4 Pronouncing the sound [R]
You will now look at the pronunciation of the sound [R] in French.
Listen to the recording and choose the words in which the letter ‘r’ is sounded.
Rome – Paris – habiter – carrefour – droite – sortez – avenue – rue – théâtre – cours – toilettes – trois – aimer
The correct answers are a, b, d, e, f, h, i, j and l.
You should have ticked: Rome, Paris, Carrefour, droite, sortez, rue, théâtre, cours and trois.
Now listen to the recording below. You will practise the pronunciation of words containing a sounded ‘r’ (the sound [R]). Listen to each word and repeat in the gaps.
You will have seen in this section quite a few words that contain an ‘r’-sound’: carrefour (twice), tournez, prenez, droite, and so on. The sound [ʀ] is pronounced at the back of the throat. To produce this sound, put the tip of your tongue against the back of your lower teeth. Vibrate your vocal cords (as if gargling) without moving your tongue. You might find it easier to start practising it with a vowel sound in front of it such as in the following words:
bar, mère, lire (to read), sœur, sur, pour, patinoire
Then move on to practise [ʀ] followed by a vowel sound, as in the following words:
rue, route, tourisme, mairie, riz, retour
And finally practise with the following words where the [ʀ] is preceded by a consonant:
près, prenez, très, trop, droite, cathédrale