Languages › French Beginning French Pronunciation Share Flipboard Email Print Westend61/Getty Images French Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Grammar Resources For Teachers By Staff Author Updated February 14, 2020 French, like English, can be very difficult in terms of pronunciation, due to intricacies like silent letters, multiple sounds for a single letter, and endless exceptions to whatever rules you find. This site contains numerous lessons which explain the rules and exceptions of French pronunciation in great detail, which is fine for advanced students but can be very confusing for beginners. Therefore, this lesson is an attempt to simplify French pronunciation, to make it easier for you to get started, even if you don't know how every letter combination is pronounced in every situation. While at some point, you will need to study more in-depth lessons on pronunciation, for the time being, this simplified pronunciation chart can help you get a good idea about how to pronounce new words. Chart of French Pronunciation Whenever possible, I have provided English words which use the same spelling. Failing that, I used French terms used in English, but if you don't know how to say these à la française, you will need to look them up in order to get the correct pronunciation. Failing either of these, I used an alternate spelling - these words are in [brackets] and the letters which make the relevant sound are in bold. When there is no real English equivalent, the nearest sound, if any, is explained in (parentheses) - for these letters and letter combinations, you should look really at the in-depth lessons. The LKL column indicates how I write that sound when spelling out pronunciation in other lessons. The letters and letter combinations are linked to detailed lessons, while the examples are hyperlinked to sound files in .wav format. Letter(s) LKL English Sound Examples A a father quatre, un ami AI ay pain le lait, frais AU o taupe chaud, mauvais B b buy bonbons, bas C k can café, sec s cell cerise, nièce Ç s façade ça va, caleçon CH sh champagne chaud, anchois D d dad la date, mardi E, EU eu de trop le, un feu É ay fiancé été, génial È, Ê, EI eh bête noire exprès, une tête EAU o eau de toilette beau, eau F f fat faim, neuf G g gag gant, une bague zh mirage il gèle, aubergine H hour hiver, un hôpital I, Ï, Î ee naïve dix, un lit J zh déjà vu le jambon, déjeuner K k kit un kiosque, le ski L l like fleurs, mille M m mom Madame, comment (n) (nasal vowel) le parfum, embouteillage N n no neuf, noir (n) (nasal vowel) un, le pain O o solo le dos, rose OI wa foie gras boire, trois OU u soup douze, nous P p pie un père, la soupe PH f phone une pharmacie, téléphoner Q k pique quinze, la banque R r rouge, une ceinture S s so le sucre, un poisson SC sk scold une escale s science les sciences T t toe la tarte, la tête TH t [tea] le thé, le théâtre TI s [silly] attention U u [food]* tu, une jupe UE weh suede* saluer, la Suisse UI wee cuisine* une nuit, fruit V v vat vert, un avion W v un wagon X ks express exprimer, taxe gz exit le xérès, un exemplaire Y y yes le yaourt, les yeux Z z zone la zone, la zizanie Cite this Article Format mla apa chicago Your Citation Author, Staff. "Beginning French Pronunciation." ThoughtCo, May. 12, 2021, thoughtco.com/beginning-french-pronunciation-1369548. Author, Staff. (2021, May 12). Beginning French Pronunciation. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/beginning-french-pronunciation-1369548 Author, Staff. "Beginning French Pronunciation." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/beginning-french-pronunciation-1369548 (accessed July 28, 2021). copy citation Learn Proper French Pronunciation With Liaisons How Is the Letter 'A' Pronounced in French? French Silent Letters and Pronunciation Using Enchainement in French Pronunciation Top French Pronunciation Mistakes and Difficulties Tips to Improve Your French Pronunciation Understanding the French Language and Using IPA How to Pronounce More Than 2,500 Words in French How is the Z is Pronounced in French? Introduction to Pronouncing the French Alphabet How Is 'EU' Pronounced in French? Learn the French Pronunciation of the Letters "AU" How to Pronounce the Letter 'I' in French How Is 'O' Pronounced in French? How to Pronounce 'CH' in French How Is 'C' Pronounced in French?