Facile à dire! Les Sons du français

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9780130601414: Facile à dire! Les Sons du français

This book helps its users to improve their pronunciation while they learn the basic rules of “standardized” spoken French. To that aim, the simplicity of the French used allows readers to easily grasp the principles of pronunciation and the related terms of phonetics. The book also takes into account the major contrastive features of the sounds of French and English in its presentation, and addresses the particular challenges that North American native speakers face when learning to pronounce French. Chapter topics include detailed treatments of all the sounds of the language, and discussions of the sounds which present the most difficulty for learners—such as nasal vowels, mid vowels, semi-vowels, mute e, and liaison. Coverage also includes the correlation between sound and spelling in the case of all vowels and consonants, and pronunciation and transcription exercises that are based on everyday spoken French. For French speakers who want to improve their pronunciation and use of the language.

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Facile à dire was written for third-year French students and is based on materials developed for a French phonetics course taught at the University of South Carolina at Columbia. All materials presented in the book have been tested and revised according to students' comments from questionnaires and their reactions in the phonetics course. In addition to the main text, the book also includes a 150-minute recording, on three audio CDs, of the pronunciation and transcription exercises marked 9 in the book. Supplementary testing and practice materials (with dictées phonétiques for each lesson) are also available from the author at dumenila@sc.edu to adopters of the book, together with a model syllabus.

The purpose of Facile à dire is to help students improve their pronunciation while they learn the rules of "standardized" spoken French. To that aim, the book takes into account the major contrastive features of the sounds of French and English and addresses the particular challenges that American native speakers face when learning to pronounce French. The book treats all the sounds of the language in detail. With the help of chart summaries, it expands on the discussion of sounds that present the most difficulty for students, such as nasal vowels, mid vowels, semi-vowels, mute e, liaison. Finally, the book discusses the correlation between sound and spelling in the case of certain consonants.

The book is divided into fourteen chapters, and the materials can be taught in their entirety in 42 (50-minute) class days. Since some series of sounds are more challenging to students, the chapters are of unequal length. However, all chapters are similarly organized:

  • Description of the articulatory features of the sounds with a discussion of the contrastive features with English wherever relevant
  • A chart for each sound discussed and the corresponding (general) spelling, with accompanying comments
  • Pronunciation exercises with emphasis on each sound discussed, but also with ongoing practice of the sounds presented previously
  • Transcription exercises (at the sentence level), which also serve as pronunciation practice for students
  • Discussion of sound variation wherever relevant
  • Additional transcription exercises in the case of sound variation
  • Chart summaries in the case of nasal vowels, semi-vowels, mid vowels, mute e, and liaison.

In addition, the book includes, for each major series of sounds, a review section with supplementary transcription/discussion exercises and answer keys, to transcriptions and discussion questions, together with additional pronunciation practice at the sentence level.

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