Remember pronunciation in English differs with accents across the UK; with French in France it is the same, and these examples show my understanding of the accent.

However we were focusing on not making "English" pronunciation of French words!


Pronunciation of Vowel sounds on their own:

• “a” = “a” as in “happy” ---- example in “avoir” (to have)

• “e” = “ur” as in “purple” --- example in “de”, “le” (of, the)

• “I” = “ee” as in “see” --- example in “si” (if) 

• “o” = “oh” as on “go” --- example = “euro”

• “u” = “euu” – in English we have no sound like this. Put your lips in the shape of an “oo” sound, and then say “ee” through that shape --- example in “tu”


The same vowels sometimes change sounds when they have a consonant behind them

• “an” = close to “on” (mouth open taller than “en”) --- example in “an” (year)

• “en” = close to “on” (mouth open shorter than “an”) --- example in “vendredi” (Thursday)

• “on” = close to “on” --- example in “bon” (good)

• “in” = close to “an” --- example in “vin” (wine)

• “un” = close to “uhn” --- example “un” (one)


Combinations of vowels (a vowel followed by “u”):

• “au” = close to “orh” almost “oh” --- example in “au gare” (to the station)

• “eu” = “urh” --- example in “deux” (two)

• “ou” = “oo” --- example in “douze” (twelve)


Combinations of vowels (a vowel followed by “i”):

• “ai” = “ay” --- example in “je voudrais”• “ei” = “ay” --- example in “enseigner” (to teach)

• “oi” = ”wah” --- example in trois (three)

• “ui” = “uwee” --- example in “fruit” (fruit)


Some French Examples to try:

Le couloir (Cool - wah) = Corridor

Le désire (Dayz - ear) = Desire

Je prends (jurh pr-on) = I take 

français (Frons - ay) = French

demander (Der – mon - day) = To ask 

Tu peux (Teuu - perh) = You can 

Le visage (Vee - z - arje) = Face 

Quand (Kon) = When 

Cinquante (Sank - ont) = Fifty 

Incrédible (An – kray – dee - bluh) = Incredible 

Évidemment (Ay – vee – durh - mon) = Clearly, evidently 

Particulièremen (tPar – teek euul – ee – air – erm - on) = Particularly


Accents on vowels:

• “à” = “a”

• “â” = “a”

• “é” = “ay” --- example in “change” (changed)

• “è” = “air” or “ehh” --- long sound, example in “frère” (brother)

• “ê” = “eh”--- shorter sound, example in “être” (to be)

• “ù” = “oo”

• “ô” = “oh” example in “à côté de » (next to, at the side of)


Letters or symbols that soften or harder a consonant:


• The letters “c” and “g” can be pronounced hard of soft, depending on the vowel behind it.


• Either an “I” or an “e” after it will soften it, e.g. “c” and “ce” and “ci” “ge” and “gi” 


• “Franc” versus “France”; “voici”; “Giroud”, “gestion”


• “a”, “o”, or “u” will harden it such as “organiser”, “gomme”, “guide”, “figues”, “baguettes”, 


• A word like “garage” has a hard 1st “g” because of the “a” after it and a soft 2nd “g” because of the “e” after it. “Gorge” (throat) has the same


• “c” is also softened by a tail sometimes, e.g. “ç”