French Alphabet

This page contains a table including the following: French alphabet, letters which help you pronounce the words in a given language, you will also learn about the different consonants and vowels, make sure to check out our phrases in French which can be found on the menu above.

French Alphabet


French is spoken by about 265 million people in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, the U.S, Lebanon, French Guiana, north, west and central Africa, Madagascar, some islands in the Indian Ocean, Haiti and other Caribbean islands, Indochina, New Caledonia, the New Hebrides and the French Pacific Territories. French Alphabet has the same number of letters as English 26, but some of them have “accents” and “cedilla”, that doesn’t make their pronunciation different, only to distinguish them from other similar looking words except the cedilla ç, which is pronounced as “S” and never as “k”. The table below shows how the French letters are pronounced.


    

French Letter English Sound
 

Aa

as in the word “ask” and never as in the word “able”

Bb

as in the word "basket"

Cc

as in the word "cactus" but change with vowel (see below).

Dd

as in the word "dad"

Ee

as in “some” but is very dependant of the letters attached (see below)

Ff

same as in English

Gg

like in the word "entourage", never pronounced as in the word “gym”. Pronunciation varies with letters attached. (see below)

Hh

mute letter.

Ii

as in the word “ink” never as in the word “island”. When followed by « n » or « m » is prononced like in the French word "Vin"

Jj

similar to the letter “g”

Kk

same as in English

Ll

same as in English, but when "ill" (like gentille) is pronunced « i »

Mm

same as in English

Nn

same as in English

Oo

same as in English “Old” never as in “Hot” which is pronounced somehow like {hat}

Pp

same as in English

Qq

Rarely used alone, with « u » to form « qu- » (like « macaque ») and is pronounced like « K ».

Rr

same as in English as in “Merci”

Ss

Same as in English (but mute when it's the mark of a plural form).

Tt

same as in « tart ».

Uu

sounds like “uu” (a bit like in « super »), never as in the word “up” or “university”. When followed by « n » to form « un » as in the French word « vin »   

Vv

Same as in English (« Vancouver »)

Ww

sounds like “v”

Xx

same as in English

Yy

same as « i ».

Zz

Same as in English (« Fuzzy »)


Letters with an accent
French Letter English Sound
 

à, â, ù, û, ü, ô, î

Same as the regular matching letter in French

é

sounds more like in « ai » in « fairy »

E

sounds more like in « grey » (but more low-pitched)

ê

sounds like “é” (but a bit more low-pitched)


Compound Letters
French Letter English Sound
 

œ

sounds like the « e » in « love »

Ch

sounds sometimes like “sh”.

Qu

sounds like “K”.

Gu

sounds like in « guitar » or « gualapagos »

ç

sounds sometimes like “s”.

au

Sounds like « o »

Ou

Sounds like « oo » like in « Whoose »

An / am/ en/ em

Sounds like in « abundant » but with some prononciation variants between all of this forms

in /im

Sounds like the pronunciation of the number  1 in French

ai

sounds like the « é »

oi

sounds like « wa » .

ei

sounds like “è”.

Ce / ci

In this case, « c » sounds like « s »

eu

sounds like « » .

er

sounds like “é” when at the end of a word  (not like manager).

aux

Sounds like « o » and the X is mute.

gn

Always like in "campaign"

As you may have noticed, many letters in French alphabet are the same as English, the pronunciation is a little bit different sometimes, but in general French letters look the same, and sound the same, so learning them would be a breeze!

I hope the content of this page was useful to you, and that you learned some French alphabet, consonants and vowels. Make sure to memorize them to be able to use them in your daily conversation. If you want to practice what you have learnt here, go to Language Test.