French can be a tricky damn language, can’t it? And it’s quite hard to just read a list of tricky French words, isn’t it?
So with this in mind, here’s a podcast episode featuring Camille Chevalier-Karfis, the founder of the French Today website, which teaches both traditional and modern French. She walks me through how to pronounce the ten toughest French words.
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)
As a bonus, here’s what I’ve since discovered to be a very tricky word too, quincaillerie. The video below is a tiny snippet from a Walk Show I did with April Pett.
As for the full podcast episode, that was the voice of Camille, and it was her 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… our second top episode ever.
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).
And if you like The Earful Tower, here’s how to support the programme.