The Nasal twamg of your French tutor
So you are finally on your way to attend private French lessons in Paris itself, what could be better, you are set up with a highly recommended French tutor and you have listened to a lot of tapes and watched a lot of that famous French cinema to get acquainted with the feel and flow of it.
- But when you install yourself for your first lesson somewhere in France, don´t be too shocked if your French tutor doesn´t sound exactly like your number one movie star, because here, like everywhere else, there are differences in dialects depending on where in France you are from.
- If your French tutor speaks with a nasal twang hes likely to be from the southern parts, maybe from the nitty-gritty of harbour town Marseille, or the palm tree paradise of Nice. Or maybe he comes across a bit harsh with the Germanic influences of the eastern part colouring his accent. Does he seem a bit full of himself? Maybe it is just the rounded vowels stuck in his throat from his northern upbringing.
- When you attend Home Lessons in France, the regional accent of your French tutor is something to be aware of, since the significance of dialects isn´t just constricted to different ways of pronunciation. No. They always come rich in symbolism, being a class marker between high and low and between country and city. There are a thousand stories to a dialect, and if you study in France, you will have the opportunity to learn a little bit more about them, as there is no such thing as a neutral way of speaking.
- Once you have come to grips with the basics of the French language, or maybe excelled further than that, you will still have a hard time escaping that small but revealing tone in your pronunciation that gives away clues as to where you are from. Even if, when you study in France, totally master standard French, that will tell people something about you, since standard anything when it comes to languages isn´t spoken by the general public, but rather by TV-anchors and weathergirls. Its like trying to flatten out the rough terrain located in an accent, instead of celebrating the diversity and history of a region that comes so closely integrated with the flavour of a voice.
So when you sign up for home lessons in France, embrace the local accent of your French tutor, play with it, try other dialects on for size as it is a fun and effective way of expanding your vocabulary and will get you a true feeling for the rhythm of a language as a whole.