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24 February 2012

This damn French 'R'


Why the French language needs to complicate things by including a 'R' sound that is near impossible to pronounce, I'll never know. Words that begin with the letter 'R' are not too bad, I can roll off 'ravi' and 'remplir'. But words that fit in an R throughout the word like 'prendre' I struggle with. And don't even get me started on words like the one for locksmith 'serrurier' - it's just not going to happen. God forbid I ever lock myself out in a French speaking country.

The linguistic guru Steve Kauffman assures us that this, like any new sound will eventually come naturally. So I imagine that one day I'll be wandering around the house chatting on the phone to all my French speaking friends and 'Voila!', out of my mouth will emerge the perfect rolling, phlegm-rattling 'R' sound. Doves will fly from the trees, unicorns will prance in elation, and all the French speaking people of the world will dab tears from their overcome eyes, at its perfection.

In an effort to bring this about avec la vitesse, and claim my fluency tiara, I have arranged to have a lesson via Skype with Erika from France in return for 30 minutes of English conversation practice. I'm sure her language skills will be far superior to mine, but I have decided to not worry about the grammar, or the tenses. Instead, I will just try to communicate, enjoy the experience of chatting with a native speaker and hopefully make a new friend.

Souhaite-moi bonne chance!

1 comment:

  1. My partner did this face to face for years with various people. It doesn't matter that your level is different. You both get great skills by just talking.

    My partner is Regis and people here in Australia have a really hard time pronouncing his name. We are French Australian :-)

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