do not be like those that claim to have a good level of French and still need to write or spell their words before passing their messages across. Work hard on your French pronunciation. It can take you far in your career. Trust me I really mean it.
But before I dive into it, I want to tell you about some 5 letters which are often silent when they are at the end of the word.
The 5 Silent Ending letters In French
Always remember that the letter C, D, F, R and T which are French consonants are not usually pronounced when they are the last letters of a word: Ex: Paris (PARI), Passeport (PASSPOR), Clef (CLAY) = key
But when you have a word like hotel ( HOTEL) or professeur (PROFESSEUR) there is no silent letter. You pronounce every letter in the word. in fact, your R must be throaty, husky while pronouncing the word “professeur”, otherwise, you will sound anglophone, which I want you to avoid.
Does it sound confusing? Don’t worry you do not need to cram these letters. All you need to do is to practice and practice
I know what you are thinking …
What Are Those 6 Difficult Sound Made With Consonants?
As I mentioned above I have a well-detailed 1 on 1 skype course on this. You can’t leave your French pronunciation to chances. The first way to prove that you speak French is to pronounce it with confidence.
So what are those letters?
C before e sounds like ‘S’ Ex: célébrer (SAYLAYBRAY)
C in front of any other vowel sounds ‘k’ Ex: carrière (CARIAIR) = Career
Ç (SAY SAYDI) sounds like ‘s’: ça (THAT) reçu (RECEIPT) garçon (BOY)
Ch sounds like ‘sh’: château (CHATO) = Castle
G in front of e or i sounds like the “s” inside ‘measure’, général Ex: Gilet (ZHILAY). The “ZH” is not the right sound. this is hard to get in English. I may be able to help you during a skype class.
G elsewhere sounds like g in ‘go’: gare (GAR) (station)
What Is The Best Way To Learn The French Pronunciation?
Only practice makes perfects. You need to learn it from someone with good pronunciation, preferably someone that has French as the first language. It may be through audio, video, online live course or in a physical class. Once again do not leave it to chances. The first ability expected of you when you claim to understand French is to speak it flawlessly. If you want to learn about French letters Check out my article on French letters with stresses