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Extra syllable ('ah') at end of sentence or phrase

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srfr
Posts: 0
Midlothian, VA
United States
Registered:
Dec 6, 2013
Apr 27, 2018 at 12:05pm

I've noticed in the conversations that the speakers will sometimes add an extra syllable, fairly softly/slightly and pronounced sort of like 'ah', at the end of a phrase or sentence. This is very apparent in Isabella's lines in French 4, Session 20, where she adds an 'ah' at the end of several sentences, adding on to the words 'choses', 'sec', 'valise', and 'gauche'. Simple questions: 1) Why??? 2) How would one know when to do that???

Michael Beauregard
Posts: 0
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
United States
Registered:
Dec 2, 2011
Apr 27, 2018 at 2:57pm

I think that is a regional accent, and if I'm not mistaken is heard in southern France, although if there's a native speaker here they may have a better answer for that. I hear it often on French TV shows. Personally I've always kind of liked it. :-)

andy@fluenz
Posts: 0
France
United States
Registered:
Feb 6, 2011
Apr 28, 2018 at 3:52am

This is a Parisian accent that you're hearing, so no need to mimic it if prefer not to. The most "Neutral" accent (closest to the dictionary) that you'll find will be in the Loire Valley region of France (Angers, Tours, etc.). In the South of France, you'll hear words like "pain" pronounced "ping"

srfr
Posts: 0
Midlothian, VA
United States
Registered:
Dec 6, 2013
May 17, 2018 at 5:48pm

Well, where is Caroline (the tutor/moderator) from? She seems to speak the most clearly and without any particular accent - at least, to my ear and my limited knowledge of regional French accents. I hear "Isabella" using the "ah" very often, but never Caroline when she reviews the same conversation in which "Isabella does it repeatedly. All those ah's sound like an affectation to me. Am I wrong about that? Is Caroline's diction what we should be striving for?

Emilie Poyet
Posts: 0
Barcelona, Catalunya
United States
Registered:
Dec 1, 2010
May 18, 2018 at 7:18am

Caroline is from Paris, yet she has a very neutral accent and clear pronunciation, so I would recommend to strive for her diction. There are many many regional variants though, like the one you mention from Isabella in level 4. In the South East for example (in Marseille in particular) they tend to add this "ah" sound at the end of many words and sentences. The dialogues will help train your ear to understand people in spite of these variants in real life contexts.

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