Pfff, Bof, Bah: The Little Sounds that Make you Sound More French

Emma Buckby

24 May 2016

The French language is renowned the world over for its beauty and the way it sounds. But did you know that the French often have habits in their speech that sometimes go unnoticed? People learning the French language often struggle to hear and interpret these little sounds (onomatopoeiae), but they can be very important to understanding the language as they often translate real feelings – even though they are not proper words. Discover more about these little sounds that can make you sound more French.


How to Sound More French: The Little Sounds that Make French Unique

These little sounds are so important and ingrained in the French language that many French people even use them when they are speaking a foreign language

A failure to understand the true sense of a noise from your French counterparts can make it hard to understand what they are trying to say. These little sounds are so important and ingrained in the French language that many French people even use them when they are speaking a foreign language.

 

What do these little noises mean?

The following table highlights some of these little sounds that can make all the difference when speaking French. Take some time to review these sounds and listen carefully next time you are talking to someone in French, watch French TV or a French movie

“Hein” in French is “huh” in English, “bof” is “so, so”

These little noises are important when you communicate with French speakers

Knowing what these sounds mean will help you to understand and speak French more effectively.
Although the French use these sounds very often, don’t be expected to use or know them all. Learning to recognise them (and their meaning) in conversations will help enormously to understand your French speaking counterparts more and give you a real sense of satisfaction as you recognise the emotion portrayed in these little French sounds.

Good luck and we hope these blog article helps you to sound more French!

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