10 French words difficult to pronounce


One of the things that I hear from my French students is they can read and write in French but listening and speaking in French using the correct sound can be challenging at times. I try to encourage my students to speak French even if I know it can be daunting  and overwhelming for them. I often hear my students say that French people speak too fast. The only way to improve is to keep finding opportunities to listen in French. Try to avoid translating from English to French or from your native language to French. I suggest to the students to have an image of the word in French for example"Froid" means cold So you should try to get a mental image of someone shivering.

 I made a list of some words that some of my students find difficult


1. Joyeux -



In The word joyeux we say joy as "jwah" and repeat the y and say "yeux" .The "eu" sounds a bit like "er" in English.

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2.L'eau - Water




In the word l'eau, the sound eau is one sound so the three letters eau make the sound "o" like the final "o" of potato in English.


3. Heureux - Happy





In the word heureux the h is silent and both sounds "eu or eux" are more like "er" in English.


  4.Froid - 




In the word froid we say the "oi" like a "wah".So it looks more like "frwah".


5. Une feuille - A leaf





In the word feuille the sound eu is like"er" in English and the double l is like the sound of "y"





6.Une fille - A girl




In the word fille.The sound "I" is like "ee" and the double l is like a "y" sound.



7.Dehors - Outside




In the word dehors the letter "h" and s are silent it sounds like "der hor"


8.Un yaourt -


A yoghurt

In the word yaourt we say "ya - oor" .The letter "t" is almost always silent as a final sound. ** The final sound "T"in the word yaourt is pronounced in different regions in France.



 9.Une Bouteille - A bottle 


In the word bouteille we say "boot" and "eille" sounds like "aiye"


 10.Bouillir - To boil

In the word  bouillir you break the word as follow" boo - year"