As in one of my favourite films, Love Actually, I believe that love is all around and to my great joy and pleasure so is French! Let me explain: there are so many words both used in the English and French language that I have started a huge collection of them. I call them “mes vrais amis”, my true friends. I believe in them. I believe that if you can pronounce them aloud, read them, you can remember them and you can use them! And suddenly you have a huge amount of vocabulary at the tip of your tongue, coming straight from your mother-tongue (assuming you are a native English speaker) that your memory can access easily. Beware, some will warn you about the existence of the “faux-amis”, words that look the same, but don’t mean the same at all, quiet embarrassingly the opposite. As in life, you have to watch out for those enemies as they are going to trick you, but statistically they are few and far between, but make great stories and memories!
Now you are going to tell me that indeed the vrais amis (called cognates by the experts), those words look and mean the same, but that to your ear they don’t sound the same and that you haven’t got a clue how to pronounce them! I don’t blame you! That’s where my passion for decoding the sounds of the French language comes handy! As most consonants are similarly pronounced in French, first I have concentrated on teaching simple vowels before we will move to combinations of letters. Rhian Wyn Harrison, a generous gifted artist has illustrated some specially chosen vrais amis to teach you the sound of those vowels in words! Enjoy and share! If you wish to learn some more, please subscribe and we will send you four more illustration with soundfiles with great pleasure: avec grand plaisir!
À la santé de tous nos vrais amis and especially bonne fête to Canada, for their Canada day on 1st July*!
P.S. You might be thinking Nadine has gone mad with her bold letters and text ! There is reason in my madness. The words in cursive French hand-writing are the vrais amis! The words and letters in bold are there to highlight the similarities/ les similarités between French and English to give you memory hooks! More about this later… à suivre…
* le premier juillet will be this year for me again a very special day, as I will be in Aix-en-Provence celebrating my grand-mother’s 101st birthday !