18 votes
Accepted

Why isn't “tu es” written “t'es”?

I know that when a word ends with a vowel and the next word starts with a vowel, then we would replace the first character by a ' character. No, this is wrong. The only vowel that is elided in this ...
16 votes
Accepted

Words ending on i/u, spoken with (IPA) [ɪç] – is there a system?

Look up "phrase-final vowel devoicing" for scientific articles on the subject. It's a relatively recent phenomenon in European French, whereby the vocal folds stop vibrating halfway through a vowel ...
  • 9,101
14 votes
Accepted

How is /a/ pronounced before n/m in French?

The widespread pronunciation is [pano] with no nasalisation. You might hear [panɔ] in eastern France, but this is unrelated to your question. A non native speaker might hear a slight kind of ...
  • 135k
14 votes

Aren't all schwas sounded like /ø/?

Depending on the dialect of the speaker, schwa might be realised as [əʷ], [œ] or [ø]. Whatever this realisation might be, it's still its own phoneme, since it has a very different behaviour from /ø/: ...
  • 9,101
14 votes

Is there a difference in pronunciation for un, a, à, as and et, es and est?

Note: It is difficult to avoid using IPA to describe pronunciation. English vowels are absolutely not equivalent to French ones, so comparisons in dictionaries (e.g. "like the a in angel") are often ...
  • 2,030
13 votes

Does French have the English "short i" vowel?

No, standard French does not have the vowel /ɪ/ (near-close front unrounded vowel), which is the English “short i”. The vowel which is normally written with the letter I in French is a close front ...
11 votes

Does French have the English "short i" vowel?

The French generally spoken in France does not have [ɪ] either phonemically or phonetically, and to my knowledge no variety of French would use it for the first vowel in « s'il vous plait » (though ...
  • 17.2k
10 votes
Accepted

Aren't all schwas sounded like /ø/?

It depends on your reference point... What exactly does /məsjø/ mean to you? If you mean that you were trying to use a sound like the one in the last syllable of the English word "comma", or in the ...
  • 2,772
7 votes

How do you know when the /ə/ drops and when it doesn't?

A consonant sound means a sound in the left column in the table linked below. For the purpose of the "no three consonants" rule, you should not count a semivowel as a consonant. http://en.wikipedia....
  • 3,681
7 votes
Accepted

Prononciation de « u » proche de « ou »

Je ne connais aucune « prononciation régionale » où le u est prononcé « ou » de manière systématique. Il peut en revanche y avoir des dialectes (ou « langues régionales » ...) où un u écrit se ...
7 votes
Accepted

Prononciation : « air » vs « aire »

D'après Wikipédia à E caduc: Les régions où la langue d'oc est parlée prononcent plus fortement l'e caduc que celles du Nord à cause de la conservation de l'accent tonique dans ces régions. Ainsi, ...
7 votes

Why is "dessin" pronounced like "déssin"?

Yes silph, there is a rule: when the "e" is followed by a pair of consonants, you say "é" like in "dessin, pression" or "è" like in "belle, bretelle, parisienne, guerre"... Well, because it's french :...
  • 174
7 votes
Accepted

Prononciation de « fête » au Québec : diphtongaison ou allongement de voyelle ?

Oui, il s'agit absolument de prononciations différentes. On dit parfois que les prononciations diphtonguées telles que [fajt] sont plutôt caractéristiques de la parole en situation informelle ou de ...
  • 86
6 votes

Pourquoi le français parisien a-t-il perdu pour la plupart la distinction entre /e/ et /ɛ/?

Je pense que c'est à la fois une dilution entre les accents et une facilité. Il est très fréquent que les sons /e/ et /ɛ/ soit utilisés de façons inversée en fonction de la région d'origine. Par ...
6 votes

French and English pronunciation of [ε]

[ɛ] is not a diphthong (what you call a "double vowel") it is a mid-open front vowel. On the wiktionary you can listen to the word tête and have the IPA phonetic transcription besides. Moreover for ...
  • 57k
6 votes
Accepted

Is "e" always pronounced like /e/ before ss?

