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Five common French words… are you pronouncing them right?

instinct

The ct on the end of instinct is silent. The inct ending sounds just like the in at the beginning of the word. Say in-stin.

poing

Your fist is your poing in French. Poing sounds just like the French word point.

shampooing

Shampoo in French is called shampooing. The pooing part (yes, I just said the pooing part), sounds like the French word poing, which we just saw above. The sham part sounds the French word chant. Say chant-point.

cou

Your neck is your cou in French. It’s easy enough to pronounce; it’s just that you don’t want to confuse it with the word for another body part, a little farther down. Cou rhymes with fou. The ou part sounds just like the French word où. The word you don’t want to confuse cou with is cul

cul

Your arse is your cul in French. How do you pronounce cul? Cul rhymes with tu, bu, su, dû, which use the French u sound (not ou). Don’t pronounce the l on the end of cul.

  • instinct
  • poing
  • shampooing
  • cou
  • cul

Now five guides to choose from in the OffQc store related to colloquial Québécois French — get them here.

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