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Ivana Ciric
Professional Teacher
Accents in french

I will never menage to remember when to put é or è in french, not talking about some other accents and vowels. This is the most difficult part of the language for me:-). Of all latin languages, I think french is the most difficlut and the most challanging one...

7 gen 2015 19:20
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Kuba,
it is not the same sound. Since every French word is oxytone, accent mark doesn't indicate the stressed vowel but just its sound. So...
«e» is /ə/ (or mute if at the end of the word)
«é» is /e/ (closed «e», toward the sound of «i»)
«è» is /ɛ/ (open «e», toward the sound of «a»)
emphasizing it, try to say "e" closing your mouth and then again opening your mouth and you'll will hear the difference.

8 gennaio 2015

The best way to learn them is to read a lot. As a Pole I don't see any rule, regarded to the accents. But I see, that some accents are related to the sound of the vovel. In Polish we have also such issue, with u and ó or h and ch which have the same sound but only separate form. The only way to learn them is to read written texts.

8 gennaio 2015

Thanks for all your answers:-) I think I must learn them by heart. I don't think I'll ever be able to hear rhe difference between two Es. Carmelo, remember your problem with Č and Ć in serbian, this is the same:-(, I just don't have an ear good enough. Peachey, my exemple with être was to make my point that with one so basic verb there are different accents over the E. In prononciation I do not hear the difference and I think that phonethic is not "reachable" for me yet on this level of french.

7 gennaio 2015

There is the same rule that in Italian is: grave over open "e"s /ɛ/, acute over closed "e"s /e/
As you write "tè" (tea) and "è", but "sé" and "né"... you write "été" but "lève" (je me lève) and also "élève".  

7 gennaio 2015

Yes, Ivana, I remember that problem. It is why I want to solve this one! ;-)
Can you hear the difference between "pésca" (fishing) and "pèsca" (peach), or between "légge" (law) or "lègge" (he/she read), or between "vénti" (twenty) and "vènti" (winds)? If yes, the penny has dropped! :-)
If no, I'll give other three till you'll find the ones you can hear... :-P

7 gennaio 2015
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Ivana Ciric
Language Skills
Bosnian, Croatian, English, French, Italian, Latin, Serbian, Spanish
Learning Language
French, Spanish