Phonetic Errors of French Students during Learning Chinese

Posted by Fifi Yang on Dec 21, 2016

Chinese phonetic errors of French students

Pronunciation is a big problem that plagued foreigners to learn Chinese. Today, we focus on the stylistic problems of the French and put forward some specific solutions.

The learners who are native speakers of non - Chinese have accurate and solid grasp of the basic knowledge of Chinese phonetics and the standard pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese, which is conducive to improving the communicative level of Chinese. Due to the habit of French pronunciation as well as the influence of historical and cultural backgrounds, French students have a lot of regular errors in learning Chinese phonetics, and they have great similarity in pronunciation errors. These similarities deserve our exploration.

According to the study, one of the obvious problem is that French students prefer to pronounce in a special way: their mouth are too close and too rounded than needed when they try to pronounce single vowels. As an example, French students often find [ɣ](e) is one of the hardest vowels.

Consonant [ʐ](r) makes French students feel vexed. Even if they share the same letter, they are totally different sounds. Another biggest problem is the Chinese Four Tones, French students in the learning process often confuse the tone of Chinese and French intonation.

1. About the vowels

It is not easy to make mistakes when some vowels in a separate pronunciation, but appear errors when pronounced with the initial consonants. To solve this problem, we can pronounce with the initial consonant, rather than to practice the vowels alone. Eg, when the vowel [o] (o)and consonants [b](b)/ [bʻ](p)/ [m](m) are pronounced together, there is a transition sound which [υ]is not wrote in the Chinese Pinyin. You can try to pronounce them together. The same as vowel[u]. As the pronunciation I more close to the front, French students often pronounce it as the French one[ə]. In order to avoid these situations, we can find a teacher to help us correct them.

2. About the consonants

Affected by the French habit, when French students pronounce [t](d) and [tʻ](t), their sounds seems like [j]("il"in French word "ail") and [tɕ](Chinese word "qi"). we can practice them together, like di with ji, ti with xi. The most difficult consonant is [ʐ](r), because r is an Uvular in french. When they pronounce 日本, their sounds sound like 瑞本。Actually, the consonant [ʐ](r) is really similar with the French one[ʒ]("j" in French word jour). So we can compare them in one group, to make clear distinguishing about them. Like Hanbridge Mandarin's teacher used to help students practice in this way.

3. About the tones

When learning tones, try to practice by putting the tone of a single word into the sentence, to feel the differences between in word and in sentence. We can practice tones the same as to practice singing, to get familiar with the tone of Chinese sentences.

As the French students prefer to read sentences by the rhythm of the group in their own language, like they divide the sentence into many small sections, and many small sections are used up tone, so at the beginning of the time we can practice small sentences and pay attention to tones and intonation.

It is normal for Foreigners make pronunciation errors in the process of learning Chinese. As long as we find these errors and know how it make as well as find good ways to solve them, we will be able to learn Chinese pronunciation well. Welcome to click the right button and book a free Chinese trial class. Continue to learn Chinese online with us!

About The Author

Fifi Yang

Fifi Yang is a Chinese learning teacher at Hanbridge Mandarin. Having spent a great number of years learning French, Fifi understands the challenges of learning a language. She puts this experience to good use while preparing and delivering classes to her students.

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