Seemingly Impossible Sound

EricR31

EricR31

I'm very much a beginner. In the first, lesson I've encountered "d'où" and been unable to pronounce it successfully. I found that it is the "où" part specifically that is not understood.

I've listened to the recordings with "d'où" at least 100 times - seriously - and made probably twice as many attempts to pronounce it. I once got a 100%, but I don't know why, and have never been able to repeat it.

I've been able to get 100% on the other words, but not d'où, so it doesn't seem like a technical problem. On the other hand, just for a sanity check, I went to google translate , gave d'où a try and it recognized it.

What else can be done to learn to pronounce d'où or something in general? I'm guessing this will come up again. Apparently, I'm not able to hear and/or reproduce something in it.

 
MCK

MCK

Have you tried pronouncing d'où in a phrase, sentence or other context to see what happens? The program is not infrequently poor 9even very poor) with speech recognition for single word pronunciation, and sometimes just in 1 or 2 phrases in the lesson for no obvious reason. Have a listen to the playback of yourself saying d'où - if it sounds reasonable just go on. The final alternative is to sit there and deliberately try different things linguistically - different mouth shape, different tongue position etc etc If you have the good fortune to know a native speaker ( I married one) ask them whether they here it as 'ok' or can help advise why it is lacking, if not.
EricR31

EricR31

It actually started when it didn't recognize my "d'où venez vous". Looking at the output, I isolated the issue to "d'où" and then "où". I made many attempts and finally tried google translate, where I got it in 3 tries and was able to repeat the sound with success.

I did move on, thanks for the help. Since I was successful with the rest of the speaking exercises, I thought it wasn't a technical issue and would likely come up again on other sounds.
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Salut EricR31 et MCK !

Thanks very much for your question, EricR31, and for the great suggestions, MCK! 

Unfortunately, it sounds like it was indeed a technical issue on our end, EricR31. The voice recognition can sometimes have difficulty picking up very short contractions like de +  when they appear at the start of a sentence. 

I've checked into this with our technical team and we've put a manual fix on that phrase, so it should be working now. Our apologies for the difficulty you were having with it! If it still doesn't work for you, please do let us know.

À la prochaine,

Liss
RobertR34

RobertR34

French vowels are more difficult largely because the French do not use Diphthongs and Americans do.  The best example is "je sais".  It is almost impossible for an American to pronounce that without  "say-ee"; a lifetime of habit is working against us!   
Mujahid.G

Mujahid.G

I have similar issues when pronouncing very short words like "un", "deux", "j'ai", etc. I figured out that my pronunciation is right, it is just the speech recognition tool struggling to recognise the very short word, most probably confusing it with similar words or letters (as the word is short). 
RobertR34

RobertR34

"j'ai" is another perfect example of the lack of a diphthong; "un" and "deux" to a lesser extent, although certain American accents would also use the diphthong with them as well.

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