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The French Alphabet and Pronunciation

In this article provided by Edvog.com you will learn the French Alphabet and Pronunciation. The examples and tips we provide in this French lesson will make the learning process fast and easy.

The French Alphabet

The French language has an alphabet composed of the same letters found in the English alphabet. Some letters can have accents like: â, ç, é, è, ê, î, ï. They are pronounced different compared to the letters without accent. The letter H is pronounced very lightly. In the table below you will find the French alphabet and how to pronounce individual French letters.

Letter (Pronunciation) Letter (Pronunciation)
A (ah)
B (bee)
C (see)
D (dee)
E (uh)
F (ef)
G (zheh)
H (ash)
I (ee)
J (je)
K (ka)
L (el)
M (em)
N (en)
O (op)
P (pay)
Q (koo)
R (ehr)
S (es)
T (tay)
U (oo)
V (vay)
W (doo-blaw-vay)
X (ex)
Y (ee-grek)
Z (zed)

A very difficult and important part of learning French is knowing how to read or speak, because you will find many pronunciation rules, together with a lot of exceptions, that will make your life a little more complicated. Not to worry, in time, with a little practice, you will get used with most of the pronunciation rules, and then reading or speaking French it will seem more natural than usual.

French Pronunciation Guide

Start learning how to pronounce French words and avoid mistakes made by beginners with our basic pronunciation guide. In the table below you will be able to study and learn how to pronounce the individual letters in French words.

Letter Pronunciation
A like the sound ah or like a in art
B like b in best
C - before a, o or u, like k in king
- before i or e, like s in sun
D like d in dog
E - like e in bed
- like the sound eh or ay in say
F the same as in English
G - before a, o or u, like g in gold
- before i or e, like z in zoo
H is always silent
I like ee in see
J like the sound zh or like s in measure
K the same as in English
L the same as in English
M the same as in English
N the same as in English
O like the sound oh or like o in top
P the same as in English
Q like k in king
R the same as in English
S - between vowels, like z in zoo
- otherwise like s in smile
T the same as in English
U like oo in moon
V like v in voice
W like v in voice
X like the sound ks
Y like ee in see
Z like z in zoo

Now that you know how to pronounce each French letter, you need to learn when they should be pronounced differently, this is why the following table will be very helpful for you and every person who wants to avoid some pronunciation mistakes made usually by beginners. Some letters in particular combinations change the way the words are pronounced, below you will be able to study how to pronounce letter combinations that do not follow the same patterns learned in the above table.

Letter Pronunciation
AI like ay in say
AU like the sound oh
EAU like the sound oh
EI like the sound eh
EU like the sound uh
IE like ee in see
CH like sh in sheep
OI like the sound wah
OU like oo in moon
OUI like the sound wee
PH like f in father
TI like s in smile

In French many letters are silent, like the final letter e and most of the final consonants, except of c, f, and l which are pronounced. In the word la the final a is dropped when the word that follows begins with a vowel or the silent h, the same rule is applied to the letter e in the following words: ce, de, je, le, me, ne, que, se, te. When the letters il and ille are at the end of a word, they are pronounced like the English letters ee in see. The French word je (it means I) is one of the most common and difficult words to pronounce by English speakers, because the combination of sounds is not found in English.

Important! Because some French sounds are not found in English we have tried to come up with something that sounds similar, for this reason the pronunciation tips from above are simply informational and does not offer any guarantee.

Learn French Online
English French Dictionary Common Words List A, B, C, D, E
French English Dictionary Common Words List A, B, C, D, E

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