The accents in French – New lesson !

In a previous lesson, Priscilla, who is responsible for teaching and is also a teacher at the language school alpha.b in Nice, explained to you how to spell out a word in French. Click here for the first lesson

Today, in this new lesson, we will look at the accents: acute, grave, circumflex, but also c cedilla, the diaeresis, the Œ

The C Cedilla:

accent en français

How is the word Français (French) spelt?


The cedilla is important for the pronunciation.

We use the cedilla on the letter C before three vowels:

C + A : to make the SA sound like in Français

C + O: to make the SO sound like in Leçon (lesson)

C + U: to make the SU sound like in Reçu (receipt)

Next, amongst the other particularities of the French alphabet, there are 3 accents.

The accents in French:

accents en français

In French there are 3 accents:

  • l’accent aigu (the acute accent)

  • l’accent grave (the grave accent)

  • l’accent circonflexe (the circumflex)

  1. The acute accent, we find on E and exclusively on E, like in “poupée” (doll).accent en français

  2. The grave accent, which can also be found on E: like in “je préfère” (I prefer). There are two accents on that word.

It can also be on U like in the word “” (where), which is different to the word “ou” (or). You will also find it on the preposition “à” like for example: “il habite à Nice” (he lives in Nice).

  1. The circumflex which can be found on E like in the words “la fête” (the party) or “la forêt” (the forest).

It can also be found on O like in “un hôte” (a host) or “la Côte d’Azur” (the French Riviera)

Or on I like “une île” (an island).

Sometimes there are words that you can understand if you speak English, German, Italian, Spanish… i.e. a Latin language. This is because the origin of the circumflex accent was an S which has been lost in modern French.

For example the word “fête”: fest, feast, fiesta, festa.

The Diaeresis:

accent en français

What the French call “le tréma”, and the Germans call the “Umlaut”.

We use it on I.

For example in the word “Naïf” (naïve). Without the diaeresis we would it pronounce “Naif” like NEF.

Also in the word “héroïque” (heroic), it is not pronounced like héroique.

We can also find the diaeresis on the letter E in the first name “Joël” or in the holiday: “Noël” (Christmas).

Moving onto the last specificity of the French alphabet.

The æ et œ:

accent en français

First of all, do you know that song by Serge Gainsbourg, Lætitia?

In this song, Serge Gainsbourg calls the name of his lover Lætitia.

Lætitia, how is that spelt?

L A “E dans l’A” T I T I A

We can find this particular form with other combinations of letters like Œ, which is called “O, E dans l’O”.

Like in the words: SŒUR (sister), le CŒUR (the heart), L’ŒUF (the egg).

We are finished for this lesson.

See you soon for the next one!

Aujourd’hui on se retrouve avec un article de vocabulaire en français : 10 mots français que vous ne connaissez pas !

À l’école de français alpha.b, lors de nos cours intensifs, on travaille beaucoup le vocabulaire, l’expression orale, la compréhension.

Nous allons vous proposer de découvrir 10 mots français que vous n’avez probablement jamais entendus !

Ce sont des mots tirés du « language urbain » ou « slang ».

Chaque mardi, sur nos réseaux sociaux (Facebook, Instagram) nous partageons un nouveau mot de vocabulaire, alors pour ne rien rater suivez-nous !

10 mots français urbain

1. Une bagnole


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, le nom féminin « bagnole » = voiture ?.
?? Une « bagnole » is another word for a car in French. ?? Eine Kare ?? Een auto


2. Glander


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

Glander veut dire « ne rien faire » par exemple : « Hier j’ai glandé toute la soirée sur mon canapé à regarder Netflix »

3. Engueuler


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, le verbe « engueuler » = réprimander quelqu’un ou « s’engueuler » = se disputer
??To yell at someone or to argue with someone
?? Sich anschnauzen


4. Paname


Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, le nom propre « Paname » = Paris.

Qu’est-ce que l’on doit absolument faire quand on va à Paname pour la première fois ?

5. Frimer



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, le verbe « frimer » = faire l’important, jouer l’important pour épater quelqu’un, pour faire illusion.
Vous pensez que les français aiment frimer ?

6. Kiffer



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, le verbe « kiffer » = aimer.
 « Je kiffe cette chanson » ou « Je kiffe ce mec/cette fille »

7. Un kawa



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, le nom « kawa » = café.
C’est possible de vous parler avant le premier kawa du matin ? ☕?

