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Intermediate French: Understanding spoken French
Intermediate French: Understanding spoken French

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6 Using your knowledge of features of spoken French

In this section, you will meet Franz. Naturally-occurring speech is often quite fast. As a result, some sounds tend to be inaudible, and others merge into each other. As you will see in the next series of activities, being aware of some of the features of authentic spoken French can help you develop your listening skills.

Described image
Figure 5 Franz

Activity 26

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Listen to the first part of the clip featuring Franz Lemaître (up to ‘le hongrois’) and complete the table.

Nom et prénomLemaître, Franz
Profession
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Lieu de travail
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Age
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Origine
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Naturalisé
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Langue maternelle
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Autre langues
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Words: 0
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Answer

Nom et prénomLemaître, Franz
ProfessionInterprète
Lieu de travailBruxelles (commission européenne)
Age43
OrigineBelge
NaturaliséLuxembourgeois
Langue maternelleFrançais
Autre languesAllemand, anglais, néerlandais, espagnol, suedois, hongrois

Activity 27

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Listen to the full clip. Tick the following words and phrases as you hear them:

a. 

je suis interprète


b. 

quarante-trois ans


c. 

mes études


d. 

douze ans


e. 

le hongrois


f. 

navetteur


g. 

nous avons un fils


h. 

qui est à présent


i. 

mes amis


j. 

je suis un être


k. 

dont on ne sait pas


l. 

sens de l’humour


m. 

ce qui est important


n. 

l’harmonie


o. 

le respect mutuel


The correct answers are a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n and o.

Activity 28

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Listen again and pause the recording when you hear the following words and phrases. What do you notice about Franz’s pronunciation in connected speech of words whose final consonant would be silent if the word was spoken in isolation?

je suis interprète

quarante-trois ans

mes études

nous avons un fils

qui est à présent

mes amis

je suis un être

ce qui est important

Answer

Word-final consonants, such as ‘s’, ‘t’ and ‘n’, which would be silent in isolation are pronounced in connected speech when the following word begins with a vowel :

je suis_interprète

quarante-trois_ans

mes_études

nous_avons un fils

qui est_à présent

mes_amis

je suis_un_être

ce qui est_important

You will have noticed that in a liaison the letter ‘s’ is pronounced as the sound [z]