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A question for native French speakers!

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Petite Joueuse, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. I'm trying to get my head around some tricky vowel sounds.
    Mainly what I want is a clear understanding of the difference in vowel sounds between the words "pot" and "port". There is a clear difference in sound and I can think of plenty of words which rhyme, so as to get the message across to my class.
    (pot - chaud, beau, flot....)
    (port - or, fort, Laure...)
    What I am struggling with is the word "hôpital". Now I am quite happy for "hôtel" to be with my "pot" from above, but I suspect that I personally pronounce the word "hôpital" more like the vowel sound in "port" than in "pot".
    Also, what then is the correct pronunciation of "novembre"? Does the "no" rhyme with "pot"???
    I have spent most of my life learning French south of the Loire, so I suspect my pronunciation may not be standard!
  2. PierreImport

    PierreImport Administrator

    This sounds like an existential crisis...or at best irritable vowel syndrome.
  3. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Ha ha Pierre, genius!
    I'd say hôpital like port (same with novembre). Can't really explain why - you're right, in theory the circonflexe accent make the sound more closed (like pot, or chaud). The only explanation I can find is that the word has evolved with time, a bit like the word garage in English (compare it with massage, which still has the French pronunciation).
    But then again I am Swiss, not French, so my pronunciation may be different than in Paris. [​IMG]
  4. PierreImport

    PierreImport Administrator

    Petite joueuse ou petite suisse...c'est une décision difficile....[​IMG]
  5. My thanks to noémie - at least I know I'm not completely losing it!
    As for Pierre.....[​IMG]

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