Wikipedia:IPA for French

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) shows French language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

English estimations are in some cases very approximate. They are only meant to give a general idea of the pronunciation.

Unlike most European languages, French has no stress at the level of the word. So, stress marks should not be used in transcribing French words.

Consonants
IPA Examples Nearest word in English
b beau beau
d doux do
f fête festival
ɡ gain gain
ɥ huit (simultaneous y and w)
j fief, fille yes
k queue, cabas sky
l loup clean
m mou moo
n nous no
ɲ agneau canyon
p passé spy
ʁ[1] roue (French "r")
s sœur, hausse sir
ʃ chou shoe
t tout sty
v vous view
w oui we
z zain, hase zoo
ʒ joue, geai measure
Marginal consonants
ŋ parking parking
Vowels
IPA Examples Nearest word in English
a patte pat
ɑ[2] pâte bra
ɑ̃ sans Nasalized [ɑ]
e clé clay
ɛ faite festival
ɛː[3] fête (as [ɛ], but longer)
ɛ̃ saint Nasalized [ɛ] or [æ]
ə[4] repeser about, sofa
i si see
œ sœur similar to bird
œ̃[5] brun Nasalized [œ]
ø ceux similar to bird
o sot sole
ɔ sort sort
ɔ̃ son Nasalized [ɔ] or [ɒ]
u sous zoo
y tu similar to cute

Notes[change | edit source]

  1. The French rhotic is different from region to region, though it is often uvular (especially in Northern France). The more common pronunciations include a voiced uvular fricative ([ʁ]) and a uvular trill ([ʀ])
  2. often replaced by [a]
  3. often replaced by [ɛ]; not found in standard French
  4. In French, /ə/ is pronounced with some lip rounding; for a number of speakers, it is also more front and may even be phonetically identical to the vowel of sœur.
  5. often replaced by [ɛ̃]