O Sound

One of the single hardest sounds to pronounce in French is the “O” sound. While this would seem very easy at first due to the straight forward nature of the sound (not complicated like other sounds such as the nasty ‘eur’), it’s hard to pronounce. This is due to the non-native speaker’s tendency to pronounce the “O” in French as if he or she were speaking his or her native language.

What I mean by this is taking the word, “opinion” for example, and saying “l’opinion” in French but using the English “uh” sound for the “O”. This is the first think I explain in the video.

Then, I go through several words which start with the letter “O”. Almost all of these words are the same in both English and French. The key thing that I’m trying to emphasize is that you must pronounce the “O” sound like “Oh” in French and not the “Uh” in English while staying the word in French. Here’s the list of words I gave in the video.

l’orange = orange
l’opportunité = opportunity
l’opposé = opposite
l’origine = origine
l’hotage = hostage
olympique = Olympic
l’objet = object
occupé = occupied
optimiser = to optimise
objectif = objective
l’oncle = uncle
l’omelette = omelette

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Many of our students have greatly enhanced their learning by using an app. On these pages we've examined the top-30 apps for learning French. On this pages we've written comprehensive reviews for Pimsleur (great for people struggling with pronunciation), Rosetta Stone and FrenchPod101 (both great for visual learners).

I included both words that start with “O” and words that have an “O” within the them.

Florence (female name)
encore = again
global = global
le décor = décor
le roman = novel
phonétique = phonetic
le fromage = cheese
stoïque = stoic

Finally, I spent a few minutes discussing the words notre (our) and votre (your) as many students have difficulties pronouncing these words. Again, it’s important to pronounce the “O’s” in these words with the “Oh” sound.

I hope this short video lesson has helped. If you’d still struggling or would like some personalized help please sign up for a trial Skype lesson at no cost. Also, I must suggest to use an online course such as Rocket French as they offer a fantastic pronunciation tool.

If you've found this post useful you might want to considering looking at our post covering the best apps for learning French. We've looked a total 33 apps and have written comprehensive reviews of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and FrenchPod101.

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