Simple but Effective Tips to Improve Your French Accent

Bonjour !

“Please tell me Géraldine, how should I deal with mon accent?”

That’s a good question! There are different points of view on this. Should you learn an accent first? And what’s a typical “French accent,” anyway? How can I make a good French accent? Can I learn it on my own?

While French people don’t really care about your accent, it pays to be better at it! In this episode, I’ll teach you the simple but effective tips (that you can do on your own) to improve your French accent. In fact, you could get some help from Catherine Deneuve!

Let’s dive in!

5 Weird French Expressions to Sound Like a Native
Basic French Phrases to Survive Any Conversation
Regional French (with Français de Nos Régions)
How to Improve Your French Pronunciation (with Geri Metz)

Et toi ?

What do you feel about your accent in French?

Bonne journée,

Géraldine

Join the conversation!

  • Mon accent, c’est okay… je ne sais pas pourquoi 🙂 Mais, je n’ai pas les personnes avec qui parler en français. Je suis de la sud le la Louisiane, mais maintenant j’habite en Virginie. J’adore le français et la culture française, mais je ne sais pas vraiment m’entraîner.

  • Géraldine — I wonder what you think about this idea. For my students, I have begun assigning them a song in French to listen to (usually covers of familiar songs in English) — they are to actively listen and read the lyrics, at least four times each week. I encourage them to begin singing along, believing this will improve pronunciation, speed, rate, rhythm, liaisons … what do you think of how effective this could possibly be? We are only in class once/week, so I am trying to find ways to help them hear good French AND engage their interests.

    • Hello Marji,
      Thanks for your question. I don’t have an experience of teaching a class of (I assume) teenagers but this looks like a nice idea.
      However, careful with pronunciation as songs are to pronunciation what poetry is to grammar. It’s art and is not always very clear.
      But why would you focus on covers of songs in English? It would more culturally accurate to work on French songs, don’t you think?

  • Excellent tips, especially the one about talking with a French person as much as possible so that you absorb the proper way to speak. I’ve had several French language partners and nothing has helped my French more.
    As for pronunciation vs accent and which is more important, I have to confess that I have trouble keeping the two straight!

  • Despite coming from England I’ve never had much difficulty getting into a French pronunciation or accent ~ right from the start ! That’s a little unusual I suspect, but I found the same thing when I started to learn German once upon a time. I’m a bit like it in English as well ~ I can do a pretty accurate Irish voice, but then half my family were Irish, and I can do the same in an Aussie accent ~ but then I used to live down there. I’ve always thought that empathy has something to do with it, but who knows ?
    I was intrigued by the suggestion also that we could perhaps copy the voice of a French actor we like. I’ve watched Gérard Depardieu quite a few times being interviewed (in French) and then found myself copying slightly the things he was saying. But, he had quite a lot to say about food and wine which made it worth listening to !
    And to finish ~ like Hannah I really like your “pull” as well. Foxy Lady comes to mind, and you look just great in it Géraldine.
    Comme toujours, une très très bonne leçon. Super intéressante, et merci beaucoup.

  • Géraldine, je kiff trop votre pull avec le petit ???? renard au milieu ! Et dans un langage plus soutenu je dirais, “j’apprécie beaucoup votre pull, il est très beau et vous va très bien.”Maintenant par rapport au accent, je trouve que c’est vrai ce que vous disiez à propos d’accent. Quand je parle avec confiance, le gens ne me pose même pas de question sur ma origine. Ou au moins pas tout de suite comment il y a un an. 😉

  • That’s an interesting idea re looking at/ copying an actor, i am going to try watching/ imitating Vincent Cassel bonne chance à moi, non? 🙂

  • Je m’en moque. Je parle francais pour communiquer avec les francophones. S’il existe un malheureux qui me jugerait par le biais de mon accent anglais ou par mes fautes de vocabulaire, voila un minable qui mérite de rester pour toujours au dehors de mon entourage!

  • Bonjour Geraldine,
    I would like to improve my accent but I definitely don’t want to perfect it ! Why ? Because 1. I am told it’s charming and mignon . And more importantly 2. If you make simple mistakes such as masculine/feminine then you are forgiven as they make allowances because you are a foreigner, but if you do this as a native you could be thought of as uneducated or a little stupid maybe ?

  • Mon accent est assez pauvre mais d’habitude les francais me comprendent. Don’t je crois que il n’estpas trop important. Aussi les anglais adour l’anglais parlent aves un accent francais et on me dit que l’inverse et aussi vrai.

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