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French Nasal Vowel Sounds Print E-mail
Basic French - Basic French Pronunciation

Nasal vowels are one of the most recognizable features of a French accent. They are pretty much the rugular vowel sounds (ah, eh, oh, uh) pronounced nasally: the air comes out of the mouth AND nose while these vowel sounds are pronounced. There are four nasal vowels in French. They can all be found in a single French phrase: un bon vin blanc (uhn bohn vehn blahn) = a good white wine. Each time the "n" is not fully pronounced, but rather the vowel that preceeds it is pronounced through the nose. Nasal vowels can be spelled with either an "n" or an "m" following the vowel. This does not make any difference for pronunciation. In pronunciation guides nasal vowels are usually marked with a superscript n after the vowels.

Letter

Pronounced

Examples

an, en/emĀ 

ahn

France (frahns) = France

entrer (ahn-treh) = enter

emmener (ahn-muh-neh) = to take along

in/im, ain/aim, ein/eim, ien, oin

ehn

vin (vehn) = wine

vain (vehn) = vain

faim (fehn) = hunger

sein (sehn) = bosom

rien (ryehn) = nothing

loin (lwehn) = far

on/om, ion

ohn

bon (bohn) = good

tomber (tohn-beh) = to fall

station (stah-syohn) = station, stop

un/um

uhn

un (uhn) = one, a

parfum (pahr-fuhn) = perfume

 
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