8. Tchatcher



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, le verbe « tchatcher » = parler.
Les français aiment tchatcher ! Vrai ou faux ?

8. Une meuf



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, la « meuf » = la femme.
C’est le verlan du mot « femme ». Beaucoup de mots urbains sont construits selon cette forme qui consiste à inverser les syllabes du mot.
[FA]-[ME] —> meuf

9. Blindé



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

En langage urbain, l’adjectif « blindé » = riche voire très riche.

10. Barjo



Voir cette publication sur Instagram


Une publication partagée par Alpha B – Cours de Francais (@alphabfrenchschool) le

Un « barjo » ou « barjot » c’est quelqu’un de fou, qui fait des choses complétement insensées ?

Et voilà ! Combien de mots sur ces 10 tu connaissais déjà ?

Dis-le nous en commentaire

Envie de venir apprendre le français à Nice ? Inscris-toi sur notre site :

This week, alpha.b French school in Nice is offering the third and final video on the use of pronouns in French, more specifically the relative pronoun “DONT”.

If you missed the lessons before this, you can find the first video by clicking here and the second video by clicking here.

The relative pronoun DONT

Why don’t students like this pronoun very much? Because it doesn’t really have an equivalent in other languages. It is a French speciality.

But in reality it is very simple to use.

A small reminder:

QUI replaces the subject of the verb

QUE replaces the direct object

OÙ replaces a time or a place

The relative pronoun DONT is used with all the verbs which are constructed with an object using the preposition “DE”.

pronom relatif dont

Looking at a clear example:

  1. Les étudiants parlent de football (The students talk about football)

  2. Le football est un sport populaire (Football is a popular sport)

Which are the words that appear twice?

Le football.

We will replace this word in the first sentence.

What is the role of this word in the first sentence?

Is it the subject? No, the subject is “les étudiants”.

Is it the direct object? No.

Is it a time or a place? No, it’s not one of those either.

Look carefully at the word which is before the word “football”. It is the preposition “de”. Therefore we will use the relative pronoun “DONT”.

How do we form this sentence?

Le football, dont les étudiants parlent, est un sport populaire. (Football, which the students talk about, is a popular sport.)

pronom relatif dont

We use the same logic to construct a sentence as with the other pronouns.

Which are the verbs which are constructed with DE? There are many, but we have put together a small selection of the most common for you.

When you use any of these verbs in a sentence and want to replace the DE and the object with a relative pronoun, you must use DONT.

pronom relatif dont

For example:

ÊTRE + adjective + DE

  1. Je suis fou de chocolat (I am crazy about chocolate)

  2. Le chocolat coûte très cher (Chocolate is very expensive)

Le chocolat, dont je suis fou, coûte très cher.” (Chocolate, which I am crazy about, is very expensive)

You can find our exercises on the relative pronoun DONT here:

You can post your answers in the comments.

This week, Priscilla has returned to our video French lessons online!

She is offering you a new video on pronunciation for beginners, focused on the alphabet in French. And even if you are not a beginner, it is always good to revise your alphabet because often we think we know it, but we are getting certain letters wrong.

You will also learn how to spell out a word.

Here is a transcript of the video, in English:

Hello I am Priscilla, I am a teacher at the language school alpha.b in Nice. I am, by the way, Niçoise by adoption. How do we spell Niçoise? N I Ç O I S E.

You can see that the letters of the French alphabet are not so easy.

Here is a program of two lessons that we will have together about the French alphabet.

Today I will explain to you how to spell out a word, meaning how to pronounce the letters which make up a word. And in our next lesson we will work on the particularities of the French alphabet, pronunciation and otherwise.

In French there are 26 letters.


But I have a little trick to help you both to pronounce the letters, and also to memorise them.

There are 26 letters but only 7 different pronunciations for the letters of the French alphabet.

We will work with a table made up of 7 columns.

At the top of each column, there is a phonetic symbol which represents the sound of a letter or letters.

The columns of letters are pronounced: [a] [e] [ø] [ε] [i] [o] [y]


Shall we begin?

Here is the French alphabet.

Even so, be careful with certain pronunciation problems which always crop up with students.

The sound [ø] which is not pronounced like the [e]


The possible confusion between two letters: the letter G like in Gérard and J like in “jolie” (pretty).

