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, champagneroughly like canyon
ŋcamping, bingo[1]camping
ppère, groupespy
ʁregarder, nôtre[2]roughly like loch (Scottish English) but voiced, like "gh" in Scottish Gaelic
ssans, ça, assezsir
ttout, thé, grand-onclesty
vvous, wagon, neuf heuresview
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 (modern RP and Northern English)
ɑpâte, glas[4]bra
eclé, les, chez, aller, pied, journéehey
ɛbaie, faite, mettre, renne, crème, peinebest
ɛːfête, mtre, mètre, reine, rtre, caisse, presse, Lemaistre, Lévesque[4]red
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, bureaugo (Scottish English)
ɔsort, minimumoff
ucoup, rouetoo
ytu, sûr, rueno English equivalent; somewhat like few
Nasal vowels
ɑ̃sans, champ, vent, temps, Jean, taonroughly like on (American English), nasalized [ɒ] or [ɑ]. rendez-vous
ɛ̃vin, impair, pain, daim, plein, Reims, synthèse, sympa, bienroughly like man (RP); nasalized [æ] or [ɛ]
œ̃un, parfum[4]roughly like burn; nasalized [œ]
ɔ̃son, nomroughly like bone (American English); 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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