The purpose of this guide is to help learners of French improve their practical and theoretic knowledge of French pronunciation. While it is indeed our intention to increase students' knowledge of key vocabulary and concepts pertaining to phonetics, we are particularly interested in ensuring that the information presented in this guide helps students improve their oral skills. As such, we draw attention to both the correct way to articulate French sounds and to errors that should be avoided (based largely on potential interference from English).
A strong emphasis is placed on phonetic transcription as we believe it to be an important means for students to avoid errors due to the great distance that exists between written and spoken French norms. By the end of a 13-week course based on this guide, students should be able to transcribe and correctly articulate all French words and phrases.
Each chapter includes extensive interactive exercises for key concepts and relevant transcriptions (with correct answers supplied). Audio examples and exercises are also provided. Students should complete all exercises before moving on to the next chapter. Chapters are designed to be followed in sequence, though other orders may also be deemed appropriate.
This guide is intended to be used by second language learners of French (primarily anglophones) at the intermediate level in North American colleges and universities. The content of this guide can be covered during a one-semester course and may be supplemented with oral exercises provided by the instructor.
Standard French Pronunciation
The linguistic variety targeted in this guide is standard French as described in standard reference guides and as spoken by most francophones in semi-formal situations. On occasion, reference to regional variants is made (e.g.: Quebec French).