How is the Z is Pronounced in French?

The letter 'Z' has a relatively straightforward pronunciation in French. It sounds like it does in English with one exception and that is when it goes silent. A quick French lesson will help you navigate the 'Z' in every French word you come across.

How to Pronounce the French 'Z'

The letter 'Z' in French is pronounced like the 'Z' in English: listen.

That's simple enough, but there's one twist to the 'Z' in French as it can also be a silent letter. This occurs in almost every instance in which the 'Z' appears at the end of a word. 

For example, notice how you do not hear the 'Z' in chez moi (at my house) and le riz (rice). The exception to this is in simple nouns such as le gaz (gas). Without the 'Z' sound, it would simply be pronounced [ga].

Practice You 'Z' in French

Using what you just learned about the French pronunciation of 'Z,' practice saying these simple words. To check if you have the correct pronunciation, you can click on each word to hear how it should sound.