Première classe A1 Breakthrough

Assessment: Are you able to distinguish the sounds /s/ and /z/ in the pronunciation?

Écoutez la vidéo et dites si vous entendez /s/ ou /z/ dans les mots en italique.
Listen to the video and say if you can hear /s/ or /z/ in the italicized words.
Choisissez la réponse dans le menu déroulant Help on how to respond the exercice

Les falaises (I can hear /z/|I can hear /s/) de la Côte basque (I can hear /s/|I can hear /z/), en contre-bas, à Bidart, la plage de Parlementia, dominée par des maisons (I can hear /z/|I can hear /s/) typiques : un paradis pour les surfeurs (I can hear /s/|I can hear /z/) car ici, les vagues sont (I can hear /s/|I can hear /z/) exceptionnelles.

Si je vais pas à l’eau, je peux rien faire de la journée. Voilà, et une fois que c’est fait, c’est fait. On a le sourire (I can hear /s/|I can hear /z/).

Sur la plage, les surfeurs du dimanche commentent encore sa dernière prouesse (I can hear /s/|I can hear /z/) face à un mur d’eau l’hiver dernier.
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Conception: Geneviève Briet, Université catholique de Louvain
Published on 02/12/2017 - Modified on 02/07/2018
Les falaises de la Côte basque, en contre-bas, à Bidart, la plage de Parlementia, dominée par des maisons typiques : un paradis pour les surfeurs car ici, les vagues sont exceptionnelles.
Surfeur n°1
Si je vais pas à l’eau, je peux rien faire de la journée. Voilà, et une fois que c’est fait, c’est fait. On a le sourire.
Pilou Ducalme est une figure locale. Ce jardinier la semaine, est réputé pour surfer les vagues les plus énormes, comme cette fois où ses amis l’ont filmé. 
Un de ses amis
Ouh, c’est Pilou ! C’est Pilouuu ! Elle est belle !
Et sur la plage, les surfeurs du dimanche commentent encore sa dernière prouesse face à un mur d’eau l’hiver dernier.
Surfeur n°2
Comme c’est un courageux, il est parti sur une énorme vague et puis il a fini dans les rochers. Voilà. Avec le, un jet-ski qui est venu le sauver, le chercher. Le jet-ski s’est fait embarquer.
Voice over The cliffs of the basque coast, below, in Bidart, Parlementia Beach, dominated by typical houses: a paradise for surfers because the waves here are exceptional.  Surfer n ° 1 If I don't go for a swim, I can't do anything all day. There, once it's done, it's really done. We are happy.  Voice over Pilou Ducalme is a local figure. This garderner during the week is known to surf the biggest waves, like this time where his friends filmed him. One of his friends Ooh, it's Pilou! It's Pilouuu! She is beautiful!  Voice over And on the beach, the amateur surfers once more comment his last prowess when he faced a real watter wall last winter.  Surfer n°2 As he is a brave man, he surfed an enormous wave and ended his course in the rocks. There you go. With the, a jet ski that came to save him, to fetch him. The jet-ski got picked up.

Pronunciation / Pronouncing the letter "s"

The sound  /s/ is well known in many languages. It's the second most frequenty used consonant in French, after the sound /ʀ/.
It has a twin which is the sound /z/.
The sound  /z/ is pronounced the same way: the air continually goes between the front of the tongue and the upper teeth, the tongue stays
down. Moreover, the vocal cords vibrate during the whole sound emission. To easily pronounce the sound /z/, keep the tip of the tongue against your lower teeth and make sure you keep your vocal cords vibrating from the beginning to the end. Feel the vibration with two fingers pressed on your throat. It's easier to say /z/ in words which contain /g/ (to keep your tongue down) and /m/ (to make your vocal cords vibrate). We can also think about to the sound bees and mosquitoes make: zzzzz This twin comes in ninth place in terms of frequency but it is very important to stress the plural: - marking the plural with the liaison between determiners and nouns that begin with a vowel:  les_oiseaux - marking the verbs plural:  ils_ , elles_ before a verb beginning with a vowel:  il aime / ils_aiment, elle ouvre / elles_ouvrent, il apporte / ils_apportent, … It's also the feminine mark of the adjectives in the masculine form ending with the letters "-s", "-x":  compris, heureux, nombreux, français
The difference between /s/ and /z/ enables to distinguish  Ils sont (être) / ils_ont (avoir)
In general, the letter "s" is pronounced /s/: -in words beginning (Strasbourg, siège) -before a consonant (historique, cosmopolite) - in words ending (un sens). In the middle of a word between two vowels, there are two possibilities as in the well known pairs: poisson / poison, dessert/ désert. The "ss" between two vowels spelling indicates the pronunciation /s /.

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