French Pronounced Like English But Spelled Differently

French words pronounced like English but spelled differently are pronunciations that you already know from English that apply to French.

This is the Easiest French Pronunciation even though the word is spelled differently in French than in English.

When you see a foreign word spelled slightly differently from English, you might assume that it is also pronounced slightly differently from English.

But in many cases a foreign word spelled slightly differently from English is pronounced the same as in English -- or can be pronounced the same as in English and be understood.

Some parts of these French words pronounced like English are spelled the same way as in English.

Some French words are pronounced like English, and in the following pronunciation guide the French words pronounced like English are enclosed in single quotation marks, as in: parc -- [‘park’].

To keep French pronunciation easiest, French words are shown to have a similar pronunciation to English if there is the same number of syllables in each word, and the letters are pronounced enough alike that French people will probably understand what you mean if you pronounce those words as you do in English. You may merely sound like you have an ‘English accent’ in French.

Later you can listen to how French people pronounce them, and try to mimic any small differences in pronunciation to make them sound more authentically French.

For example, in many French words the final letter is not pronounced, as in ‘depot’, but many of these words, especially longer ones with more clues to their meanings, can be pronounced as in English and be understood by French listeners, like: passport -- passeport -- [‘passport‘, but actually pronounced ‘pahs-POHR’ in French]. By the time the listener gets to the end of a word like this, she already understands what is meant whether the ‘t’ at the end is pronounced or not.

In a similar way, when a New Englander “drop his r’s” and says what sounds like ‘pahk the kah’, Americans from other parts of the country understand he means ‘park the car’.

Most likely not to be understood are short words of one syllable. The more syllables a word has, the less likely it is to be misunderstood, because the adjoining syllables help clarify the meaning of any one syllable that might sound ambiguous, and might be mistaken for a different word by the listener.

A famous funny example of French being misunderstood is “Je t’adore!” -- three syllables pronounced [zhuh tah-DOHR]. It means ‘I love you!’ -- but to an English-speaker it can sound like ‘Shut the door!’

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French Pronounced Like English But Spelled Differently:

ENGLISH -- FRENCH -- [SAY LIKE ENGLISH]

address -- adresse -- [‘address’]

adult -- adulte -- [‘adult’]

Afro-American (f) -- afro-américaine -- [‘Afro-American’]

agnostic -- agnostique -- [‘agnostic’]

aid (n) -- aide -- [‘aid’]

air -- aire -- [‘air’]

allergic -- allergique -- [‘allergic’]

almonds -- amandes -- [‘almonds’]

American (f) -- américaine -- [‘American’]

analgesic -- analgésique -- [‘analgesic’]

anemic -- anémique -- [‘anemic’]

antibiotic -- antibiotique -- [‘antibiotic’]

antiseptic -- antiseptique -- [‘antiseptic’]

apartment -- appartement -- [‘apartment’]

army -- armée -- [‘army’]

aromathérapy -- aromatherapie -- [‘aromatherapy’]

artist -- artiste -- [‘artist’]

aspirin -- aspirine -- [‘aspirin’]

asthmatic -- asthmatique -- [‘asthmatic’]

attack -- attaque -- [‘‘attack’]

Australian (f) -- australienne -- [‘Australian’]

autobiography -- autobiographie -- [‘autobiography’]

automatic -- automatique -- [‘automatic’]

baby -- bébé -- [‘baby’]

ball -- balle -- [‘ball’]

bar (rail) -- barre -- [‘bar’]

battery -- batterie -- [‘battery’]

biography -- biographie -- [‘biography’]

broccoli -- brocoli -- [‘broccoli’]

Buddhist -- bouddhiste -- [‘Buddhist’]

cabin -- cabine -- [‘cabin’]

Canadian (f) -- canadienne -- [‘Canadian’]

caper (food) -- câpre -- [‘caper’]

cardiac -- cardiaque -- [‘cardiac’]

carrot -- carotte -- [‘carrot’]

cathedral -- cathédrale -- [‘cathedral’]

Catholic -- catholique -- [‘Catholic’]

celery -- céleri -- [‘celery’]

centimeter -- centimètre -- [‘centimeter’]

center -- centre -- [‘center’]

cereal -- céréales -- [‘cereal’]

certificate -- certificat -- [‘certificate’]

check -- chèque -- [‘check’]

chickory -- chikorée -- [‘chickory’]

chocolate -- chocolat -- [‘chocolate’]

cigar -- cigare -- [‘cigar’]

class -- classe -- [‘class’]

classic -- classique -- [‘classic’]

colleague -- collègue -- [‘colleague’]

color -- coleur -- [‘color’]

company -- compagnie -- [‘company’]

control -- contrôle -- [‘control’]

coriander -- coriandre -- [‘coriander’]

cotton -- coton -- [‘cotton’]

crab -- crabe -- [‘crab’]

cramp -- crampe -- [‘cramp’]

crystal -- cristal -- [‘crystal’]