The letters U and Q: be careful they are not pronounced like [u] but like [y]. To have the sound [u] you must always have two letters: O+U

And the favourite of English speakers, speakers of Asian languages, and many nationalities: the R. It is a tough letter in French.

“J’ai visité BeRlin.” (I visited Berlin). Don’t worry about exaggerating it.

Another problem, when you spell out, for example, my first name: I am Priscilla. How is that spelt? P R I S C I, two Ls, A.


Careful, in French we do not say: L L, or double L, we say “deux L” (two Ls), “deux P”, “deux S”, etc.

Lastly, I will explain how to dictate an email address in French.

The French do not use the word “email” in a professional context but the word “courriel” for “courriel électronique” (electronic mail).

They are written in lowercase letters and without accents. If you would like to know everything about accents, I will see you again in another video.

But for the moment my professional address is:

P E D A G O G I E arobase A L P H A tiret B point FR

(P E D A G O G I E at sign A L P H A dash B dot FR)

There are two options for the dash:

  • tiret du haut” – (dash/hyphen)
  • Or “tiret du bas” _ (underscore)

There we go! See you very soon for the next video on our YouTube channel!

To sign up for our French courses in Nice, click here.

Après avoir essayé le Cours Continu virtuel, je continue mes études virtuelles avec alpha.b dans un cours un peu différent : le cours qui est composé de deux classes de 2 heures par semaine et de travail en autonomie.

À mon avis ce travail en autonomie vous permet de profiter de ce cours comme vous voulez. Avant de chaque classe il y a quelque chose à préparer, mais vous êtes libre à faire autant que vous pouvez.

Si, par exemple, vous travaillez encore et vous manquez du temps, vous pourriez faire un minimum de travail en autonomie mais néanmoins assister au cours et profiter de la leçon.

Si, comme moi, vous avez trop de temps actuellement (ou vous en avez marre de jongler avec les séries Netflix et les quiz en ligne) vous avez l’opportunité de travailler plus sur un sujet pour la classe.

Le prof, Jean-Philippe, est super gentil et il est toujours heureux à corriger un peu plus de travail que ce qu’il est vraiment nécessaire pour la classe.

Donc, ce cours est peut-être le choix optimal pour les gens qui ont encore des vies trépidantes ou imprévisibles.

La deuxième différence très marquée entre ce cours et l’autre en ce moment, est le nombre d’étudiants dans la classe.

En premier lieu, je vous recommanderais de vérifier que vous avez une connexion Internet assez forte pour permettre une classe comme ça avec maximum 7 étudiants.

Avec plus de personnes il y a bien sur plus de possibilités pour les problèmes !

Cependant, le grand avantage d’une classe qui est plus grande et très internationale est l’opportunité pour un échange interculturel.

virtual course

Chacun a les expériences culturelles différents, et c’est vraiment valable et intéressant d’apprendre à se connaitre. Les activités qu’on fait aussi souvent mène au découvert des cultures et intérêts des autres.

Par exemple, un jour notre travail en autonomie était à rédiger une anecdote de nos vies pour présenter aux autres participants.

Ensuite, on a tous interrogé l’histoire pour vérifier si c’était vrai ou faux.

C’est un cours super intéressant, et je crois que l’interaction sociale pourrait être une façon amusante d’interagir avec des personnes avec qui vous n’habitez pas et échapper de l’isolement qu’on doit vivre en ce moment.

online course

En ce qui concerne mon progrès en français, je trouve que ce cours est, évidemment, moins intensif que quand on a une classe chaque jour.

Bien que je sache que je parle déjà dans une manière plus confiante en français, certainement j’estime qu’on apprend plus lentement quand on a 2 leçons par semaine au lieu de 5.

Chacun a moins de temps à parler en français et pratiquer ce qu’on a appris. Néanmoins, je commence à me rendre compte de souvenir plus de vocabulaire chaque classe, et je peux déjà utiliser certains phrases et points de grammaire que j’ai appris les semaines précédentes sans trop d’effort – une sensation vraiment gratifiante.

Aussi, j’ai la sensation d’améliorer mes connaissances de la langue continuellement, sans la sensation que le français utilise une moitié de ma journée 5 jours par semaine (pas que c’est quelque chose de mal, si c’est ce que vous voulez) !

