Speak better – Fleuriste 01-7

After watching the video above, a person asked this question in the comments on YouTube:

Please explain the breath release for consonants at the end of “cette’ and ”fleuristes”. Does this shwa-like sound have a name? Merci.

Here is my answer: You are hearing the E. The speaker is pronouncing every sound clearly because I asked them to do so: we want a pattern of sound that you can reproduce while working on tongue position. Now, compare the slowly-spoken version above to the original question below. To get you this, I went back to the original interview and cut out just the question. So, this is our reporter standing in the flower shop with a microphone, speaking to another native speaker without slowing things down for us…

So, in the original version, she doesn’t pronounce the E at the end of cette. However, if she had been looking for her words, that would have been a good place to make the pause. In that case, you would have heard, cetteuuuuuuuh…. So: whether or not you pronounce the E is not important. It varies by region and by speaker and by the speed at which a person is speaking.

Now, I worry that you may think that the E at the end of fleuriste DOES have to be pronounced clearly because it is pronounced in both of the recordings above. To help you understand that the E at the end of fleuriste does not have to be pronounced, (even though you hear it in both of the recordings above,) here is the interviewee saying, ‘a Swiss master florist, a German master florist, and a French master florist.’

Another “Speak better” exercise