Help:IPA for French

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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 only intended to give 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 explanation.

IPA Examples English approximation
b bon about
d deux, grande today
f faire, vif festival
ɡ garçon, longue again
k corps, avec sky
l laisser, possible, seul loo
m même moo
n nous, bonne no
ɲ gagner, champagne roughly like canyon
p père, groupe spy
ʁ regarder, nôtre[1] roughly like loch (Scottish English)
s sans, ça, assez sir
ʃ chance shoe
t tout, thé, grand-oncle sty
v vous, wagon, neuf heures view
z zéro, raison, chose zeal
ʒ jamais, visage measure
Non-native consonants
Djakarta, jazz, budget jam
ŋ camping, bingo[2] camping
Datcha, ciao, sandwich China
x jota, khamsin[3] loch (Scottish English)
j fief, payer, fille, travail yet
w oui, loi, moyen, web, whisky wet
ɥ huit, Puy like a simultaneous wet and yet
Oral vowels
IPA Examples English approximation
a patte, là trap (modern RP and Northern English)
ɑ pâte, glas[5] bra
e clé, les, chez, aller, pied, journée hey
ɛ baie, faite, mettre, renne, crème, est, peine best
ɛː fête, mtre, mètre, reine, rtre, caisse, presse, Lemaistre, Lévesque[5] red
ə le, reposer, monsieur, faisons again (often elided, see e muet)
i si, île, régie, y bee
œ sœur, jeune roughly like bird (RP)
ø ceux, jner, queue roughly like bird
o sot, haut, bureau go (Scottish and American English)
ɔ sort, minimum lot (RP/Australian)
u coup, roue too
y tu, sûr, rue too (Scottish and Australian English)
Nasal vowels
ɑ̃ sans, champ, vent, temps, Jean, taon roughly like on (American English), nasalized [ɒ] or [ɑ]. rendez-vous
ɛ̃ vin, impair, pain, daim, plein, Reims, synthèse, sympa, bien roughly like man (RP); nasalized [æ] or [ɛ]
œ̃ un, parfum[5] roughly like bun; nasalized [œ]
ɔ̃ son, nom roughly like bone (American English); nasalized [o] or [ɔ]
IPA Example Explanation
ˈ moyen [mwaˈjɛ̃][6] phrasal stress
. pays [pe.i][7] syllable boundary
les agneaux [lez‿aˈɲo] liaison[8]


  1. The French rhotic /ʁ/ is usually uvular, but it varies by region. For example, in Québec both [r] and [ʀ] are used, depending on region and age.
  2. In European French, /ŋ/ is often pronounced [ŋɡ], whereas in Québec, it's merged with /ɲ/.
  3. Often replaced by [ʁ].
  4. Nasal vowels are lengthened before any consonant, but oral vowels are lengthened before [v, ʁ, z, ʒ].
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 In Paris French, /œ̃/ is usually merged with /ɛ̃/, /ɑ/ with /a/, and /ɛː/ with /ɛ/. These pairs may be distinguished in Belgian, Swiss and Canadian French, and in France either regionally or among older speakers.
  6. Stress falls on the last full syllable of a phrase, except in emphatic speech.
  7. The syllable break ⟨.⟩ is used sparingly.
  8. In liaison, the latent final consonant is pronounced before a following vowel sound, but when doing so, s/x are voiced (become z), whereas d is unvoiced (becomes t).

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