C’est un choix génial pour ceux d’entre nous qui cherchent une façon d’apprendre le Français qui est un peu plus détendue mais pourtant efficace. Peut-être que je vous y reverrai ! Cliquez ici pour participer à ce cours !


On Alphab TV, we are offering you a new class for beginners with Patrice!

Several months ago, we released his first lesson on definite and indefinite articles and this time, he will talk to you about partitive articles.

Do you know what a partitive article is?


These are the partitive articles:

  • DU
  • DE L’
  • DE LA

Like definite and indefinite articles, partitive articles come before a noun.

DU is used before a masculine noun:

DU pain (some bread)

DE LA is used before a feminine noun:

DE LA guitare (guitar)

DE L’ is used in front of a masculine or feminine noun starting with a vowel or a silent H:

DE L’huile (f) (some oil)

DE L’eau (f) (some water)

DE L’air (m) (some air)

DE l’hélium (m) (some helium)


DES is used in front of a plural noun:


DES légumes (m) (some vegetables)

DES livres (m) (some books)


When do we use partitive articles?

  1. We use partitive articles before a concrete or abstract noun that we cannot count.

For example: “Je mange une pomme ou je mange deux pommes.” (I eat an apple or I eat two apples)

I can count the apples: 1 or 2

But I say: “Je mange du riz” (I eat some rice)

I cannot count the rice on my plate, there is too much rice.

So I use the partitive article.

We generally use them with food or liquids.

articles partitifs

“Marie mange de la salade et boit du vin.” (Marie eats some salad and drinks some wine)

“Paul achète du lait et de l’huile au supermarché.”(Paul buys some milk and some oil at the supermarket)

“Thomas a du riz, de la viande, du poisson et des œufs dans son frigo.” (Thomas has some rice, some meat, some fish and some eggs in his fridge)


  1. We also use partitive articles with activities like sport and music, with the verb FAIRE

“Marie fait du tennis” (Marie plays tennis)

“Paul fait de la guitare” (Paul plays the guitar)

“Thomas fait de l’aviron et de l’accordéon.” (Thomas rows and plays the accordion)

  1. Finally, we can use partitive articles with the weather

“Il y a” + partitive article + the weather

À Nice il y a du soleil” (In Nice it is sunny)

À Paris il y a de la pluie” (In Paris it is rainy)

  1. Careful with the negative form of partitive articles


DE L’ -> D’

Je mange du riz -> Je ne mange pas de riz

(I eat rice -> I don’t eat rice)

articles partitifs

Je bois de la bière -> Je ne bois pas de bière

(I drink beer -> I don’t drink beer)

There is an exception with the verb “être”:

C’est du riz –> Ce n’est pas du riz

(It is rice -> It is not rice)

C’est de la bière –> Ce n’est pas de la bière

(It is beer -> It is not beer)

To summarise:

We use partitive articles:

  1. To describe a quantity that we cannot count
  2. With certain activities like sport or music
  3. With the weather

Watch the whole video here:

To find out about our language courses online please click here.

After trying the Continuous French course, I have been carrying on my online studies with alpha.b in a slightly different class – the course which is made up of 2 hours of class per week and independent study.

In my opinion the independent study element allows you to really make of this class what you like.

Before each class there is something to prepare, but you are free to do as much or as little as you are able.

If, for example, you are still working and don’t have a lot of time to spare, you can do a minimal amount of independent work but still attend the class and make the most of the lesson.

alpha b online course

If, like me, you have too much time on your hands at the moment (or are fed up with juggling your busy schedule of Netflix series and online quizzes) you have the opportunity to put much more work into the subject for that class.

The teacher, Jean-Philippe, is really nice and is always happy to correct a little bit more work than is really necessary for the class itself. In this way this course is perhaps the best choice for people who still have very busy or unpredictable lives.

The second very apparent difference between this course and the other at the moment, is the number of students in the class.

First of all, I would recommend you check before you sign up that you have access to an internet connection that is strong enough to support a class like this with a maximum of 7 students. With more people there is definitely more scope for problems!

However, the huge advantage of a larger, very international class is the opportunity for cultural exchange.

Everyone has their own specific experiences, and I think that it will be very valuable and interesting to get to know everybody.

virtual class

The activities we do also often lend themselves to learning about the interests and lives of the other participants.

For example, one day our independent study task was to write an anecdote from our lives to present to the other students, and we all had to interrogate the person to find out if the story was true or false.

