Help:IPA for French

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.

Consonants
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) but voiced, like "gh" in Scottish Gaelic
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)
Semivowels
j fief, payer, fille, travail yet
w oui, loi, moyen, web, whisky wet
ɥ huit, Puy like a simultaneous wet and yet
Vowels [4]
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, 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 English)
ɔ sort, minimum lot (RP/Australian)
u coup, roue too
y tu, sûr, rue no English equivalent; similar to bee but with rounded lips
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 burn; nasalized [ œ]
ɔ̃ son, nom roughly like bone (American English); nasalized [ o] or [ ɔ]
Suprasegmentals
IPA Example Explanation
ˈ moyen [mwaˈjɛ̃] [6] phrasal stress
. pays [pe.i] [7] syllable boundary
les agneaux [lez‿aˈɲo] liaison [8]

Notes

  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 both region and age.
  2. ^ In European French, / ŋ/ is often pronounced [ŋɡ], but in Québec, it is 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. ^ 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.
  6. ^ The 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 s and x are voiced and pronounced [ z], and d is unvoiced and pronounced [ t].
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