explanation vocabulary / grammar video show / hide Nasal a

The following graphemes indicate a nasal a: en, an, em, am

  an = year  
  mourant = dying  
  trancher = to cut through  
  paysan = peasant  
  manger = to eat  
  demander = to ask  
  ambigüe = ambiguous  
  jambon = ham  
  (une) dent = tooth  
  entendre = to hear, to understand  
  envahir = to invade  
  entrer = to enter  
  vendre = to sell  
  tenter = to try  
  embarrassé = embarrassed  
  embêtant = unpleasant, annoying  
  empêcher = to hinder  

This does not apply (as said before) when after am / an / en / em follows a vowel or another m or n . Then the vowels are spoken like an open a and e.

  ami = friend
  lame = blade
  gamin = boy, rascal

Also here with the nasal a we suggest to first form a normal, open a and then change it to a nasal one by using the nose as a resonance room.

Try to repeat the following:


savane = savannah savant = savant both together

It is important that you understand that the sounds are different. The nasal o is formed with cuspidal lips, the tongue is pressed down in the back part of the mouth. The nasal a is formed with the lips more stilted. Some words only differ in this single sound. However, do not give up quite yet. With a bit of practice you will manage. And never forget. People will understand you from the context. Therefore, do not worry too much about it.

sons   sang   both together
  long   lent   both together
  ton   temps   both together

Following are some more examples of differences between the two sounds. Repeat them and get a feeling for the creation of these sounds. .

  other examples  
o nasales o son a nasales a sang all together
  o nasales o long a nasales a lent all together
  o nasales o ton a nasales a temps all together


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