Either /e/ or /ɛ/ but very rarely /ə/ indeed. This is true for every E located before any double consonant. Despite the accented pronunciation, there is never an actual acute, grave or circumflex ...
  • 135k
5 votes

Prononciation de « in » et « im »

La règle générale est que mm et nn sont prononcés [m]/[n]. Elles n'entraînent la nasalisation de la voyelle précédente que lorsque le M/N est suivi d'une consonne différente ou se trouve en fin de mot....
5 votes
Accepted

“Quelle école”: is there two vowels in a row and how to pronounce them?

In French as spoken in the north of France and in particularly in Quebec, the letter e at the end of a word does not always call for a vowel sound. If you listen to one of these speakers you will not ...
5 votes

“Quelle école”: is there two vowels in a row and how to pronounce them?

Having two vowel sounds in a row does not hinder the pronunciation of French but the fact that when you say quelle école /kɛl ekɔl/ you only hear one vowel sound is explained by the fact that ...
  • 57k
5 votes

Prononciation de « u » proche de « ou »

Compte tenu du contexte (radio régionale de Toulouse), je propose trois hypothèses: L'interlocuteur est d'origine espagnole. Les Pyrénées ont toujours été perméables, surtout depuis la guerre civile ...
  • 7,666
5 votes
Accepted

Prononciation différente des « u » de « club » et « rugby »

Les deux mots ont en fait été emprunté initialement avec un /y/ au XIXe siècle, le TLFi citant même une prononciation avec un /ɔ/ ouvert pour club en 1841. C'est l'époque des chelins pour les ...
  • 9,101
5 votes
Accepted

Pronunciation of “au” in restaurant

One cannot say that the AU digraph (or the EAU trigraph ) is always pronounced /o/ in French. /o/ is only the most common pronunciation. AU/EAU is indeed almost always pronounced /o/ when standing ...
  • 57k
4 votes
Accepted

Phonologie vs phonétique : /ʁɔz/ vs [ʁoz]

Pour un locuteur donné, la séquence ros est toujours prononcée de la même façon, soit [ʁoz], soit [ʁɔz]. Sachant cela, il n'y a aucune raison de chercher la phonétique d'une telle syllabe dans un ...
4 votes
Accepted

Pronunciation of E in je, le, ce, ne, que

/ə/ is the pronunciation given by TLFi, so in theory it should be used. However, in practice, this may change to /ø/ or /œ/ depending on the speaker and the context in which the schwa appears. This is ...
  • 2,030
4 votes

How is /a/ pronounced before n/m in French?

The two are pronounced the same. The nasal sound might come from the double 'n', but that's beyond my expertise (and the question). Reference : french is my mother tongue.
4 votes

La différence entre "deux ans" et "douze ans"

Il n'y a pas d'autre méthode que l'entraînement à l'écoute du français. Nous distinguons en général facilement les voyelles eu et ou, mais une oreille habituée à d'autres phonèmes pourra avoir des ...
  • 135k
4 votes
Accepted

Difference in pronunciation of /ø/, /ə/, and /œ/

Like many native French speakers, I pronounce the vowels of le, peu and veux identically. The difference is that the former is caduc (might be skipped depending on the context) while the other ones ...
  • 135k
4 votes

Difference in pronunciation of /ø/, /ə/, and /œ/

Like many native French speakers, I pronounce the vowels of ceux, sœur and ce differently. /ø/ is more closed than /œ/ which is more closed than /ə/. My prononciation mostly follows the phonetic ...
3 votes
Accepted

Prononcer le « e » dans « cet » — Pronouncing the "e" in "cet"

Cet is pronounced /sɛt/. You can find a description and audio samples for ɛ on Wikipedia. It's the same sound as in mère, bête, faire or cette. Whereas ce is pronounced with a milder (close to ...

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible