Saturday, February 15, 2014

Confronted with French alphabet prononciation

The same 26 letters, but in French they are pronounced differently compare to English. I didn't get to learn how to pronounce them probably because when I went to the French school here I started at level II. So, one of the biggest challenges while talking on the phone in my earlier years here was to be able to spell my name correctly, in French.

Today, there are certain sounds I still don't know if I pronounce them correctly. I still have problem with "G" and "J", as it seems to me that they sound exactly opposite when pronouncing them in English.

These days Aelig likes to write. She would ask me how to spell certain words like father and mother and she would write them down. One day she asked me to spell her classmates' name, and I couldn't because for some of them I have never heard of so didn't know how to spell. The other day I was deep into my reading so when she asked me how to spell "Elouan", a common Brittany name, for some reason I pronounced the letter "U" in English. She kept asking for confirmation, and finally told me that she didn't know how to write "U", that "U" didn't exist. Ops, I quickly corrected my mistake, and told the opportunity to tell her that in English all these letters have a different pronunciation. Well, she didn't look convince.

She is very keen into names now. She told her father that in his name, there are two "A". It was wrong as there was only one "A" in hubby's name. She revealed that in "PAPA" (father in French), there are two "A". We finally realized that she thought the word father and mother in French is our name. We tried to explain to her but she hasn't quick grabbing the concept yet. And, she writes only in capital letter.

Sadly, she refuses to learn how to write in Mandarin. I don't know when she would be able to write father and mother in Mandarin. It does seem that writing in alphabet is so much easier than writing in Mandarin.


  1. It is true, there are so many strokes in a Mandarin word so alphabets are so much easier to write. Good that she is so interested in names and how to spell them. Shows that she is keen on learning alphabets.

  2. G and J are the bane of my existence! They are reversed in French and I get all confused. Often this is what will happen:

    How do you spell his name:
    Me: G, no J, ah, no, no, no G!
    Husband: I think you mean J.

  3. Bonne chance avec le français, you can do it!

    Annabel :)

  4. At least French has 26 letters. Polish has a lot more. And my in-laws are amused that I always mispronounce certain alphabets... considering I have never seen them before nor know how it really sounds, they appreciated my efforts. My daughter knows my name. And no, mama is not a name, but a special title to only mothers. But my husband... well, that is tough. She still doesn't know his name.