French Phonetic Transcription Translator and Pronunciation Dictionary
Thank you for your interest!
Here's how it works.
This phonetic translator has several settings, such as Split the words into syllables (see the section Advanced options).
Each time you change the settings, the phonetic transcription of the sample texts below is automatically updated.
The only exceptions are premium features (Read the text aloud and Translate the text into your native language). We already created computer-generated audio for each sample text for you.
Transcription above each word
Transcription under each line of text
Transcription under each paragraph of text
Phonetic symbols cheat sheet
How to use this French phonetic translator
This phonetic translator will help you obtain very accurate phonetic transcription of your French text.
It uses the symbols of International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) — the most popular phonetic transcription system in the world.
Here's how this tool works:
First, the algorithm attempts to find the word in our database with pronunciations of French words. The database contains more than 77,000 words, including 22,000 proper nouns.
The pronunciation of each word in the database was manually checked by a member of our team.
If the word cannot be found in the database, the translator uses a very complex set of pronunciation rules to convert the word into phonetic transcription.
On the last step, the algorithm looks at the surrounding words and updates the phonetic transcription accordingly. These pronunciation changes at word boundaries are called liaison in French. See more details below.
If you need to copy the phonetic transcription into another program or print it, please read our FAQ.
Watch a tutorial "How to convert text to phonetic transcription and listen to audio recordings of words"
Number of audio recordings in our French pronunciation dictionary
We hired professional voice-over artists to record the correct pronunciation of the most popular French words. The number of the audio recordings is indicated in the following table. Click the buttons to listen to the sample words.
Multiple pronunciations of French words
Some French words are spelled the same, but are pronounced differently and have different meanings. They are called homographs. Compare:
|Il est là /il ɛ la/||↔||à l'est /a lɛst/|
The phonetic translator will highlight homographs in green. If you hover your cursor over these words or tap them on your mobile device, you will see all possible pronunciations.
At the moment this phonetic translator cannot yet decide which pronunciation is correct for such words. You will need to choose the correct pronunciation yourself depending on the context.
Pronunciation variants (when native speakers from different regions pronounce a word differently, or when the pronunciation changes in rapid speech) are highlighted in blue. Just like with homographs, you can also hover your cursor over the word to see all possible variants or click/tap it to select the right pronunciation.
Premium features: high-quality computer-generated audio and automatic translation
The subscription Premium gives you access to some additional features in this phonetic translator:
- You will be able to generate the audio of your text using a selection of high-quality text-to-speech voices.
- You will be able to obtain an automatic translation of your text into your native language.
- You will get access to video recordings of native speakers slowly pronouncing the most popular words.
Please read our FAQ to learn more about premium features.
Create your own custom word lists
You can create your own custom word lists using this phonetic translator. Here's how you can do it:
- For the setting Transcription display options select the option transcription above each word.
- In the section Choose what you will see when you click the word turn on the option " to word list".
- After submitting your text, click on the word you want to add to the word list and then click the button " to word list".
- You will be prompted to select the transcription and enter the meaning/translation of the word (the latter for most languages is optional).
- Once you finished adding words to your word list, click on My Account at the top of the page and then on My word lists. You will see the list of all your word lists.
There are so many things you can do with your word list:
- export it into a file (Word, Excel, plain text),
- print it from your browser,
- share it with other people (for example, your students),
- practice pronunciation of every word using the audio recordings of real people (if available) or high-quality text-to-speech voices.
Watch a tutorial "How to create custom word lists"
We wanted to create a very precise tool, so we decided to make this phonetic converter case-sensitive. For some words, it makes a difference. For example, the French words Paris and paris mean different things and may be pronounced differently depending on the context.
If you want to obtain the best results, please submit the French text which is spelled correctly. Misspelling the words (montréal, MERCI) may give unpredictable results.
Liaison in French
In French most final consonants are not pronounced. For example:
- les livres /le livʁ/
However, in some cases they may or should be pronounced. For example:
- les amis /lez‿ami/
This is called liaison. There are two types of liaison in French - mandatory and optional.
In this type of liaison final consonants should be pronounced. The translator handles such cases pretty well:
- nous avons /nuz‿avɔ̃/
- elles en achètent /ɛlz‿ɑ̃n‿aʃɛt/
- prenez-en /pʁənezɑ̃/
You can choose how the final consonants will be displayed:
- les amis /lez‿ ami/
- les amis /le‿ zami/
In order to do so, go to the section Advanced options. For the option Liaison choose either transcribe words one by one or final consonant may move to the next word.
