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I am trying to learn French with the help of an app called "duolingo". So far, I am doing okay. However, I find it quite difficult to pronounce the French word correctly.

It would we very helpful if someone could point out some important points which I should keep in my mind while learning French.

  • That would depend in part from your mother tongue. What is it? – GAM PUB Jun 27 '15 at 20:47
  • In my French-English dictionary, they give the pronounciation of both languages and their approximation in each other language. Does yours have that? – Archa Jun 28 '15 at 1:03
  • Finding a language exchange partner is often useful. I learn Hindi, I could help you in French, and you help me in Hindi? – Quidam Jun 28 '15 at 16:58
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Being a native speaker of Hindi, you might experience more difficulties with vowels than consonants. Most French consonants have counterparts in Hindi k, g, t, d, n, p, b, m are the same (unaspirated dental series for t, d, n) and others like f and ph have close enough realizations.

French as lots of vowels:

French vowels

You could concentrate on distinguishing (hearing and pronouncing) the front rounded vowels (y, ø, œ) from their usual counterparts (i, e, ɛ) for the front unrounded and (u, o, ɔ) for the back rounded ones. You should also try to find the right amount of nasalization for ɑ̃, ɛ̃ and ɔ̃. Nasalization is similar in French and Hindi but their realization might differ a little. Discriminating between semi-open and semi-closed mid-vowels (e/ɛ, ø/œ, o/ɔ) may not be very important as lots of French speakers say they don't perceive the difference.

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I'm a Dulingo user too. Duolingo is great, the best tool in my opinion, but you should always have a grammar book and a dictionnary while studying on their site.

For the pronounciation, use Forvo, it's great, don't trust Google pronunciation.

French pronounciation is not so difficult, it's rather logical when you know the rules. Can you give an example of pronunciation you find difficult? I will edit my question to reply more specifically.

  • We can consider the following word, "Chat". In English it has different pronunciation and in French it has different. – Touchstone Jun 28 '15 at 17:12
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    It follows rules. The final consonant is never pronounced (thought there are some exceptions), because in French, you need to have a vowel to make a consonant sound. The English cat comes from the French "chat". It's a French word, passed in English, and with a different pronounciation, you're right, so to read French, forget English rules. French has its own rules.( I've made a file to explain it on Duolingo) – Quidam Jun 28 '15 at 17:23
  • Thanks!! I would like to accept your answer. Could you please add your comment to the answer? – Touchstone Jun 28 '15 at 17:47
  • "Chat" is probably not the best example as without context it might be either the animal either the internet discussion (in English but used anyway)... Shouldn't phonetical alphabet be of help here (never learned it and I regret it sometimes...) – Laurent S. Jun 29 '15 at 11:27

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