Pronunciation

Miss this and you are on fast lane to frustration

If you are trying to learn a new language, the very first thing you can do is learn how to pronounce the words of that language. For a language learner its very important that one knows how to predict the pronunciation of a word as learners try to learn more by reading than by listening. The printed/ written words read translate as sounds in the brains which then assist the learner in recognizing the same words in speech.

Don’t skip this vital step or else you would make the mistake of trying to pronounce written/printed words based on your knowledge of English or other languages using Latin alphabet. You would stall at every step and frustration would creep in and language learning begins to seem like an impossible affair. French is a notoriously crazy language in the sense that it’s hard for a learner to predict how a word would be pronounced if all you have is its spelling unlike Spanish where things are far more saner.

Some people start off with sounds but it doesn't work for beginners of the language. It works in some languages but not in all. True you need to know how ‘t’ in French differs from ‘t’ in English, lets say, but this knowledge alone won’t let you predict pronunciation of majority of the words. Sounds also keep you one step away from interacting with words, the real building blocks of the language. Interacting with words early would put you at ease with the language.

This is why it’s best to address the subject of pronunciation right in the beginning. In French pronunciation is is a bit challenging aspect but not so much as to not be mastered in a week’s time. I am going to write a series of articles on French pronunciation here on.

There is a caveat, however. Trying to get the grips of pronunciation can at times be a boring affair. The reason for this is simple. Everything you learn while trying to learn pronunciation ‘seems’ to get you nowhere. You know it’s important but don’t know how, where and when it’s going to really help you in practical terms. This is partly due to your impetuousness to get to a point where you can speak. But hold on, you would get to that point as well.

Don’t forget there are more things you do in a language that just speak. I therefore give you a fun challenge. After you have finished doing the all the pronunciation lessons, you should be able to SING one French song. You can pick any French singer you like. I personally prefer Carla Bruni as her songs are easy listening and lyrics super simple.

So the challenge (Don’t treat this as an optional thing!)

Be able to sing one French song fluently without having to think of pronunciation at all.
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