Fraîches fraises, pêches fraîches…
fresh frezz, pesh fresh… Click below to hear this.*
Fresh strawberries, fresh peaches…
It’s time for another tonguetwister, don’t you think? This one came to me as I cut up strawberries for my morning cereal. Right under the English, the package label read Fraises fraîches, and of course I immediately said, “I can do something with this!”
I’ve taken a little liberty with the grammar. As you know, in French the adjective normally goes after the noun. But I switched them around in the first phrase, to make it harder to pronounce. (Oh yes, I am an evil person.) If that hurts your ears or distresses your sense of order in the world, by all means switch it back. I wouldn’t want to upset you!
This adjective is one of those irregular ones. The masculine form, both singular and plural, is frais, pronounced “fray”. But the feminine singular is fraîche, and the feminine plural adds an s. Both are pronounced “fresh”. Of course by now you have guessed where the English word comes from, right?
So back to the fruit…take your time and savor the words on your tongue. Then speed it up and see how fast you can go, while still pronouncing accurately. Such a tasty mouthful!
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: