5 tips to sound more like a French native
1. Do not pronounce all letters
1st mistake for a new learner is to pronounce all letters in a word.
French actually ignore most of ending letters except a few.
Ex : - long (pronounced 'lon')
- temps (pronounced 'tan')
2. Do not exagerate your French 'R'
Another mistake I often hear is the exaggeration of the French 'R'.
Actually French has different variations for the 'R' sound depending on where it is placed in the sentence.
- At the end of a word, the R is very soft and is pronounced almost like an 'H' in English.
Ex : la mer (la meh'), le port (le poh')
- At the beginning of a word, the R is still soft to the ears. (slightly more pronounced than English 'h')
Ex : un rêve, une rose
- In the middle, the R is more noticeable.
Ex : la marée, une tartine.
- Finally, when R is following a consonant, it will be pronounced very clearly.
Ex: un portrait, une cravate.
3. Avoid pronouncing familiar words like in English
Some words in French looks like English and most people will try to pronounce like they would do in English.
The most difficult part is to give up our English way of pronunciation and to embrace fully French pronunciation.
Ex : un collègue, l'architecture, un train.
4. Expose yourself more to French culture and sounds
To sound more like a French native, what's better than watching French movies, listening to French music or even listening to French podcasts.
Passive learning will help you get a faster grasp over French pronunciation and colloquial expressions
Ex : Netflix TV series, Podcasts, BFM TV (news), Youtube Channels etc.
5. Try to use more little colloquial expressions and fillers to sound more French
French language has a lot of colloquial expressions and French speakers also use a lot of fillers which makes them sound very local.
Ex : _____, quoi ! (at the end of a sentence) - Euh,________ (when you hesitate) - Du coup, _______ (so, therefore : when you tell a story)