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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents French language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Template:IPA and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

French has no word-level stress so stress marks should not be used in transcribing French words. See French phonology and French orthography for a more thorough look at the sounds of French.

IPA Examples English approximation
b bon about
d deux, grande, Djibouti today
f faire, vif festival
ɡ garçon, longue again
k corps, avec, quand, Irak sky
l laisser, possible, seul law
m même moo
n nous, bonne no
ɲ gagner, champagne[1] canyon
ŋ camping, funk[2] camping
p père, groupe spy
ʁ regarder, nôtre[3] Guttural R, Scottish English loch, but voiced
s sans, ça, assez, soixante, six, dix sir
ʃ chance, tchèque shoe
t tout, thé, tchèque, grand-oncle[4] sty
v vous, wagon, neuf heures vein
z zéro, raison, chose, deuxième zeal
ʒ jamais, visage, Djibouti measure
j fief, payer, fille, travail, hier yet
w oui, loi, moyen, web, whisky wet
ɥ huit, Puy between wet and yet
Oral vowels
IPA Examples English approximation
a patte, là, femme trap
ɑ pâte, glas[5] bra
e clé, et, les, chez, aller, pied, journée mace
ɛ baie, faite, mettre, renne, crème, peine, violet best
ɛː fête, mtre, reine, rtre, caisse, presse, Levesque[5] fairy
ə reposer, monsieur, faisons[6] again (often elided, see e muet)
i si, île, régie, pays, fils seat
œ sœur, jeune, club (Europe) bird (RP)
ø ceux, jner, queue burn (RP)
o saut, haut, bureau, chose, tôt, cône doe
ɔ sort, minimum, pomme off
u coup, roue shoot
y tu, sûr, rue roughly like Australian too
Nasal vowels
ɑ̃ sans, champ, vent, temps, Jean, taon roughly like song; nasalized [ɒ] (Europe) or [a] (Canada)
ɛ̃ vin, impair, pain, daim, plein, Reims, synthèse, sympathique, bien roughly like hang; nasalized [æ] (Europe) or [ei̯] (Canada)
œ̃ un, parfum[5] roughly like non-rhotic burn; nasalized [œ]
ɔ̃ son, nom roughly like drawn (Australian); nasalized [o] (France) or [ou̯] (Canada)
IPA Example Description
. pays [pe.i][7] syllable boundary
les agneaux [lez‿aɲo] liaison[4]


  1. ^ In European French, /ɲ/ is merging with /nj/, but in Quebec, /ɲ/ is distinguished from /nj/
  2. ^ In European French, /ŋ/ is often pronounced [ŋɡ]. In Quebec, some speakers merge it with /ɲ/ and some speakers pronounce it exactly as in English.
  3. ^ The French rhotic /ʁ/ is usually uvular, but it varies by region. For example, in Quebec, [ʁ], [r], and [ʀ] are all used, but nowadays, most speakers use [ʁ].
  4. ^ a b 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 devoiced and pronounced [t].
  5. ^ a b c In Parisian French, /œ̃/ is usually merged with /ɛ̃/, /ɑ/ is often merged with /a/, and /ɛː/ is normally merged with /ɛ/. These pairs are always distinguished in Belgian, Swiss, and Quebec French.
  6. ^ In Mainland French, while /ə/ is phonologically distinct, its phonetic quality tends to coincide with either /ø/ or /œ/.
  7. ^ The syllable break . is used sparingly.

See also[edit]