zh – an unusual sound

The sound that is sometimes represented by zh in phonetic notation is fairly rare in English. In English, we use the zh sound in: g in beige s in usual In French, it is the sound made by the letter j: je (I) jambon (ham) jardin (garden) It is also the soft sound made by the … Read more

a says "a" in sack

In French, the letter a makes a short sound like the a in sack. Can you translate these French words based on their sound? sac (sak)radio (rad-YOH)carotte (ca-RUT)table (TA-bluh)salade (sa-LAD) Visit Nallenart for more information about our French curriculum for grades K-9. * Please note that these guides give only an approximation of the real … Read more

i says "ee"

The letter i says “ee” in French, as in the name Lisa. Here are some French words that use the “ee” sound made by the letter i. Can you tell what these words mean in English? tigre (TEE-gruh)appétit (a-pay-TEE)favori (fa-voh-REE)Bible (BEE-bluh)girafe (zhee-RAF)* Visit Nallenart for more information about our French curriculum for grades K-9. * … Read more

Nasal Sounds in French

Hmmm… nasal sounds? Like somebody snoring? Not exactly! Some French sounds include forcing air through the back of the throat and into the nasal cavities. This cannot be taught by explanation. You need to hear the sounds and try to imitate them as best you can. on, ont, om (nasal oh sound)bon (BOHn) = goodsont … Read more

Vowel Sounds in French

French and English share some vowel sounds but others can be quite different. a (short a)sac (SAK) = bag a, â (ah)bas (BAH) = stockinggâteau (gah-TOH) = cakeé, ay, er, ez (long a)bébé (bay-BAY) = babypays (pay-EE) = countryparler (pahr-LAY) = to speaknez (NAY) = nose e (short u)le (LUH) = theme (MUH) = myselfrenard … Read more

CH in French

Did you know that the letters CH say “sh” in French? Some English words that have been borrowed from French are pronounced this way, too. Do you know their English meanings? If not, use your dictionary to find out the meanings of these borrowed words, and the French words they come from. chalet (sha-LAY)chateau (sha-TOH)chauffeur … Read more

TH in French

Did you know that in French, the letters th say “t,” like the letter T? If you look through the TH section of a French dictionary, many of the words will look familiar to you. That is because many of the TH words in French come from Greek roots, and English uses words from these … Read more