How are French words pronounced in English?

Patisserie is a typical example of a French 'loanword'

There are several thousand French words French  in the English language. Their pronunciation can be tricky because in many cases there are no formal rules about the correct way to do this 

By convention, pronunciation of French words  generally defers to the source. Ballet, for example, has a silent ‘t’, rather than a sounded one as in the Spanish equivalentl. Charles de Gaulle keeps his silent’s’ while Prince Charles becomes 'Charle' in spoken French.


There are many anomalies. Logic might suggest that a chaise lounge would be pronounced the same way as the lounge it is in. 

Some common nouns have been completely anglicized like the hard ‘s’ in Paris. Unfortunately, for English language learners there is no absolute rule as to when this occurs. 

The key is comprehension. The English pronunciation of the words Croissant and pan au chocolat approximate to the original French but neither requires an extravagant Inspector Clouseau accent.

Common French/English cognates in - crossword.

French words in English - teaching materials