L’Alphabet: How To Pronounce The French Alphabet

20 September 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House

Unsplash: Florian Peeters

If learning French is still on your to-do list, get ready to cross it off because you will begin your study of the language today. Before we start learning basic French conjugations, phrases and numbers, it is important that you learn the French alphabet or L’alphabet.

Learning the French alphabet is an essential starting point for being familiar with the various French letter sounds. For a more fun way of learning, you may even learn the French alphabet through music!

The French alphabet is based on Latin script and it consists of 26 letters, with 6 vowels and 20 consonants. There are two ligatures in the alphabet as well, "œ" and "ae," which are now spelled as "oe" and "ae."
    ●    French vowels are referred to as "le," never with "l”
            ◦    le a
            ◦    le e
            ◦    le i
            ◦    le o
            ◦    le u
            ◦    le y (i grec)
    ●    uppercase in French is une majuscule
    ●    lowercase in French is une minuscule
    ●    French “Gg” is pronounced as gé
            ◦    think of the ge– in the English word gender
    ●    French “Jj” is pronounced as a soft ji
            ◦    think of ji– in jinx
    ●    the letters “Kk” and “Ww” are not commonly used except in regional or loanwords
    ●    “Ee” is pronounced as euh, think of it as you are saying ew but without the w
    ●    “Ii” is pronounced as ee, a long eee sound like in bee and see and knee

Diacritics – doesn’t affect the primary alphabetical order; there are four diacritics on vowels and one in the letter c (ç)

  • Acute accent or accent aigu (Éé)
  • Grave accent or accent grave (Àà, Èè, Ùù)
  • Circumflex or accent circonflexe ( â, Êê, Îî, Ôô, Ûû)
  • Diaeresis or tréma (Ëë, Ïï, Üü, Ÿÿ)
  • Cedilla or cédille (Çç)
French Word
A a ah Argent (ar-jan)
B b bay Boisson (bwa-son)
C c say Coca (co-ca)
D d day Danse (dans)
E e euh École (eh-col)
F f eff Fromage (fro-maj)
G g zheh Grand (gran)
H h ash Harpe (harp)
I i ee Irlande (eer-land)
J j jhee Journal (jor-nal)
K k ka Kiwi (ki-wi)
L l el Lait (lay)
M m em Maison (may-son)
N n en Nappe (nap)
O o oh Ovale (oh-val)
P p pay Poisson (pwa-son)
Q q koo Quai (kye)
R r err Rond (rond)
S s es Soupe (soup)
T t tay Tambour (tam-bour)
U u ooo Ukraine (ook-ren)
V v vay Vague (vag)
W w doobleh-vay Wok (wok)
X x iks Xénon (ze-non)
Y y i grec Yoga (yo-ga)
Z z zed Zéro (ze-roh)

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