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How to pronounce "en fait" in French

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My dictionaries all say that fait in en fait is pronounced [fɛ]. It has no t-sound at the end. But I believe I hear people say it as [fɛt] with a t-sound. One of us, my ears or my books, is wrong. Who should I trust?

NN comments
jb_44
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FWIW, the wiktionary unambiguously pronounces en fait as /fɛt/ (same for au fait). It’s a bit more ambiguous about the single word fait; my reading is that both forms are allowed for the substantive use. I’ll check what my paper dictionaries have to say about it when I get home.

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3 answers

1

dangph

The Le Robert & CLE Dictionnaire du français has this to say under the noun fait:

REM. The t final ne se prononce pas, sauf en fin de phrase (ex. : on l'a pris sur le fait [syʀləfɛt]). Certains prononcent le t final dans des expressions comme : du fait de [dyfɛtdə], par le fait [paʀləfɛt], de fait [dəfɛt], en fait [ɑ̃fɛt] et au fait [ofɛt]. Cette prononciation est jugée familière par les puristes.

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2

dan_83

Your ears were right, all French (at least those in Toulouse : ) definitely pronounce the 't' at the end in common use, even though the dictionary says otherwise.

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2

leslie

Trust the French. There was a guy in my class whose last name was DesJardins. In English (American) it was "dess-JAR-dinz". In French it would be pronounced "day-jar-DA" (the 'n' is silent, too.)

NN comments
dangph
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Yes, absolutely, but I might have misheard. My ears are not yet completely attuned to the sounds of the language.

jb_44
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Just a nit, but that ‘n’ isn’t strictly silent, since it converts the ‘i’ vowel to the nasal ‘in’ phoneme. Similarly to the first ’s' (‘e’ –> ‘es=é’), contrary to the final ’s' which serves no phonetic purpose at all.

dangph
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I’ve been listening carefully since I asked my question, and I’m certain now that French people do say it as /fɛt/.

dangph
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I’ve been listening carefully since I asked my question, and I’m certain now that French people do say /fɛt/.

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