In my last post, I posted a video of me rapping my first full verse of French. In accordance with The Mimic Method philosophy, the purpose of this activity is to train the motor memory in my speech organ so that I can produce French sounds at normal speeds.
Before I could rap in French, however, I needed to familiarize myself with its component sounds, or phonemes. Every language has its own phonetic menu, or list of possible sounds. In the case of “Standard French”, there are roughly 36 different items on the menu.
This may sound like a lot to digest, until you start to cross off the sounds that already exist in English. Of the 36 French sounds, 27 already exist in English. From a learning perspective this makes things much easier.