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The Hardest Part in Speaking French?


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I might have a helpful tip for pronouncing the French "r". The sound is produced by vibrating your uvula, which is exactly what you do when you gargle water. Act like you're gargling water in your mouth without the water, and you've pronounced the French "r"! I agree that it is difficult to handle, but with some practice you can get more control over it.

What I've done in the past that has helped is to practice syllables with "r" in isolation. For example I would practice saying ra, re, ri, ro, ru and ar, er, ir, or, ur with the French "r" of course and French vowels. Doing these little exercises once in a while made it easier when I needed to speak spontaneously.

Anybody else?

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I might have a helpful tip for pronouncing the French "r". The sound is produced by vibrating your uvula, which is exactly what you do when you gargle water. Act like you're gargling water in your mouth without the water, and you've pronounced the French "r"! I agree that it is difficult to handle, but with some practice you can get more control over it.

What I've done in the past that has helped is to practice syllables with "r" in isolation. For example I would practice saying ra, re, ri, ro, ru and ar, er, ir, or, ur with the French "r" of course and French vowels. Doing these little exercises once in a while made it easier when I needed to speak spontaneously.

Anybody else?

Omg, that's seriously the best tip. I just tried the gargle suggestion and then used it with your isolation suggestion... What a difference. If there was a "like" button on here, I'd press it a million times. I can't believe with all the French language classes I've been to, this is the first time I'm hearing this trick. Seriously, thank you!!!

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What part of speaking French is hard for you? For me, it's pronouncing the "r" properly. I have the hardest time rolling my r's backwards. (I call it rolling backwards because in Spanish I say rolling forward.) So what about you?

The hardest part of speaking French for me is the pronunciation of the words. Saying the words with the rolling is a bit difficult for me. I tend to pronounce the words with the English sound and its not like that at all.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I used to think I had a great accent, but it turned out I was over pronouncing words. Words like "voiture" and “chaussure", that long "u" sound I'm told I say poorly. It's said with more breath than I'm used to. And some other sounds are difficult for me. On the other hand I'm told I say some things perfectly, so it helps with the process of learning to have that kind of feedback.

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I might have a helpful tip for pronouncing the French "r". The sound is produced by vibrating your uvula, which is exactly what you do when you gargle water. Act like you're gargling water in your mouth without the water, and you've pronounced the French "r"! I agree that it is difficult to handle, but with some practice you can get more control over it.

What I've done in the past that has helped is to practice syllables with "r" in isolation. For example I would practice saying ra, re, ri, ro, ru and ar, er, ir, or, ur with the French "r" of course and French vowels. Doing these little exercises once in a while made it easier when I needed to speak spontaneously.

Anybody else?

Wow this is really helpful advice. I've always had trouble with pronunciation. Thank you so much for this!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Um, the hardest part about speaking French for me is speaking French. I have very few people avec qui je peux pratiquer. I can write and listen to French. I can understand it fairly well but I cannot speak it as well. My pronunciation is great apparently but my vocab is not well developed and I find it hard to find my words sometimes. I often end up talking around a subject rather than about the intended subject matter, arg!

:speechless:

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  • 1 month later...

I am rather poor at the whole "nasal" quality thing - I just can't get my pronunciation to come out right and it erks me. Apparently I am just much, much better at Spanish and Latin and even Japanese (although I suck at putting the right emphasis on all my vowels).

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've always found that the hardest part about speaking french, was having the gall to actually start speaking! I mean, compared to my classmates, I'm always far ahead of them in terms of ability, but there's always something that makes me too nervous to actually speak it in real scenarios. I feel as though french speakers are a bit protective about their language, so I really have to just dive right in and accept that I'm going to be criticized to hell, if I ever want to attain fluency.

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  • 1 month later...

The hardest thing about speaking French, is actually trying to talk in French.  I know this is because I do not have very much confidence in my ability to hold a proper conversation, as a result I find myself struggling to find the proper words. I do not have any problem with writing or understanding and following a conversation in French. I know I will just have to obtain more confidence, and my problem shall no longer exist.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For me is the spelling, because my mother language is a romance one, so spelling some words the right way in french is kinda hard, because many of them look a lot like some words we have in Spanish.  So I had to be careful with that. 

For some reason pronunciation comes naturally for me, specially the ''r'', but it must be because I speak a romance language already who knows. 

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