Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Lately, I have been struggling with trying to correctly decipher what I hear.

Les Français sur mon CD disent The French on my CD are saying :

Il a des sous. He has some coins / money.

Il l'a vue. He has seen her / He saw her.

Il s'est tu. He shut up (past tense).

Et j'entends And I hear :

Il a déçu... He disappointed....

Il avoue. He is confessing / confesses.

Il sait tout. He knows everything.

Test your hearing:

Not only do I have trouble figuring out when not to pronounce which
letters- but my tongue insists on stubbornly sounding out everything anyway!

I know that when conjugating verbs that I should not pronounce "ent": I know
"ils parlent" is pronounced "il parl" but I still end up saying "il parlehhnt" if I don't concentrate and literally bite my tongue. Heureusement, there is a proper time to pronounce the "ent" and sound super French - adverbs!

Not that I have been losing sleep over French pronunciation- but an article I stumbled on suggested all students of French may be losing weight. The headline screamed:


And Elizabeth Morgan reports:

"The answer is swallowed consonants," said Dr. Eric Gross, professor of biology at Lester College in Flint. "We're finding that the pronunciation of these sounds can induce a feeling of satiety in French speakers, and can lead, over the long-term, to lower body weight."

"Obviously, the degree of weight-loss increases in language-immersion programs, like the Lester College Junior Year Abroad in Aix-en-Provence,"
Dr. Gross said.

Too good to be true?

Heuresement thankfully, happily

La photo: Daily offering to Hindu gods. À Ubud (Bali) en Indonésia.
Septembre 2006.


Nina said...

A friend sent me your blog suggesting I read it because I am also taking a French class in a non-French speaking country.

I do understand what you are going through especially the 'u' and 'ou' sounds... really difficult to figure which is which ^^

But I think you are doing fine with your French. Love the way you use some French words in the entries... Kinda cool.

By the way, for the 'e' and passe compose, I just remember that if it is 'etre' then you have to make the accord between the subject and a verb (en la forme passe compose). Probably the verb itself acts like an adj. or sth like that.

I will come back and check your blog from time to time.

By the way, love the pics. real nice :)

le petit foufou said...

Salut Nina-

Merci pour tes remarques- vous êtes gentille. I find lots of sounds quite difficult to pronounce and decipher in French. Reading aloud helps ALOT- of course, only if you have a French speaker correcting you. ;-)

Glad to have you as a reader- and if you have any tips- please do share.

bonne journée!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the wide experiences of your life that you share with us.. I doubt I'll ever comprehend french aurally (being slightly deaf doesnt help a lot), because in french conversation the verb endings and various syllables arent obvious to me--with some phrases I can only hear lots of short hisses and sounds which seemingly bear little semblance to the written words-- I would like to follow your progress in this area with the added delight of your pix and paintings--good cheer always--Elaine

le petit foufou said...

Bonjour Elaine-

Thanks for writing. Oui- learning to read French is one easy thing but understanding- well... that is probably the life long endeavor and enjoyment (?) of learning French! ;-)

Also thanks for your good cheer! Haven't done my French homework, yet... so thanks for the inspiration.