Table of Contents
Français interactif: Phonétique
One site where you can get good audio files for words and phrases: the phonetic pages corresponding to the 13 chapters of UT’s introductory online coursebook. It begins here: UT Français interactif – phonétique, with the chapitre préliminaire, which just gives you the alphabet; for subsequent chapters, go to the Select pull-down menu near the top of the page.1
French Phonetic Symbols
I strongly urge you to learn the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet that are commonly used for French sounds. See Français interactif Symboles phonétiques, or French & English IPA Symbols.
This YouTube clip covers most of the phonetic symbols used for French.
Other Useful Sites for Pronunciation
- The Alphabet Song in French
- Basic pronunciation exercises
- Some basic vocabulary pronounced
- A nice run-through: French Vocabulary.2
- Very nice site with recordings of poems: Vive Voix: poèmes à écouter
- A history of the Capetian kings and the Crusades, divided up into short little texts, with pictures and voice recordings: Les Capétiens et les croisades
- LibriVox has several hundred recorded French texts. Some are short poems, others are very long prose works. Also, Archive.org: in the search box enter the name of a French author or title of a French text, and in the drop-down menu to the right click on Video or Audio.
- It costs money, but what seems a very well-designed site for oral comprehension is: Yabla.
- For fairly full presentations of French phonetics, check out these pages at various academic web sites:
- Phonétique française – FLE (U de Léon)
- Phonétique (Le Point du FLE)
- A site of exercises: Phonetique.free.fr
- High-flying courses from the U of Lausanne: La Phonétique et la phonologie
- Transcription exercises: BBouillon. “BBouillon” also has an entire course on la linguistique, including la phonétique.
- Many phonetical pdf files at the Université d’Ottowa
- Alternatively, go to the Français interactif site map and scroll down to the second item, which is Phonétique. The audio files given here can be downloaded. The vocabularies of Français interactif (at the top of this page: carte du site) and the grammar (Tex’s French grammar – index) also have downloadable audio files.
- However, what this site says on the last page (on Liaisons) is not quite correct. “When liaison occurs with the letters n and m, they are pronounced and the vowel is denazalised.” That is true enough, in general, but not for the article un, and not for the possessive adjectives mon-ton-son. In these words, the vowel stays nasal, even when the consonant n is pronounced in liaison.