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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2004, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Wink aidez moi avec mon francais!

ok. I have been studying and have 4 questions... please answer them for me mon francais amis ici! they are very general questions but i just need them cleared up!


1) Do "Sans" (without) and "Sont" (are) both make the same sound?
do i pronounce the 't' in Sont? i have been pronouncing the 't'

2) If Sont means "are" ....'etes' also means are? but sont is used for 'we' ... as in "Nous sont".... or "Nous etes"? .... or is etes only used in "Vous"... i often hear
"vous etes".

3) Is it considered very akward if someone starts talking to you using 'Vous'?

4) if i was to say Je me sens (i feel) .... when pronounced does that not sound like "i house"? ... i am far to afraid to talk french to anyone because of these little issues. i am sure there are other similarities in sounds.... what are others and how can i tell the difference?

Merci Beaucoup!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2004, 09:22 PM
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1) not the same sound!
Don't pronounce the t of sont

2) nous sommes, vous êtes, ils sont ... sommes, êtes and sont = are in english

3) To speak to a person you don't know or to someone when there's a "force difference" (e.g. a teacher,...) you must use "Vous" that's the polite form

4) Je me sens isn't at all like "I house"... but I don't know to tell another way of saying lol

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2004, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Melb
ok. I have been studying and have 4 questions... please answer them for me mon francais amis ici! they are very general questions but i just need them cleared up!


1) Do "Sans" (without) and "Sont" (are) both make the same sound?
do i pronounce the 't' in Sont? i have been pronouncing the 't'

2) If Sont means "are" ....'etes' also means are? but sont is used for 'we' ... as in "Nous sont".... or "Nous etes"? .... or is etes only used in "Vous"... i often hear
"vous etes".

3) Is it considered very akward if someone starts talking to you using 'Vous'?

4) if i was to say Je me sens (i feel) .... when pronounced does that not sound like "i house"? ... i am far to afraid to talk french to anyone because of these little issues. i am sure there are other similarities in sounds.... what are others and how can i tell the difference?

Merci Beaucoup!
Hi,
I'm not French but I live here and speak the language. Here goes:

1) No.
"sans" rhymes with "vent" as in "vol-au-vENt" or "restaurANt"
"sont" (the "t" is silent and the n is too) rhymes with "maison" "ombre" "dion" (as in Céline).

2) forget the idea of a 1 to 1 correspondance between English words and French words. "are" has "es"/"sommes"/"êtes" or "sont" depending on who you are talking about. In English you say "am" with I and "is" with he, it or she and are with the rest (you, we, they). In French, it's something different for all the "are" situations: tu (you when it's personal) es, nous (we) sommes, vous (you when there is more than one or you want to be professional/formal) êtes and ils/elles (they) sont.

3) It depends in the context. It's normal professionally or in shops. If it's a social situation and it's someone your own age, then you use "tu". Normally just use whatever someone uses to you but using "vous" is a neat way of saying "back off" to someone who uses "tu" and you don't want to get friendly with them.

4) No.
In "je me sens", "me" is pronounced to rhyme with "the" and "sens" rhymes with "sans" (see above) The s is a ssss sound. In maison "mai", rhymes with lait (as in "café au lait"), the "s" is a zzzz sound and "on" rhymes with "sont" (see above)

Listen to as much French as you can, especially pop music like ballads where the lyrics are slow enough to follow. For what it's worth, you're asking all the right questions!

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2004, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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brilliant... thanks guys... especially Andy... you really seem to understand where i am coming from... i may have to read what you wrote a few more times though...

I think i understand Sans and Sont now.... Sans uses more 'a' in the sound accoring to the french alphabet 'a' sounds like english 'e'... Sont is now clear to me.
I understood your explanation.... Je Me Sens uses ..ssss, and Maison is mayZon. so there is a difference.


Can you suggest slow french songs to listen to? ones that don't have extreme variations in tone that will confuse me? --- that way i can learn better.
Modern or old.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2004, 10:15 PM
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try Natasha St-Pier or Axelle Red, they are very well known and you can find their songs lyrics in several fans websites...
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2004, 11:57 PM
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You can try Ginette Reno or Marie-Elaine Thibert
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 02:27 AM
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Or Queen Celine Dion......Isabelle Boulay also!

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Melb
brilliant... thanks guys... especially Andy... you really seem to understand where i am coming from... i may have to read what you wrote a few more times though...

I think i understand Sans and Sont now.... Sans uses more 'a' in the sound accoring to the french alphabet 'a' sounds like english 'e'... Sont is now clear to me.
I understood your explanation.... Je Me Sens uses ..ssss, and Maison is mayZon. so there is a difference.


Can you suggest slow french songs to listen to? ones that don't have extreme variations in tone that will confuse me? --- that way i can learn better.
Modern or old.
Or Lara Fabian , Véronique Sanson, Julie Zenatti, Céline Dion, Liane Foly, Chimène Badi, Nolwenn Leroy,...

