My French teacher doesn't nasalize "in-"

Xatufan   Monday, October 18, 2004, 01:43 GMT
My French teacher is from Southern France. He doesn't nasalize "in-". Is this normal? Maybe it's regional. My other teachers were from Paris and they did nasalize "in-" like in "incroyable" or "chemin".
Mi5 Mick   Monday, October 18, 2004, 02:08 GMT
It might sound like that but I assure you they nasalise it. It sounds like a "eing" and yes it's normal for the South.
Mxsmanic   Monday, October 18, 2004, 03:36 GMT
The vowel is nasalized but its pronunciation is quite different and distinctive from that of standard French. It is best not to emulate this pronunciation if you wish to speak standard French. Rely on the pronunciation of your Parisian teachers instead.
nic   Monday, October 18, 2004, 06:49 GMT
it depends, some people from the south don't and some others do.
nic   Monday, October 18, 2004, 07:00 GMT
In fact it depends where in the south, many people do it in Marseille, but don't in the north Languedoc, Grenoble... for example.
Jordi   Monday, October 18, 2004, 13:52 GMT
If people can choose between a London, Washington or Sydney accents (amongst others) why shouldn't they be able to choose between a nice Marseille, Toulouse or Paris accent? It all depends on where you learn and who teaches you French. Do you mean that French spoken by an educated southerner is not standard?
Mxsmanic   Monday, October 18, 2004, 19:15 GMT
Yes, that's exactly what I mean, if he has an accent.

Students are free to choose whatever pronunciation suits them. They should be aware, however, of the impression that various pronunciations will make upon other speakers. Additionally, if maximum comprehension is desired, the most standard pronunciation should be the one chosen. In French, Parisian pronunciation is a good approximation of the standard; some other areas of France (e.g., the Loire valley) are very standard as well. But the south is not.
Lavoisel   Monday, October 18, 2004, 19:42 GMT
Nobody in France has ANY trouble to understand l'accent du midi. Actually, people from that region pronounce the "e" that are normally silent in the rest of France, so they are really clearer than we are. I can't think of any counter-indication to learn to speak French in the Marseillais way. Plus, you'll be likely to surprise people in a positive way, which I can't regard as a drawback.
Remember: the only accent we don't understand very well in France is the Quebecois one, but that's another story.
Jordi   Monday, October 18, 2004, 19:55 GMT
I agree with Lavoisel. I have met many High School teachers from the region of Marseille who speak with a Marseille accent although their French is the most standard you'll get in the market. I should know, I was born in Marseille myself and although I've spent most of my life away from Marseille I still have a part of the family there. Standard is about grammar not about accents. There is also quite a vulgar Paris speech (including the accent), which I would'nt recommend at all. Good French is about fine speech and all accents tend to moderate when spoken by educated people.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 00:06 GMT
It depends where in France you choose to spend most of your time and how cloistered the attitudes are. With that in mind, a standard Parisian accent in Marseilles could leave it's inhabitants with a... let's just say, it could be disadvantageous :)
Xatufan   Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 00:49 GMT
My teacher is from Avignon. I don't know in which region it is.

Yes, Mi5 Mick, he pronounces "fin" like "Feng". Like the "n" sound in the Spanish word "cuenca".
Xatufan   Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 00:53 GMT
Jordi, you're French???!!! I thought you were Catalan. So you've deceived us. I thought your mother language was Catalan, not French.

"Au revoir - Eso es 'hasta la vista' en francés." Eso es lo que Lizzie McGuire acaba de decir en la TV.
Jordi   Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 06:42 GMT
Both my parents are Catalan. I was born in France but that doesn't make me French at all, the same as being born in China wouldn't make me Chinese. I've never had French nationality, not even at birth since I was presented in the Spanish Consulate of Marseille. I grew up in Australia and came back to Catalonia when I was a teenager. In Spain, under the Franco regime, political exile was quite common. My older sisters and brother were all born in Catalonia as my wife and two children. Catalan is my mother tongue, and current family language, although my mother has always made it a point I spoke proper French, English and Spanish, at least since Catalan was our most important family language. I spoke 4 languages fluently before I was 10.
I, of course, speak the languages of the countries where I have lived and feel a great love and respect for French language and culture.
Look up your Google because Avignon happens to be quite an important place for Western Civilisation. You know the Catholic popes spent a time there in the Middle Ages, leaving Rome, and some very important painters have made it a place known all over the world. It is also the centre of Provençal culture. It's just north of Marseille and a beautiful city. I once spent a fortnight there and I've been back several times. I learnt Occitan one summer (Provençal) in Apt, a small town in this region, the Vaucluse. The cuisine is about the best you'll get in the world and I'm sorry for the guy, in another thread, who eats some kind of local northern sausage every day for his lunch. The wine is also excellent and people are really hard working and fun loving.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 07:05 GMT
I think he was teasing us with his "Blaswaët" invention. And I don't mean teasing us with something tantalisingly delicious, but for a laugh. LOL ;) Of course you can't compare a silly sausage (as funny as his name and habits are) with French culture and cuisine! Nevertheless you're bound to find a few bludgers taking advantage of the good life. Don't look at me :) ...only in moderation.

Do you have that accent Xatufan described, Jordi?
Jordi   Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 09:42 GMT
I have what the French call an educated southern French accent "non typé" meaning "non characterised". My cousins in Marseille tell me I don't have a Marseille accent and people in Paris tell me I'm from somewhere in the south. I can imitate a Marseille accent very well and I'm sure I would get it back if I lived there. As you know I'm a qualified conference interpreter in four languages (English, French, Catalan and Spanish) and I travel a lot to French-speaking countries. When I speak Occitan I definitely have a Provençal accent since that is how I learnt to speak the language. I'm very proud of the slight southern accent I have when I speak French and I definitely pass for a Frenchman in Paris. I remember going to the same Paris hotel for years and one of the members of the staff thought I was a Frenchman who had married a Spanish girl, when my wife first came with me in one of my trips.