December -- décembre -- [‘December’]

democracy -- démocracie -- [‘democracy’]

dentist -- dentiste -- [‘dentist’]

diabetic -- diabétique -- [‘diabetic’]

different -- différente -- [‘different’]

dozen -- douzaine -- [‘dozen’]

dramatic -- dramatique -- [‘dramatic’]

economy -- économie -- [‘economy’]

engineer -- ingénieur -- [‘engineer’]

envelope -- enveloppe -- [‘envelop’]

error -- erreur -- [‘error’]

fig -- figue -- [‘fig’]

fountain -- fontaine -- [‘fountain’]

fresh -- fraîche -- [‘fresh’]

group -- groupe -- [‘group’]

guitar -- guitare -- [‘guitar’]

ibuprofen -- ibuprofène -- [‘ibuprofen’]

individual -- individuelle -- [‘individual’]

insect -- insecte -- [‘insect’]

jelly -- gelée -- [‘jelly’]

juice -- jus -- [‘juice’]

kiosk -- kiosque -- [‘kiosk’]

heterosexuel -- hétérosexuel(le) -- [‘heterosexual’]

homosexual -- homosexuel(le) -- [‘homosexuel(le)’]

ibuprofen -- ibuprofène -- [‘ibuprofen’]

Italian (f) -- italienne -- [‘Italian’]

Japanese -- japonais(e) -- [‘Japanese’]

kosher -- kasher -- [‘kosher’]

kilometer -- kilomètre -- [‘kilometer’]

lesbian -- lesbienne -- [‘lesbian’]

lesson -- leçon -- [‘lesson’]

letter -- lettre -- [‘letter’]

limit -- limite -- [‘limit’]

list -- liste -- [‘list’]

liter -- litre -- [‘liter’]

local -- locale -- [‘local’]

long -- longue -- [‘long’]

macaroni -- macaronis -- [‘macaroni’]

manicure -- manucure -- [‘manicure’]

mask -- masque -- [‘mask’]

material -- matériel -- [‘material’]

May (month) -- mai -- [‘Ma’]

member -- membre -- [‘member’]

millimeter -- millimètre -- [‘millimeter’]

mineral -- minérale -- [‘mineral’]

mint -- menthe -- [‘mint’]

motor -- moteur -- [‘motor’]

music -- musique -- [‘music’]

musical -- musicale -- [‘musical’]

mutton -- mouton -- [‘mutton’]

natural -- naturel -- [‘natural’]

no -- non -- [‘no’]

November -- novembre -- [‘November’]

October -- oktobre -- [‘October’]

omelet -- omelette -- [‘omelet’]

onion -- oignon -- [‘onion’]

optometrist -- optométriste -- [‘optometrist’]

orchestra -- orchestre -- [‘orchestra’’]

orthodox -- orthodoxe -- [‘orthodox’]

oxygen -- oxygène -- [‘oxygen’]

park -- parc -- [‘park’]

partner -- partnaire -- [‘partner’]

party -- parti -- [‘party’]

pass -- passe -- [‘pass’]

passport -- passeport -- [‘passport’]

pearl -- perle -- [‘pearl’]

pedal -- pédale -- [‘pedal’]

penicillin -- pénicilline -- [‘penicillin’]

permanent -- permanente -- [‘permanent’]

person -- personne -- [‘person’]

pharmacy -- pharmacie -- [‘pharmacy’]

philharmonic -- philharmonique -- [‘philharmonic’]

picnic -- pique-nique -- [‘picnic’]

pint -- pinte -- [‘pint’]

plastic -- plastique -- [‘plastic’]

porter -- porteur -- [‘porter’]

post (office) -- poste -- [‘post’]

postal -- postale -- [‘postal’]

problem -- problème -- [‘problem’]

professional -- professionelle -- [‘professional’]

program -- programme -- [‘program’]

Protestant (f) -- protestante -- [‘Protestant’]

pajamas -- pyjama -- [‘pajamas’]

racket -- raquette -- [‘racket’]

rapid -- rapide -- [‘rapid’]

recent -- récente -- [‘recent’]

refrigerator -- réfrigérateur -- [‘refrigerator’]

responsible -- responsable -- [‘responsible’]

rhubarb -- rhubarbe -- [‘rhubarb’]

risk -- risque -- [‘risk’]

rock (music) -- roc -- [‘rock’]

romantic -- romantique -- [‘romantic’]

roast beef -- rosbif -- [‘roast beef’]

rum -- ruhm -- [‘rum’]

sack -- sac -- [‘sack’]

salad -- salade -- [‘salad’]

salmon -- saumon -- [‘salmon’]

sandal -- sandale -- [‘sandal’]

scanner -- scanneur -- [‘scanner’]

security -- sécurité -- [‘security’]

September -- septembre -- [‘September’]

sex -- sexe -- [‘sex’]

socialism -- socialisme -- [‘socialism’]

sort (n) -- sorte -- [‘sort’]

soup -- soupe -- [‘soup’]

spaghetti -- spaghettis -- [‘spaghetti’]

superior -- supérieure -- [‘superior’]

symbol -- symbole -- [‘symbol’]

synogogue -- synogoge -- [‘synogogue’]

syrup -- sirop -- [‘syrup’]

system -- système -- [‘system’]

tart (pie) -- tarte -- [‘tart’]

tax -- taxe -- [‘tax’]

tent -- tente -- [‘tent’]

toilet -- toilette -- [‘toilet’]

total -- totale -- [‘total’]

tourist -- touriste -- [‘tourist’]

traditional -- traditionnel -- [‘traditional’]

uncle -- oncle -- [‘uncle’]

valley -- vallée -- [‘valley’]

vegetarian (f) -- végétarienne -- [‘vegetarian’]

venison -- venaison -- [‘venison’]

victim -- victime -- [‘victim’]

vinegar -- vinaigre -- [‘vinegar’]

visit (n) -- visite -- [‘visit’]

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