One of the most entertaining parts of my everyday life in France is when I mess up words. I think I’m more amused by it than the person I’m talking to, but hey if we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? The simple things, folks, the simple things. Anyway, I’ve paired up a bunch of French words that sound similar to a foreigner’s ear but they are indeed very different. And sometimes a quick slip of the tongue can get you into trouble. Tom’s helping today with the audio.
French word pairs you don’t want to mix up
Unless you started learning French quite young (or you’re just a freak of nature), you probably have an accent. I have an accent. Tom has an accent in English. Accents are cool. Being understood is the most important part. But accent or not, if you’re not saying the word correctly you’re either going to make an embarrassing mistake or not be understood depending on the context.
French pronunciation flubs fall into three categories:
- We know the correct pronunciation. It’s just that the wrong word came out by accident.
- We have no clue how to say the word correctly so we guessed… incorrectly.
- We do know how to say it but our mouth just can’t form the word/sound properly no matter how hard we try.
Here are my top 7 favorite French word pairs (one triplet) to watch out for. Get that pronunciation right!
Not all of these are embarrassing mistakes. But saying the wrong word will confuse the person you’re speaking with. Listen up for the subtle differences by clicking on the little audio player icon below each graphic (turn your sound up):
If you learned something and you enjoyed this post, would you let me know? 😉
Any tricky French word pairs that you’d add?