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February 18, 2016


Let’s face it. French monuments and tourist spots are about as hard to say as they are beautiful. They invite enough faux pas to make Lady Marianne cringe or the nearest hipster Parisian to laugh quietly behind his beard.

I normally don’t share pronunciations in social media because I would rather have French learners get to know the correct method for pronunciation, but for this one, I’ll make an exemption.

Why, you ask?

Because we absolutely need to put an end to all the pronunciation massacres happening every single day. And of course, I want you to be able to say these French attractions correctly the next time you discuss it with your friends… or when you’re trying to be a French poser with your date.

Remember that this article is focused only on the pronunciations. The details about these top attractions are topics for other days.

So… Without much dawdling, here’s the list, with both phonetic and IPA pronunciations, for whichever method you prefer. (+ scroll down to the end of the article for a little surprise).

1. La Tour Eiffel


1 eiffel

/ lah toor eh-fehl /

2. Notre Dame


notre dame

/ no-tra dahm /
[nɔtʁə dam]

3. Louvre



/ LOOV-ruh/

4. Arc de Triomphe


arc de triomphe

[aʁk də tʁijɔ̃f]

5. Champs-Elysées


champs elysees

[ ʃɑ̃.ze.li.ze]

6. Tuileries



Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) (63M Views) via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA


7. Père-Lachaise


pere lachaise

[pɛːʁ laʃɛːz]

8. Sainte-Chapelle


Sainte Chapelle

Photo credit: 12thSonOfLama via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

/sah(n)t sha-pehl/
[sɛ̃t ʃapɛl]

9. Palais Garnier


palais garnier

Photo credit: D-Stanley via Visualhunt / CC BY

/pah-le gahrn-ye/
[palɛ ɡaʁnje]

10. Fontainebleau



Photo credit: RoboSchro via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA


11. Hôtel de Ville


Hôtel de Ville

/o-tel duh-veel/
[otɛl də vil]

12. les Invalides


les invalides

/leh zhe(n) va-leed/

13. Panthéon



Via Wikimedia


14. Château de Chenonceaux



Via Wikimedia

/sha-to duh she-noh(n)-so/
[ʃa.to də ʃə.nɔ̃.so]

15. Basilique du Sacré-Coeur


Sacre Coeur

/bah-zee-leek doo sah-kray-kohr/
[sakʁe kœʁ]

16. Musée d'Orsay



/myoo-seh dohr-seh/
[myze dɔʁsɛ]

17. Centre Georges Pompidou



Via Wikimedia

/saw(n)truh zhorzh pomp-ee-do/
[sɑ̃tʁ ʒɔʁʒ pɔ̃pidu]

18. Versailles




19. Montmartre



Via Wikipedia


20. Avignon



Via Wikimedia


Want to hear the spoken pronunciation of these tourist attractions? Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter to download the PDF with the MP3s. You’ll get access to the entire FREE French learning package, too!

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About the author 

Frederic Bibard

Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Instagram

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