In this lesson we are going to discover two new French sounds: au/eau and oi, and learn how to pronounce ‘au revoir’.
The sound ‘au’ / ‘eau’
As stated in our previous lesson on the sounds ‘on’ and ‘ou’, some letters do form new sounds when combined in French, and the sounds ‘au’ and ‘eau’ are part of them.
When altogether, the letters ‘au’ and ‘eau’ are pronounced like the French vowel ‘o’: o.
‘au’ in French is an article which is a shortened form of ‘à le’ and basically means /at the/.
‘eau’ on its side is a feminine noun which translates to /water/.
The sound ‘oi’
The sound ‘oi’ on its side is a diphtong.
It is pronounced: oi.
It sounds close to the English prononciation of ‘o’ at the beginning of ‘one’.
Now it should be pretty straightforward:
The ‘v’ in French is pronounced similarly to the English ‘v’, and the French ‘r’ was addressed in our previous lesson.
So try it now: ‘voir’.
You should get something close to: voir.
‘voir’ in itself is a verb and translates to /to see/.
Next we have ‘re’. Yo ushould have got the ‘r’ now, and the ‘e’ is pronounced e.
Try this one now: ‘re’.
This one should sound like this: re
‘re’ is a prefix meaning /again/. It is like the English ‘re’ in ‘replay’ or ‘restart’.
And for ‘revoir’, concatenate the two syllables above: revoir
And you may have guessed it from the translations above, ‘revoir’ is a verb and means /to see again/.
Finally you should now be able to pronounce ‘au revoir’, try it.
Here is how you may have pronounced it: au revoir
‘au revoir’ is a set expression used when departing from someone and is the equivalent of /see you again/ or /goodbye/. It translates literally to /at the (next time we) see again/.
For the quote, here is one example of former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (quite challenging to pronounce ^^) saying ‘au revoir’ when leaving his function:
With these first two lessons you should now be able to pronounce quite a few French words:
|revoir||/to see again/|
|au revoir||/Goodbye/, /See you again./|
This is the end for this lesson. I hope you enjoyed it. Please do not hesitate to leave a comment on the blog, or either on Tweeter, Facebook or Google+.