The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents French pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

English approximations are in some cases very rough and intended to give only a general idea of the pronunciation. See French phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds. For information on how to convert spelling to pronunciation, see French orthography.

French has no word-level stress so stress marks should not be used in transcribing French words. See here for details.

IPAExamplesEnglish approximation
ddeux, grandetoday
ffaire, viffestival
ɡgarçon, longueagain
kcorps, avecsky
llaisser, possible, seulloo
nnous, bonneno
ɲgagner, champagnecanyon
ŋcamping, bingo[1]camping
ppère, groupespy
ʁregarder, nôtre[2]Guttural R, roughly like Scottish English loch
ssans, ça, assezsir
ttout, thé, grand-onclesty
vvous, wagon, neuf heuresvein
zzéro, raison, chosezeal
ʒjamais, visagemeasure
jfief, payer, fille, travailyet
woui, loi, moyen, web, whiskywet
ɥhuit, Puylike a simultaneous wet and yet
Oral vowels
IPAExamplesEnglish approximation
apatte, làtrap
ɑpâte, glas[4]bra
eclé, les, chez, aller, pied, journéehit
ɛbaie, faite, mettre, renne, crème, peinebest
ɛːfête, mtre, mètre, reine, rtre, caisse, presse, Lemaistre, Lévesque[4]fairy
əreposer, monsieur, faisons[5]again (often elided, see e muet)
isi, île, régie, ybee
œsœur, jeuneroughly like bird
øceux, jner, queueroughly like bird
osaut, haut, bureaustory
ɔsort, minimumoff
ucoup, rouetoo
ytu, sûr, rueroughly like few
Nasal vowels
ɑ̃sans, champ, vent, temps, Jean, taonroughly like on, nasalized [ɒ] or [ɑ]. rendez-vous
ɛ̃vin, impair, pain, daim, plein, Reims, synthèse, sympa, bienroughly like man; nasalized [æ] or [ɛ]
œ̃un, parfum[4]roughly like burn; nasalized [œ]
ɔ̃son, nomroughly like long; nasalized [o] or [ɔ]
.pays [pe.i][6]syllable boundary
les agneaux [lez‿aˈɲo]liaison[7]


  1. ^ In European French, /ŋ/ is often pronounced [ŋɡ], but in Québec, it is merged with /ɲ/.
  2. ^ The French rhotic /ʁ/ is usually uvular, but it varies by region. For example, in Québec both [r] and [ʀ] are used, depending on both region and age.
  3. ^ Nasal vowels are lengthened before any consonant, but oral vowels are lengthened before [v, ʁ, z, ʒ].
  4. ^ a b c In Parisian French, /œ̃/ is usually merged with /ɛ̃/, /ɑ/ with /a/ and /ɛː/ with /ɛ/. The pairs may be distinguished in Belgian, Swiss and Canadian French and in some regions of France or among older speakers.
  5. ^ /ə/ is frequently pronounced as [ø]. See e muet for more information.
  6. ^ The syllable break ⟨.⟩ is used sparingly.
  7. ^ In liaison, the latent final consonant is pronounced before a following vowel sound, but s and x are voiced and pronounced [z], and d is unvoiced and pronounced [t].
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