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How to Fake a French Accent: Impress Your Friends

Don’t you just love how the French sound when they speak English? Wouldn’t you like to be able to do a perfect French accent? Accents are fun to do, and some people can naturally do accents but unfortunately others aren’t blessed with this talent. For those who can’t naturally do accents, there are ways you can learn. Here we take a good look at how the French speak English so you can imitate a perfect fake accent. Those little grammar imperfections and slightly different sounding interpretations of words make all the difference.

Whether that’s for a comedy sketch, prank phone call, or just to impress your friends, we teach you how to do it perfectly!


French Vowels

Vowels are always shorter when spoken like a French Person. English people for example, will pronounce the word “say” using a long “a” and then a “y” sound. French speakers will simply say “se”. No real long vowel sound and definitely no Y at the end. More examples include:

“Gate” is usually pronounced more like “get”.

Words with “er” at the end such as winter, will be pronounced “air”. “Wint-er” becomes “wint-air”.

Words with an “i” such as “lip”, “sip”, “pip” and “drip”, all become a double “e”. So they then sound like this: “leep”, “seep”, “peep”, “dreep”.

Words with long “i’s” such as “Kite”, “light”, and “fight” almost become two syllables when spoken by a French person. For example: “Kait”, “Laight”, and “Faight”. The long “i” becomes an “a-i” sound.

Words that have short “o’s” in them such as “cot”, “lot” and “hot” become either an “uh” or a “oh” sound. The words would become either “cut”, “lut”, and “hut” or “coht”, “loht”, and “hoht”.

The “u” in words like “full” and “dull” become “oo” sounds. So instead you would say: “fool” and “dool”.

Stressing Words

People who speak English as their home tongue often skim over words instead of properly pronouncing them. For example, an English person may say “r’mind’r” instead of pronouncing all of the vowels in the word “reminder”, whereas a French person would fully stress the vowels, pronouncing the word “ree-ma-een-dair”. This can also be said for the word “amazes”. An English speaker would just skim over the word and pronounce it like this: “amaz’s” but a French speaker would pronounce it like this: “ah-may-zez”, often stressing the final “e”.

French speakers often get confused when it comes to stressing words and syllables and what part of a word to stress. This is because in the French language all words are pronounced with exactly the same emphasis. A simple word such as “actually” in English would become “ahk chew ah lee” to a French person.

The letter “h” in French is always silent, so you can expect a French speaker to either miss it out altogether, in words like “happy” where they will say “‘appy” or they may even overcompensate and make a strong “h” sound.

French speakers always carefully pronounce words and phrases. For example instead of saying “she’s ready” they would likely say “she eez reh-dee”. They like to say every word meant in a sentence rather than use abbreviations.

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