WHAT IS THE FRENCH PRONUNCIATION BUNDLE?
The French pronunciation bundle is a set of the essential Anki flashcards to learn French pronunciation. It is made for French learners at the beginners level who would like to learn and memorize French pronunciation within 1-2 months. Even intermediate and advanced French learners will find this useful, especially if you still have French pronunciation problems. With this digital flashcard bundle, you’ll learn the French alphabet, French IPA pronunciation and French minimal pairs.
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WHY SHOULD I LEARN FRENCH PRONUNCIATION?
Sounds of French are the Foundations of the Language
If we breakdown the French language and examine what makes up a language, we can see that French conversations are made up of sentences. Then, each sentence is made up of words. But each French word is made up of unique French sounds. These sounds are the foundations of the French language.
The sounds of French are different to your native language. The way we would pronounce letters from the alphabet for example, are also different in English compared to French. In order to begin learning French and the sounds of French, we need to learn French pronunciation.
Learn French Pronunciation to Avoid Permanent Errors in Speaking
If you speak with terrible French pronunciation to a native French speaker, they may not understand you, even though your French vocab and grammar are perfect. We want to make sure that you get the foundations of French handled right from the beginning because it might be very difficult to change your accent later on.
Language experts call this phenomenon “fossilization”. It’s when language learners make permanent errors in the way they speak a foreign language because they constantly use language features of their native language. If you skip learning pronunciation, you’ll most likely create bad habits, which can prevent you from being able to communicate in French.
Self-correction and Boost of Confidence
If you have terrible pronunciation, then you’re more likely to face situations where you are misunderstood and confused. When this happens, you might feel embarrassed and frustrated because you’re unable to communicate properly and this hinders your ability to learn French.
It would be impossible to have a French tutor follow you everywhere and correct your pronunciation in all situations. So we recommend that the best solution to your poor pronunciation is to improve your ability to self-correct yourself. In this way, you will be able to catch yourself making pronunciation mistakes, and then correct yourself before miscommunication occurs. The French Pronunciation Flashcards Bundle helps you remember all of the important sounds of French so that you can self-correct your pronunciation in any situation.
When you improve your French pronunciation, you also get the added bonus of improving your confidence and motivation to learn French, and research studies have shown this to be true. By self-correcting your own pronunciation difficulties, it will help improve your listening comprehension and give you confidence to speak in French. Your French pronunciation can enhance your fluency and native speakers will understand you better.
HOW DO I LEARN FRENCH PRONUNCIATION?
French pronunciation can be broken down into 3 parts: French alphabet, French IPA and French minimal pairs. All 3 parts will help to improve your French pronunciation in different but essential ways.
1. French Alphabet
In order to improve your pronunciation, the French alphabet is the first step because the alphabet is used to write out French words and represent French sounds. Native French speakers use this alphabet to write words and sentences, so it makes sense when learning French to start with the French alphabet.
Although French letters mostly look the same as the English alphabet, the French name of the letter and its use in French words will be different. Again, we want to familiarize ourselves with the French sounds in order to avoid “fossilization” from occurring and affecting your speech.
By learning the French alphabet, you’ll also expose yourself to some words that start with those letters. This can help you associate how those letters sound in actual French words.
2. French IPA
The French IPA (French International Phonetic Alphabet) is a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. The IPA is useful because the IPA of a word tells you how to pronounce it correctly in French in a standardized way.
The regular French alphabet is different from the French IPA. Take the example of the French word ” fille” ( /fij/ ), which means “girl”. If you read this French word as it’s spelled in regular French letters, then you may not pronounce it correctly.
As a native English speaker, you may pronounce it as “file”, but that is incorrect and a French speaker will be totally confused. You’ll feel embarrassed and not get your point across. But, if you read the IPA of “fille”, you’ll find it spelled like this ” /fij/ “.
By learning the French IPA you’ll be able to pronounce sounds in French from the written IPA. In time, you’ll be able to see the IPA symbols and know how the word should be pronounced correctly.
3. French Minimal Pairs
Minimal pairs are 2 words that seem very similar when you hear them, except for just 1 sound. In French, there are minimal pairs such as “comment” and “commun”, which mean “how” and “common” respectively.
These subtle differences in sound can make all the difference when you are trying to understand or speak French.
Learning the French minimal pairs can improve your pronunciation skills as well as your listening comprehension. This is proven by academic research.
Ann Bradlow from Cornell University and colleagues did academic research that found that minimal pair training results in improved pronunciation. Language learners of English improved their ability to discriminate between the /r/ and /l/ sounds to around 82 percent accuracy from 65 percent from a training period of 15-22 hours over 3 weeks.
In a recent study published in 2020, academic researchers from UCAM University did minimal pair testing in Spain. The researchers studied 52 language learners, focused on minimal pair words that compared sounds like /æ/ , /ɑː/ , /ʌ/ , and /ə/, as well as comparing the /s/ and /z/ sounds. They concluded that minimal pair training fostered substantial improvements in the learners’ perception and production of the target sounds.
French minimal pairs are important as there is strong academic evidence that shows that it can improve your French pronunciation. Also, if you can distinguish between the different French sounds, you’ll be able to understand French native speakers better and you’ll enunciate words clearer.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE FRENCH PRONUNCIATION BUNDLE?
The Anki French pronunciation flashcards bundle includes all 3 digital flashcard decks for Anki you’ll need to learn French pronunciation. The 3 flashcard decks included are:
Learn the French alphabet with pictures and audio. Get familiar with the sounds & letters of the French language.
Learn the fundamentals in French pronunciation using the French IPA Anki flashcards.
Learn the most common French minimal pairs to improve your French pronunciation.
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