Note that the translator will show the links to audio recordings based on the word's transcription, not on its spelling. In the example above if you choose the first option, you will see a link to the audio recording for "ami". However if you choose the second option, you will not see any links, since there are no words in French with transcription /zami/.
In this type of liaison final consonants may or may not be pronounced. It depends on the speech style (formal or informal), level of education and other factors. For example:
- j'avais été
/ʒavɛ ete/ or /ʒavɛ‿ zete/
- des amis agréables
/de‿ zami aɡʁeabl/ or /de‿ zami‿ zaɡʁeabl/
- nous attendons encore
/nu‿ zatɑ̃dɔ̃ ɑ̃kɔʁ/ or /nu‿ zatɑ̃dɔ̃‿ zɑ̃kɔʁ/
The phonetic translator almost never shows optional liaison.
Vowel lengthening at the end of words
The phonetic translator can add an elongation symbol [ː] after long vowels at the end of a rhythmic group. The rules for vowel lengthening are the following:
- All vowels (oral and nasal) become long if followed by the final consonant cluster /vʁ/ or the final single consonant /ʁ/, /z/, /v/, /ʒ/:
/vʁ/ ➔ livre [liːvʁ], chanvre [ʃɑ̃ːvʁ]
/ʁ/ ➔ faire [fɛːʁ], vinrent [vɛ̃ːʁ]
/z/ ➔ française [fʁɑ̃sɛːz], onze [ɔ̃ːz]
/v/ ➔ peuvent [pœːv]
/ʒ/ ➔ usage [yzaːʒ], ange [ɑ̃ːʒ]
- The oral vowels /ø/, /o/, /ɑ/ and all nasal vowels become long when followed by any single consonant or a consonant cluster:
/ø/ ➔ émeute [emøːt], neutre [nøːtʁ]
/o/ ➔ chaude [ʃoːd], autre [oːtʁ]
/ɑ/ ➔ basse [bɑːs], plâtre [plɑːtʁ]
/ɑ̃/ ➔ France [fʁɑ̃ːs], attendre [atɑ̃ːdʁ]
/ɔ̃/ ➔ monde [mɔ̃ːd], rompre [ʁɔ̃ːpʁ]
/ɛ̃/ ➔ mince [mɛ̃ːs], peintre [pɛ̃ːtʁ]
Highlighting of high-frequency French words
In the section Advanced options you will find a special option that allows you to highlight high-frequency French words. The words from different frequency intervals will be highlighted in the following colors:
If you want to make the frequency analysis of your text and obtain the detailed statistics, please use French word frequency counter.
Learning French as second language: phonetic transcription can help you improve your French pronunciation
French pronunciation can be confusing for people who are just starting to learn French. Think about it – one French letter can be pronounced in two or three different ways, and three to four letters can be pronounced as one sound! The pronunciation rules in the French language are extremely complex and contain many exceptions.
This tool will serve you as an French pronunciation guide and will help you save time. You will no longer need to look up the pronunciation of words in a dictionary.
If you use the phonetic transcription regularly in combination with French audio and video recordings, your pronunciation and listening skills in the French language will improve.
Do you learn or teach French?
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French pronunciation dictionaries that we recommend
Some of the dictionaries listed below are not really pronunciation dictionaries, but just regular French dictionaries. However we used all of them extensively when we were proofreading our database with pronunciations of French words.
- Dictionnaire de la prononciation française dans sa norme actuelle, 1987
- Robert French Dictionary Complete and Unabridged edition
Check our French phonetic subtitle converter and obtain something like this:
Greetings from the developer Timur
Find out how to activate your brain and learn faster (4 min.)
Timur Baytukalov. A Complete Guide to Language Learning. Part 1: Learning Pronunciation
Free Webinar "Learning French pronunciation the smart way" (25 min.)
French, French phonetics, French pronunciation, IPA, IPA chart, IPA translator, dictionary, language learning, phonetic dictionary, phonetic transcription, subtitle converter
To develop this translator, we used information from different sources mentioned on this page. The phonetic transcription was taken from these sources in accordance with the Copyright Act of Canada (Paragraph 29, Fair Dealing for the purpose of education).