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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents French language pronunciations in resource articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to resource articles, see {{IPA-fr}}, {{IPAc-fr}} and Resource: 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 today
f faire, vif festival
? garçon, longue again
k corps, avec sky
l laisser, possible, seul loo
m même moo
n nous, bonne no
? gagner, champagne[1] canyon; nothing yet
? camping, funk[2] camping
p père, groupe spy
? regarder, nôtre[3] Guttural R, Scottish English loch, but voiced
s sans, ça, assez sir
? chance shoe
t tout, thé, grand-oncle sty
v vous, wagon, neuf heures vein
z zéro, raison, chose zeal
? jamais, visage measure
j fief, payer, fille, travail, hier yet
w oui, loi, moyen, web, whisky wet
? huit, Puy between wet and yet
Oral vowels
IPA Examples English approximation
a patte, là, femme trap
? pâte, glas[4] bra
e clé, les, chez, aller, pied, journée may
? baie, faite, mettre, renne, crème, peine best
?: fête, mtre, mètre, reine, rtre, caisse, presse, Lévesque[4] air (British)
? reposer, monsieur, faisons[5] again (often elided, see e muet)
i si, île, régie, pays, fils please or sit [6]
oe soeur, jeune, club (Europe) bird (Australian)
ø ceux, jner, queue roughly like bird
o saut, haut, bureau, chose story
? sort, minimum, hôpital off (British)
u coup, roue food or good
y tu, sûr, rue roughly like too in Australian English
Nasal vowels[7]
sans, champ, vent, temps, Jean, taon roughly like song; nasalized (Europe) or (Quebec)
vin, impair, pain, daim, plein, Reims, synthèse, sympathique, bien roughly like hang; nasalized (Europe) or (Quebec)
oe? un, parfum[4] roughly like burn; nasalized
son, nom roughly like drawn (Australian); nasalized (France) or (Quebec)
IPA Example Description
. pays [pe.i][8] syllable boundary
? les agneaux [lez?a?o] liaison[9]


  1. ^ In European French, is merging with /nj/, but in Quebec, /?/ is distinguished from /nj/
  2. ^ In European French, is often pronounced []. In Quebec, some speakers merge it with /?/ and some speakers pronounce it exactly in English.
  3. ^ The French rhotic /?/ is usually uvular, but it varies by region. For example, in Quebec, , and are all used, but nowadays, most speakers pronounce [?].
  4. ^ a b c In Parisian French, /oe?/ is usually merged with //, /?/ with /a/ and /?:/ with /?/, but in Lorraine, /?/ is distinguished from /a/. These pairs are always distinguished in Belgian, Swiss and Quebec French.
  5. ^ In France, /?/ has merged with , but in Quebec, it has merged with . See e muet for more information.
  6. ^ All the vowels are lengthen before /v, z, ?, ?, v?, ?v, ?z, /. In Quebec, /i, u, y/ are more open ([?, ?, ?]), except before /v, z, ?, ?, v?, ?v, ?z, /, otherwise, although before /?/, the /y/ are more open anyway, but longer.
  7. ^ Nasal vowels are lengthened in closed syllables.
  8. ^ The syllable break ⟨.⟩ is used sparingly.
  9. ^ In liaison, the latent final consonant is pronounced before a following vowel sound, but s and x are voiced and pronounced , and d is unvoiced and pronounced .

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