Why do French People Sound French? | Improve Your Accent
Improve Your Accent
Understand why French speakers sound French when speaking English with the help of Emmanuel Macron!
00:00 – Intro
00:25 – Consonants (aspiration of /p/)
00:48 – The TH Sounds
01:49 – The H Sound
02:33 – Vowels
02:48 – The /ʌ/ Vowel
03:03 – The /iː/ and /ɪ/ Vowels
03:18 – The /uː/ and /ʊ/ Vowels
03:39 – Word Stress
04:14 – Conclusion
When a Frenchman calls an Indian Call Center : The iRabbit
1. Emmanuel Macron has been chosen because he exhibits the highlighted accent features to such an extent that it is easier for the viewer to hear. If a speaker with a “less strong” accent were chosen, it would be harder for non-phonetically trained viewers to understand the points in the video.
2. Not all native French speakers will have the same accent features (or these features to the same degree) as Emmanuel Macron. However, I have taught many French speakers who do have accents similar to Emmanuel Macron’s (even young people and even people who have lived in England for many years).
3. There are many accents within the French-speaking world. When a French speaker from Paris speaks English, it will sound different to someone from Montreal speaking English. There isn’t just one “French accent”, but this video summarises some accent features that most French speakers have (either when they started to learn English or even now after speaking English for many years).
4. I have not shown all potential accent features that French speakers may have.
5. Thanks to those viewers who have pointed out that Emmanuel Macron has “un cheveu sur la langue” in French. However, this really doesn’t matter. I teach many French students who hypercorrect and pronounce /s/ as /θ/ (and /z/ as /ð/) in English, and who don’t have “un cheveu sur la langue”. This video is a demonstration of potential pronunciation issues French people may have in English. Hypercorrection is a common issue and Macron illustrates this.
6. Some topics have been simplified for a general audience.
FYI: The 2nd [p] in “passport” is less aspirated in English compared to the first [p]. This was not mentioned in the video.