French Language and Culture
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for Marlene
Learn French for Free - Interactive French Lessons for Adults and Children
Lesson 1: Getting Started

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French pronunciation

Have a quick look at the following table and listen to the respective audio examples for each French sound. With these audio examples and the vocabulary that you already know, you should be able to develop a good feeling for the correct French pronunciation.

sound/ letter: French ExamplesEnglish Examples
ala, garçonmaster, hasty
eété, èrebetter, to enter
eel, Steven
obonne, montagneclose to: owl, goal
school, fool
eudeux, leur
-existent in English
, ui
, huit
wind, wheel

The French consonants are all very similar to the ones in English. The few exceptions are listed in the table below. Listen again to the audio examples and repeat what you hear aloud.

sound/ letter: French ExamplesEnglish Examples
j; g(only before e, i)
, gilette
giant, germs
n (nasal)bon, vin,
, un
does not exist in English
gnMontagnedoes not exist in English
llfille, belleyippiehh, yacht
zzèbre, zodiaquesoft, like in: zebra

Basically all words in French (as well as in English) are spelled with lower case letters. Exceptions to this rule are only words such as names for people, animals or places. These words are capitalized in French.

After translating the words below into French, can you tell which of them would be capitalized and which would be spelled with lower case letters?

the bridge
lower case

move mouse over ?-fields
for correct answers
to lie
the school
the house

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pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12        vocabularies       Exercises [A] [B] [C] [D]

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