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"When you do your best, it's always good enough" - Kim Clijsters

"No matter what happens, you have to try to stay positive, bad things can happen, but if you try to stay positive, something positive will come out of it…I believe that everything happens for a reason" - Kim Clijsters


"Goed is de ergste vijand van zeer goed" - Pascal Smet

"Als je iemand idealiseert, verlies je het contact met de werkelijkheid"

"Ca s’apprend par la souffrance, ça s’apprend par les déceptions, ça s’apprend par la densité du mal que ça te fait, plus ça te fait mal et plus ça te fait grandir. Y a des moments où tu te dis je ne vais pas le supporter, ça, ça fait trop mal, et pourtant tu passes au travers."
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdpoulin1
Or Queen Celine Dion......Isabelle Boulay also!
Isabelle has a Canadian accent, which in itself is very cute, but it's not good for learning the French pronunciation .

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Melb
Can you suggest slow french songs to listen to? ones that don't have extreme variations in tone that will confuse me? --- that way i can learn better.
Modern or old.
Joe Dassin's songs are very good for the purpose. Also another tip you can use - get some French movies with French subtitles. It's perfect for learning a language .
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 08:18 AM
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Listen to Jonatan Cerrada's A chaque pas It's beautiful and slow and clear French

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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There was this famous singer named Mike Brant my french freind told me to listen to.
I think he (Mike Brant) killed himself after an unrequited love... but anyway... i will take all your suggestions guys thankyou!
If i have any other questions as i learn more i will not hesitate to ask you guys.... this board is quite a good rescource for learning a language!
I will hopefully see big improvements in the next few months.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Mike Brant

" À corps perdu "

Paroles et Musique: J.Renard ------------------------------------------------A corps perdu, je t'ai demandé
De venir avec moi danser, danser
Le temps de te toucher les mains
Et déjà tout mon coeur prenait le tien
A corps perdu je t'ai cherché
A corps perdu je vais t'aimer

Ce soir ta robe colle à ma peau
Et tes doigts courent, le long de mon dos
Ta bouche se ferme et chantonne
Des mots d'amour, entre tes dents
A corps perdu je t'ai trouvé
A corps perdu je vais t'aimer

A corps perdu ton coeur est tombé
Dans le silence de mes baisers
Et maintenant je sais déjà
Que pour toujours, tu es à moi
A corps perdu je vais t'aimer
A corps perdu je vais t'aimer
A corps perdu
A corps perdu je vais t'aimer
I think this is a beautiful song.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 02:42 PM
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All the (other) Eurovision queens have mentioned some wonderful French/Francophone female artists - take you pick! Jack Brel, the soundtrack to the French musical "Nôtre Dame" and Roch Voisine also spring to mind. If you don't mind retro, 60s music is often easy to understand.

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*Wealth without Work * Pleasure without Conscience

*Science without Humanity *Knowledge without Character

*Politics without Principle *Commerce without Morality

*Worship without Sacrifice
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pla
Isabelle has a Canadian accent, which in itself is very cute, but it's not good for learning the French pronunciation
I think this is not quite fair. Why should French necessarily correspond to the way it's spoken in France? And for that matter in the Paris area, as this is supposed to be THE reference. There are many Francophone accents and particularisms and they all have a valid claim in terms of being an acceptable subset of what is known as the French language:

French French (but so many regions with a different accent, southwest, southeast, north (close to Belgian French), east (close to the way Luxemburgers speak when expressing themselves in French)
Belgian French (and there you have Walloon French and Brussels French)
Swiss French (and there you have Vaud and Genevan French, quite different from Valais and Fribourg French)
Canadian French (and there again it all depends if you're from Quebec, Manitoba or New Brunswick)
Polynesian French (Vuanutu not quite the same as New Caledonia)
West Indies French
Guyana French
African French (again quite different between Togo, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Cameroon, to name just a few)

No hard feelings, though

undefined
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2004, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truthwillout
I think this is not quite fair. Why should French necessarily correspond to the way it's spoken in France? And for that matter in the Paris area, as this is supposed to be THE reference. There are many Francophone accents and particularisms and they all have a valid claim in terms of being an acceptable subset of what is known as the French language:

French French (but so many regions with a different accent, southwest, southeast, north (close to Belgian French), east (close to the way Luxemburgers speak when expressing themselves in French)
Belgian French (and there you have Walloon French and Brussels French)
Swiss French (and there you have Vaud and Genevan French, quite different from Valais and Fribourg French)
Canadian French (and there again it all depends if you're from Quebec, Manitoba or New Brunswick)
Polynesian French (Vuanutu not quite the same as New Caledonia)
West Indies French
Guyana French
African French (again quite different between Togo, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Cameroon, to name just a few)

No hard feelings, though
You have a point here, I admit it . Still I continue to think it's better not to mix accents in the beggining. Or, let me say it differently - if he (she?) starts learning French, it's better to learn one style of speaking (accent). Given the fact that I think the most frequent accent is the "official" (i.e. something close to the accent on French TV, French songs etc.) it will be the one I would choose and I try to speak like that even though it's not easy .

I don't have the intention to diminish the other regional accents, it's not at all my intention. I speak every day French, with my own, strange accent, and you know how many different French-speaking people live here - the main thing is we understand each other .
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