Improving my oral French

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
No, not because of your post.
 

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
It sounds weird in that context, although it makes sense.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Lol. Only the "tonton" and "mémé" ones make sense as complete sentences, though. Also, the syllables in the "mémé" one don't all sound quite the same to me, but well, I guess it's still close.
 
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Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
One word that came up in my French exercises yesterday was orgueil, which has an extremely hard-to-reproduce vowel sound and one of those R's to boot. Here's my best attempt at saying it.

Is this something close to correct?
 

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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Yes, it's close, but the sound you're making there sounds a bit too much like the one in eux, I think...
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The sound in orgueil is like the one in utilisateurs, so something very close the vowel in "bird".

Here's a recording of the sound in orgueil vs. the one in eux. The main difference, I think, is in the rounding or not of the lips. The lips are rounded in eux, not so in orgueil, or at least much less.

You can probably find better-quality recordings online, too.
 

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Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Any better?

It strikes me as rather ironic that orgueil is the perfect word to take down a peg anyone who feels particular pride in their mastery of French pronunciation ;)
 

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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Hmm... Sounds a bit too much like an o now, somehow. I wish I were more of a phonetician; I might be able to help you better if I were.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Here's a recording of the sound in orgueil vs. the one in eux. The main difference, I think, is in the rounding or not of the lips. The lips are rounded in eux, not so in orgueil, or at least much less.
Theoretically, it should be a rounded-lip sound as well.
As I have written above, the sound in eux, /ø/ (German ö) should be an é, /e/ (as in passé or like the German e in Leere) with rounded lips.
The sound in orgueil, /œ/, should be an è, /ɛ/ (as in crème or like the German long ä in Ähre) with rounded lips... well, I'm not French (and neither are you :D ... but you seem to know the language quite well), but maybe you can try it: the difference between è and /œ/ should really just mainly be the position of your lips.
 

Godmy

Sīmia Illūstris
(@Callaina)
I would rather not provide information on the French phonetics, because if I explain what the IPA says, I usually find out that with certain of those rounded and/or nasalized vowels, the vowel quality is usually very different in French/Belgium and different in Canada e.g.; in my experience most of the typical IPA (the typical phonology) used for French doesn't agree with the pronunciation in France(Paris) and Belgium in about 2 cases... (2 vowels), but some dictionaries (I think Wiktionary) sometimes do show those variants. Can't give details atm., because I haven't looked into any French for quite some time :p

I can give you quite a good description of the Northern American English phonology though :) For example, I could tell you that you have only one rounded vowel (or two, in fact) and that is what a Czech/Roman could simplify as "u": 1) put/good/foot 2) food/soup ... everything else in the GA English phonology is usually unrounded along with all instances of "o", with an exception of a long "o-like" vowel in "caught" and "taught" only in SOME regions where it is still rounded, mostly it is unrounded.

So, when a GA speaker (like yourself) acquires Latin and French, they need to learn to round "o"s (like the Brittish do: compare the Brittish "God" with NA "God") ... reverse engineer for themselves what even rounded is by observing how they pronounce that u-like vowel I mentioned...
 
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Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
Lol, that makes sense.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Theoretically, it should be a rounded-lip sound as well.
As I have written above, the sound in eux, /ø/ (German ö) should be an é, /e/ (as in passé or like the German e in Leere) with rounded lips.
The sound in orgueil, /œ/, should be an è, /ɛ/ (as in crème or like the German long ä in Ähre) with rounded lips... well, I'm not French (and neither are you :D ... but you seem to know the language quite well), but maybe you can try it: the difference between è and /œ/ should really just mainly be the position of your lips.
Yeah, right, the lips are rounded — just less than for eux, or maybe just differently... the lips protrude less.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I wonder if Belgians can be considered the Austrians of France.
Hm, well, maybe but only the Walloons then, and the Flemish would be the Austrians of the Netherlands...?
 
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