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[1] canyon; nothing yet
ŋ camping, funk[2] camping
p père, groupe spy
ʁ regarder, nôtre[3] Guttural R, Scottish English loch, but voiced
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, hier yet
w oui, loi, moyen, web, whisky wet
ɥ huit, Puy Huey
Vowels
Oral vowels
IPA Examples English approximation
a patte, là, femme trap
ɑ pâte, glas[4] bra
e clé, les, chez, aller, pied, journée, et mace
ɛ baie, faite, mettre, renne, crème, peine, violet best
ɛː fête, mtre, reine, rtre, caisse, presse, Lévesque[4] fairy
ə reposer, monsieur, faisons[5] again (often elided, see e muet)
i si, île, régie, pays, fils seat
œ sœur, jeune, club (Europe) bird (British)
ø ceux, jner, queue burn (British)
o saut, haut, bureau, chose, tôt, cône story
ɔ sort, minimum, pomme off
u coup, roue shoot
y tu, sûr, rue roughly like too in Australian English
Nasal vowels
ɑ̃ sans, champ, vent, temps, Jean, taon roughly like song; nasalized [ɒ] (Europe) or [a] (Quebec)
ɛ̃ vin, impair, pain, daim, plein, Reims, synthèse, sympathique, bien roughly like hang; nasalized [æ] (Europe) or [ei̯] (Quebec)
œ̃ un, parfum[4] roughly like burn; nasalized [œ]
ɔ̃ son, nom roughly like drawn (Australian); nasalized [o] (France) or [ou̯] (Quebec)
Suprasegmentals
IPA Example Description
. pays [pe.i][6] syllable boundary
les agneaux [lez‿aɲo] liaison[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In European French, /ɲ/ is merging with /nj/, but in Quebec, /ɲ/ is distinguished from /nj/
  2. ^ In European French, /ŋ/ is often pronounced [ŋɡ]. In Quebec, some speakers merge it with /ɲ/ and some speakers pronounce it exactly as in English.
  3. ^ The French rhotic /ʁ/ is usually uvular, but it varies by region. For example, in Quebec, [ʁ], [r] and [ʀ] are all used, but nowadays, most speakers pronounce [ʁ].
  4. ^ a b c In Parisian French, /œ̃/ is usually merged with /ɛ̃/, /ɑ/ is often merged with /a/ and /ɛː/ is normally merged with /ɛ/. These pairs are always distinguished in Belgian, Swiss and Quebec French.
  5. ^ In French French, while /ə/ is phonologically distinct, its phonetic quality tends to coincide with either /ø/ or /œ/.
  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].