French Alphabet Sounds & Audio Pronunciation

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Learn the Alphabet in French: how to spell, write and pronounce the letters of the French alphabet with audio recordings, including the French alphabet song.

The French and English alphabets share the same letters. However, the way we pronounce the letters of the alphabet in French is a bit different.

This article features audio recordings. Click the blue text next to the headphone to hear me say that word or sentence in French.

How does the Alphabet Sound in French?

The Alphabet in French

First I’ve recorded the whole French alphabet for you. I left just enough time for you to repeat out loud.

Please press on the audio player to hear my recording of the French alphabet.

a, b, c, d, e f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o ,p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.

French Alphabet Recording – Letter by letter

I’ve also recorded each letter of the the French alphabet so you can study the individual letter pronunciation.

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

i

j

k

l

m

n

o

p

q

r – follow the link to my audio lesson: 3 steps to the perfect French R pronunciation

s

t

u

v

w

x

y

z

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More Details & Audio Samples

The French Alphabet Song – ABC song in French

Ok, now I’m going to sing the alphabet in French for you… That’s how dedicated I am! 😱

Because the melody of the French alphabet song is the same as the English ABC song, it’s a good way to memorize the alphabet in French.

a, b, c, d, e f, g,
h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o ,p,
q, r, s,
t, u, v,
w, x, y et z
Maintenant je sais mon abc
Now I know my abc
la prochaine fois, c’est vous qui chanterez !
Next time you will sing!

OK, that was the French alphabet essentials… But let’s dig a bit more.

About the French Alphabet

Let me answer some general questions about the French alphabet.

How do you say Alphabet in French?

The French word for ‘alphabet’ is “l’alphabet“. It’s a masculine word. Mind the French pronunciation: ‘l’alphabet’ in French ends on an è sound, not a t sound like it does in English.

How do you say a Letter in French?

A letter in French is “une lettre“. It’s a feminine word. Again, the spoken French pronunciation is quite different from the English pronunciation.

How many letters to the French Alphabet?

There are twenty-six letters in the French alphabet.

Note the accents in French are not separate letters in the French alphabet.

How many vowels in French?

In French, there are 6 vowels : a, e, i, o, u, y, and 20 consonants.

Note that when you speak about the vowel names in French, you would use “le”, not “l'” in elision although technically, what follows is a vowel!

le a, le e, le i, le o, le u, le i grec.

You could also say “la lettre a”, “la lettre e” etc…

How do you say uppercase and lowercase in French?

As you can see, the French and English alphabets are the same. Very convenient, right ! Let’s focus on what’s different between the two alphabets.

French Alphabet versus English Alphabet

The French and English alphabets are the same in writing… they are quite similar in pronunciation too! I mean except for a few letters, if you had no French before and I said the French letter name, you probably could guess what letter I’m talking about.

French Consonants versus English Consonants

In English, consonants names end in a [ee] sound. In French, consonants names end in a [é] sound.

b c d = b, c, d

There are however some major differences in the pronunciation of some letters.

Vowels Names in French

Most vowels in French are named after their main pronunciation: a, e, i, o u. The last vowel, y, is named i grec.

Follow this link to my French vowel article with audio which will give you precise instructions on how to form the various French vowel sounds.

You may also be interested in my article about French nasal vowels with audio.

Now let’s see the letters that are problematic for English speakers.

French G versus English G pronunciation

G in French is pronounced [Gé]. A way to remember it is famous French actor’s name Gérard Depardieu. G comme Gérard.

French J versus English J pronunciation

J in French is pronounced [ji]. A way to remember it is the French future tense of the verb aller in the je form: j’irai. J comme j’irai.

K and Q in French

The letters K and Q end in a strong vowel sound in French… but not the same vowel as in English!

  • K in French is k [ka].
  • Q in French is q [ku]. A letter that makes French kids giggle…

W, X, Y and Z in French

Finally, the last 4 letters of the French alphabet are pronounced quite differently from English – or at least American English!

  • W in French is called w, spelled w or double v
  • X in French is called x with a strong French i sound.
  • Y in French is called i grec.
  • Z in French is called z: we pronounce it the same way as in British English.

What about accents in French?

We have several accent marks in French. The letters with an accent don’t have a special name in the French alphabet.

We typically call them by the name of the letter followed by the name of the accent.

More about French accents with audio in my free blog lesson.

Voilà, I shared with you everything I know about the French alphabet. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comment section below.

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 23+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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