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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; Northumbrian burr
s sans, ça, assez, soixante, six sir
ʃ chance, tchèque shoe
t tout, thé, tchèque 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 [4] father
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 [4] fairy
ə reposer, monsieur, faisons [5] 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 story
ɔ sort, minimum, pomme off
u coup, roue pool
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 [4] 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] [6] syllable boundary
les agneaux [lez‿aɲo],
grand-oncle [ɡʁɑ̃t‿ɔ̃kl]


  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 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.
  5. ^ In Metropolitan French, while /ə/ is phonologically distinct, its phonetic quality tends to coincide with either /ø/ or /œ/.
  6. ^ The syllable break ⟨.⟩ is used sparingly.

See also