It is a really interesting course, and I think that the social interaction can be a fun way to interact with people outside your household and escape from the social confinement many of us are facing at the moment.

In terms of my progress in the French language, it is obviously true that this course is less intensive than having class every day.

Even though I know that I am already speaking more confidently in French, naturally it feels like you are learning a bit more slowly when you have two lessons a week instead of five.

There is less time for each person to speak in French and practise what you have learned.

On the other hand, I am starting to realise that I am remembering more vocabulary each class and I can already use some phrases and grammar points that I have learned in the last few weeks without too much effort – which is a really satisfying feeling.

Also, I feel like I am constantly improving my French language skills without feeling like French is using up half of my day, 5 days a week (not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that’s what you want)!

It is a great option for those of us who are looking for way to learn French that is a little more chilled out but still effective.

Maybe I will see you there!

Learn more and book our 2x2h courses + individual study by clicking here.

During this period of isolation, when language stays have unfortunately been put on hold, Institut Linguistique alpha.b has arranged virtual lessons for students from anywhere in the world.

Taking a virtual course in a small group of your ability level can allow you to continue to practise the language from home, at times which suit you.

This also gives you the opportunity to stay in contact with other students from all over the world and to enjoy yourself for a couple of hours a day; talking, learning and working just like in a normal class.

For some of you, it may be important to be able to get a certification for your French level.

This is why alpha.b is one of the only schools to be able to offer you a period of 4 weeks of virtual classes with us, at the end of which you can take the Bright Certification FOR FREE which will attest to your ability level.

What is the Bright Certification?

certification bright

It is a certification which has existed for more than 30 years and which is recognised by French professional training centres as well as those in more than 80 countries. The Bright language tests are certified by the University of Michigan in the United States.

The Bright Certification is valid for two years after it has been obtained.

It is an exam which is 100% accessible on the internet, simple to use and provides a rapid and reliable evaluation of overall language proficiency for written and oral comprehension in a professional context.

How is it examined?

The Bright test exits for 11 languages, one of which is French as a Foreign Language, a test which we are offering for free to students of our online French courses.

This test consists of an online questionnaire made up of two parts (written and oral), each with 60 questions, and a total duration of 45 to 60 minutes.

How does it work?

learn french online

If you decide to take the Bright test at the end of your 4 weeks of virtual classes with alpha.b, we will cover the fee for the test. It will therefore be 100% free for you!

Your teacher will send you your personalised identification so that you can take the test online and they will supervise you via a control panel.

Once the test is finished, you will immediately have access to your evaluation report, downloadable by PDF. It is also possible to ask for a list of the grammar mistakes that you have made.

The results are recorded on a scale from 0 (beginner) to 5 (bilingual). Bright Language can compare them to language levels required for different positions within your company on request.

bright certification

The Advantages of the Bright test

  • Objective results
  • Comprehensiveness: score + reports on areas to address
  • Flexibility
  • CEFR competencies tested
  • Disability-friendly tests

If you are interested in obtaining this certification, you can contact us by email at or talk to your teacher during your virtual classes. You can still book your place on a 4-week course on our website by clicking here.

Pendant cette période de confinement où les séjours linguistiques sont mis entre parenthèse, l’institut linguistique alpha.b a mis en place des cours virtuels pour ses étudiants du monde entier.

Suivre un cours virtuel en petit groupe de votre niveau vous permet de continuer à pratiquer la langue de chez vous, aux horaires qui vous conviennent.

Cela vous permet aussi de garder le contact avec d’autres étudiants dans le monde et de passer un bon moment pendant 2h par jour à discuter, apprendre et travailler comme dans une vraie classe.

Pour certains d’entre vous, il peut être important d’avoir la possibilité de certifier cet apprentissage du français.

C’est pourquoi alpha.b est l’une des seules écoles à vous proposer, au terme de 4 semaines de cours virtuels avec nous de passer GRATUITEMENT la Certification Bright qui permettra d’attester de votre niveau.

Qu’est-ce que la Certification Bright ?

certification bright

C’est une Certification qui existe depuis plus de 30 ans et qui est reconnu par les organismes de formation professionnelle en France mais également dans plus de 80 pays. Les test Bright Language sont certifiés par l’Université du Michigan aux Etats-Unis.

La Certification Bright est valable 2 ans à compter de l’obtention.

