Tongue Twisters: France Style

Les chaussures is the French word for shoes. I have known this for quite some time now, yet for some reason I have never really been able to say it correctly. The other day in class like we have done on many occasions throughout our three weeks of studying here, the seven of us we were taking turns reading parts of an article aloud. Of course, when it was my turn to read, I came across the word chaussures. I stumbled over the word, had my pronunciation corrected, yet was still unable to say it back right. After going back and forth repeating it, and me still never being able to get my pronunciation quite up to par for whatever reason, we just moved on, or so I had thought.

After finishing the article, Laurence, our professor for the morning, grabbed her marker and went up to the board. We all sat in silence as she wrote “Les chaussettes d’archiduchesse, sont-elles sèches? Oui, archi sèches.” Once she had finished writing that, she turns around, looks at me, and asks me to read the sentence. I stared at the board blankly for a few seconds as I thought about what had just been asked of me. I have enough trouble trying to say tongue twisters in English, so the thought of having to say one in French, concentrating on the sound I am practically horrible at saying the right way seemed ridiculously difficult to me, and it definitely was.

We spent the next few minutes saying the tongue twister over and over until I could get it right. While I was never able to step my game up enough to say it quickly, I could eventually get through the sentences with little to no errors, which was enough to make me proud.

-Brittany Dixon ’13

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