March 14, 2011 | French
My French Accent Pains Me
I don’t like my French accent. It used to be better, and I know it will be better again soon, but right now it is hurting my ears.
Pimsleur is helping; I just wish it would help faster. To speed things along, I made sure to take my Pimsleur lessons with me today while doing some errands, one of which took me through Central Park, where I crossed paths with a hawk.
Mid-Pimsleur, I Saw This Red-Tailed Hawk
A Closer Look
Ever since I read the other day, “French vowel sounds are much tenser than the English ones,” I have become kind of obsessed with my French vowels. That one sentence made me realize I have been doing even more things wrong than I realized.
For example, I wasn’t saying une right at all. I was saying it more like oon than, well, like the tenser sound I guess it really is. I have a very hard time saying un homme ou une femme (a man or a woman). The ou and une kind of battle it out in my mouth.
Still, the more I practice, the better my r’s and my vowels are getting. This afternoon, around Pimsleur lesson 15 (Level III), I had a bit of a breakthrough, after which it became less painful to hear my accent, because it started to suck less.
That’s good, because so far French has been the only language where hearing myself speak has repeatedly made me cringe.