Help:IPA/French

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents French language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-fr}}, {{IPAc-fr}} and Wikipedia: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.

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 canyon
ŋ camping, bingo[1] camping
p père, groupe spy
ʁ regarder, nôtre[2] Guttural R, roughly like Scottish English loch
s sans, ça, assez sir
ʃ chance shoe
t tout, thé, grand-oncle sty
v vous, wagon, neuf heures vein
z zéro, raison, chose zeal
ʒ jamais, visage measure
Semivowels
j fief, payer, fille, travail yet
w oui, loi, moyen, web, whisky wet
ɥ huit, Puy like a simultaneous wet and yet
Vowels[3]
Oral vowels
IPA Examples English approximation
a patte, là trap
ɑ pâte, glas[4] bra
e clé, les, chez, aller, pied, journée hit
ɛ baie, faite, mettre, renne, crème, peine best
ɛː fête, mtre, mètre, reine, rtre, caisse, presse, Lemaistre, Lévesque[4] fairy
ə reposer, monsieur, faisons[5] again (often elided, see e muet)
i si, île, régie, y bee
œ sœur, jeune roughly like bird
ø ceux, jner, queue roughly like bird
o saut, haut, bureau story
ɔ sort, minimum off
u coup, roue too
y tu, sûr, rue roughly like few
Nasal vowels
ɑ̃ sans, champ, vent, temps, Jean, taon roughly like on; nasalized [ɒ] or [ɑ]; rendez-vous
ɛ̃ vin, impair, pain, daim, plein, Reims, synthèse, sympa, bien roughly like man; nasalized [æ] or [ɛ]; coq au vin
œ̃ un, parfum[4] roughly like burn; nasalized [œ]
ɔ̃ son, nom roughly like long; nasalized [o] or [ɔ]
Suprasegmentals
IPA Example Description
. pays [pe.i][6] syllable boundary
les agneaux [lez‿aɲo] liaison[7]

Notes[edit]

  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].