Turlututu Chapeau Pointu – The French U

How To Pronounce The French U vs The French OU

The French U is not a sound used in English… it requires some practice and must not be mistaken with the French sound OU.

The French sound OU is similar to the sound used in the English word soup.

To pronounce the French sound U, try this:

  1. Say ‘Free’ and hold the ee sound
  2. Now, without moving your tongue, shape your lips into an “ooh” sound.

Et voilà ! You should hear the sound changing from ee to French U.


Virelangues en U – Tongue twisters

Here’s an exercise to help you pronounce and hear the difference between U and OU.

Listen to each sentence and then repeat together with the recording until you feel you can say U well and it’s distinctively different to OU.


1  Turlututu chapeau pointu  

2 Une tortue sourde court sur un mur

3 Tu nous dis vous ou tu nous dis tu ?

4 Un cul de sac est une rue sans issue

5 Sans dessus dessous


To go further

Why not write your own French tongue twister… with words in U and OU !


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