C’est un examen qui est 100% disponible sur Internet, simple d’utilisation et qui apporte une évaluation rapide et fiable des compétences linguistiques globales pour la compréhension écrite et oral dans un contexte professionnel.

Comment se déroule l’examen ?

Le test Bright existe pour 11 langues dont le Français Langue Etrangère, test que nous proposons gratuitement à nos étudiants de cours de français en ligne.

Ce test consiste en un questionnaire en ligne composé de deux parties (écrit / oral) de 60 questions chacune et d’une durée totale de 45 à 60 minutes.

learn french online

Comment ça marche ?

Si vous décidez de passer la Certification Bright à l’issue de vos 4 semaines de cours virtuels avec alpha.b, nous vous offrons les frais de ce test. Il sera donc 100% gratuit pour vous !

Votre professeur vous enverra vos identifiants personnalisés pour que vous puissiez passer ce test en ligne et il surveillera via un panneau de contrôle.

Une fois le test terminé, vous accèderez immédiatement à son rapport d’évaluation, téléchargeable en PDF. Il est possible aussi de demander la liste des points de grammaire sur lesquels vous vous êtes trompé.

Les résultats sont notés sur une échelle de 0 (débutant) à 5 (bilingue). Bright Language peut les comparer au niveau linguistique exigé dans les différents postes au sein de votre entreprise sur demande.

bright certification

Les atouts du test Bright

  • Objectivité des résultats
  • Complet : Score + rapports des points à traiter
  • Flexibilité
  • Compétences testées CECRL
  • Tests adaptés en situation de handicap

En 2020, tous nos étudiants en formation CPF ont passé l’examen Bright à la fin de le formation et 100% ont obtenu le niveau suivi.

En 2021, 100% de nos étudiants en formation CPF ont passé l’examen Bright et ont obtenu le niveau suivi lors de leur formation.

Si vous êtes intéressé par la passation de cette certification, vous pouvez nous contacter par email sur, ou en parler à votre professeur lors de vos cours virtuels ou encore réserver pour 4 semaines vos cours sur notre site en cliquant ici.

Hello everybody,

This week there is a new free French lesson on our blog and our YouTube channel.

Do you struggle to pronounce certain sounds in French?

Do you have difficulty understanding liaisons?

This new French class, given by French teacher Priscilla, could help you!

alpha.b is a French school located in Nice and we also offer online French courses for you in groups or individual. Click here to learn more about our Virtual classes.

Let’s begin!

Hello, I am Priscilla and I am a French teacher at the French school alpha.b in Nice.

Today I am offering a slightly specific lesson in pronunciation, focusing on the recital of a poem.

But first I encourage you to follow us on Instagram, where you can see everyday life at alpha.b and teaching resources are posted for you every week.

The aim of this lesson is to help you to pronounce the sounds with precision, but also to speak with fluidity, i.e. not like a robot!

The poem “Le Capitaine Jonathan” was written by one of the most famous French poets of the 20th century: Robert Desnos.

It is made up of three stanzas (in French “strophes”) = like a paragraph in poetry

Each stanza is made up of 4 lines (in French “vers”)

Each line has 8 syllables (in French, a syllable is “un pied”) = octosyllables (in French “octosyllables”)

The last two lines have 10 syllables = decasyllables (in French “décasyllables”)

It is very important to understand and to be able to pronounce every syllable of the poem. This will help you to really find the rhythm.

Robert Desnos was a bit lazy with his rhymes in his poem.

You know that rhymes are the repetitions of sounds that are found at the end of lines of verse.

Here there is only one rhyme: the sound “EN”

We have already studied the sound “EN” in the video about the nasal sounds, click here to watch it again.

Be careful, concentrate, you must really pronounce the last word of each verse with the sound “EN”.

Right! This is how we will do it.

I will read you the first stanza at a normal speed, which will be a goal for you to reach.

Then I will repeat the first line slowly and with good articulation, focusing on certain sounds which cause pronunciation problems.

The idea is that you repeat after me, trying to imitate my pronunciation and my rhythm.

Next, you must watch the video:

Robert Desnos was a surrealist poet. The aim of his poem is not logic but the musicality of the words.

I hope that you enjoyed it, now all you have to do is practise, practise, practise.

If you like, you can post your attempts, we would love to hear them.

See you soon, goodbye, ciao!

Click here to download the PDF of the lesson.


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