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I've heard a few french people adding an 'h' when pronouncing English words starting with an 'a' or an 'e'. The word 'and' is pronounced as 'hand', 'eat' as 'heat' etc.

Why do they do this?

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I presume from your examples that you are asking about a French accent in English or other languages? –  Samuel Lisi Oct 5 '12 at 17:00
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Si des français font ça entre eux, alors c'est sans doute pour forcer le trait d'un (supposé) accent étranger. Mais d'habitude, c'est plutôt pour se moquer des allemands. –  BatchyX Oct 5 '12 at 19:02
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I think you are noticing an example of hypercorrection. The wikipedia article has some interesting examples and discussion (not directly related to your question). One doesn't really pronounce "h" in French, so two common mistakes in English for a native French speaker are either to drop the "h" sound or to add it everywhere inappropriately out of overcompensation. I think this is most common if the French speakers are in a community of non-native English speakers (e.g. eurocrats and scientists) -- those I have known who have lived in English speaking countries get over it quickly. –  Samuel Lisi Oct 6 '12 at 11:13
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I disagree with the "few unspecified people". It is a quite common and well know pronunciation mistake done by many French people. I first noticed it when traveling in the UK with a hungry colleague telling "I want to heat" to a perplexed Englishman. When told how it should be pronounced correctly, he replied it made no difference. –  jlliagre Oct 9 '12 at 22:35
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I suspect this has to do with french phonetics liking so called open syllables, starting with consonants and ending with voyels, and adding *h*es makes these non compliant english syllables closer to easy to pronounce french ones. –  Nikana Reklawyks Oct 29 '12 at 16:26
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closed as not a real question by Un francophone, Gilles Oct 5 '12 at 20:09

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1 Answer

S'il s'agit de la façon dont les Français prononcent les langues étrangères, il n'y a aucune réponse valable, cela peut dépendre de leur accent régional d'origine, de leur expression orale personnelle, de leur ignorance des usages vernaculaires ou d'autres circonstances.

S'il font ce genre de faute en français, cela devient plus surprenant. Rien n'interdit de poser la question à la personne qui parle ainsi…, ou de la reprendre, si vous êtes certain de connaître la prononciation correcte.

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Je pense qu'il y a des raisons phonétiques "valables", qui ne justifient certes pas, mais qui expliquent. –  Nikana Reklawyks Oct 29 '12 at 16:28
    
@LeVieuxGildas je suis plus en raisonnance avec jlliagre ; il s'agirait plutôt d'un problème d'oreille : dû à un mauvais apprentissage, un manque d'attention, une non connaissance de l'impact sur l'interlocuteur, un peu de paresse intellectuelle, en fait toute ces choses qui nous laisse croire que nous parlons correctement, alors qu'un académicien serait très sourcilleux. –  cl-r Oct 29 '12 at 16:40
    
Problème des commentaires, lire résonance –  cl-r Oct 29 '12 at 16:50
    
À ta place, je supprime le commentaire et le remets sans la faute. Et de temps en temps, ça casse l'ordre de la discussion, et j'en suis désolé. Concernant le sujet, soit, mais ce n'est pas ce que je lis dans ta réponse. (En plus de n'être pas complètement d'accord, cf la réponse que j'aimerais pouvoir poster.) –  Nikana Reklawyks Oct 29 '12 at 19:45
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