I started learning french by watching Pokemon anime and in the first episode a sports commentator says:

Oh, attendez! Le dresseur de Nidorino vient de le rappeler.

Audio: https://voca.ro/1eFRmC1IAlJ5

The problem I have is that instead of hearing /a.tɑ̃.de/ and /ʁa.ple/ I can hear /a.tɑ̃.di/ and /ʁa.pli/. Is this speaker's pronunciation non-standard or do I have to train my ears better? Or maybe the transcription is wrong...


2 Answers 2


The confusion is pretty normal for a non native speaker. Audio quality is not great in this piece of dialogue filtered by some kind of PA effect, and yes, the speaker's exaggerated [e]s do slant towards [i]s. Similarly, [ɑ̃] in "attendez" is overnasalized and overstretched.

It used to be a common thing in older children's animated series where senior voice actors who often had a Parisian accent and background - and were dubbing mature male characters - indulged in the typical banter of the French capital to color their acting.


Train your ears better is the key to your problem, you guessed correctly. I have no difficulty in asserting that the sound is that of é. The reason confusion is possible is that the place of articulation and opening of the mouth for the cardinal vowel é are close (proximity on the diagram) to that the usual allophone of cardinal i, which are of course not that of cardinal i but less close (opening of the mouth) and towards the back.

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