One of the most difficult things non-French speakers all agree on when learning French is the pronunciation.
You’ll often hear French learners grumbling about:
- how to pronounce the letter u’s and the r’s,
- how to let the French words roll off the tongue without sounding funny, and
- how to say certain French words that almost seem impossible to pronounce.
In some cases, these words are too difficult to say that you’d probably just have to avoid altogether any scenario that requires you to say the particular word, otherwise you’d go:
We asked the Talk in French community on Facebook to share the French words that they have the most difficulty pronouncing. The response was overwhelming! So here in this article, we’ve listed down the answers you shared and we’ll also provide you with a free audio that you can download---and listen to---to help you with the pronunciation.
We have narrowed down the list to 120 words which will be spread out into a series of 4 articles, with 30 words for each article.
Time to learn how to pronounce difficult words in French!
|Accueil||a welcome or reception||(0:00 min)|
|Août||August, as in the month||(0:42 min)|
|Apparaîtrions||to appear (conditional)||(0:53 min)|
|Aucun/aucune||non, no one, neither (can be used as an adjective or a pronoun)||(1:31 min)|
|Barbès-Rochechouart||a station in the Paris Metro which is located in the junction of of Boulevard Barbes which is named after Armand Barbès (a revolutionary), and Boulevard de Rochechouart (after Marguerite de Rochechouart, the abbess).||(1:52 min)|
|Barbu||when used as an adjective, it means “bearded”. If as a noun, it means a big, bearded guy.||(2:07 min)|
|Biscuit||this is a small, flat baked goodie which is also referred to as cookie in the USA, and sometimes, cracker, in British English.||(2:18 min)|
|Cadeau||cadeau is a gift or a present||(3:04 min)|
|Gâteau||gateau is cake||(3:14 min)|
|Cahors||Cahors is a town in South Western France that is famous for its wine.||(3:24 min)|
|Chirurgie, Chirurgien(ne)||Surgery, surgeon||(4:10 min)|
|Cou vs cul||Cou is neck while cul means ass or bum||(5:06 min)|
|Croissant||crescent; the crescent-shaped pastry||(5:39 min)|
|Cueillie||picked or plucked||(5:50 min)|
|de rien||you’re welcome; it’s nothing||(6:07 min)|
|de, le, un||articles and prepositions. de= of/from, le=the, and un=a||(6:18 min)|
|Débrouiller||a verb that means to sort out, untangle or manage something||(6:43 min)|
To download a copy of the audio, subscribe to the newsletter by clicking the photo below. If you have already subscribed before, check again the dropbox link I shared when you subscribed; you’ll see that the file is already there.
Did your submitted word make it to this list? There’s still parts 2, 3, and 4 of difficult words to pronounce. Don’t forget to check it out, too.
See you there!