French pronunciation question

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David Kubiak
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French pronunciation question

#1 Post by David Kubiak » October 18th, 2016, 10:15 am

I am told that French spelling is so unpredictable that even native speakers cannot be sure about the pronunciation of a proper noun until they have heard it spoken. Can someone tell me if the 'l's in the surname Noellat are pronounced, as in 'ville', or not pronounced, as in 'feuille'?
Thanks.

David Kubiak

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Jorge Henriquez
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French pronunciation question

#2 Post by Jorge Henriquez » October 18th, 2016, 11:19 am

I would say it "Nue-lat". But that the hell do I know? ;-)
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Henry Kiichli
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French pronunciation question

#3 Post by Henry Kiichli » October 19th, 2016, 12:16 am

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Louis Demers
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French pronunciation question

#4 Post by Louis Demers » October 19th, 2016, 7:43 am

David Kubiak wrote:I am told that French spelling is so unpredictable that even native speakers cannot be sure about the pronunciation of a proper noun until they have heard it spoken. Can someone tell me if the 'l's in the surname Noellat are pronounced, as in 'ville', or not pronounced, as in 'feuille'?
Thanks.

David Kubiak


The Noellat should be pronounced with the 'L' sound when the Feuille should get the 'Y' sound pronunciation.

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Michael O'Brien
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French pronunciation question

#5 Post by Michael O'Brien » October 19th, 2016, 5:51 pm

Phonetically it is something like this no eh lah

I use http://forvo.com/ a lot for learning how to pronounce words. Not all words are there as you can imagine but many are.
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Doug Hein
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French pronunciation question

#6 Post by Doug Hein » November 1st, 2016, 9:36 am

Henry Kiichli wrote:http://burgundylist.com/burgundy-wine-p ... ation.html

(she pronounces the ll )
Thanks! I took much French in HS and College and usually can pronounce things well. However, it's been many years, so that's helpful on a few.

Now, off to the local wine store to confuse the hell out of the clerk .... [cheers.gif]

Louis Demers
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French pronunciation question

#7 Post by Louis Demers » November 1st, 2016, 12:11 pm

Michael O'Brien wrote:Phonetically it is something like this no eh lah

I use http://forvo.com/ a lot for learning how to pronounce words. Not all words are there as you can imagine but many are.
I would push my luck and say No - Hell -La phnetically speaking. [cheers.gif]

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Oliver V
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French pronunciation question

#8 Post by Oliver V » April 13th, 2017, 4:01 pm

I know this is old, but I feel an urge to share what I was always taught:

If the vowel before the double L is an A, E, O, U or Y, it's always an L sound.

If the vowel before the double L is an I, and there is another vowel immediately before the I, it's always a Y sound.

If the vowel before the double L is an I, but the I isn't preceded immediately by another vowel, it can go either way, and you just have to learn it.
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Peter Kleban
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French pronunciation question

#9 Post by Peter Kleban » April 13th, 2017, 8:16 pm

French pronunciation is very regular, there aren't many exceptions, in contrast to English. So once you've learned the rules, you can be almost certain of being correct. The hard part is learning the rules. For starters, there are several sounds that don't exist in English, certain things aren't pronounced, etc.
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Alex Rychlewski
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French pronunciation question

#10 Post by Alex Rychlewski » September 19th, 2017, 11:15 pm

Michael O'Brien has got it right.

There is a diarisis (tréma in French) over the "e" which accounts for that pronunciation.

This is not always apparent because although French captial letters *should* contain accents, many people leave them out.

Alex R.

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