10 basic rules of French pronunciation


The pronunciation in French is one of the aspects that most resists the Spaniards when we are learning this language. Something quite rare considering that, like Spanish, this language comes from Latin. French is the second most studied language in Spain (only followed by English), so we can’t let this continue to happen.

To fix this, in this article we’ve put together 10 basic pronunciation rules that will help you speak better in French. These rules will help you perfect the language, even more so if you put it into practice by talking to someone native, either on your next trip or taking a language course in France.


The 10 basic rules of pronunciation


1. First rule: “The E”


This letter is the cause of many of the problems of pronunciation of French. It has 3 different shades:the bass accent ( s), the circumflex (A) and the treble (é). They are pronounced similarly to the Spanish “E”, but depending on whether the accent is severe or sharp, the pronunciation must be more open or more closed respectively. On the other hand, there is also the “E” without an accent, which is mute at the end of the words and if it is at the beginning or between it sounds like a mixture of “E” and “O”.


2. Second rule: “The C”


This letter doesn’t fall behind either. The third letter of the alphabet has a crumb, and it is that when it is before the “E” or the “I” (or when it bears the “A” box)it sounds as if it were an “S”. Also, the CH in French has a softer sound than in Spanish and must be pronounced more or less as sh in English. All this except when preceding “L”, “N” or “R”, in such cases should be treated as if it were a K.


3. Third rule: “The R”


I’m sure you’ve ever tried to imitate the French accent and pronounced the “R” as if it were a “G.” Well, keep doing it! That’s what it should sound like.


4. Fourth rule: The “G”


This letter has the same sound as in Spanish, except when it goes in front of “E” or “I”. In this case it transforms and sounds like the French “J” (something similar to our “LL”. It is also important to know that the form “GN” is pronounced as our classic letter “A” (Espagnol, for example)


5. Fifth rule: The “PH”


This is one of the easiest rules to memorize. Just remember that this combination is pronounced as the letter “F” (Photographie, philosophie…)


6. Sixth rule: Vowels


In the first of the rules we went ahead with the “E”, since it is worthy of its own section, but the truth is that when speaking French you must pay attention to all vowels. The “O”, “AU” and “UAE” are pronounced as the vowel “O”, while the combination “OU” has the same sound as our “U”. “OI” should be pronounced as “UA” and “EU” and “OEU” as if you were pronouncing at the same time the E and the U. Special mention to the vowels that are followed by “M” and “N”, since they should sound as if you have your nose covered.


7. Seventh Rule: Terminations


The vast majority of the “E” and “S” are not pronounced. Also, the ending “-ENT” (third plural person), is also mute. And also some consonants!


8.Eighth rule: The dieresis


The French dieresis is used as in Spanish to destroy combinations between vowels. In this way, each will be part of a different syll and sound independently.


9. Ninth Rule: Acute Words


In French all words are sharp,so the tonic accent falls on the last syllroom. Although there are always some exceptions… As we have mentioned above, if the words end in “E”, it does not have to be pronounced so the accent falls on the vowel that precedes it. This also affects words that are modified by verbal endings or by the form of the plural.


10. Tenth rule: Liaison


This is how the words that link his last syllable to the first of the next are known in French. In these cases itmust pronounce as if it were a single word. This happens whenever one word ends with the silent “E” and the next one starts with the “H”, which is also mute. In this way, “Les amis” will sound like “Lesami”


There are many other aspects to consider, but these are the main ones. Now that you know them, it’s time to put them into practice. And what better way to do it than traveling to France with Ynsitu. Don’t miss out on our language courses abroad!


6 tricks to improve your English pronunciation

When you start learning a new language, you may sometimes feel that pronunciation is an obstacle to developing your language skills. Even if you’ve long since started learning it, sometimes you may feel unable to pronounce well. If you’re in one of these situations and you’re looking for a remedy for it, don’t worry. With the tricks we’re going to give you next, you’ll improve your pronunciation and feel able to have a conversation without any problem.

Forget Spanish altogether

It seems like the most typical tip and probably one of what you’ve already been given, but it’s totally true. Generally, most people who have difficulty pronunciation of English have very in mind how it is spoken in their native language. So when they try to have a conversation in another language without straying from their own, they pronounce as they would in Spanish.

It is true that when you start learning a new language, at first it is difficult to get out of our comfort zone and that is why we hold on to what we already know. But it is a serious mistake, because the pronunciation in English is completely different from that of Spanish. Pronouncing incorrectly can cause us frustration and little by little, we will find it more difficult to let go when talking, so this trick is so important.

When searching for words in the dictionary, also be interested in pronunciation

In dictionaries not only the meanings of words appear, in many of them also appear the pronunciation of these.

It is one of the tricks that is less considered, but it can be very interesting and effective. A good way to start learning English is to be interested not only in the meaning of words, but also in their pronunciation when we look for them in the dictionary. In this way we not only learn how it is pronounced, but we will also begin to learn how the phonemes and sounds of English are represented and further enrich our knowledge

Listen to the pronunciation of each word and repeat it

Currently, there are hundreds of pages where you can write a word and hear its pronunciation. The best known of them all is Google’s own translator. This online tool allows us, not only to translate the words, but also gives us the option to listen to them at the click of a click.

