Any Word In Any Language That Doesnt Hava A Vowel Getting to Grips With French "Nasal" Vowels

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Getting to Grips With French "Nasal" Vowels

The difficulty with French pronunciation is that speakers of this language use only oral vowels in which air comes out of the mouth and the so-called “nasal” (more precisely, nosed) vowels in which some air also comes out of the nose.

English and many other languages ​​also have vowels that are nasalized under certain circumstances. If you touch your nose while saying an English word a lotyou will probably feel a tingling in your nose at the beginning of the word: this is because subconsciously you are actually holding your nose. a vowel. But nasalization of vowels in English is not like that contrasting: a nasalized vowel is not considered a “different vowel” by English speakers, and you can’t turn one word into another by simply nasalizing the vowel. On the other hand, nasalization of vowels in French is contrasted: a nasalized vowel is treated by speakers as a “different vowel” and you can invert the word and say. the sea Enter the word (“bucket”). my son (“sound”) by nasalizing the vowel “o”.

Standard French today has three nasal vowels:

  1. A nosed front a sound, usually represented in writing in, ain, ein, unor as little in compounds yen and one. This vowel is pronounced by bringing your mouth and tongue closer to British English a sounds like apple (so the tongue is relatively forward and the mouth is relatively wide open), but allows air to pass through the mouth as well as through the nose. For example words: vin (“wine”), pain (“bread”), paint (“draw”) flour (“one, a”), bien (“good”) Europe (“Europe”).

  2. A back-nosed a sound, usually written one or littlewhom one (“year”), they are crushed (“teeth”), Henry (“Henry”). This vowel is pronounced with the mouth and tongue in a position similar to Southern England English there isbut with air passing through the nose as well as through the mouth.

  3. A nosed he voiceis usually written aboutwhom good (“good”) my son (“voice; his/their etc.”).

If your English accent doesn’t have the “back a” as in Southern UK English pronunciation there isOne way to approach vowel (2) is to first pronounce vowel (3), the nasal “o”, but then open your mouth wider and “open” (open) your lips a little: the vowel becomes more of an “a”. -like”, but the tongue is still towards the back of the mouth.

In all of these letter combinations n as it is actually written m first of all b or p, but the same nasal vowel is still pronounced. So that camera (“bedroom”) is pronounced with a second nasal vowel as if written circle; timbales (“kettle drums”) is pronounced as written tinbaleswith a nasal vowel (1).

Historically, a vowel was written flour (as in flour“one” or brown“brown”) or um (as in humble, “modest”) was actually pronounced differently from the vowel (1). And so a number of dictionaries and textbooks still make this distinction. But nowadays, very few speakers do this, and what is considered the “standard” pronunciation of French consists of the three nasal vowels listed above. flour and hey (or brown and brin) is pronounced the same way.

Here are some tips for pronouncing nasal vowels in French

  • It is a common mistake to think that nasal vowels are pronounced with air only trying to “stop the sounds” that flow from the nose and come out of the mouth as you pronounce them. In fact, nasal vowels are still vowels: in addition to some air coming out of the nose, air flows freely through the mouth. (That’s why “nasal,” which is often used in dictionaries and textbooks, isn’t actually a very good term for these vowels: “nasal” implies that air flows only through the nose.)

  • If you distinguish between nasal and non-nasal vowels correctly, you should only feel a vibration during nasal vowels (and nasal consonants) when you touch your nose. n and mas in the first sound no or mère). That is, when you say the words good, my son, you should feel a vibration in your nose; but when you say nice, the seayou should not feel any vibration in your nose.

  • For vowels (1) and (3), you can practice saying pairs of words that differ in whether the vowels are nasalized or not: e.g. bas/bain, ma/main (Vowel 1) and mot/mon, seau/son (Vowel 3).

  • practice pronouncing phrases with all three vowels, such as Un pants [1-2-a-3] or mon vin blanc [3-1-2].

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