French pronunciation of Greek letters

French Language Asked on October 24, 2021

I am reading technical papers which contain many letters from the Greek alphabet. I’m not sure how to pronounce them and having a hard time looking it up. What is the standard French pronunciation of the Greek alphabet?

2 Answers

Most are pronounced "like they are written", i.e. using the French default usage. The ê can be pronounced either /e/ or /ɛ/.

Thêta is pronounced /tɛta/ or /teta/, phi and khi are pronounced /fi/ and /ki/.

Only zêta, epsilon and upsilon might be pronounced partially or totally as foreign words, z is often realized as /dz/, "-on" is almost never the nasalisation /ɔ̃/ and u is often pronounced /œ/: /d͡zɛta/ or /zɛta/, /ɛpsilon/ & /œpsilon/ or /ypsilon/.

Lambda is generally pronounced /lãbda/ in France but the alternative /lam(b)da/ can also be heard, depending on the region.

Psi is not special but simply pronounced like the beginning of psychologue.

Note that omicron is always pronounced the French way, with a nasalisation: /omikrɔ̃/, likely because micron is already a French world.

Answered by jlliagre on October 24, 2021

alphabet grec.

  1.  Α   α   alpha   
  2.  Β   β   bêta    
  3.  Γ   γ   gamma   
  4.  Δ   δ   delta   
  5.  Ε   ε   epsilon 
  6.  Ζ   ζ   zêta    
  7.  Η   η   êta     
  8.  Θ   θ   thêta   
  9.  Ι   ι   iota    
  10. Κ   κ   kappa   
  11. Λ   λ   lambda  
  12. Μ   μ   mu
  13. Ν   ν   nu
  14. Ξ   ξ   ksi/xi  
  15. Ο   ο   omicron 
  16. Π   π   pi
  17. Ρ   ρ   rhô     
  18. Σ   σ   sigma   
  19. Τ   τ   tau     
  20. Υ   υ   upsilon
  21. Φ   φ/ϕ phi     
  22. Χ   χ   khi/chi 
  23. Ψ   ψ   psi     
  24. Ω   ω   oméga   

Answered by Toto on October 24, 2021

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