vikipeediya: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 only intended to give a general idea of the pronunciation. See French phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds.

French has no word-level stress, so stress marks should not be used in transcribing French words. See here for explanation.

IPA Examples English approximation
b beau beau
d doux do
f fêate; pharmacie festival
ɡ gain; guerre gain
k cabas; archque; kelvin sky
l loup loop
m mou; femme moo
n nous; bonne no
ɲ agneaux roughly like canyon
ŋ parking sing
p passé spy
ʁ roue; rhume[1] guttural r
s sa; hausse; ce; garçon; option; scie sir
ʃ chou; schèame; shampooing shoe
t tout; thé sty
v vous; wagon view
z hase; zéaro zoo
ʒ joue; geai measure
j fief; payer; fille; travail yes
w oui; loi; moyen; web we
ɥ huit simultaneous [j] and [w]
([j] with the rounded lips of [w])
IPA Examples English approximation
a patte pat
ɑ pâte; glas[2] bra
e clé; les; chez; aller; pied pay
ɛ mère; est; faite best
ɛaaː fête; mtre[3] long [ɛ]
ə le; reposer[4] sofa, police (often elided)
i si; île; y bin
œ sœaaur; jeune roughly like bird
(esp. in RP)
ø ceux; jne
o sot; hôtel;
haut; bureau
ɔ sort sort
u coup coo
y tu; sûr roughly like cute
ɑaã sans; vent
champ; temps; taon
nasalized [ɑ]
ɛaã vin; chien; daim
train; plein; Reims
nasalized [ɛ]
œaã brun, parfum[5] nasalized [œ]
ɔaã son; nom nasalized [ɔ]
IPA Example Explanation
ˈ moyen [mwaˈaajɛaã][6] Phrasal stress
. pays [pe.i][7] Syllable boundary
les agneaux [lez‿aaaˈaaɲaao] liaison[8]


  1. The French rhotic varies 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] and sometimes [χ].
  2. In Standard French, /ɑ/ is often replaced by [a].
  3. /ɛaaː/ is often replaced by [ɛ], particularly among younger speakers in France.
  4. In French, /ə/ is pronounced with some lip rounding [ɵaa̞]; for a number of speakers, it is also more front and may even be phonetically identical to the vowel of sœaaur [sœaaʁ].
  5. /œaã/ is often replaced by [ɛaã].
  6. Stress falls on the last full syllable of a phrase, except in emphatic speech.
  7. Used sparingly.
  8. Latent final consonant is pronounced before a following vowel sound.