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Congratulations on choosing Little Pim French.

This Little Pim Companion Guide is designed to help you with the proper French pronunciation if you want to learn along with your young viewer. Children are visual and aural learners – they watch the screen, hear what’s being said, and easily understand and repeat; and as they repeat after Little Pim the teacher, they will have perfect accents! Adults, however, may need a bit of written help to understand the differences in pronunciation and/or to remember new words.

This guide will give you some tips about the right way to pronounce French letters and words.

If you would like additional support, you can:

– Download our Companion Script, which includes all the words and phrases in Little Pim in French. If you want to read all the words and sentences as they are spoken, you can print this out and follow along with the DVD.

– Choose the optional English Subtitles in the Start Up Menu of the DVD to read English subtitles as you watch

The big picture:

Vowels:

French has five vowel letters, a, e, i, o and u.

  • – a is a short sound in French, and is pronounced like the ea in “heart”. ai is pronounced like the e in “bed”. au is pronounced like the o in “hole”. eu is pronounced like the u in “hurt”
  • – e is pronounced like the second a in “marmalade” or the word “a” like “a dog” or “a boy”. é is pronounced like the i in “in”. è is pronounced like the word ai sound in “air”
  • – i is pronounced like the ee in “meet”, but a little shorter. ier is pronounced ____. il/ill is pronounced like the y in “yes”
  • – o is pronounced like the o in “more”. At the end of a word, it can be pronounced like the o in “hole”. ou is pronounced like the oo in “noodle”.
  • – u is pronounced like the ew in pewter. Try saying the sound ai like in “air” and gradually pursing your lips as you repeat it. ui is pronounced like the word “we”.

Consonants:

  • – ç is pronounced like the c in “piece”. c is pronounced like the c in “cat”. ch is pronounced “sh”
  • – h is always silent in French
  • – j is pronounced like the English letter g, but much softer
  • – gn is pronounced like the ni in “onion”
  • – qu is pronounced like the k in “karate”
  • – n is pronounced like the n in “now”, but is nearly always silent at the end of a word
  • – r in French resonates like the Spanish “r”, but is much more of a growling sound. Think of the harsh consonants in Arabic or Hebrew.

Notes:

The only steadfast rule in French is that there is an exception to every rule, so don’t despair if you can’t remember everything!