Whether you're a lover of French music or a student of French literature, a French rhyming dictionary can be not only a source of information, but also a source of amusement and fun.
Rhyming dictionaries are available in many modern languages and are used for many different purposes. Of course, the most obvious uses for rhyming dictionaries are for writing poetry and writing song lyrics. However, there are many other reasons to become better acquainted with French rhymes. For example, those having trouble hearing differences between French vowels can look to a rhyming dictionary for a fun way to distinguish between é and è and practice the intricacies of French pronunciation.
French Rhyming Dictionary Formats
Each type of dictionary has its advantages and disadvantages. For on-the-go situations, one of the online dictionaries is perhaps the best option; for those who need to thumb through the pages, there are several rhyming dictionaries available in French.
- Alcor: easy online interface that produces a LONG list of words rhyming with whatever French word you type in
This online resource can whet your appetite. Need a word that rhymes with vain and can only come up with demain and américain…Alcor comes up with no fewer than 486 words rhyming with vain. How about grille-pain?!
Whether you need rhyming words for a serious French poem or for a funny play on words, you're bound to find the perfect rhyming match for any word you need.
Several publishers make French rhyming dictionaries. Among these is a broad assortment of more and less thorough ones. Small, less expensive types are ideal for those with a passing interest in rhyme or who need an occasional rhyming word. If you are going to undertake some serious work requiring French rhymes, one of the larger versions can be well worth the money. In addition, a French rhyming dictionary that also has an introduction to versification in French can be very handy for students beginning a study of French poetry.
- Larousse: rimes: a standard in French dictionaries, this book is a resource like no other
- Dictionnaire de rimes: including an introduction to French versification
- Le Robert: rimes et assonances: not only words that DO rhyme, but also ones that are completely dissonant
- Dictionnaire des rimes orales et écrites: rhyming in French can be heard or seen…or both
Uses for French Rhymes
A rhyming dictionary is an excellent resource for students learning French. French contains no fewer than 16 vowel sounds, and sorting these out is particularly difficult for beginning French learners. Of course, it's also difficult to learn how to pronounce the French r correctly, but at least every time you hear an r, it sounds like an r…a French one.Vowels are not so easy. In French, there are several sounds that are written with the same letter, but are pronounced differently, which is marked with an accent mark: é is pronounced differently from both è and ê. As if this weren't confusing enough, er and et are pronounced the same way as é. While these sort of spelling problems are overwhelming at first, the good news is that, in French, the way something is spelled gives you 100% accuracy about its pronunciation. In English, this is not the case (for example, if you take ear and add a b to the beginning, logically, this word should be pronounced beer and not bear). Luckily, French is perfectly regular in its spelling, so once you've learned how a letter combination is pronounced, you can count on it always being that same sound.
Investigating French rhymes with the help of a rhyming dictionary is a great exercise for students trying to sort out these sound combinations in French. It may seem at first that there are simply too many sounds to master; rest assured that the complete regularity of them makes them fully within reach. Using rhymes can be a fun way to master French phonology!