Sunday, September 25, 2011

Geek's Corner 19 : Budge your Bouche!

As I've mentioned, this past week, in addition to the 20 hours of morning classes, I had 10 hours of private afternoon classes. These were simultaneously productive, exhausting, and hugely enjoyable. We covered a lot of ground during the week, and by the time Friday afternoon rolled around, there was no further avoiding it - the time had come to do some work on every French student's bete noire - phonetics. My pronunciation is not as atrocious as that of some other students, but it definitely needs work. And the aspect that is most severely in need of corrective work are the dreaded "nasales". Just looking at the phrase, "Enfin, un enfant !" gives me the heebie-jeebies.

So we spent a delightful 45 minutes engaged in exercises that brought the following diagram to hilarious life:

At least it was hilarious for Edith, my (wonderful) teacher. My main concern was avoiding any kind of permanent damage to my speech organs. But, by the end of the session, some kind of progress had been made. And my conviction was borne out, that the only way to achieve any kind of decent mastery of French pronunciation is to throw caution to the winds and to pronounce each word with the kind of grimace that would scare small children. Of all the strategies I've tried, this is the one that works best!


  1. Cuidado! Don't get a sinus infection this go-round.

  2. I can see you have a future in scaring small children. Even if you have to mime at them.