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Learn Sounds before Grammar

Language is made up of sounds that have meaning. Crazy, right? I studied phonetics in college and it was one of the most interesting courses. My instructor taught us the IPA, International Phonetic Alphabet and it was a complete game changer. I remember my French Professor actually write out a whole passage in IPA with a secret message/question and we received extra credit if we could answer the IPA message by responding in French.

Here's a question in French written in IPA [u va ty sə swar?] Où vas tu ce soir? By learning these sounds, as an English speaker, what is one thing you noticed about French sounds? Can you guess it? The final "s" wasn't pronounced. As you deep digger into French, there are exemptions, le fils, son, [fis] but you have to start somewhere. Other examples include, the cats, les chats, [le ʃa], Paris, Paris [paʀi]. Understanding, hearing and producing these sounds makes you more understandable and sharpens your ear to the spoken language and to those natives who talk a mile a minute. I recommend starting with the vowels, notice patterns in vowel combinations. Learning a language is a very active process, yet passive.

It requires focus and bravery.

As for grammar, I'll touch up on that later. For now, get your mouth and ear familiar with the language you're studying!

[bɔn] [ʃɑ̃s] !!! BONNE CHANCE! ❤

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