In addition to listening to how it is pronounced, it is very beneficial to repeat as many times as you need that word. This will make it much easier to remember when you have to use it some other time.

Listen to music and watch series in English

It is one of the tips that is most repeated when someone starts studying English, and at the same time the one that is most ignored. The fear of not understanding what is said makes us think twice about whether to put the film, series or song, but if you don’t try you’ll never know if you’re capable.

Don’t worry if you think your English skills are still too low to know everything perfectly. Currently, thanks to platforms like Netflix or HBO,we have a lot of movies or series of different categories and degrees of difficulty to start watching them according to your level. Don’t worry if at first you don’t understand most of what you’re hearing, it happens to all of us. Subtitles will become your best ally!

And as for music, any English-speaking group is perfectly valid to start working with pronunciation. A very good idea, is to visualize the lyrics of the song while listening to it and repeat this process as many times as you need until you strengthen the pronunciation of the words a little.

Watch the score and intonation

Like pronunciation, English scoring and intonation is totally different from Spanish. Generally, in English the phrases are made much shorter than in Spanish and depending on the type of phrase (interrogative, affirmative, exclamative…) it is intones in one way or another.

The tricks we’ve shown you above will help you differentiate the variety of intonations that exist and how important they are if you want to have a perfect pronunciation.

Relate to English-speaking people.

The most useful advice we can give you: speak as much as you can in English and if possible with natives. You may be embarrassed at first or think you’re doing it wrong, but making a mistake is when we learn the most.

If you don’t know anyone who speaks English, don’t worry. In most of the city, there are cafes, bars and different establishments where language exchanges take out. This way both sides win: you teach your partner Spanish, while they teach you English.

And it’s not just about learning, it’s also about meeting people and making new friends,immersing yourself in different cultures.

Now that you know the tricks, it’s time to put them into practice!.. and there’s no better way to learn than to know a new country. That’s why in Ynsitu we offer you hundreds of possibilities to get to know other countries while learning a new language. Travel with us and enjoy our language courses abroad!

5 pronunciation tips for perfect Italian

5 consejos de pronunciación para un perfecto italiano

Although there are many similarities between the Castilian and Italian languages, there are certain aspects that must be taken care of when expressing ourselves. If you want to improve your pronunciation in Italian and communicate like an authentic native the next time you travel for sightseeing
or an Italian course,
stay and we will teach you a few tips.

Know phonetics

When you start studying a new language, have some basic notions about phonetics helps you better understand how words are pronounced. On the Internet you can find a large multitude of Dictionaries that will serve as a reference for listening to the correct pronunciation. These types of dictionaries give you the possibility to listen to the word and see its phonetic transcription.

Pronounce double consonants

By imitating Italians by speaking, we make the mistake of marking their accent at will. What the vast majority do not know, is that this characteristic accent is marked by the double consonants. If you manage to master the Italian pronunciation of the double consonants and apply it only when it is due, you will get a perfect accent.

There are two ways to pronounce them, in the word “mamma”, for example, you have to pronounce both “m” separately (Mam-ma). On the contrary, in words such as “notte” in which it is more difficult to do the above, a small pause must be made before the consonant to lengthen the sound of the “t”.

Accentuation of words

In the Castilian language there are words that are accentuated in different syllables, guided by the rules of accentuation that mark us where we have to place the voice blow. In Italian, however, there is only a type of graphic accent In sharp words, for the rest of words you have to have very good memory and retain the accent your accent as there are no rules that guide. One thing to keep in mind is that in Italian there are more sdrújulas words than in Spanish so you should not be surprised if you find one and they do not sound the same as we would pronounce it in Spanish.

Pronunciation of the letter “C”

For Spanish speakers it is very important to use the letter “C” in Italian, since depending on the combination its pronunciation will be completely different. If the “C” is in front of the vowels “a”, “o”, “u” is pronounced as in Spanish. However, if you are in front of the vowels “e”, “i” is pronounced as “che”, “chi”. Important fact! When we find the groups of letters “che”, “chi” in Italian are pronounced as “ke”, “ki”, never as we pronounce it in Spanish.

Pronunciation of the letters “Z” and “S” in Italian

When we find an “S” in front of a vowel or a sound consonant we must pronounce it more strongly than in the Castilian language. On the other hand, when it appears combined with the letter “c” forming the group “sc” we must pronounce it as “shhh” in front of the vocal groups “ia”, “e”, “i”, “io”, “iu”. A sound very similar to the one we make when we send someone to shut up.

The “Z” also has a very particular sound in Italian. Although it may seem a little strange or difficult to pronounce, with this trick you will surely master it. When you see the letter “Z” remember that it corresponds to “ts” or “ds” and you will see how you no longer have trouble pronouncing it.

Last but not least, remember that you are learning a new language and that you can afford to make some mistake. The most important thing is lose your shame, themore confident you have in yourself the better your Italian pronunciation will sound and the more confidence you will generate.

Now that you know these pronunciation tricks you just have to put them into practice. Ynsitu

offers you the possibility to travel to Italy and improve your language by doing one of its many courses abroad

. Cheer up!