🎙️ Here’s exactly how to pronounce the ten hardest French words

Here comes Camille Chevalier-Karfis, the founder of the French Today website, which teaches both traditional and modern French. On this podcast she walks me through how to pronounce the ten toughest French words.

(Plus we have a good old chat, with me in the studio and her at home in Paimpol, Brittany.)

Here are the words:

Brouilly (a wine, and a place in France)

Reims (a place in France)

Caen (a place in France)

Rouen (a place in France)

Buoux (a place in France)

Grenouille (a frog)

Serrurerie (a locksmiths)

Bouilloire (a kettle)

Ecureuil (a squirrel)

Vadrouille (a wander about)


This was Camille’s first appearance on The Earful Tower, recorded in December 2017. To hear her more recent episode on how to improve your French, click here).

Want more Earful audio about the French language? Why not listen to our top episode ever – the 24 best French words.

Or the 19 worst French words

Oh, and before I forget, if you’re looking for more from Camille, you can check out her downloadable audiobook “Secrets of French pronunciation“, which actually has a whole section on the “ill” sound we talked about in the show.

It includes explanations and repeat-after-me sentences such as “Ouille, aïe, j’ai de la paille dans l’œil”. (Ouch, ouch, I have some straw in my eye). 

Here are two more of her articles on pronunciation while we’re at it: Nine steps to improving your French accent, and How to understand spoken French.

Good luck!

4 thoughts on “🎙️ Here’s exactly how to pronounce the ten hardest French words

Add yours

  1. This episode was both cute and enlightening! 😀 Camille is more than right in saying that we have another voice when speaking a foreign language, I notice it every time I utter English sentences! However, we still use the word you talk about; we can say “je pars en vadrouille” (I am going for a walk) or “je vais vadrouiller un peu” (which is the verb, meaning I am going to wander a bit). And above all, don’t despair. I have learn to speak English when I was 12, and there are still some words driving me mad because I cannot pronounce them properly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s not how you pronounce Buoux! Camille is close but you have to pronounce the x at the end. It is a small town surrounded by magnificent gorges, and you should definitely go there.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: