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Jenn Misoey
How to pronounce “un petit peu” in French

Good morning everyone,

I have always heard the phrase “un petit peu” spoken not as written but as “anN tee peu” (I may have heard wrongly).

What is the correct way of saying the phrase?

I look forward to your response.

Thank you very much in advance,

Best regards,

Jennifer




Mar 31, 2019 1:53 AM
Comments · 5
“Un” is theoretically pronounced /œ̃/, but is generally pronounced /æ̃/ in today’s Metropolitan French (where “un” rhymes with “copain”). However, the first one (most conservative) is still typical in Quebec (with a bit of diphthongization). If you want to hear the beautiful Quebec pronunciation, italki teacher Caroline made a great video (I don’t have the link, you can ask her: https://www.italki.com/teacher/818092)  (Note that the phoneme only occurs in a few words: parfum, commun, emprunter, un, and another one that slips my mind. “Un” is of course one of the most common words in French.) 

“Petit” is often pronounced /pti/ in most variants of French. As a general rule, when the E has no accent mark and is the last letter written in a syllable (i.e. not followed by any other letters — including silent letters — in the same syllable), then it is dropped whenever comfortable to do so. By “comfortable”, I mean that dropping it won’t result in too many consonants in a row. (Caroline may have written a relevant article on italki.) Note that in Quebec, “petit” is often pronounced /tsi/, but that’s not really considered standard French.


March 31, 2019
It's hard to write out the correct pronunciation using English phonetics but it would be something like this:

Uh peh-TEE poo

Say "uh" from your nose. When you say "poo" say it with your lips in the position you would have them when you say "ee". It's kind of like halfway between "oo" and "ee". 

You're probably referring to when someone says it quickly though. Then it's more like:

uhpTEE poo
March 31, 2019
Wow, I am so impressed! This is my first posting ever online and I am getting super fast responses. Will check out the responses accordingly. Merci beaucoup à tous !
March 31, 2019
You can hear the pronunciation here: https://forvo.com/word/un_petit_peu/
March 31, 2019
à ptee pu (un petit peu)
You can download a dictionary that Is called dictionnaire francais-espagnol because it includes the pronuntiation
Or maybe you must check the google translator...you write your phrase and click the sound 
March 31, 2019
Jenn Misoey
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Hokkien), English, French, German, Italian
Learning Language
French, German, Italian