The rules of reading French for dummies

The rules of reading French seem very complicated. A pile of consonants and vowels, half of which is not readable, an abundance of strange sounds, some dashes and wands above each vowel letter (diacritical marks). But here are a few facts that will allow you to look at these difficulties differently.

It was the French language that chose the nobility of tsarist Russia as compulsory for any educated person. And the reasons were not only political. In this language you can express the most "modern" thoughts. This is not a joke, and everyone is convinced of this, beginning to read the books of the writers of this country in the original. The French language is logical, elegant and profound. It is not surprising that many thinkers and philosophers spoke and wrote on it.

Knowing the rules of reading French, you in 99% of cases can read an unfamiliar word without a single mistake. This can not be said about English. Compared with the French, he is just full of exceptions.

The most simple reading rules in French

Let's enumerate what must necessarily be known for the beginning and what will allow without fear to move forward.

1. The stress always (without exception) falls on the last syllable. Along with grasping, with bow vowels, this makes up the unique melody of speech. The letters -s (as in dans, tapis), -t (as in enseignement, parlant), -d (as in second, phard), -z (as in assez), -x (as in aux), -p ( As in astap), -g at the end of the words are not readable. Also, combinations of these letters are not pronounced. The letter r is not read at the end of the words, in combination -er. For example, parler.

2. The letter "e" deserves a separate description. Pay attention to where it stands: in a closed or open syllable, under stress or not, whether it is at the end of the word. Of course, the rules of reading the French language, when you get to the pronunciation of the vowels, really take a long time to memorize. To begin with, it is worth learning that if it is stressed and the syllable is closed, then it is read close to the Russian "e". If the syllable is open, then the letter acquires an amusing softness and is read similar to the Russian "e", as in the word honey, only slightly differently - deeper. As an example, we give the widely used word regarder (watch). In it there are two letters "e", which are read in different ways - after all the first syllable is open, the last one is closed.

3. In no case is the letter h readable, its task is to divide the vowels. In other cases, it is simply written. But the combination of ch is read like "sh" (in English it is pronounced "h"). For example, chance, chacal. Other popular combinations of vowels: ph - sound "f", th - sound "t". For example, phare is a beacon, théorème is a theorem.

4. Nasal vowels are salt and a highlight of the French language. They provide the characteristic and inimitable sound of this speech. With unaccustomed they may seem rather complicated. However, their sonority, of course, compensates for all difficulties. They are pronounced in the nose, as if approaching the nasal "n", but not passing into it. Vowels become the noses before the letters n and m. There are four such vowels: i, a, o, u. These letters are never nasal before doubled nn and mm, or before other vowels.

5. The letter "c" behaves as hard as in English. As a rule, it is read as "k". But before the letters -e, -i, -y, it reads like "c". But if it has a "tail", then it is always read as "c". For example, comme ça (com) - so.

This is not all the rules of reading French. This is not even all of its main provisions. But do not try to take French by storm. Read the rules of reading in small portions. The main difficulty for most students is not in the rules themselves, but in the fact that they incorrectly dose information. Let's say the pronunciation of the letter "e" is better to devote one lesson entirely, without being distracted by other sounds. Studying the rules of reading the French language in bulk, you run the risk of reaching a conclusion to which not one student came: "it's too complicated."

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