Practice your French pronunciation online

In this article, we’ll practice your pronunciation together.

Before beginning, it should be mentioned that many French letters and words are produced in the throat rather than in the mouth.

So, how can I produce sounds from the throat? One tip is to put a pen in between your lips. This will force you to produce the sounds with the throat. More on this later 😊

Now, let’s begin by looking at the alphabet. We’ll then focus on the pronunciation of different phrases.

The French alphabet

Many letters are similar to their English counterparts.

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z

U and O

Let’s begin by looking at “U” in a context.

  • Il n’y a aucune solution – There is no solution.
  • Cette rue – This road
  • Il est russe – He is Russian.

Do you find it difficult to pronounce these phrases? Then, repeat the phrases several times.

Remind yourself that the sound should come from your throat rather than from your mouth.

Nasal sounds and R

Nasal sounds and R tend to be a problem for many French learners, regardless of their mother tongue.

Let us practice by using “on.” “On” is a very important pronoun, and we usually translate this pronoun with “We” or “It.”

  • On va au travail – We are going to work
  • On veut te parler  – We want to talk with you

It is very important to pronounce “on” as a nasal sound. The pen trick that I mentioned earlier is an effective tool to take away the sounds that comes from the mouth.

The French R

The French R stands out from other letters in terms of pronunciation. I don’t want to discourage you, but you are not done after producing the French R correctly. Why?

Because many words that include R are difficult to say even after you’ve mastered pronouncing this letter.

But don’t worry, we’ll practice together 😊.

Let’s begin by looking at two difficult phrases:

  • Elle va vous prescrire un medicament – She’ll prescribe you some medicine
  • Je vais vous inscrire – I will sign you up

Let’s look at two phrases that combine the nasal sounds and the French R:

  • On va regarder une série – We are going to watch a series
  • On rit en racontant une histoire – We laugh while telling a story.

Don’t be discouraged if you find it too difficult. These phrases should be difficult to produce correctly.

Beginners tend to focus on the things that they have already mastered, especially when it comes to difficult words.

In this article, we’ll try to do the opposite 😊.

Let’s continue by focusing on the vowels and instances when two vowels are pronounced one after the other.


  • A
  • E
  • I
  • O
  • U
  • Sometimes Y

Ok, “A” and “I” are usually quite easy to say.

“E” and “O” are completely new sounds for many French learners.

“U” is also difficult. We have already talked about this latter. It’s a very common letter, and it’s included in many common words.

Last but not least, “Y” is a new letter for the vast majority of all French learners. This simple letter even includes “R” in its pronunciation.

In French, we usually want to avoid pronouncing two vowels one after the other. It does not sound good, and there are many exceptions in the grammar rules to get around this problem.

Let’s look at an example:

  • J’aime ma amie – I like my friend

This is an example of how two “a” is pronounced one after the other.

This sentence is grammatically incorrect. However, it should be correct because “une amie” is a feminine noun, preceded by “ma.”

The problem is that the sentence does not sound good. Try saying this phrase instead:

  • J’aime mon amie

This one sound much better. Why? Because now we have an “n” as the last letter before “amie.” 

Another important aspect is that we can pronounce different parts of a word if the first letter following this word is a vowel. “Mon ami” is an excellent example of this.

It can, however, sound a bit difficult in theory. So let’s see what it looks like in practice:

  • Je suis très énervé – I am very angry

The ”s” in ”très” is usually not pronounced. However, in this case, we can say the whole phrase. Why? Because “énervé” begins with a vowel.

Let’s look at a sentence where the opposite is true:

  • On se sent très tristes – We feel sad

In this case, we can’t pronounce the “s.” Why? Because “Tristes” begins with a “T,” which is not a vowel.

Do you find this logical or confusing? Don’t worry if you find it difficult to understand.

I wanted to mention this phenomenon because it is highly present in French.

When you watch a series or a film, you might be able to recognize it.

The difference between theory and practice

There is a huge difference between the French that they teach us in the classroom and the French they speak on the streets of Paris.

I think I can say with certainty that every person who has studied this language becomes choked when they realize how difficult it is to understand native speakers.

Sometimes this insight comes after having studied French for many years.

There are many reasons for this. Let’s begin with simple verbs and their differences:

  • Je fais – J’fais
  • Je suis – chui

You should learn the French that they teach you in the classrooms. It gives you a good foundation to master this language.

However, you should also be aware of the informal version of this language.

Let’s continue with more examples.

When using a negation, native speakers tend to drop the “ne” almost always in informal conversations.

This can make certain phrases sound very different. For instance:

  • Je ne sais pas – I don’t know
  • J’sais pas –

The translation of these two sentences is the same. However, they sound very different. Let’s look at another example:

  • Je ne fais pas d’erreurs – I don’t make mistakes
  • J’fais pas d’erreurs –

We could almost go on forever talking about the differences. This short introduction is sufficient for now.

You must be aware of the short pronunciations in daily conversations.

You have plenty of time to master it when you feel ready to understand native speakers 😊.

How you can improve your pronunciation

The pen-trick that I mentioned at the beginning of this article works very well.

You can do it with pretty much any letter and word.

It forces you to activate different parts of your vocal system.

I have done it for many of the words and letters that I’ve listed in this article.

And I am very satisfied with the improvement I’ve made over the years.

It is also important to mention that you need to speak. Sounds like basic advice, huh?

However, many students tend to focus more on grammar and understanding different words.

Some students don’t want to speak in front of others. However, from my personal experience, many students avoid speaking French even when they are alone.

You need to practice often. I would say that there are two main methods to improve your pronunciation:

  1. The pen-trick
  2. Singing

Singing works extraordinarily well. It is also quite amusing. There are many French songs that you can learn.

You have access to the lyrics on many different platforms. In addition, there are also many platforms where you can look at the translation of a song. This will help you to understand the context better.

Do you have more tricks that you use? Please leave a comment if that’s the case.


This article could have been much longer. Instead, I wanted to write a rather short article and focus on the things that have helped me the most.

I’ve listed some important rules that you should be aware of. Sometimes students don’t get the sounds right because they are not aware of the nasal sounds.

Some students have not learned to use their throats when pronouncing certain letters and words.

This is not something that you’ll learn overnight. However, now you know how you can develop your ability to sound more fluent.

I’ve talked a lot about the pen-trick in this article. It really works. You should use a pen when you practice.

I’ve tried to practice without it, but it’s not the same. Even when we try to use our throat, we tend to also use the tongue and mouth.

However, with the pen, this becomes difficult 😊.

Please leave a comment if you have a question. As I’ve already said, many different areas require explanation.

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