difficult french words to pronounce

Being able to pronounce words properly in a new language can seem like a total nightmare. People snickering while you say a word you’ve never heard is demoralizing and rude. We don’t want you to abandon your French language classes because you are discouraged. We know there are some really difficult words so we want you to know them and master them before you are forced to read them out in public without a clue of how to say them. It is obviously much easier to know how to pronounce words when you hear them so we’ve included short videos with the correct pronunciation. Here are 15 of the most difficult French words to pronounce!

Some of the Most Difficult French Words to Pronounce

1Yaourt/yogourt (yogourt)

If you have a French Canadian teacher, they will call yogurt yogourt (yo-gour) but if you have a French teacher from France, they will say yaourt (ya-ourt) so your pronunciation will depend on your teacher. Both spellings are fine but if you say yaourt in Québec and yogourt in France, they might not understand.

2Heureux (happy)

This is an important word to know because it is important to express if you’re happy or not! It is important to remember that you do not pronounce the h nor the x so you’d say eureu. Just remember that the second eu is stronger than the first.  

3Dessus/dessous (above/below)

French words with double s’s are hard for non-francophones. It sounds like a snake sound and for an Anglophone, it sounds more like a c than a s. When you say these two words, just remember that dessous has the ou sound and not dessus.